Linguistic Interference in Literary Translations from English into Hebrew of the 1960s and 1970s

Rachel Weissbrod

In the years leading up to the 1960s and in the beginning of that decade the system of non-canonized literature in Hebrew was inundated with translations from English. These were usually characterized by strong interference of that language. In the system of canonized literature, on the contrary, linguistic interference in translations from English was rather restricted. The gap between the two systems in this respect gradually narrowed during the 1970s. The dynamics in translated literature as regards the interference of English may be explained as deriving from processes of change in Israeli culture and in its redeployment with respect to the West, especially with respect to American culture.

Table of contents

In the years leading up to the 1960s and in the beginning of that decade, Hebrew literature was flooded with an unprecedented quantity and variety of non-canonized literature. Almost all of it was translated (or pseudotranslated) [ p. 166 ]from English. At the same time, English acquired a more and more central position as a source language for translations in the system of canonized literature as well. The growth of non-canonized literature and the resulting re-stratification of the polysystem of Hebrew literature may be explained on the basis of the theoretical assumption that any system strives to fill in missing parts and to arrive at a whole and stratified structure (Even-Zohar 1978: 43; Toury 1974: 15). The realization of this striving at the specific time when it occurred was due to the decrease in the role of ideology in Israeli society and culture in the years following the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948 (Eisenstadt 1967: 368-390; Sachar 1976: 595-598). As part of this process, former ideological pressures on Hebrew literature weakened. While in canonized literature their weakening brought about the abolishment of the "social" norm that had demanded of literature that it share in the national effort (Shaked 1971: 11–70; Gertz 1983: 9-68; Levin 1984: 26-34), in non-canonized literature the result was a drastic expansion of the system, until then almost non-existent. The important role English played as a source language for translations in both systems, of canonized and non-canonized literature, was due to the tightening of the relations of Israeli culture with the West, especially with the American culture, and its own redeployment with respect to these.

Full-text access is restricted to subscribers. Log in to obtain additional credentials. For subscription information see Subscription & Price. Direct PDF access to this article can be purchased through our e-platform.

[ p. 179 ]References

1. Literary Texts

Anderson, Sherwood
1982 (11919) Winesburg, Ohio. Harmondsworth: Penguin.—Hebrew version: Aharon Amir. Tel-Aviv: Am Oved 1959.Google Scholar
Bellow, Saul
1968 (11951) Seize the Day. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.—Hebrew version: Aviv Melzer. Jerusalem: Adam 1979.Google Scholar
Conrad, Joseph
1976 (11902) Heart of Darkness. In: Heart of Darkness and Typhoon. London: Pan.—Hebrew version: Mordechai Avi-Shaul. Tel-Aviv: Sifriat Poalim 1961.Google Scholar
Defoe, Daniel
1964 (11722) Moll Flanders. New York: Signet, New American Library.—Hebrew version: Sarah Ripin. Tel-Aviv: Mizrahi, n.d. [1964, according to Kiryat Sefer.]Google Scholar
Faulkner, William
1962The Reivers: A Reminiscence. New York: Random House.—Hebrew version: Aliza Netser. Tel-Aviv: Amihai 1963.Google Scholar
Fleming, Ian
1965 (11959) Goldfinger. London: Pan.—Hebrew version: B. Uriel. [possibly a pseudonym.] Tel-Aviv: Ramdor, n.d. [1964, according to Kiryat Sefer .]Google Scholar
Forster, E.M.
1975 (11905) Where Angels Fear to Tread. London: Edward Arnold.—Hebrew version: Meir Wieseltier. Jerusalem: Keter 1980.Google Scholar
Galsworthy, John
1926The Forsyte Saga. New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons.—Hebrew version: P. Dan [= Pinhas Danziger]. Tel-Aviv: Ramdor 1970.Google Scholar
Hardy, Thomas
1974 (11896) Jude the Obscure. London and Basingstoke: Macmillan.—Hebrew version: A.D. Shapir. Tel-Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad 1960.Google Scholar
Hemingway, Ernest
1977 (11927) Fiesta: The Sun Also Rises. London: Triad/Panther.—Hebrew version: Vera Israelit. Tel-Aviv: Am Oved 1962.Google Scholar
Metalious, Grace
1972 (11957) Peyton Place. London: Pan.—Hebrew version: Y. Avrahami. Tel-Aviv: S. Friedmann 1959.Google Scholar
Updike, John
1985 (11960) Rabbit, Run. Harmondsworth: Penguin.—Hebrew version: Dvora Steinhart. Tel-Aviv: Siman Kria 1977.Google Scholar
West, Rebecca
1967 (11966) The Birds Fall Down. London: Pan.—Hebrew version: Esther Caspi. Tel-Aviv: Am Oved 1968.Google Scholar
Woolf, Virginia
1983 11928) Orlando. London: Granada, Triad/Panther.—Hebrew version: Zvi Arad. Tel-Aviv: Mahbarot Lesifrut 1964.Google Scholar

