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Literary And Cultural Values And Their Sense Of Their Reader's Expectations

Author : endeavor Guangzhou

Submitted : 2010-10-02 04:46:55    Word Count : 520    Popularity:   107

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Damrosch likewise affirms that "comparing even brief passages can reveal a host of choices that different translators have made," including, in particular, insight into their "literary and cultural values and their sense of their reader's expectations". Even without knowledge of the source language, "we can use translations to triangulate our way toward a better sense of the original than any one version can give us on its own". Katrina's presentation on Ezra Pound's Cathay translations involved just such a triangulation, comparing his poems with competing translations and with two source texts the original poems themselves and the Ernest Fennellosa-annotated Japanese cribs that facilitated Pound's translations. Fair and educated judgments require considering not just a translation itself, but its conditions, competitors, and context. Our comparative work in class was most effective when we Links Of London Charms(http://www.linksukstore.com/charms-c-181.html) replaced initial, and perhaps inevitable, "it works/it doesn't work" judgments with evaluative discussions about how specific translations work, or do not, as the case may be.

Venuti emphasizes that choosing a "suitable" translation means choosing one that "offers an efficient articulation of the issues raised by translation, but also one that works productively with the critical methodologies applied to other texts in the course" ("Translation and the Pedagogy" 341). As we studied literal translations, homophonic translations, and the kind of experimental and risk-taking translations that correspond to Philip Lewis's concept of abusive fidelity, we learned that an awkward or uneven translation is not necessarily a bad one, that accuracy is not the only legitimate goal for a translation. Steven Ungar, nodding to George Steiner, writes, "The terms 'failure' and 'incompletion' imply the persistence of Links Of London Bracelets(http://www.links-of-london.org/S-Bracelets-5.html) a model of translation whose virtues would entail precisely overcoming failure and incompletion".

The criteria by which we judge a translation would therefore "be of less interest to Steiner than what a 'close hearing' of translation's failures and incompletion might disclose concerning the nature of cultural difference". We should thus be as attentive to translations that read painfully as we are to those that "tell it lovely." Nabokov's resolutely literal and fiercely protective translation of Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin is not easy reading, but it offers a foreign element that a translation privileging the sensibilities of the target audience might not. We are convinced that it would be instructive for the class to formulate its own evaluative criteria after advancing in the theoretical readings and discussing some of the key debates in translation studies.

Students might well adopt different criteria for different kinds of texts, possibly for different genres, for religious or secular works, or for different source languages. We thus propose that the professor distribute a rubric for evaluation prior to such sessions in order to direct focus on the studied theories and bring the class one step closer to Steiner's "close hearing." Students could then modify this rubric and hone their evaluative criteria over the course of the semester as they advance in knowledge. Katrina's rubric, developed after the course (see Appendix 1), is intended as a guide not for every reading of translation, but for a close evaluative reading, as conducted in a classroom.

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