Авторы: 159 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я

Книги:  184 А Б В Г Д Е З И Й К Л М Н О П Р С Т У Ф Х Ц Ч Ш Щ Э Ю Я


1 Read this passage from Katharina ReiR and Hans J. Vermeer, Grundlegung

einer allgemeinen Translationstheorie ("Foundations for a General Theory of

Translation," 1984: 98—9), in the German original and/or English

translation (by DR) (with permission):

Normen schreiben vor, daR und wie gehandelt wird. Sie lassen

aber einen gewissen Spielraum fur die Art der Handlung zu. Die

Hauptsache ist, daR auf eine Situation so reagiert wird, daR die

Reaktion als sinnvoll erklart werden kann. (Wir lassen noch off en,

daR die Erklarung vom Handelnden und vom Interaktionspartner je

getrennt gefordert wird . . .) Es ist weniger wichtig, wie eine Norm

erfullt wird, als daR versucht wird, sie zu erfiillen. Relevant ist die

Funktion der Handlung.

Eykman . . . zeigt auf, daR Bilder durch andere Bilder,

Formulierungen durch andere Formulierungen ersetzt werden

konnen, ohne daR sich die Textfunktion andert. Eykman spricht von

"Abwandlung" (gegeniiber Variation). — Fur Translation heiRt das:

(1) Abwandlung ist unter gegebenen Bedingungen legitim. (2) Die

Bedingungen liegen im Kulturspezifischen, z. B. im gleichen Grad

des Ublichen als Adaquatheitsbedingung.

Was man tut, ist sekundar im Hinblick auf den Zweck des Tuns

und seine Erreichung.

Eine Handlung ist dann "gegluckt", wenn sie als situationsadaquat

(sinnvoll) erklart werden kann. Die Erklarung wird, wie angedeutet,

zunachst vom Handelnden (Produzenten) selbst verlangt: Er muR

angeben, welches seine "Intention" war. Wie wurde bereits darauf

hingewiesen, daR eine Handlung nicht unbedingt einer Intention

(optimal) entspricht. (Man schlagt sich auf den Finger, ehe man

den Nagel dann doch trifft.) — Andererseits versucht auch der

Interaktionspartner des Handelnden (der Rezipient) eine Erklarung

("Interpretation") fur das Verhalten des Produzenten. Die "Erklarung"

des Rezipienten kann von der des Produzenten abweichen.

Beide versuchen, die gegenseitigen Erklarungen vorwegnehmend

einzuschatzen und in ihrem Handeln zu berucksichtigen ("reflexive

Ko-Orientierung"). (Zur Uberindividualitat von Interpretationen

vgl. Schnelle . . .) — "Gliicken" ist also eine Feststellung, die von

Produzent und Rezipient getrennt getroffen wird und fur beide (und

evtl. dritte) getrennt gilt.

Norms determine that and how someone acts. They do however

leave a certain room for play in the type of action undertaken. The

main thing is that one respond situationally in such a way that

one's response can be construed as meaningful. (Let us leave it open

for now whether such construals can ever be demanded separately

of both participants in an interaction, the "producer" and the

"recipient" . . .) It is less important how a norm is satisfied than that

an attempt is made to satisfy it. What is relevant is the action's


As Eykman . . . has shown, images can be replaced with other

images, formulations with other formulations, without altering

the function of a text. Eykman speaks not of "variation" but of

"adaptation" (Abwandlung). For translation this means (1) that

adaptation under specific conditions is legitimate, and (2) that these

conditions are culture-specific; for example, a condition of adequacy

may require that the same degree of "usualness" or ordinariness be


What one does is secondary to the purpose of that doing and its


An action "succeeds," then, when it can be construed as

situationally adequate (meaningful). As has been suggested, a

construal of this adequacy is first demanded of the actant (producer)

himself: he must tell us what he intended. We just saw how an action

does not always correspond optimally to its intention. (You hammer

your finger before connecting with the nail.) On the other hand, the

actant's interaction partner (the recipient) also seeks to construe

("interpret") the producer's behavior, and the recipient's construal

may well diverge from that of the producer. Both attempt to

anticipate these mutual construals and take them into consideration

in their actions ("reflexive coorientation"). (For the supraindividuality

of interpretations, cf. Schnelle . . . ) The "success" of

an action is thus an assessment made separately by its producer and

recipient, and it retains a separate validity for each — eventually also

for a third,

(a) Take a common metaphorical phrase in English or some other source

language and come up with a series of possible translations for it,

including literal renditions, paraphrases, etc. For example, "It ain't

over till the fat lady sings" might be translated into Spanish as No se

acaba hasta que cante la gorda ("It isn't over till the fat lady sings"), No

se acaba hasta que se acaba ("It isn't over till it's over"), Siempre hay

esperanza ("There's always hope"), etc. Collect as many substantially

different translations as you can — at least three or four.

(Another Spanish-English example: the title of Laura Esquivel's

novel, Como agua para chocolate, translated into English as Like Water

for Chocolate. But these examples are easy to multiply: once in a blue

moon, have egg all over your face, at sixes and sevens, shape up or

ship out, read someone the riot act, etc. The main thing is, once you

have chosen a phrase, to come up with realistic scenarios in which

the various possibilities might seriously be considered.)