2. Research and Non-Literary Texts

Aloni-Feinberg, Yafa
1977 “The Influence of English on the Formal Hebrew Terminology”. Hebrew Computational Linguistics 11 (February). 113–120. [Hebrew.]Google Scholar
Ben-Ari, Nitsa
1988Norms Underlying Translation of German Literature into English, French and Italian. Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University. [M.A. Thesis.]Google Scholar
Ben-Shahar, Rina
1983Dialogue Style in the Hebrew Play, Both Original and Translated from English and French, 1948-1975. Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University. [Ph.D. Dissertation. Hebrew.]Google Scholar
Catford, J.C.
1965A Linguistic Theory of Translation: An Essay in Applied Linguistics. London: Oxford UP.Google Scholar
[ p. 180 ]
Dechert, Hans W. and Ursula Sandrock
1986 “Thinking-Aloud-Protocols: The Decomposition of Language Processing”. Vivian Cook, ed. Experimental Approaches to Second Language Learning. Oxford: Pergamon Institute of English 1986 111–126.Google Scholar
Eisenstadt, S.N.
1967Israeli Society. London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson.Google Scholar
Even-Zohar, Itamar
1970 “The Nature and Functionalization of the Language of Lit¬erature under Diglossia”. Ha-sifrut 2:2 (January). 286–302. [Hebrew.]Google Scholar
1971Introduction to a Theory of Literary Translation. Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University. [Ph.D. Dissertation. Hebrew.]Google Scholar
1975 “Decisions in Translating Poetry”. Ha-sifrut 21 (October). 32–45. [Hebrew.]Google Scholar
1978Papers in Historical Poetics. Tel-Aviv: The Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics.Google Scholar
1979 “Polysystem Theory”. Poetics Today 1:1-2 (Autumn). 287–310.   DOI logoGoogle Scholar
1982 “Russian VPC’s in Hebrew Literary Language”. Theoretical Linguistics 9.11–16.   DOI logoGoogle Scholar
1990Polysystem Studies. [A special issue of Poetics Today 11:1]Google Scholar
Even-Zohar, Itamar and Gideon Toury
eds. 1981Translation Theory and Intercultural Relations. [= Poetics Today 2:4] Tel-Aviv: The Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics.Google Scholar
Gertz, Nurith
1983Generation Shift in Literary History: Hebrew Narrative Fiction in the Sixties. Tel-Aviv: The Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics and Hakibbutz Hameuchad. [Hebrew.]Google Scholar
Ivir, Vladimir
1981 “Formal Correspondence vs. Translation Equivalence Revisited”. Even-Zohar and Toury 1981 . 51–59.   DOI logoGoogle Scholar
James, Carl
1988 “Perspectives on Transfer and Translation”. The Linguist 27:1 (Winter). 45–48.Google Scholar
Keshet, Moshe
1960 “The Wild West’ Attracts Israeli Youth”. Ha-boker (July 1). 4. [Hebrew.]Google Scholar
Klare, George R.
1984 “Readability”. David Pearson, ed. Handbook of Reading Research. New York: Longman 1984 681–744.Google Scholar
Lederer, Marianne
1978 “Simultaneous Interpretation: Units of Meaning and Other Features”. David Gerver and H. Wallace Sinaico, eds. Language, Interpretation and Communication (NATO Symposium, Venice 1977). New York: Plenum 1978 323–332.   DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Levin, Amos
