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Friday, November 30, 2012

What is Translation?

* The different meanings of a word:

* The different meanings of the word "education:"
-etymological: derives from L. educare to look after a child
-conceptual: the training of individuals to produce knowledge for the betterment of the state (Kant)
-linguistic: the learning of facts, skills, ideas
-sociological: emancipation, social standing etc
-metaphorical: (several meanings possible)

* The word "translation" etymologically derives from L. trans across and L. latus moving, carrying. In medieval times, it was originally used in the sense of exhuming a body from one plot of earth and transferring it to another plot. Thus, the modern meaning of the word "translation" is metaphorical- that of transferring text (the body) from one plot of earth (one language) to another plot of earth (another language).

* The three kinds of translation identified by Roman Jakubson:
1. intra-lingual: from one variant of language to another, from one dialect to another or even paraphrasing
2. inter-lingual: from one language to another
3. inter-semiotic: from one semiotic system to another

Jakubson hails from the Prague school of structuralism and was Lévi-Strauss' instructor of semiotics.

* Saint Jerome was the patron saint of translation and his birthday is celebrated as "Translation Day."

* Susan Bassnett was a translation theorist who founded and later abandoned/shut down the field of study today known as "comparitive literature." She published a seminal book called "Translation Studies."

* The word "turn" in the "cultural turn of translation" is linked to Derrida who was responsible for turning the gaze towards oneself (as opposed to upon a subject which was structuralism's modus operandi). This "turn" is what Anil Pinto calls "belly-button gazing."

- Anshuman Manur

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