web site hit counter The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation - Ebooks PDF Online
Hot Best Seller

The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation

Availability: Ready to download

The Translator's Invisibility traces the history of translation from the seventeenth century to the present day. It shows how fluency prevailed over other translation strategies to shape the canon of foreign literatures in English, and investigates the cultural consequences of the domestic values which were simultaneously inscribed and masked in foreign texts during this p The Translator's Invisibility traces the history of translation from the seventeenth century to the present day. It shows how fluency prevailed over other translation strategies to shape the canon of foreign literatures in English, and investigates the cultural consequences of the domestic values which were simultaneously inscribed and masked in foreign texts during this period. Venuti locates alternative translation theories and practices in British, American and European cultures which aim to communicate linguistic and cultural differences instead of removing them. The first edition, now ten years old, is still widely cited by academics in many disciplines and has had a huge influence on the whole field of Translation Studies. A new edition offers Venuti the chance to keep this influence alive, updating and advancing his argument and answering his (few) critics.


Compare

The Translator's Invisibility traces the history of translation from the seventeenth century to the present day. It shows how fluency prevailed over other translation strategies to shape the canon of foreign literatures in English, and investigates the cultural consequences of the domestic values which were simultaneously inscribed and masked in foreign texts during this p The Translator's Invisibility traces the history of translation from the seventeenth century to the present day. It shows how fluency prevailed over other translation strategies to shape the canon of foreign literatures in English, and investigates the cultural consequences of the domestic values which were simultaneously inscribed and masked in foreign texts during this period. Venuti locates alternative translation theories and practices in British, American and European cultures which aim to communicate linguistic and cultural differences instead of removing them. The first edition, now ten years old, is still widely cited by academics in many disciplines and has had a huge influence on the whole field of Translation Studies. A new edition offers Venuti the chance to keep this influence alive, updating and advancing his argument and answering his (few) critics.

