Steiner question

In Chapter , Steiner talks about the history of the development of translation theories and the core questions in this field. He argued that it is impossible to avoid any loss during the process of translation, as even two people communicate to each other they cannot convey exactly what they have in mind. And according to Roman Jakobson, this is a process of “reword.” Therefore, any attempt to deny translation due to its inevitable loss is also a denial of communication and language. However, when we communicate with each other, though there would certainly be some loss of meaning, there also would be some unexpected gains. Interpretation relies on both the sender and the receiver. Is it possible that when reading the translation that readers will obtain certain unexpected gains? Also, with multiple versions of translation of one work, for example, the Odyssey,  is it possible to reduce the potential loss and even to restore Odyssey as it is in its original language?

Also, Steiner talks about how difficult it is to record the translation is conducted.  Why certain words are discarded? What’s the principle the translator uses during the translation? What’s the psychological movement during the process of translation? Though beginning in 1920s there are more and more translators consciously keeping their drafts and records, there might also be certain subjective and unconscious choices he made without fully realizing it. I am really curious to learn more about neurophysiology and languages, and how our brain works during the process of translation. Also, since translation involves with so many unconscious and subjective choices, can we regard it as a creation instead of an imitation of work. I see certain similarities between writing an “original” work and translation, and now after reading Steiner, the border line becomes much more blurred.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *