Voices in Translation: Bridging Cultural Divides
In choosing to render dialect and vernacular speech into Scots, Bill Findlay, to whose memory this volume is dedicated, made a pioneering contribution in safeguarding the authenticity of voices in translation. The scene of the book is set by an overview of approaches to rendering foreign voices in English translation including those of the people to whom Findlay introduced us in his Scots dialect versions of European plays. Martin Bowman, his frequent co-translator follows with a discussion of their co-translation of playwright Jeanne-Mance Delisle. Different ways of bridging the cultural divide in the translation between English and a number of plays written in a number of European languages are then illustrated including the custom of creating English versions, an approach rejected by contributions that argue in favour of minimal intervention on the part of the translator. But transferring the social and cultural milieu that the speakers of other languages inhabit may also cause problems in translation, as discussed by some translators of fiction. In addition attention is drawn to the translators' own attitude and the influence of the time in which they live. In conclusion, stronger forces in the form of political events are highlighted that may also, adversely or positively, have a bearing on the translation process.
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The Role of the Literal Translator My own , somewhat unexpected , entry into
theatre translation came in 1977 as literal translator of The Cherry Orchard for
Trevor Griffiths ' s version at Nottingham Playhouse . It was something I fell into
own work with her on three Chekhov plays , she has been generous in according
me much more than the title of ' literal translator ' , a somewhat belittling tag that
many translators who do the work reject . If only the theatre managements would
To talk of so and so ' s new translation ' has now become an accepted shorthand
among critics for what is in fact ' so and so ' s adaptation of a literal translation of
the play by X ' . Whilst it is one thing to marginalise the translator , is it right that ...
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The Vernacular Journey
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