30 review for The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation

  1. 5 out of 5

    Max Nemtsov

    Несомненно, самая полезная книжка по «переводоведению», что мне попадалась. И не только — это вообще самая полезная книжка по истории/теории перевода в обозримой вселенной (не считая Норы Галь, конечно, но там практика). Лоренс Венути объявляется самым вменяемым человеком в той же самой обозримой вселенной — и бесполезно спрашивать, как я жил раньше, не читамши его. Хорошо жил, чоужтам, но нужда и тяга к чтению его книжек по художественному переводу случились только сейчас. Ну и мозговые валентн Несомненно, самая полезная книжка по «переводоведению», что мне попадалась. И не только — это вообще самая полезная книжка по истории/теории перевода в обозримой вселенной (не считая Норы Галь, конечно, но там практика). Лоренс Венути объявляется самым вменяемым человеком в той же самой обозримой вселенной — и бесполезно спрашивать, как я жил раньше, не читамши его. Хорошо жил, чоужтам, но нужда и тяга к чтению его книжек по художественному переводу случились только сейчас. Ну и мозговые валентности свободные появились. Т.е. он ничего особого нового не говорит, конечно, за исключением пристального разбора интересных кейсов (самые примечательные здесь — это, конечно, омофонные переводы Катулла четой Зукофских и переводы Эзры Паунда и Пола Блэкбёрна в ассортименте). Не новое оно потому, что практически до всего этого практический переводчик, как показывает практика и как правило, доходит своим умом. Мы же дошли вот. Но вся штука в том, как именно он этого ничего нового не говорит. Т.е. он иронически проходится по позиции, которой я и сам долгое время придерживался («есть законы термодинамики, но на кухне их знание не очень пригождается»), но польза в том, что он а). легитимизирует и наши (в т.ч.) практические подходы, б). показывает — в очередной уж раз, — что мы не одиноки во вселенной и вообще стоим на верном пути. Что не только полезно, разумеется, но и приятно. В связи с объективной полезностью этой книжки для практики становится тем более непонятно, почему ее не существует на русском языке. Я, по крайней мере, не обнаружил, может, она, конечно, ходит в академическом самиздате. На Венути вообще я видел только ссылки и понавыдерганные цитаты из него — как правило, с весьма, гм, критическими, если не прямо ругательными комментариями. Проблема тут вот в чем. По чтению некоторых советских и постсоветских «учебников художественного перевода» (Нелюбина и Хухуни, в частности) становится понятно, что теоретическая мысль в отечественном «переводоведении» замерла на рубеже начала 1960-х годов. На Юджине Найде примерно (работ которого тоже per se на русском в каком-либо серьезном объеме не существует, что странно, но вот поди ж ты). Найда, как известно, был библеистом и консультантом Американского библейского общества по переводу, т.е. махровейшим реакционером с советской точки зрения. Отчего его так полюбили советские теоретики, есть большая загадка — но для них он был (и остается, судя по всему, до сих пор) последним писком переводоведческой моды. Хотя теоретические выкладки свои он основывали лишь на практическом материале особенностей перевода одной книги (Книги, сказать вернее) со всеми вытекающими — и потому двигал теорию «приручения» иноязычного текста с позиций этноцентризма, культурного империализма и нарциссизма. Каковая стратегия и остается для наших диванных переводчиков симпатичной и основополагающей — в этом же, видать, и советские теоретики видели классовую и идеологическую близость. Венути же, с ним спорящий уж четверть века, для них, само собой, по-прежнему анфан-террибль и подрывной радикал, слишком маргинальный для здешнего теоретического захолустья. Его взгляды остаются уделом филологов, да и то далеко не всех, а разделяют их и вообще единицы (предполагаю, их можно пересчитать по пальцам одной руки). Охранительные тенденции «советской школы перевода» же у нас по-прежнему, как мы видим, актуальны, городовые на посту и бдят, тащат и не пущают в перевод ничего, что не похоже на этнические консервы, именуемые «каноническими переводами». В этом если не трагедия, то уж точно драма, драма идей (тм). Ну и в вопросах этики перевода Найда был ветхозаветно последователен, чего советские его цитатели предпочитали не замечать (тем самым вызывая сейчас сомнения в ценности и целостности собственных построений, см. Кашкина, к примеру). Он приравнивал работу переводчика к работе христианского миссионера и сообщал, что долг переводчика — идентифицироваться с народом: «как христианский служитель он должен идентифицироваться с Христом, как переводчик — со Словом, а как миссионер — с народом». Почему над ним не устроили показательный процесс с расстрелом, не очень понятно, за такие-то слова. Мы-то знаем и для себя уже давно решили, что никому ничего переводчик не должен: его верность — только переводимому тексту и его автору. Найда, конечно, пыльноват, но нельзя сказать, чтобы он был совсем уж неправ или бесполезен для нас. Он проповедовал «динамическую эквивалентность», как известно, с ее популярным тезисом о «восприятии переведенного текста так, как его воспринимали в оригинале». Советская школа перевода по-пролетарски пошла дальше американского библеиста — и предлагала в той или иной форме переводить так, как если б «это было написано по-русски», что есть нонсенс. Вроде похоже, но разница огромного масштаба. Вдумчивому переводчику необходимо действовать во всем этом диапазоне между «приручением» и «остраннением» (язык не поворачивается называть эти крайние точки стратегии «доместикацией» и «форенизацией», как это делают наши кабинетные теоретики, борющиеся за чистоту русского языка; в данном случае — умозрительной «нормы», коя есть просто-напросто не что иное как «стандартный диалект»), таки да, беря все лучшее от обоих миров. Недаром Венути цитирует Пола Блэкбёрна, ответившего на прямой вопрос, что такое переводчик, заимствовав фразу у Боба Дилана: «Это тот, кто все тащит в дом. Псих, иными словами». А если подытожить, то чтение «переводоведческих» академических текстов на русском языке — по-прежнему занятие потешное. Т.е. раньше раздражало, потому что ну нельзя же быть людьми настолько далекими от любого здравого смысла и практической пользы и так нагло торговать воздухом. Сейчас в этом появилась еще и определенная развлекательная ценность — примерно как на клоунов в цирке смотреть (ну и финский стыд, конечно, присутствует). Эти люди, по-прежнему цитируя Кашкина, Чуковского и прочих светочей, титанов и столпов «советской школы перевода» (они же, как уж вышло, — «священные коровы»), как-то не в курсе, похоже, что ничего нового тут придумать невозможно примерно с 1813 года, когда закончились (что в Англии, что в России — батальные полотна и там, и там, очень похожи, уж поверьте мне на слово) битвы критиков подушками в темноте — лекцией Фридриха Шлайермахера, в которой он сказал, что переводческих стратегий «существует лишь две. Либо переводчик как можно больше оставляет автора в покое и тащит к нему читателя; либо оставляет в покое читателя и подтягивает к нему автора». Все остальные измышления на эту тему — пустое сотрясение воздуха и обман покупателя. Поскольку тема по-прежнему во мне животрепещет, можно ожидать продолжения.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Melvyn

