Compensation and the Brief in a Non-Literary Translation
Theoretical Implications and Pedagogical Applications
Keith Harvey |
School of Modern Languages and European Studies, University of East Anglia, Norwich
Compensation as a device for dealing with loss in translation is often discussed with regard to literary translation where stylistic effects are assumed to be of greater importance than in non-literary modes. This paper builds on previous work firstly by exploring in detail the problem of author intention that appears to underlie the notion of effect. The discussion then extends into non-literary modes of translation where the translation specifications known as the Brief determine to a large extent the decisions taken by the translator. The author argues that the Brief introduces a crucial aspect into the decision-making process that not only allows for the possibility of compensation in non-literary texts but also influences the scope and type of compensation that would be deemed appropriate. Detailed examples are provided by a French source text featuring the frequent use of metaphor. Alternative translations are suggested in relation to two possible Briefs, which are presented as pedagogical devices in a translation 'role play'.
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