The Craft & Context of Translation: A Symposium

The Craft & Context of Translation: A Symposium

The Craft & Context of Translation: A Symposium

The Craft & Context of Translation: A Symposium

Excerpt

The first ten essays of this book were delivered at a Symposium on Translation held at the University of Texas in November, 1959. If this Symposium had any single central idea, it was to bring together a group of professional translators sharing a common stake in translation but committed in different directions. With such a panel we hoped for the kind of consensus that would obviate sterile argument about 'principles' and for the kind of fruitful disagreement that comes from the serious shop- talk of practising craftsmen at different jobs. On the grounds that nothing is less interesting or valuable than theorizing about principles without example, we asked each speaker to let his generalizations flower among his particulars or not at all. Finally, for the sake of good conversation and self-confidence, we deliberately excluded from the panel all machine-translators, logicians, meta-linguists and literal-minded scholars. Our conference was a closed shop, or nearly so.

Later, in order to make the book more useful, we decided to commission a group of essays--those forming the second section of the book--on various practical aspects of translation, from the point of view of the professional 'trade' translator, the editor, etc. To this has been added still a third section consisting of an agenda of translation in Latin and Greek and six modern European languages. Such systematic review of the field, we hoped, might prove helpful to both publishers and translators. Each contributor was asked, not to cover his field completely, but to discuss briefly those works he thought important and which had either not been adequately translated or not translated at all. More extensive coverage in a greater number of languages would, of course, have been desirable, but it proved impossible in the time and space at our disposal.

We should like to record our gratitude to the Humanities Research Center of The University of Texas which generously supported both the symposium and its publication, and particularly to Chancellor Harry H. Ransom whose enthusiastic support made this project possible.

The Editors

AUSTIN TEXAS

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