EN964  Translation Studies

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in . Theory and Practice. Introduction.  . John T. Gilmore.  . Department of English . and . Comparative Literary Studies,. University of Warwick. Common misconceptions. Translation is not really necessary – because everything can be explained with diagrams . ID: 696619 Download Presentation

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EN964  Translation Studies




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EN964 Translation Studies in Theory and PracticeIntroduction 

John T. Gilmore

 

Department of English

and

Comparative Literary Studies,

University of Warwick

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Common misconceptionsTranslation is not really necessary – because everything can be explained with diagrams Translation is not really necessary – because everybody uses English these days Translation is not really necessary – because anything really worth reading has been, or will be, translated into English

Translation may be (sometimes) necessary, but it isn’t really that important, since, as John

Balcom

puts it: “The average person regards the act of translation as a mechanical rather than a creative act. The common perception is that translators merely replace the words of a work in one language with words in another language.”

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More common misconceptionsTranslation is:so simple that anyone can do itnot an activity from which anyone should expect to derive any prestige“But Slaves we are; and labour on another Man's Plantation; we dress the Vine-yard, but the Wine is the Owners: If the Soil be sometimes Barren, then we are sure of being

scourg'd

: If it be fruitful, and our Care succeeds, we are not

thank'd

; for the proud Reader will only say, the poor drudge has done his duty.”

--- John Dryden, from dedication to

The Works of Virgil

(1697).

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瞻彼淇奥。緑竹猗猗。有匪君子。

如切如磋。

如琢如磨。

瑟兮僴兮。

赫兮喧兮。

有匪君子。

終不可諼兮。

 

K‘e yuh

 

Look at those recesses in the banks of the K‘e,

With their green bamboos, so fresh and luxuriant!

There is our elegant and accomplished prince, —

As from the knife and the file,

As from the chisel and the polisher!

How grave is he and dignified!

How commanding and distinguished!

Our elegant and accomplished prince, —

Never can he be forgotten!

Text and translation from James Legge, trs.,

The She King

, in

The Chinese Classics

, (5 vols., Hong Kong: Hong Kong University Press, 1960, 1970) IV, 91.

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A Chinese Ode,The Verbal Translation (Sir William Jones)

 

‘Behold yon reach of

the river

Ki;

‘Its green reeds how luxuriant! how luxuriant!

‘Thus is our prince adorned with virtues;

‘As a carver, as a filer of ivory,

‘As a cutter, as a polisher, of gems.

‘O how elate and sagacious! O how dauntless and composed!

‘How worthy of fame! How worthy of reverence!

‘We have a prince adorned with virtues,

‘Whom to the end

of time

we cannot forget.’

James

Legge’s

Version:

Look at those recesses in the banks of the

K‘e

,

With their green bamboos, so fresh and luxuriant!

There is our elegant and accomplished prince, —

As from the knife and the file,

As from the chisel and the polisher!

How grave is he and dignified!

How commanding and distinguished!

Our elegant and accomplished prince, —

Never can he be forgotten!

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A Chinese Ode, Paraphrased

Behold, where yon blue riv’let glides

Along the laughing dale;

Light reeds bedeck its verdant sides,

And frolic in the gale:

 

So shines our prince! In bright array

The virtues round him wait;

And sweetly smil’d th’auspicious day,

That raised him o’er our state.

 

As pliant hands in shapes refin’d

Rich iv’ry carve and smooth,

His

laws

thus mould each ductile mind,

And every passion soothe.

 

As gems are taught by patient art

In sparkling ranks to beam,

With

manners

thus he forms the heart,

And spreads a gen’ral gleam.

What soft, yet awful, dignity!

What meek, yet manly grace!

What sweetness dances in his eye,

And blossoms in his face!

 

So shines our prince! A sky-born crowd

Of virtues round him blaze:

Ne’er shall oblivion’s murky cloud

Obscure his deathless praise.

 

Sir William Jones,

The Poetical Works of Sir William Jones: With the Life of the Author

(2 vols.; London: Cadell and Davies [and others], 1807), II, 30-31.

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Ode Sinica

Vides ut agros dulce gemmatos lavet

Argenteus rivi latex;

Virides ut aura stridulo modulamine

Arundines interstrepat:

Sic, sic, amœno cincte virtutum choro

Princeps, amabiliter nites.

Ut maximo labore, & arte maximâ

Effinget artifex ebur,

Sic ad benignitatem amica civium

Blandè figuras pectora.

Ut delicata gemmulam expolit manus

Fulgore lucentem aureo,

Sic civitatem mitium gaudes tuam

Ornare morum lumine.

O quàm verenda micat in oculis lenitas!

Minantur & rident simul.

O quanta pulchro dignitas vultu patet,

Et quantus incessu decor!

Scilicet, amœno cincte virtutum choro

Princeps, amabiliter nites.

Annon, per omne, veris instar, seculum

Memoria florescet tui?

You see how the stream’s silvery water sweetly washes the jewelled fields, how the breeze rustles through the green reeds, thus, thus, oh prince, do you shine in a manner that inspires love, surrounded by a pleasant chorus of virtues. As with the greatest labour and skill the craftsman fashions ivory, thus do you gently form the loving hearts of your citizens to liberality. As the delicate hand polishes the gem until it shines with golden gleam, thus do you rejoice to adorn the state with the light of kindly manners. Oh what fearsome kindness sparkles in your eyes! They threaten and smile at the same time. Oh what dignity shows in your lovely face, and what grace in your step! Truly, oh prince, do you shine in a manner that inspires love, surrounded by a pleasant chorus of virtues. Is it not the case that your memory will flourish like the spring through all eternity?

Text from Sir William Jones,

The Poetical Works of Sir William Jones: With the Life of the Author

(2 vols.; London: Cadell and Davies [and others], 1807), II, 40; translation by John T. Gilmore.

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Translation is about

constraints

compromises

challenges

creativity

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Thank you.e-mail: J.T.Gilmore@warwick.ac.uk


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