The adequate translation as a methodological tool
Dante’s onomastic wordplay in English
This paper argues that the question of theoretical translatability is crucial both to source-oriented and target-oriented approaches. Reflecting on translatability requires a discussion of Toury’s notion of ‘adequate translation’, which has two senses: the general or ideal approximation to source-text norms, and the tertium comparationis represented by a source-text-oriented translation (i.e. showing how the original ‘can’ be translated). It is argued that both senses have heuristic value in Translation Studies. The explanatory power of target-orientedness is demonstrated by discussing the various strategies pursued by seven Anglo-American translators of Dante who either re-create or avoid rewriting grotesque onomastic wordplay in Inferno. Zero translation policy of Dante’s names is not considered to be evidence of their inherent ‘untranslatability’ since for an empiricist nothing is untranslatable. Evocative names may be translated in a creative way provided the rewriter is willing (or allowed) to be innovative.
- 1.Translatability and the notion of ‘adequate translation’
- 2.Onomastic wordplay and the issue of (un)translatability
- 3.Onomastic wordplay in Dante’s Inferno and the construction of a hypothetical ‘adequate translation’
- 4.An explanation of the avoidance policy (or zero translation strategy)
- 5.The rewriting of Dante’s onomastic wordplay
Cited by 2 other publications
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