Publication details [#13847]

Chang, Leslie-Ann. 1994. Translating ideas vs. translating words: a breakdown of the situation in medieval France. Sendebar 5 : 17–26.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


This paper discusses the different factors which led to the production of free translations in medieval France: the desire to educate and to reach a wider target audience, the desire to improve the French language, the difficulties in understanding the Latin in the source texts, the differences between Latin and French or the lack of cultural exposure. Furthermore, the article describes the different translational tactics used at the time. The author concludes that medieval French translators distanced themselves from the source text because they did not necessarily perceive the source text as being vested with authority. On the contrary, the original Latin works became purely instrumental texts for many translators, and for this reason, translators did not feel the need to respect the particularities of the original nor its foreign flavour. Rather, an attempt was made to keep the target text as idiomatic as possible.
Source : Abstract in journal