Publication details [#8649]

Emery, Bernard. 2004. Traduzir o intraduzível: a mais nobre ambição da tradução literária [Translating or untranslatable: the most noble goal of literary translation]. Génesis 4 : 186–212.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


If language was simply a code, everyone would speak Esperanto (or English) and not a single person would have remembered to invent the curse of Babel in one of humankind’s most well-known poetic books. Literature represents the maximum degree of this ontological osmosis between culture and language, and thus within literary translation lies the maximum difficulty of transferring one anthropological structure to another. As a consequence it appears the concept of mental laziness: the untranslatable myth. This paper aims to show, using some examples of the author’s own university experience, that Terence’s “nihil alienum” (Heautontimoromenos) is the fundamental truth of translation’s practice and that the untranslatable myth lies only in the lack of skill of any translator, or in his own cowardice.
Source : Based on abstract in journal