    This book presents a strong argument against literary translations that seek to homogenize and harmonize foreign texts within the host language and culture. Venuti primarily advocates subverting language standards and canons within the receiving culture, e.g. with regionalisms and social dialects, colloquialisms and slang, obscenity, archaism, neologism, alternative syntax and other unconventional language. These methods are said to be ‘foreignizing’, creating a sense of the alien and unknown, This book presents a strong argument against literary translations that seek to homogenize and harmonize foreign texts within the host language and culture. Venuti primarily advocates subverting language standards and canons within the receiving culture, e.g. with regionalisms and social dialects, colloquialisms and slang, obscenity, archaism, neologism, alternative syntax and other unconventional language. These methods are said to be ‘foreignizing’, creating a sense of the alien and unknown, and 'training the target language readership to accept, even to crave, translations steeped in the foreign flavor of other originals,' as Schleiermacher puts it. I fear that the practising literary translator will often feel frustrated with this work, since good examples of successful foreignization often get lost in this welter of abstractions and tangents, fascinating as these may sometimes be. We are left with occasional fragments such as: ‘’Pevear and Volokhonsky recreated features of Dostoevsky’s syntax that disrupt fluency, such as in the fourth sentence, where the opening inversion (“this Pavlovich began to exploit”) and the subsequent series of relative clauses follow the Russian.’’ Other examples can also be rather underwhelming, because when you get down to brass tacks, one man’s foreignization can often be another woman’s domestication. Take archaisms. “For Venuti, archaism results in historical remoteness but this is not necessarily the case in Chinese translation. Since the classical dialect is actually pure Chinese, while modern Chinese is heavily influenced by European languages, the use of archaism in Chinese translation means a return to traditional Chinese values, which is surely domesticating.'' He Xianbin Likewise, William Morris’s medievalisms are quoted as a distancing, foreignizing device, but I think that the less abstruse examples will actually come across to many as familiar and homely Olde Englishe. Venuti also considers James Strachey’s translation of Freud’s work to be foreignizing because of deliberate jarring stylistic shifts that reflect the original and the replacement of transparent everyday expressions by such Graeco-Latin technical jargon as ego and superego, but others point out that this involved a domesticating move to fit the ideas into Anglo-American medical culture dominated by positivism. Moreover, I felt there was a marked paucity of detailed examples of other ways to foreignize, such as the use of original metaphors and idioms. I do get the impression that Venuti has striven to make the idea of foreignization very much his own, with his own unique perspective and slant, while upstaging mere ‘exoticization’ (see below). How often do translation theorists get mesmerized by their own profound insights, seduced by their own abstract circles within circles, enthralled by historical details (see footnote) and enticed by the lure of an all-embracing view from the other side of the mirror? These might sometimes be quite fascinating, but rarely very useful to the poor working translator in my experience. As Joseph Lambert points out: “More worrying, however, is Venuti’s intellectualism and exclusion of non-literary translation, which dictate that the technical translator cannot realistically follow Venuti’s ideas at all given the economic concerns and client demands foregrounded in the professional setting. Venuti is in the fortunate position of being able to translate with a degree of cultural experimentation rather than bending to commercial constraints and publisher demands. [...] He is criticised for this very focus on literary translation and supposedly more legitimate, ‘highbrow’ texts. As Anthony Pym suggests in his review of Invisibility: “As long as the translations are kept distant from the masses’ cheap understanding, the professors will be employed to read and talk about those translations,” thus stressing the importance of Venuti’s own continued visibility in academia.' ’ (see link below). In his meandering arguments, Venuti sometimes seems to find a temporary niche for this foreignizing technique within conventional fluency and transparency, which he does occasionally accommodate: ‘It is important not to view such instances of domestication as simply inaccurate translations. Canons of accuracy are always locally defined, specific to different cultural formations at different historical moments.’ However, he then often seems to polarize the two approaches as dichotomous, in ways that can sound rather bombastic and grandiose in isolation, with magnificent pronouncements such as: ‘Foreignizing translation in English can be a form of resistance against ethnocentrism and racism, cultural narcissism and imperialism, in the interests of democratic geopolitical relations.’ ‘Foreignizing undermines the very concept of nation by invoking the diverse constituencies that any such concept tends to elide.’ ‘Foreignizing translation is a dissident cultural practice, maintaining a refusal of the dominant by developing affiliations with marginal linguistic and cultural values in the receiving situation, including foreign cultures that have been excluded because their differences effectively constitute a resistance to dominant values.’ ‘The translator’s invisibility is symptomatic of a complacency in British and American relations with cultural others, a complacency that can be described – without too much exaggeration – as imperialistic abroad and xenophobic at home.’ This is all fine invective that I hope to use next time anyone should be so foolish as to criticize my ‘misplaced’ commas. :-) And yes, you do have to see the funny side of all this, especially when critics such as Tymoczko agree that ‘’Venuti proposes his terms (domestication/fluency vs. foreignisation/minoritisation/resistance) as “a kind of absolute or universal standard of evaluation, with a sort of on/off quality rather than a sliding scale”. Although at one point in the introduction to the 1991 Italian translation of The Translator’s Invisibility Venuti does describe foreignization and domestication as “heuristic concepts…meant to promote thinking and research” rather than as dichotomous terms’’, this does rather tend to get lost in his rhetorical torrents. It seems to me much more useful and less heavy-handed to highlight the benefits of occasional deft usage of foreignization as another important tool in the translator’s toolbox, rather than to constantly hit us over the head with it as some radical antithesis to plain (but imperialistic) common sense. I am not the only one to point this out of course. Some go further: ‘The way in which his use of Marxist language renders the text impenetrable and ambiguous in places certainly is [a problem]. Indeed, Invisibility is already an extremely heavy text and the addition of Marxist terminology only serves to complicate matters further as well as sacrificing a degree of credibility as interest in these theories has subsequently subsided.' Joseph Lambert Is there something to it all? I think so, but it is rather diffuse and could be condensed quite a bit :-): 'The motive of this book is to make the translator more visible so as to resist and change the conditions under which translation is theorized, studied, and practiced today, especially in English-speaking countries. Hence the first step will be to present a theoretical basis from which translations can be read as translations, as texts in their own right, permitting transparency to be demystified, seen as one discursive effect among others.' ‘The effect of transparency conceals the numerous conditions under which the translation is made, starting with the translator’s crucial intervention.’ ‘The critical lexicon of literary journalism since World War II is filled with so many terms to indicate the presence or absence of a fluent translation strategy: “crisp,” “elegant,” “flows,” “gracefully,” “wooden,” “seamlessly,” “fluid,” “clunky.”’ ‘Fluency also depends on syntax that is not so “faithful” to the foreign text as to be “not quite idiomatic,” that unfolds continuously and easily (“breezes right along” instead of being “doughy”).’ ‘In contrast to, say, Sterne’s work, where the look & texture – the opacity – of the text is everywhere present, a neutral transparent prose style has developed in certain novels where the words seem meant to be looked through – to the depicted world beyond the page.’ ‘Abusive fidelity directs the translator’s attention away from the conceptual signified to the play of signifiers on which it depends, to phonological, syntactical, and discursive structures, resulting in a “translation that values experimentation, tampers with usage, seeks to match the polyvalencies or plurivocities or expressive stresses of the original by producing its own' ‘Foreignization can alter the ways that translations are read as well as produced because it assumes a concept of human subjectivity that is very different from the humanist assumptions underlying domestication. Neither the foreign writer nor the translator is conceived as the transcendental origin of the text, freely expressing an idea about human nature or communicating it in transparent language to a reader from a different culture. Rather, subjectivity is constituted by cultural and social determinations that are diverse and even conflicting, that mediate any language use, and that vary with every cultural formation and every historical moment.’ Venuti is careful to distinguish ‘foreignization’ from ‘exoticization’: ‘In examining the recent trend in foreign crime fiction, I would describe the translations not as foreignizing, but as exoticizing, producing a translation effect that signifies a superficial cultural difference, usually with reference to specific features of the foreign culture ranging from geography, customs, and cuisine to historical figures and events, along with the retention of foreign place names and proper names as well as the odd foreign word. The English translations don’t produce a foreignizing effect because they don’t question or upset values, beliefs, and representations in Anglophone cultures.’ But critics do not always go along with this: ‘The overall effect of such a translation [Burton’s Arabian Nights], Tarek Shamma claims, is in fact exoticising rather than foreignising; however, his central contention is that one cannot distinguish between these effects.’ From Foreignisation and resistance: Lawrence Venuti and his critics by Kjetil Myskja, which presents some other key insights: ‘Foreignizing translation signifies the differences of the foreign text, yet only by disrupting the codes that prevail in the translating language, deviating enough from native norms to stage an alien reading experience.' ‘The goal seems to be to establish a cultural situation in which a number of voices are allowed to exist simultaneously.’ ‘It [foreignization] may be said to be striving to delegitimise itself.’ ‘In order to achieve a resistant effect within the target language discourse, the translator would be dependent on balancing elements of domestication and foreignisation in such a way that it is domesticated enough to be accepted into the discourse, and yet alien and foreignising enough to be resistant. Venuti clearly agrees that a balance of these elements would be required.’ Marginalization of the translator I think that one of the strongest arguments in the book is that everything within the publishing world conspires against the literary translator who adopts this approach. Parallels are then drawn between the traditional cultural invisibility of translators and their economic marginalization within the industry and society at large. Alas, I do not think the heavy-handed terminology referred to above is going to help there very much. Marketability The considerable contractual problems surrounding foreignization are discussed in some detail, but the conclusion is not entirely negative: ‘The commercial success that greeted the English version of Kirino’s Out demonstrates that popular audiences can be receptive to foreignizing effects. This development should be taken as an incentive to translators, as well as their publishers, to adopt a more dissident attitude towards the values, beliefs, and representations that prevail in Anglophone cultures.’ Ultimately, however, I was left with a strong sense that there is less to all this than meets the eye, as well as a desire to point out that the Emperor of foreignization is only scantily clad in convincing examples here. As Eliot Weinberger once wrote: “Translation theory, however beautiful, is useless for translating. There are laws of thermodynamics, and there is cooking.” My impression is that it is not always useless, but it often takes the form of a wraith realm of labyrinthine argument, with precious little for the working translator to actually work on. As Anthony Pym has ironically pointed out, recent paradigms of western translation theories are only supported by righteous 'certitude', making them resistant to 'empirical testing'. Venuti strikes me as being an example of this. He sometimes seems to me to be enticing the translator towards a marvellous transcendental state embracing the author, the translator and the polyphony of societal voices that echo intertextually all around them, but like the proverbial market town in Norfolk you find that as you approach it DISS appears. Or DOES it? Footnote: (Some free quotes) Those who went against the grain of fluency, transparency, domestication, Britification and Bowdlerization include such interesting characters as: John Nott with his ‘lascivious’ translations. Friedrich Schleiermacher, who foreignized, paradoxically, to build his national culture; William Morris - denounced for his ‘’Wardour-Street Early English’’ and ‘’travesty of archaic English’’, (which incidentally had some influence on Tolkien IMO http://tolkiengateway.net/wiki/Willia... ); Iginio Ugo Tarchetti, who used imported fantasy to challenge the local classic realism, which ‘’constitutes an ideological practice in addressing itself to readers as subjects, interpellating them in order that they freely accept their subjectivity and their subjection,’’ and to