Venutis Theory of Translation

3 Pages • 1,719 Words • PDF • 220.3 KB
Uploaded at 2021-09-24 08:16

This document was submitted by our user and they confirm that they have the consent to share it. Assuming that you are writer or own the copyright of this document, report to us by using this DMCA report button.

Introducing Translation Studies Theories and applications

Jeremy Munday

London and New York



Section 9.1 focuses o n key areas of the influential work of Lawrence Venuti, notably the 'invisibility' of translation and the translator 1GXii$o~--"-2 American culture (section 9.1.1) and the 'domesticating' and 'foreignizing'

Translating the foreign: the (in)visibility of translation

( Key concepts


Venuti: the 'invisibility' of the translator in the modern publishing world. Venuti: 'foreignizing' vs. 'domesticating' translation, and the 'call for action'. Berman: the 'negative analytic' and deformation of translation. Literary translators' accounts of their work: 'ear' and 'voice'. The power network of the publishing industry. The reception of translation - reception theory and translation reviewing.

translation strategies which are available to the translator (section 9.1.2). Section 9.1.3 considers work by Antoine Berman that follou7s a similar line, Berman's 'negative analytic' attacking the homogenization of the translation of literary prose. The remainder of the chapter considers other related areas and players in the translation process. Thus, in section 9.2 a description is given of what practising literary translators say about their practices, in order to see if their own view of their work tallies with Venuti's and Berman's theories. Section 9.3 deals with crucial aspects of the powerful publishing industry and section 9.4 discusses criticisms of Venuti. Finally, section 9.5 examines the reception of translations, notably the reviewing process, and what this reveals about cultural attitudes t o translation in general. Following this, the case study illustrates one method of investigating these ideas by analyzing the reviews of a translated text.

9.1 Venuti: the cultural and political agenda of translation

Key texts Berman, A. ( 1 984192) L'epreuve de I'etranger: Culture et tradudon dons I'Allemagne romantiqu, Paris: ~ d i t i o n sGallimard; translated (1992) by S. H e p a e r t as The Experience of the Rreign: Culture and Translation in Romantic Germany, Albany: State University of New York. Berman, A. (1985b12000) 'Translation and the trials of the foreign'. translated by L. Venuti, in L. Venuti (ed.) (2000), pp. 284-97. (Originally published as 'La traduction comme epreuve de I'etranger', Texte (1985): 67-8 I). Felstiner, J. (1980) Translating Neruda: The Way to Macchu Picchu, Stanford. CA: Stanford University Press. Levine, 5. (199 1) The Subversive Scribe: Translating Latin American Fidon. St Paul, MN: Graywolf Press. Venuti, L. (ed.) (1 992) Rethinking Translation: Discourse. Subjectivity, Ideology, London and New York: Routledge. Venuti, L. (1995) The Translatorf Invisibility:/\ History of Translation, London and N e w York: Routledge. Venuti.. L. (1 , 998) The Scandals of Translation: Towards an Ethics of Difference. London and N e w York: Routledge.

9.0 Introduction Chapter 8 examined varieties of cultural studies that have focused o n translat i o n In this chapter, we concentrate o n other research that deals with culturdl difference and with the interface between the source culture and the foreign. linking ideology and dominant discourse t o translation strategies.

Like the other cultural theorists discussed in chapter 8, Venuti ~nsiststhat the scope of translation studies needs t o be broadened to take account of the sociocultural framekwrk. ~hus-h'e-co~iests' value-driven - naturi-d-;he . -"" ~ o u v G e n t i f i c descriptive ' inodel w ~ t hits aim of producing 'value-free' norms and laws of translation (see chapter 7): Toury's method . . . must still turn to cultural theory in order to assess the significanceof the data, to analyze the norms. Norms may be in the first instance linguistic or literary, but they will also include a diverse range of domestic values, beliefs, and social representations which carry ideological force in serving the interests of specific groups. And they are always housed in the social institutions where translations arc produced and enlisted in cultural and political agendas. (Venuti 1998: 29) In addition to governments and other politically motivated institutions, which may decide t o censor or promote certain works (compare Lefevere's discussion of control factors in section % I ) , the groups and social institutions to which Venuti refers would include the various players in the publishing industry as a whole. Above all, these urould be the publishers and editors who choose the works and commission the translations, pay the translators and often dictate the translation method. They also include the literary agents, marketing and sales teams and reviewers. The reviewers' comments indicate and to some extent determine how translations are read and received in the target culture. Each of these players has a particular position and role lvithin the dominant cultural a k T - ; ; ; l z g e n d a s of their --time a n d place. --

I-..~ 1 -


i -





that are likely to lend themselves t o such a translation strategy (Venuti 1997:

The translators themselves are part of that culture, which they can either accept or rebel against.


