Translation Breakdown
 Translation Consequences
 Translation Limitations
 A Translation Mandate
 A Translation Issue
 Vulnerability Defined
 A Vulnerability
 So what does that mean?
 The Consequent Difference of John
 So What is John?

Series [All]
 Confessions of a Jewish Skeptic (4)
 Exploring Translation Theories (25)
 Leaving the Jewish Fold (3)
 Memory and Identity
 Religion and Cultural Memory (51)
 The Creative Word (19)
 The Cross-Cultural Process (7)
 The Oral Gospel Tradition (4)
 We the People (8)


Tuesday, 5 May 2015
The Starting Point

After Babel: Aspects of language and translation, 3rd Ed.,
George Steiner, OUP, 1998, page 28

After talking about the way costume alters one's perception of a Shakespeare production, Steiner comes to what he says is the vital starting point:

When we read orhead any language-statement from the past, be it Leviticus or last year's best-seller, we translate. Reader, actor, editor are translators of language out of time. The schematic model of translation is one in which a message from a source-language passes into a receptor-language via a transfornational process.

There is a barrier: the languages are different, so encoding and decoding takes place to effect the transfer.

Exactly the same model - and this is what is rarely stressed - is operative within a single language. But here the barrier or distance between source and receptor is time.

If we have this difficulty translating language - where the information or emotion that the author wishes to communicate has already been expressed in a language - how much more will there be a barrier when translating between cultures, between life-styles, between expectations. These things are rarely codified using words in any language, yet are crucial to a proper understanding and effective translation. When the distance of time is also stirred into the mix, the possibility of a good translation starts to fade.

Posted By Jonathan, 8:08am Comment Comments: 0