1984Without Orientation: ‘Likrat’ and Its Place in Modern Hebrew Liter¬ature. Tel-Aviv: Hakibbutz Hameuchad. [Hebrew.]Google Scholar
Levý, Jiří
1969 (11963) Die Literarische Übersetzung: Theorie einer Kunstgattung, tr. Walter Schamschula. Frankfurt am Main and Bonn: Athenäum.Google Scholar
Lotman, Jurij M.
1976 (11970) “The Content and Structure of the Concept of ‘Litera¬ture’”. PTL 1. 339–356.Google Scholar
1977 (11974) “The Dynamic Model of a Semiotic System”. Semiotica 21:3-4. 193–210.   DOI logoGoogle Scholar
[ p. 181 ]
Robyns, Clem
1990 “The Normative Model of Twentieth Century Belles Infidéles: Detective Novels in French Translation”. Target 2:1. 23–42.   DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Sachar, Howard M.
1976A History of Israel from the Rise of Zionism. Jerusalem: Steimatzky’s Agency.Google Scholar
Seleskovitch, Danica
1978 (11968) Interpreting for International Conferences: Problems of Language and Communication, tr. Stephanie Dailey and E. Norman McMillan. Washington: Pen and Booth.Google Scholar
Shaked, Gershon
1971New Trends in Hebrew Prose Fiction. Tel-Aviv: Sifriat Poalim. [Hebrew.]Google Scholar
Shavit, Zohar
1981 “Translation of Children’s Liteature as a Function of Its Position in the Literary Polysystem”. Even-Zohar and Toury 1981 . 171–179. DOI logoGoogle Scholar
Toury, Gideon
1974 “Literature as a Polysystem”. Ha-sifrut 18-19 (December). 1–19. [Hebrew.]Google Scholar
1977Translational Norms and Literary Translation into Hebrew, 1930-1945. Tel-Aviv: The Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics. [Hebrew.]Google Scholar
1980In Search of a Theory of Translation. Tel-Aviv: The Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics.Google Scholar
1985 “A Rationale for Descriptive Translation Studies”. Theo Hermans, ed. The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation. London and Sydney: Croom Helm 1985 16–41.Google Scholar
1986 “Monitoring Discourse Transfer: A Test-Case for a Developmental Model of Translation”. Juliane House and Shoshana Blum-Kulka, eds. Interlingual and Intercultural Communication: Discourse and Cognition in Translation and Second Language Acquisition Studies. Tubingen: Narr 1986 79–94.Google Scholar
1990 “The Coupled Pair of ‘Solution + Problem’ in Translation Studies”. Patrick Nigel Chaffey, Antin Fougner Rydning and Solveig Schult Ulriksen, eds. Translation Theory in Scandinavia: Proceedings from the Scandinavian Symposium on Translation Theory (SSOTT) III, Oslo 11-13 August 1988. Oslo [1990] 1–23.Google Scholar
Weinreich, Uriel
1953Languages in Contact: Findings and Problems. The Hague and Paris: Mouton.Google Scholar
Weissbrod, Rachel
1989Trends in the Translation of Prose Fiction from English into Hebrew, 1958-1980. Tel-Aviv: Tel-Aviv University. [Ph.D. Dissertation. Hebrew.]Google Scholar
Weizman, Elda and Shoshana Blum-Kulka
1987 “Identifying and Interpreting Translated Texts: On the Role of Pragmatic Adjustment”. Gideon Toury, ed. Translation Across Cultures. New Delhi: Bahri Publications (also: Indian Journal of Applied Linguistics 13:2 [June 1987]). 61–73.Google Scholar