undermine ‘’the transcendental subject in realist discourse by creating an uncertainty about the metaphysical status of the narrative’’. Ezra Pound, whose modernistic interpretative translation, discursive heterogeneity and use of archaism deliberately avoided the ‘’transparent discourse that had dominated English-language translation since the seventeenth century’’. “Instead of translating to produce a narrowly defined variety of fluency, foregrounding the signified and minimizing any play of the signifier that impeded communication, pursuing linear syntax, univocal meaning, current usage, standard dialects and prosodic smoothness, Pound increased the play of the signifier, cultivating inverted or convoluted syntax, polysemy, archaism, nonstandard dialects, elaborate stanzaic forms and sound effects – textual features that frustrate immediate intelligibility, empathic response and interpretive mastery. Paul Blackburn, whose work with Cortázar produced a foreignizing effect by choosing marginal texts, but in his translating he also made verbal choices that were foreignizing enough to be compellingly strange. One reviewer also felt that the fluency of Blackburn’s translation was powerful in delivering this strangeness. The reviews of the Cortázar translations repeatedly linked him to “his countryman” Borges, and both were inserted in the modernist mainstream of European fiction: Franz Kafka, Italo Svevo, Günter Grass, Alain Robbe-Grillet, Michel Butor, Nathalie Sarraute.11 Contemporary British and American fiction was for the most part realist at this time, with narrative experimentalism banished to the obscure fringes (Djuna Barnes, Samuel Beckett, Flann O’Brien, William Burroughs, William Gaddis, John Hawkes, Thomas Pynchon) – or to popular forms like horror and science fiction. This is reflected in The New York Times “Best Seller List” for 9 July 1967, the issue in which Blackburn’s End of the Game was reviewed. Maurice Blanchot, who “inverts the conventional hierarchy, wherein ‘the original’ is superior to the translation. He considers the foreign text, not as the unchanging cultural monument in relation to which the translation must forever be an inadequate, ephemeral copy, but as a text in transit, ‘never stationary’” living out ‘the solemn drift and derivation [dérive] of literary works,’ constituting a powerful self-difference which translation can release or capture in a unique way. In negotiating the dérive of literary works, the translator is an agent of linguistic and cultural alienation: the one who establishes the monumentality of the foreign text, its worthiness of translation, but only by showing that it is not a monument, that it needs translation to locate and foreground the self-difference that decides its worthiness. Encouraging the reader to interrogate the realist illusionism that dominates Anglophone fiction.’’ Richard Francis Burton, who ‘’cultivated a linguistic heterogeneity that preempted the illusion of transparency in order to recreate an important literary difference, a self-difference that he located in the Arabic text: ‘the classical and the popular styles,’ he felt, ‘jostle each other in The Nights’. Not only did he adhere closely to the Arabic, reproducing such features as the use of saj’ or rhyme schemes and resorting to alliteration where he could not reproduce the rhymes, but he also varied the current standard dialect of English with regional dialects, poetical archaisms, neologisms, and foreign loan words. Most importantly, Burton’s archaisms were drawn from the history of English literature stretching from Anglo-Saxon to Middle English to Early Modern English. They included lexical items like anon, avail, cark, cozened, naught, oft, rede, repine, rondure, sooth, verdurous, vouchsafe, whilome, wont, and yclept, as well as grammatical and syntactical forms like hadst and hath, thou, thy, and thine, and inversions of standard word order, both subject-verb and adjective-noun. His fondness for phrasing like ‘splendid stuffs and costly’ and ‘a masterful potentate and a glorious’ imitated a recurrent feature of Milton’s style, as in ‘th’upright heart and pure’ from the opening of Paradise Lost.’ Mary Mitchell Collyer, however, was a classic domesticator, who assimilated the French text of Marivaux’s La vie de Marianne to current trends in the British novel, notably the moralistic sentimentalism exemplified by Richardson’s Pamela: or, Virtue Rewarded -- going so far as to Anglicize the “curé de village” (village priest) as the “country vicar” and to add a description of his garden that evokes the landscaping advocated by Addison and Pope. She lent her prose an easy readability through various stylistic moves, perhaps most effectively by maintaining a high degree of lexical precision and syntactic continuity (forming neatly balanced phrases and concise sentences, inserting connectives like “and” and “but”).

