Article by Porter Green

Other presentations brought our attention to translations of lesser-known texts (for example, Andrew Lang’s Fairy Books), and besides to translations of good-known, but less canonical sources, such as an Italian translation of The Jungle Book. When Modern updating of works seems cherished (translating Dr. Seuss into Latin, for example), the academic value at the university level may appear suspect, but the discussion value is valid; taking a children’s book as Replica Breitling Bentley subject matter in no way eases the task of the translator, but rather brings up its own unique considerations that may be useful for discussion. How nonsense words should be dealt with Do illustrations ever need translation That translation occasionally ties into the Zeitgeist does not undermine its academic nature, but rather highlights its pervasiveness.

Discussions of dialects, regional speech, code-switching, and hybridity led us to reflect on the kinds of translation that we practice and encounter daily as we navigate the English language. These reflections tied into our appraisal of innovative translations, translations that do not fit into a neat, “foreign” versus “domestic” dichotomy. For example, while contemplating teaching various translations of the Aristophanes comedy Lysistrata, David Damrosch highlights the heuristic significance of translations that “take advantage of the fact that there are many more forms of English than ‘standard English’ alone”. James Baldwin’s incisive 1971 essay “If Black English Isn’t a Language, Then Tell Me, What Is” would surely enhance these discussions in future courses. Of particular interest in future classes at the University of Replica Cartier Alabama might be Dudley Fitt’s 1959 translation of Lysistrata, in which the Spartans speak with thick Southern accents. When do we translate from one English (John Milton’s Paradise Lost) to another (Dennis Danielson’s recent translation of Paradise Lost into contemporary English), and what are the questions occasioned by these intra-English translations The first of Roman Jakobson’s three types of translation, this “rewording” is among the least privileged in study, perhaps because of the implicit suggestion that one cannot read one’s own language. Yet discussion of translations like these can illustrate just how productive rewording tinning be, both in terms of making difficult works accessible to new readers, and as a way of offering new interpretations for returning readers.

Our class discussions took us on several surprising tours through literary history and left us with many questions. Who knew that Homer was translated into doggerel by Thomas Hobbes, that Machiavelli has been translated as a manual for the business world, or the Lord’s Prayer translated into 133t-speak How can Catullus be translated in so many ways, from G-rated to NC-17 Why and how did George Eliot translate Spinoza, and what can her study of translation of Spinoza’s Ethics tell us about her own ethics or philosophy We learned that translation involves cross-pollination, that our literary fields are interdependent. We saw this, for instance, in Emerson’s aforementioned dual translations of, among others, Hafiz and Rumi from the German. Study of these poems would surely encourage students to reflect on and revisit their knowledge of American Romanticism. Much as a course on translation studies foregrounds what Wendy Moffat describes as the discipline’s “myth of coverage,” it also pushes students to inhabit material that they have already studied. Ideally, it will make their reading more sophisticated in courses to come.

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An introduction to Google Translator Toolkit, a free, online, translation app that helps translators bring content into their language faster and better.

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