The Invisibility of Translator’s Presence (70725)

Session Information: Linguistics, Language and Cultural Studies
Session Chair: Lok Fai Pun

Saturday, 20 May 2023 10:20
Session: Session 1
Room: Room 707
Presentation Type:Oral Presentation

All presentation times are UTC + 9 (Asia/Tokyo)

“I see translation as the attempt to produce a text so transparent that it does not seem to be translated. A good translation is like a pane of glass. You only notice that it’s there when there are little imperfections— scratches, bubbles. Ideally, there shouldn’t be any. It should never call attention to itself.” Norman Shapiro When a translated text, be it fiction or non-fiction, verse or prose is free of regional, stylistic or linguistic peculiarities, it attains fluency and transparency and gets readily accepted by publishers, reviewers, and readers alike. It reflects the original author’s style, personality and intention in the target language with complete ease, and no longer reads as a translation. This illusory effect of the original that is created by the translator paves way for her own invisibility. The greater the fluency, the greater the invisibility of the translator, and, presumably, the greater the visibility for the original author. Despite being faithful to the original and rendering themselves invisible, translations and translators do not get their due as they are treated as a second order representation, a rewriting, a derivative, a copy. The copyright laws and contractual arrangements between the publisher and translator or author and translator also remain largely unfavourable and ambiguous. In this paper, I would like to focus upon the travails and dilemmas faced by translators, the tight-rope walk that they have to undertake to make the translation seem “natural” and the consequent feeling of being let down/short-changed by the system.

Jyotika Elhance, University of Delhi, India

About the Presenter(s)
Dr JYOTIKA ELHANCE is a University Associate Professor/Senior Lecturer at University of Delhi in India

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Posted by Clive Staples Lewis

Last updated: 2023-02-23 23:45:00