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Monday, 31 August 2015

Adaptive Translation

Is That a Fish in Your Ear?: Translation and the Meaning of Everything,
David Bellos, Penguin, 2011, page 181-182

Here, David Bellos offers critique on Eugene Nida's stress on adaptive translation - using cultural substitution and native target language speaking translators where possible:

Nida's insistence on adaptive translation can be understood in two ways. First,it follows from the beliefs he shares with other Christians that a religious truth must be accessible to al humans, whatever their culture and language. Equally important, however, is Nida's wish to respect the culture that Bible translators inevitably affect and alter by their work. Adaptive transation is a compromise between these two contradictory aspirations. It helps the receiving culture accept and integrate something completely new by using terms that are already familiar.

Nida's critics attack this is a number on a number of literay and translation principles. But Bellos puts his finger on one of the key issues:

Translating UP doesn't normally use the same techniques as trabskating DOWN.

Does that remind you at all of colonialist attitudes?

Posted By Jonathan, 8:15am Comment Comments: 0