“Let me reach you for a moment so you can hear who am I “

The presentation started with a nice speech about the main hero of the day – Angèle Kingué. ” I can keep talking about Angèle’s archivements, awards, but I want you to listen her own voice…” And she started the presentation…the Bucknell Hall was filled with her low voice reading in French…For me it created a very strong atmosphere of the book till the end of the French part. It’s known that the author can’t read his own work, but here Kingué breaks the ice. The French part was the best cause she let us feel the spirit of the book, the heart of her heroes. I truly believe that you should read the book in a target cause only in that case you will have the whole perception of it. Nabokov says about the the Russian translation of Lolita “Story of this translation is the story of a disappointment. Alas, that ‘wonderful Russian language’ which, I imagined, still awaits me somewhere, which blooms like a faithful spring behind the locked gate to which I, after so many years, still possess the key, turned out to be non-existent, and there is nothing beyond that gate, except for some burned out stumps and hopeless autumnal emptiness, and the key in my hand looks rather like a lock pick”. And unfortunately the author needs to translate his/her work into another issues because of the market interests….if the French is ” part of her identity” was it hard for to translate her own book into English? And how it’s differs from French version then? Does the French have the same value for people from Africa or in the first place is the language of the country?

For Kingué French is “the language I birth the words” and for me it created the atmosphere of Borges and Marquez magical realism. Also it reminds me the works of Zora Neal Hearston when her heroines were straggling the hard life and at the end they build their own society…

Spivak and Appiah

What caught my attention in Spivak’s article is what he’s saying on the page 370 ” Language is not everything. It’s only a vital clue to where the self loses it’s boundaries”. If language is not everything what the translator should do in this case: use the footnotes, pre-reading  article….or he should leave this work to reader, to let him find all the puzzles…?

In Appiah’s work I found the question which Schleiermacher also was arguing:” if , as I suggested, translation is an attempt to find ways of saying in one language something that means the same as what has been said in another; and if , as I have recently suggested, the literal meaning of an utterance is a matter go what intentions a speaker would ordinarily be taken to have in uttering it….” So is he saying here that the literal translation is a sort of domestication? But I think what he’s arguing is that there not that much similarities in languages and to make a “pure” translation is almost impossible, so then we have to do a “thick translation”?


What is the art? How you differentiate what is art and what not? Is it “art for art” or it needs to be professional and have fans?

Another question is how should we translate the world literature? And why living in a 21st century, the century of globalization, we still need to translate/adopt the world literature? In this case how can make it understandable for everyone: shall we use translation studies or simply create one language for everyone?


Late homework for the Thursday class.

1. What is your understanding of local and global adaptation?As far as I understood from the article the local adaptation is caused by problems of source text itself and limited to certain part of it (for instance, it might be factors like cross-code breakdown or  situational inadequacy). And a global adaptation is determined by factors outside the source text, usually it takes more wide-ranging revision.

To what extent do the forms of adaptation reflect Berman’s deforming tendencies? I think here it’s possible to say that rationalization and clarification  are very close to global adaptation, cause using these two tendencies you are not only translate the text, but also adopt it for the reader…

2. Identify the ST and TT in the movie?How are they related?  Charlie Kaufman is writing a script for the book so basically the language is English but he’s adopting the style of the book (making it shorter and put it in the “frame” of movie time). And at the end we have a script based on his own experience of reading the book.

3. Consider your own choice of adaptation.

Well, my favorite book is The Lord of the Rings and I think Peter Jackson has done an amazing movie, his team worked well with the script, still they lost a lot parts from the book….but they combine parts really good, so you don’t feel missing something. I think the this is local adaptation. Another example is brothers Grimm’s fairy tails: in the real version they are really dark and the main character sometimes dies, but in children’s version it’s always happy end and good guys always win. I think here we can talk about global adaptation.




The question that he propose “Is a translation meant for readers who do not understand the original?” (P. 75) makes me think about this: what he means by “understand”- the reader doesn’t know the original language or he doesn’t understand the book at all, then it would be different things. But then what is the role of translator here: is he just translating the book or he’s also explaining it(domestication)?.

“Languages are not strangers to one another, but  are, a priori and apart from all historical relationships, interrelated in what they want to express”- the main problem of translation I guess as mode.


This essay was written in 1959. He is known as a founder of the Prague Linguistic Circle. In this essay he talks about the meaning of the word as a linguistic phenomenon. He believes that the meaning lies with the signifier and not in the signified. And I like the idea when he says “Thus translation involves two equivalent messages in two different codes”.

Also he deals with the problem of “deficiency” in particular language. And here comes the problem of untranstability… we really have this problem? And what items we call untranslatable?

“The grammatical categories carry a high semantic import”- but how you will deal with the grammar of the language which you don’t know ?


I want to show you here the variations of translations of “Eugene Onegin”

Source text:

      «Мой дядя самых честных правил,
      Когда не в шутку занемог,
      Он уважать себя заставил
      И лучше выдумать не мог.
      Его пример другим наука;
      Но, боже мой, какая скука
      С больным сидеть и день и ночь,
      Не отходя ни шагу прочь!
      Какое низкое коварство
      Полуживого забавлять,
      Ему подушки поправлять,
      Печально подносить лекарство,
      Вздыхать и думать про себя:
      Когда же черт возьмет тебя!»

Beck’s translation:

“My uncle’s acted very wisely,
to seek his bed when he’s so sick;
his family’s reacted nicely
and he’s most happy with his trick.
He’s set the world a good example,
which others really ought to sample,
but it’s a bore, when night and day
the sick man forces you to stay!
To keep him sweet, as if he’s dying,
give him his daily medicine
and make quite sure that it goes in,
adjust the pillows while one’s sighing:
‘Don’t even think of getting well,
the devil take you, go to hell!’”

Nabokov’s translation:

“My uncle has most honest principles:
when he was taken gravely ill,
he forced one to respect him
and nothing better could invent.
To others his example is a lesson;
but, good God, what a bore to sit
by a sick person day and night, not stirring
a step away!
What base perfidiousness
To entertain one half-alive,
adjust for him his pillows,
sadly serve him his medicine,
sigh—and think inwardly
when will the devil take you?”



This reading gives me the answers, not questions. There’re several things of what depends the translation:

-the reader

– translator’s background, style

– editor’s preferences….and many other things.

So I believe that in this work Ms. Berkofsky did a great job translating Schleiemacher’s “hard” German into “hard” English. I think in this work she brought Schleiermacher to the reader, for us to feel his language and the way he’ s thinking. If it supposed to be an adaptation of his work then yes, the language should’ve been easier. But in this case I think it’s a foreignazition.


In his work Schleiermacher raises many things. So for me the most important are the next parts of the work.

Schleiermacher talks about that the translation is a result of the culture where you grew up, so what if you’re bilingual and you have 2cultures background?

He also says that there are 2 ways of translation: foreignazition and domestication. But how it works on practice and does the translator realize that he uses these components? Are these 2 components work together or we should think about them separate?

Using the paraphrase and imitation we creat a new text or we simply translate the text? What is the right way to translate the realities of another society?

Then he mentions the significant of the translator’s presence in the text, so my question is do we really need to feel the translators presence, the “second voice” in the text? If yes, then it’s going to be something different. In my opinion, translator is a “bridge” between reader and author, he brigs the author to the reader and helps him to understand the text.