Translation Studies: The State of the Art : Proceedings of the First James S. Holmes Symposium on Translation Studies

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Publisher
Rodopi
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Published on
Dec 31, 1991
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Pages
208
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ISBN
9789051833270
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Best For
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Language
English
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Genres
Language Arts & Disciplines / Literacy
Language Arts & Disciplines / Translating & Interpreting
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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A New York Times Notable Book for 2011
One of The Economist's 2011 Books of the Year

People speak different languages, and always have. The Ancient Greeks took no notice of anything unless it was said in Greek; the Romans made everyone speak Latin; and in India, people learned their neighbors' languages—as did many ordinary Europeans in times past (Christopher Columbus knew Italian, Portuguese, and Castilian Spanish as well as the classical languages). But today, we all use translation to cope with the diversity of languages. Without translation there would be no world news, not much of a reading list in any subject at college, no repair manuals for cars or planes; we wouldn't even be able to put together flat-pack furniture.

Is That a Fish in Your Ear? ranges across the whole of human experience, from foreign films to philosophy, to show why translation is at the heart of what we do and who we are. Among many other things, David Bellos asks: What's the difference between translating unprepared natural speech and translating Madame Bovary? How do you translate a joke? What's the difference between a native tongue and a learned one? Can you translate between any pair of languages, or only between some? What really goes on when world leaders speak at the UN? Can machines ever replace human translators, and if not, why?

But the biggest question Bellos asks is this: How do we ever really know that we've understood what anybody else says—in our own language or in another? Surprising, witty, and written with great joie de vivre, this book is all about how we comprehend other people and shows us how, ultimately, translation is another name for the human condition.

A Bookseller's Hobby-Horse, and the Rhetoric of Translation is a study of the first Dutch translation ofTristram Shandy (1759-67) as a product of and factor in the reception of Sterne's novel in the Netherlands, and as a specific manifestation of this reception: a derived text based on interpretation of the original. It took sixteen years for this translation to appear. Why was this so? And why did its publication (1776-79) prove unrewarding to the publisher? To answer the first question, Agnes Zwaneveld relates the development of Sterne appreciation in the Netherlands — from neglect in the 1760s to a literary craze in the 1780s — to a number of socio-cultural factors, including a growing interest in German literature. This relation with German literature is reflected in the choice of books published by A.E. Munnikhuisen, a Sterne-enthusiast and conscientious publisher, but also an outsider in the book trade, whose audacity led to the commercial failure of his enterprise. A different question tackled in this study is to what extent the translation reflects the original text. Can it be accepted as a faithful rendering, or rather as an adaptation, an imitatio in the classical tradition? To understand what norms the translator, Bernardus Brunius, followed and what effects he can have been aiming at, his work is described in terms of the — rhetorical — theory of translation adhered to in his day. To avoid subjectivity in assessing the resemblance between translation and original, the comparison focuses on composition and the use of rhetorical figures as formal aspects which can be easily recognised across the centuries. The textual comparison was limited to the opening chapter of Tristram Shandy, seen as the novel'sexordium, in which both author and translator are likely to have made a show of their intentions. Close reading of this chapter resulted in an interpretation of Tristram's authorial performance as inspired by both Quintilian and Longinus.
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