9.1.1 Venuti and the 'invisibility' of the translator Invisibility is a term used by Venuti (1995: 1) 'to describe the translator's situation and activity in contemporary Anglo-American culture'. Venuti sees this invisibility as typically being produced: 1


by the way translators themselves tend t o translate 'fluently' into English, to produce an idiomatic and 'readable' TT, thus creating an 'illusion of transparency'; by the way the translated texts are typically read in the target culture:



A translated text, whether prose or poetry, tict~onor non-hction, is judged acceptable by most publishers, reviewers and readers when it reads fluently, when the absence of any linguistic or stylistic peculiarities makes it seem transparent, giving the appearance that it reflects the foreign writer's personal, ity or intention or the essential meaning of the foreign text -the appearance, in other words, that the translation is not in fact a translation, but the 'original'. (Venuti 1995: 1) Venuti (1998: 3 1) sees the most important factor for this as being 'the prevailing conception of authorship'. Translation is seen as derivative and of secondary quality and importance. Thus, the English practice since D r y d m has been t o conceal the act of translation so that, even now, 'translations are rarely considered a form of literary scholarship' (Venuti 1998: 32). "

9.1.2 Domestication and foreignization Venuti (1995: 19-20) discusses invisibility hand in hand with two types of translating strategy: domestication and foreignization. These strategies concern both the choice of text to translate and the translation method. Their roots are traced back by Venuti t o ~chleiermacherand his 1813 essay 'Uber die verschiedenen Methoden des ~b6rsetzen.s'(see chapter 2). Venuti (1995: 21) sees domestication as dominating Anglo-American translation culture. Just as the postcolonialists are alert t o the cultural effects of the differential in power relations between colony and ex-colony, so Venuti (1995: 20) bemoans the phenomenon of domestication since it involves 'an ethnoc e n t r ~ creduct~ono t the foreign text to [Anglo-American] target-language values'. This entails translating in a transparent, fluent. 'inv~sible: Fstyle in order to minimize the foreignness of the TT. Venuti allies it with Schleiermacher's description of translation that 'leaves the reader in peace, as much as possible, and moves the author towards him' (Schleiermacher 181311992: 41-2; see chapter 2 of this book). Domestication. further -


covers adherence t o domestic literary canons by carefully selecting the -- - texts - ..-

, 4 ,

o n the other hand, 'entails choosing a foreign text developing a translation method along lines which are excluded bv dominant cultural values in the target language',(Venuti 1997: 242). It is the preferred whose description is of a translation strategv where 'the translator leaves the writer alone, as much as possible and moves reader towards t k w r ; r r i (Schleiermacher 181311992: 42). Venuti (1995: considers the foreignizing cultural! values t o register the e n c m e foreign text, sending the 'to restrain the ethnocentric violence of t r a n s l l t u o : w o r d s , n the 'v&rlvl domrsticating cultural values of the English-language world. The foreignizing method of translating, a strategy Venuti also terms 'resistancy' (1995: 305-6), is a ,. non-fluent or estranging translation style designed to make visible the presence of the translator by highlighting the foreign identity of the ST and protecting it from the ideological dominance of the target culture. In his later book The Scandals of Translation (1998), Venuti continues to insist o n foreignizing or, as he also calls it, 'minoritizing' translation, to cultivate a varied and 'heterogeneous discourse' (Venuti 1998: 11). O n e of the examples he gives of a minoritizing project is his own translation of works by the nineteenth-century Italian Tarchetti (pp. 13-20). The choice of works to translate is minoritizing since Tarchetti was a minor nineteenthcentury Italian writer, a Milanese bohemian who further challenged the literary establishment by using the standard Tuscan dialect to write experimental and Gothic novels and by challenging the moral and political values of the day. As far as the language is concerned, the minoritizing or foreignizing method of Venuti's translation comes through in the deliberate inclusion of foreignizing elements, such as modern American slang, in a bid to make the translator 'visible' and t o make the readers realize they are reading a translation of a work from a foreign culture. Venuti gives the extract shown in box 9.1 as an example of what he means by this approach. Among the elements of this extract which Venuti considers to be distinctive of foreignization are the close adherence to the ST structure and syntax (e.g. the adjunct positions in the first sentence), the calques soggiorno as sojourn, indz~rloas induce him and the archaic structure nor could I ever. In other passages (see Venuti 1998: 16-17), he juxtaposes both archaisms (e.g. scapegrace) and modern colloquialisms (e.g. con artist, funk), and uses British spellings (e.g. demeanour, offence) to jar the reader with a 'heterogeneous discourse'. Venuti is happy to note (1998: 15) that some of the reviews of the translation were appreciative of his 'visible' translating strategy. However, he also adds (pp. 18-19) that some of the reviews attacked the translation for not being what, in Venuti's terms, would be domestication.


Venutis Theory of Translation

Related documents

3 Pages • 1,719 Words • PDF • 220.3 KB

2 Pages • 729 Words • PDF • 207.9 KB

2 Pages • 729 Words • PDF • 207.9 KB

3 Pages • 1,622 Words • PDF • 184.1 KB

254 Pages • 97,436 Words • PDF • 986.6 KB

9 Pages • 3,126 Words • PDF • 148 KB

311 Pages • 120,509 Words • PDF • 2 MB

110 Pages • 504 Words • PDF • 34.5 MB

0 Pages • 14 Words • PDF • 5.2 MB