Translating Languages


translation [Lat.,=carrying across], the rendering of a text into another language. Applied to literature, the term connotes the art of recomposing a work in another language without losing its original flavor, or of finding an analogous substitute, for example, Scott Moncrieff's Remembrance of Things Past for Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu, which, translated literally, means "Looking for Lost Time." Translations of the most ancient texts extant into modern languages are called decipherments. Two well-known examples are the decoding of the Egyptian hieroglyphs on the Rosetta Stone (see under Rosetta) by Jean François Champollion and the decoding of the Persian cuneiform inscriptions on the rock of Behistun by Henry Rawlinson. Translating sacred texts has always been the chief means by which a culture transmits its values to posterity. Important translations of the Bible began with the Vulgate (Hebrew and Greek into Latin) of St. Jerome in the 4th cent. AD English translations of the Bible include that of John Wyclif in the 14th cent. (from Latin), William Tyndale's in the 16th cent. (from Hebrew and Greek), and the great Authorized Version of 1611, the King James Version, which has been called the most influential work of translation in any language.

The Renaissance was a golden age of translations, especially into English. Renewed interest in the Latin classics created a demand for renderings of Ovid's Metamorphoses (tr. by Arthur Golding, 1565–67), Vergil's Aeneid (tr. by Gawin Douglas, 1513; Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, c.1540; and Richard Stanyhurst, 1582), and Plutarch's Lives (tr. by Sir Thomas North, 1579). The flavor of these renderings is indicated in the opening lines of Stanyhurst's Aeneid: "Now manhood and garbroyles [battles] I chaunt, and martial horror." In addition there were translations of important contemporary works into English: Castiglione's Courtier (tr. by Sir Thomas Hoby, 1561), Montaigne's Essais (tr. by John Florio, 1603), and Cervantes's Don Quixote (tr. by John Shelton, 1612). Notable translations of the 19th and 20th cent. include Baudelaire's translations of the works of Edgar Allan Poe, Scott Moncrieff's translation of Proust, and Eustache Morel's translation of James Joyce. American authors whose works have been widely translated include Mark Twain, Jack London, Ernest Hemingway, John Dos Passos, Pearl Buck, Margaret Mitchell (Gone with the Wind ), and Upton Sinclair.

See E. Grossman, Why Translation Matters (2010); E. Allen and S. Bernofsky, ed., In Translation: Translators on Their Work and What It Means (2013).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Translating Languages: Selected full-text books and articles

Translation Studies
Susan Bassnett.
Routledge, 2002 (3rd edition)
The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation
Lawrence Venuti.
Routledge, 1995
Becoming a Translator: An Introduction to the Theory and Practice of Translation
Douglas Robinson.
Routledge, 2003 (2nd edition)
The Art of Translation
Ball, Stefan.
Contemporary Review, Vol. 267, No. 1556, September 1995
What Is Translation? Centrifugal Theories, Critical Interventions
Douglas Robinson.
Kent State University Press, 1997
The Translator as Communicator
Basil Hatim; Ian Mason.
Routledge, 1997
Translation and Culture
Katherine M. Faull.
Bucknell University Press, 2004
Translating Cultures: Perspectives on Translation and Anthropology
Paula G. Rubel; Abraham Rosman.
Berg, 2003
Interpreting as a Discourse Process
Cynthia B. Roy.
Oxford University Press, 2000
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 3 "Translation and Interpretation"
Exploring Translation and Multilingual Text Production: Beyond Content
Erich Steiner; Colin Yallop.
Mouton de Gruyter, 2001
Introducing Corpora in Translation Studies
Maeve Olohan.
Routledge, 2004
More Than Survival: The Discipline of Business Communication and the Uses of Translation
Forman, Janis.
The Journal of Business Communication, Vol. 35, No. 1, January 1998
Peer-reviewed publications on Questia are publications containing articles which were subject to evaluation for accuracy and substance by professional peers of the article's author(s).
Performative Linguistics: Speaking and Translating as Doing Things with Words
Douglas Robinson.
Routledge, 2003
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