  3. 5 out of 5

    Antariksa Akhmadi

    I picked the book on the wrong time. This is supposed to be a very theoretical book on translation studies aimed for advocating for the paradigm of foreignization. I, barely understanding scholarly discussion about translation, was frequently lost inside Venuti's dense prose and near-eternal paragraphs. Venuti argued that translators have too long underestimated their own role in shaping history by rendering themselves "invisible" in the translation process. He challenged mainstream idea (or so h I picked the book on the wrong time. This is supposed to be a very theoretical book on translation studies aimed for advocating for the paradigm of foreignization. I, barely understanding scholarly discussion about translation, was frequently lost inside Venuti's dense prose and near-eternal paragraphs. Venuti argued that translators have too long underestimated their own role in shaping history by rendering themselves "invisible" in the translation process. He challenged mainstream idea (or so he said) that a good translation is a translation that does not read like a translation. This acceptance about translation leads to a fluent translation: a translation that is readable but conceals differences between the author's and the translator's culture. As a result, readers of the translated work think that they are directly interacting with the author while in fact they are accessing the original work through the ideological lenses of the translator. Venuti condemns this phenomenon as a kind of cultural opression where the author's deeply-held values are discarded and replaced with the target-language culture's presuppositions. A notable example is when a Roman text telling intimate interactions between two males was interpreted as homosexual activities in English translation during the Victorian era. His "call for action" emphasizes the need for translators to preserve some kind of "strangeness" in their translators so that readers realize that they are reading something from a different mind. In some cases, calls like this makes sense since there are many translations that act as though as they are the author's words in another language rather than the near-original work of the translator, such as the famous Fitzgerald's "translation" of Omar Khayam's Rubaiyat. However, in other cases Venuti just seemed to be paranoid of threats of cultural opression and how translators seem to be neglected. I might need to read this book sometime later after having some good grasp of the fundamental issues in translation studies in order to enjoy the full depth's of Venuti's argument.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Silvia Brandao

    I feel like Venuti is the king of elitist approaches that cannot be applied in the real world, and yET I am here for it

  5. 5 out of 5

    Romany Arrowsmith

    In my niche of the Linguistics community, translators are considered the epitome of wall-licking, idiot savant, impractical, antisocial geekdom among the more polymath nerds surrounding us. Reading this book reminded me why we have that reputation. I was bored, infuriated, and confused and I work in this field. Just write plainly for god's sake. "And yet, surprisingly, Schleiermacher proposed this nationalist agenda by theorizing translation as the locus of cultural difference, not the homogenei In my niche of the Linguistics community, translators are considered the epitome of wall-licking, idiot savant, impractical, antisocial geekdom among the more polymath nerds surrounding us. Reading this book reminded me why we have that reputation. I was bored, infuriated, and confused and I work in this field. Just write plainly for god's sake. "And yet, surprisingly, Schleiermacher proposed this nationalist agenda by theorizing translation as the locus of cultural difference, not the homogeneity that his ideological configuration might imply, and that, in various, historically specific forms, has long prevailed in English-language translation, British and American. Schleiermacher’s translation theory rested on a chauvinistic condescension toward foreign cultures, a sense of their ultimate inferiority to German-language culture, but also on an antichauvinistic respect for their differences, a sense that German language culture is inferior and therefore must attend to them if it is to develop." All of his sentences have this same comma-laden cadence, parantheticalized to within an inch of their lives. One of the top reviews on Goodreads (look for "Melvyn") summarizes the useful ideas in this book effectively. Read that. Skip this.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Anita

