Pym makes the claim that we are always theorizing when we translate: we make subconscious choices on what word is a better fit; whether to foreignize or domesticate; whether to create a dynamic equivalent when there isn’t a natural one; whether to privilege the source text or the target text; how to navigate between the conceptual/cultural grids of the ST and TT.; are we thinking of the movement of meaning in spatial and maybe also temporal terms?
He also claims that all this theorizing doesn’t necessarily mean that we are using a “theory” of translation, but that we are talking within one or another “paradigm”. The paradigm set forth in this class is one that is firmly rooted in hermeneutics. Of primary importance are terms like “understanding”, “meaning”, and “equivalence”.
- a relation of equal value between ST and TT and can be linguistic, stylistic, formal
- natural equivalence is a priori to the act of translation
- natural equivalence is non-directional
- equivalence is an impossibility to those who see language as deeply embedded within the structure of society and culture
- equivalence paradigm functions at many levels–it can overcome this structural problem by positing that all language systems can point to a referent that is a tertium comparationis; in the same way as metaphor works
- We can illustrate some of the concepts of equivalence by using online translation machines. Use Google Translate etc to see what is lost. How can we break this up into components to see how the translation has occurred?