This study used loosely conducted interviews to determine how translators of plays see their work, including their position towards the theatre. Different ways of performing the act were reported, along with different attitudes towards the use of background materials. Significant differences were found in what was considered most essential in translating a play: some stressed the need to visualize events during translation while others emphasized the audible aspects of the dialogue. Some translators portrayed themselves as 'invisible mediators', unconcerned with any future performance, whereas others claimed to be working consciously towards one. A third group described their work as 'art' and stressed the need to liberate themselves from the slavery of the source text and find a language of their own.
Translations of plays have recently been of interest from various points of view. Scholars have sought to design a model for drama translation (Fischer- Lichte 1988; Zuber-Skerritt 1988; Pavis 1989), or look at translating plays as [ p. 342 ]historically and culturally determined behaviour (Schultze 1987; Brisset 1989; articles in Schultze et al. 1990), or transfer plays from page to stage or from one culture to another (Carlson 1989; articles in Scolnicov and Holland 1989; Pavis 1992). My own study of three Finnish translations of Chekhov's Tri sestry [Three Sisters] (Jänis 1991) was also mainly concerned with such issues. In the meantime, however, I have come to believe that interviews with translators, dramaturges, and other persons concerned with translations for the theatre, could yield new insights into the question of why plays are translated as they are at a certain time in a certain cultural environment. The information thus elicited could then be used in further, and more systematic studies on various other aspects of play translation.
1981 “The Translator in the Theatre”. Theatre Quarterly X:40. 37–48.
1985 “Ways Through the Labyrinth: Strategies and Methods for Translating Theatre Texts”. Theo Hermans, ed. The Manipulation of Literature: Studies in Literary Translation. London and Sydney: Croom Helm 1985 87–102.
1990 (11978) “The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary Polysystem”. Polysystem Studies [= Poetics Today 11:1] 1990 45–51.
1988 “Die Übersetzung als kulturelle Transformation”. Erika Fischer-Lichte, Fritz Paul, Brigitte Schultze and Horst Turk, eds. Soziale und theatralische Konventionen als Problem der Dramenübersetzung. Tübingen: Gunter Narr 1988 129–144. [Forum modernes Theater. Schriftenreihe, 1.]
1994Luovuus yhteisössä ja arjessa: Johdatus jälkiteollisen yhteiskunnan luovuuskehittelyyn. Helsinki: Painatuskeskus.
1991Kirjallisuutta ja teatteriteksti: Tutkimus näytelmien kääntämisestä esimerkkiaineistona Anton Tšehovin Kolmen sisaren suomennokset. University of Joensuu. [Publications in the Humanities, 12.]
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1993 “Why Are Drama Translations Fated to be Shortlived?” Yves Gambier and Jorma Tommola, eds. Translation and Knowledge. SSOTT IV. Scandinavian Symposium on Translation Theory, Turku, 4.-6.6.1992. Turku: University of Turku—Center for Translation and Interpreting 1993 263–272.
1993 “Investigating Translation Strategies”. Sonja Tirkkonen-Condit and John Laffling, eds. Recent Trends in Empirical Translation Research. University of Joensuu, Faculty of Arts 1993 99–120. [Studies in Languages, 28.]
1983A Linguistic Approach to the Analysis of a Dramatic Text: A Study in Discourse and Cohesion with Special Reference to The Birthday Party by Harold Pinter. Jyväskylà: University of Jyväskylä. [Studia Philologica Jyväskyläensis, 7.]
1984 “Sprechbare Sprache—spielbarer Text: Zur Problematik der Bühnenübersetzung”. Richard J. Watts and Urs Weidmann, eds. Modes of Interpretation: Essays Presented to Ernst Leisi. Tübingen: Gunter Narr 1984 101–116.
1992 “The Theorization of Literary Translation: Shifting Modes of [ p. 362 ]Perceiving the Translation Process”. Literatura i perevod: Problemy teorii. MeŽdunarodnaya vstrecha učenykh i pisatelej. Moskva 27 fevralja-1 marta 1991 g. Moskva: Progress, Litera 1992 195–205.