    It took me ages to finish. This book has provided me with a lot of insight about translating and what it means, culturally. It has also opened my eyes to how easily we as people and as translators adhere to foreign cultures and foreign culture practices, and how this leads to cultural poverty. It has made me aware of my own culture and context, so to speak.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Lucy

    Venuti starts his account by mentioning how translation is a 'misunderstood and relatively neglected practice' and how the working conditions of translators, and their position, have not improved. With this in mind, he tries to tell the history of translation through two main conflicting tendencies: domestication and foreignization. If a translated text is fluid, creates a feeling of naturalness and leans towards the target culture, then the translator is invisible. Now through the dissident prac Venuti starts his account by mentioning how translation is a 'misunderstood and relatively neglected practice' and how the working conditions of translators, and their position, have not improved. With this in mind, he tries to tell the history of translation through two main conflicting tendencies: domestication and foreignization. If a translated text is fluid, creates a feeling of naturalness and leans towards the target culture, then the translator is invisible. Now through the dissident practice of foreignization, affiliated with the margin, the translator gains visibility not only by moving the reader closer to the source culture but also by resisting domestication and all that this tendency implies. In spite of it being an interesting and insightful book, especially for students of translation or any professional in the field, I found that the author included way too many examples to support his ideas (I just ended up skimming through a few of them). Examples of course can be useful, but when you don't have enough knowledge on the authors mentioned they can slow down the reading process and it's harder to follow the main ideas. I also felt that throughout the book Venuti tried to make an effort to show both sides of the coin, nonetheless he is by no means impartial and the side he favors can clearly be seen from the first page. Still you can read this book without his personal views clouding your judgement and by the time you reach the last chapter with all the information provided you can certainly state your position on the issues discussed.

  8. 5 out of 5

    camille

    (read diagonally for research purposes, no ratings)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hadi Umayra

    I recommend this book for all who interested in Translation discipline. This book contains various theories supporting the translator's invisibility. I recommend this book for all who interested in Translation discipline. This book contains various theories supporting the translator's invisibility.

  10. 5 out of 5

    James

    I found this book to be a difficult read amd even after umderstanding it, I disagree with his philosophy of foreignizing not domesticating the translated text.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Molly Lackey

    Although I do not agree with all of Venuti's points, his challenge to the reader to more seriously question translated texts (and, if they are translators, their own works) is intriguing. Although I do not agree with all of Venuti's points, his challenge to the reader to more seriously question translated texts (and, if they are translators, their own works) is intriguing.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Katt

  13. 5 out of 5

    Abdullah

  14. 4 out of 5

    Maziyar

  15. 5 out of 5

    Cecile

  16. 4 out of 5

    Kendra

  17. 4 out of 5

    Nathaniel

  18. 4 out of 5

    Oleksandr Hryshchenko

  19. 4 out of 5

    Morteza

  20. 5 out of 5

    Bezukhova

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nguyễn Thị

  22. 5 out of 5

    Hemza Zeghar

  23. 5 out of 5

    Dian

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jeremy

  25. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  26. 5 out of 5

    Regina

  27. 4 out of 5

    Nuno

  28. 5 out of 5

    Aïcha

  29. 4 out of 5

    Mia

  30. 4 out of 5

    Reese (whimsicalbibliophile)

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.