Benjamin discusses the translator’s task as “[finding] the intention toward the language into which the work is to be translated, on the basis of which an echo of the original is awakened in it” (p.79). He thinks that the word rather than the sentence is translation’s original element. He explains the difference between the “spontaneous, primary, complete” original and the translation is that the latter is “derivative, final, ideal” (pg. 80). How can this difference be avoided? Is this not impossible to recreate spontaneity when copying a text into another language? If this is what Benjamin argues, what value can he place in the translation- how does it become transparent? If there is a limit to translation, should it be restricted to only certain texts, and if so how would that be determined?

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My name is Rachael Wachter and I am a sophomore neuroscience major. I am interested in translation studies because I want to learn how the brain and our behavior is affected by differences in language and culture.

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