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A Multilingual Approach
Per una storia sociale del tradurre medievale

Abstract

This paper focuses on The Tenant of Wildfell Hall (1848) and analyses the Spanish translation by Waldo Leirós (1997, 2017) through a specific selection of quotations and fragments. It follows the evolution of the narrative thematically through the different sections of the novel in order to present the reader with an overview of the novel’s plot. The poem presented in the nineteenth chapter, “Farewell to thee”, is then examined alongside the translation offered by Leirós; this is followed by a new, alternative version proposed by the author. By way of conclusion, the translator’s faithfulness and dedication to Anne Brontë’s original text is demonstrated, while certain inaccuracies, omissions and oversights are acknowledged and analysed from the perspective of literary translation studies.

Abstract

Translation has always played a major role in Korea’s often painful process of modernization. But even in this context, the frequent “translation wars” are a striking phenomenon—especially when the zealous battles about mistranslations are fought not only within the limited confines of professional or aficionado circles, but also (as periodically occurs) captivate the general public. The fact that public discourse about the quality and reliability of translations is much more common in South Korea than anywhere in the West is very telling in cultural anthropological terms. This significance has, however, never been considered a matter deserving of academic attention in and of itself. Conspicuously, the public denunciation of translation mistakes, as practiced in Korea, often targets not only the immediate culprits but claims to expose a fundamental (culturally conditioned) mentality among the general Korean population. The implication is that Korean audiences lack self-assurance and tend to accept dubious passages meekly because they are conditioned to suspect themselves of being simply too stupid to understand. Korea’s ongoing translation wars are epitomized by encyclopedic books that present vast collections of detected mistakes and usually receive a great deal of media coverage. One regularly recurring motif of the multifaceted debates on mistranslations is the supposed disgrace and disadvantage sustained by Koreans when they are left with imperfect renderings of insights easily gleaned by those elsewhere in the world, who read, if not the originals, at least perfectly faithful translations.

Abstract

Since the coronavirus outbreak began to spread worldwide in the early months of 2020, English speakers have been coming up with new names for the disease at a rate of knots. The myriad unofficial synonyms for COVID-19 that we currently have at our disposal provide an extreme example of overlexicalisation, and it is not so much the number that is impressive as the sheer speed at which they have been coined. This study is based on a personally compiled corpus of tweets covering the period from late January to late May 2020 and aims to work out what mechanisms underpin the creation and use of some two hundred and seventy synonyms, paying particular attention to the role of slang, wordplay, verbal humour, bigotry and xenophobia. The author identifies and discusses a set of categories that help to better understand the attitudes behind these words, some of which bespeak a desire to confront the grim reality of disease, while others – the majority, in fact – seek to denigrate and stigmatise its “ideal victims” (the baby boomers) or its “evil perpetrators” (the Chinese). In a different context, this study might be deemed just a celebration of the creative levity and wit of English speakers when faced with adversity. In these dark times, it is also a sad testimony to how some of our primitive fears have come to be reflected in our pandemic lexicon.

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Abstract

Translating you into German means deciding between different pronouns of address, a choice that can express either hierarchy, formality or intimacy between speaker and listener. This paper analyses to what extent the pronominal address is used to characterise fictional relationships in the eight German translations of Jane Austen’s novel Emma by comparing them with original German literature written around 1815, the year when the English novel was first published. While the selected parallel texts highlight special relationships like close friendships or romantic love with the pronominal address, the paper shows that this is less frequently the case in the translations.

Abstract

The multilingual nature of the International Brigades in the Spanish Civil War raises the question of means of communication in different war contexts. This article focuses on the use of a lingua franca as a strategy of understanding between volunteers from more than 53 nations, as well between these and their military and political leaders. Drawing on the Pierre Bourdieu’s theory of linguistic capital, the language choice is understood as a representation of social power relations. So that, the analysis of language choice and language usage in a Civil War conflict brings new insights about the organization and functioning of the International Brigades, the centers of power and their change in the course of the war.