Challenging the Traditional Axioms

Translation into a non-mother tongue

| University of Ljubljana
ISBN 9789027216687 (Eur) | EUR 95.00
ISBN 9781588116345 (USA) | USD 143.00
ISBN 9789027294531 | EUR 95.00 | USD 143.00
Translation into a non-mother tongue or inverse translation, especially of literary texts, has always been frowned upon within Translation Studies in Western cultures and regarded by literary scholars and linguists as an activity of dubious worth, doomed to fail. The study, which received an award from EST in 2001, sets out to challenge the established view and to critically question some of the axiomatic assumptions of Western theorists. Its challenge is supported by extensive empirical research involving reader response to translations of specific literary texts. The conclusion reached is that the quality of the translation, its fluency and acceptability in the target language environment depend primarily on the as yet undetermined individual abilities of the particular translator, his/her translation strategy and knowledge of the source and target cultures, and not on his/her mother tongue or the direction in which s/he is translating.
[Benjamins Translation Library, 62]  2005.  xii, 166 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
Introduction: A questioning approach to Translation Studies
Open definitions of the terms “native speakers” and “mother tongue”
Translation into a non-mother tongue in translation theory: Challenging the traditional
Methods and corpus for analysis
Analysis of the texts: Presentation of the selected originals
Analysis of the texts: Presentation of the selected translations
Conclusion of the analysis: The visibility of nativeness and non-nativeness in translations
Native speaker intuitions: the questionnaire
Appendix I
Appendix II
“The greatest contribution of the study is the challenge it presents to prevailing preconceptions about the nature of translation. The methodology used, a systematic one that comprises two parts, is more than adequate to adress the central question of the study, that is, whether inverse translations show any common features of the target language. [...] The whole book is written in plain language, without the obscure linguistic terms and concepts, so it is really accessible to all researchers and students who have an interest in this area. This is especially important since the ultimate goal of the author is to change a perceived prejudice of general theorists and practitioners towards inverse translation. [...] Overall the book is a good research monograph with a clear research question containing well-positioned data to prove the argument. It is thought-provoking and will inspire similar research to be done for the same good cause.”
“[...] this book can be appreciated for several reasons: It has a sound theoretical basis, the hypothesis it starts with is tested using a large corpus made by eight pairs and seven individuals. Since the analysis of the translations 'revealed no particular connection between the mother tongue of the translator and either the quality or the accuracy his/her translation' (p.107), a well-constructed questionnaire was administered via interview to forty-six native speakers in the USA, England and Canada. What a monumental task! Last but not least, the book makes an exciting and enjoyable piece of reading, which is not a mere trifle.”
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Translation & Interpreting Studies

Translation Studies
BIC Subject: CFP – Translation & interpretation
BISAC Subject: LAN023000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2005042120