prof. dr hab. Elżbieta Muskat-Tabakowska (Jagiellonian University)
Translation: Transcultural Communication through intercultural dialogue
In some recent works on pragmatics of translation and translation theory it is suggested that translation studies should be considered a transcultural rather than intercultural discipline. At the same time, it is generally accepted that the function of the translator is that of a mediator between cultures, even though “cultures” are no longer seen as entities that are either separate or homogeneous. Translators, in their capacity of go-betweens, necessarily engage in an intercultural dialogue, although the final product of their work can be best described in terms of trans- rather than interculturality. It seems that the two notions might be helpful in describing translation seen as a process as distinct from translation considered as a product.
As illustration, I will use some extracts from literary English texts and their Polish translations.
professor David Johnston (Queen’s University Belfast)
Translation as Representation
Assessing New York theatre in the 1950s, William Becker draws a distinction between ‘translation’ and ‘adaptation’ that is now routinely reflected in the way in which theatre translation is represented in the marketplace:
Between true translation and true adaptation, there falls most of what passes on Broadway for American versions of foreign plays. And it is in this murky area, where there are no real disciplines, that most translations go wrong. It is the province of people who aim for faithfulness but miss the point, and of people who would like to adapt, but lack a sufficiently potent artistic individuality of their own.
There is an appealing simplicity to this. ‘Translation’ and ‘adaptation’ are pressganged into service as abbreviated forms to refer to distinct modes of representation. One based on a model of subjection to the original—translation considered as second-order reproduction—while the other is characterized by formal and/or thematic aloofness from the source text—adaptation marketed as first-order creation. Translation is depicted at one end of a spectrum of process whose prescriptive discourse expresses the values of the mirror and where success is measured by the reflective relationship that the translator is perceived to have maintained between target and source texts; adaptation, however, is seen as free, its methods and justification frequently articulated through the playful terms of a refractive postmodernism; translation, in its metonymical pursuit of textual reproduction, respects the inviolability of authorial hierarchy, while adaptation, in extending the metaphorical sweep of the original, is often seen as simply developing outwards from the source.
This paper will argue that translation represents—or may represent—its object in a more complex way. It is only when the act of translation captures something that is simultaneously intrinsic to the original and to the contexts of the new version that translations might achieve a different quality of representation.
professor Outi Paloposki (University of Turku)
Anti age, Pro age? Rejuvenating old translations
Translations age, it is said. They get ‘wrinkles’; they become ‘dusty’. What happens to these old translations, then? Are they discarded and forgotten? Or are they given a beauty treatment or even plastic surgery, to make them look more modern and presentable?
I will examine attitudes to old translations (the definition of ‘old’ varies from twenty to more than a hundred years) and look at what happens to them in the course of time. The pertinent question is: how are old translations judged?