Now pair off and create social interactions such as ReiB and

Vermeer discuss, with one person as "producer" and the other person

as "recipient," with the idea of discussing, defending and/or attacking,

the "success" of a specific translation of the phrase in a specific

context. Flesh out that context in detail first: an advertising agency

coordinating a fourteen-country advertising campaign for audio

tapes, working with a freelancer; the acquisitions editor for a

major trade press that is publishing the memoirs of an opera diva in

translation, working with a translator who is also a professor of

musicology; an in-house translator and her boss discussing how to

translate this phrase used humorously in a technical document; a

reader of the diva's memoirs writing a letter to the editor or op-ed

piece protesting the translation of the title, in imaginary dialogue

with the translator or a potential "third" person (such as the acquisitions

editor or original author).

Argue over what would constitute a "successful" translation from

your "character's" particular point of view. If you are able to reach

an agreement, spend a few minutes afterwards exploring how

comfortable or uncomfortable you are with that compromise.

(b) Now try to imagine a "general" framework for evaluating "successful"

or "good" translations. Is it even possible? If so, do you have to

compromise with the radical social relativism of ReiB and Vermeer's

model? How? What is gained and/or lost by doing this? Try

to diagram the framework, or to represent it in some other visual


2 Study the diagram of the Basissituationfiir translatorisches Handeln "basic

situation for translatorial activity" (Figure 6) from Justa Holz-Manttari's

book Translatorisches Handeln, along with its English translation and

expanded commentary (by DR):

Relationen zwischen Elementen

Figure 6 The "basic situation for translatorial activity"

Source: Holz-Mantarri 1984: 106 (with permission)

Bedarfstrager ( [ t a r g e t - t e x t ] "need-bearer": the person who needs a

translation and so initates the process of obtaining one; also called the

"translation initiator")

Besteller ( c o m m i s s i o n e r : the person who asks a translator to produce

a functionally appropriate target text for a specific use situation)

Ausgangstext-Texter ( s o u r c e - t e x t t e x t e r : original writer or speaker)

Translator ( t r a n s l a t o r / i n t e r p r e t e r : German scholars use the Latin

word translator to mean the producer of either written or spoken texts,

who are normally called der Ubersetzer and der Dolmetscher, respectively)

Zieltext-Applikator ( t a r g e t - t e x t applier: person who gives the target

text its practical applications, works with it in the social world, for

example publishes it, uses it as advertising copy, sends it as a business

letter, assigns it to students, etc.)

Zieltext-Rezipient (target-text recipient: the person for whom a

message is "texted" or produced in textual form)

durch Kulturbarrieren behinderte kom. Handlungen: communicative

activities hindered by cultural barriers

wann: when

wo: where

wer: who

Relationen zwischen Elementen: relations between elements

(a) Work in groups to develop a plausible story for the diagram as Holz-

Manttari presents it. Identify the "translation initiator" or "needbearer,"

the "commissioner," the "source-text texter," the translator/

interpreter, the "target-text applier," and the "target-text recipient,"

by name and profession. Set the stage in terms of "who," "where,"

and "when." Start with the "need-bearer" or translation-initiator

on the left side of the diagram and move either to the source-text

texter or the commissioner next (or possibly both at once); then to

the translator/interpreter; and finally to the target-text applier/

recipient loop. What kind of translation "need" is this? Does the

source text exist at the beginning of the process, or does the "needbearer"

go to the source-text texter to have one produced? Who is

the commissioner and what part does s/he play in this process? How

does the commissioner find the translator/interpreter? How is the

target text to be "applied" in practice? Who is the intended recipient

(or recipient-group), and how does the target-text applier get it

to that recipient or recipient-group? Be as detailed as you can; tell

the story like a newspaper article, or a short story, but with an

omniscient third-person narrator who knows everything.

(b) Now redraw and rethink the diagram to fit the following scenarios:

• The translation-initiator is also the translator and the targettext

recipient; she is reading a novel and finds a sentence in a

foreign language that she can just barely make out, so she

translates it for herself in order to follow the plot properly (is

there a commissioner? a target-text applier?).

• Samuel Beckett writes En attendant Godot in French, then

translates it himself into English as Waiting for Godot (why? for

whom? is the translation commissioned? does Beckett's editor

or agent or producer or director or some other person serve as

target-text applier?).

• A German tourist is picking up a package at the post office in

Salvador, Brazil, and is told by the postal clerk that he owes

duties on it; he speaks no Portuguese, and the clerk speaks no

German; the next person in line offers to interpret between

them, and the transaction is satisfactorily completed.

• The source-text texter is a Bulgarian physics professor who has

been invited to speak at an international conference in English;

she writes the paper in Bulgarian and gets a grant from her dean

to pay a native English-speaker in Sofia (whom she finds by

calling the English department of her university) to translate it

into English; she sends it to the conference organizers, who

send her some suggestions for changes before it is included in

the published conference proceedings; she has her translator

check the changes and sends it back; she also pays the translator

to help her with some pronunciations so that the conference

participants will understand her as she reads.

(c) Now rethink and redraw the diagram to account for a role not

indicated on Holz-Manttari's original diagram: the research


• The translator asks the client for previous translations of similar

texts to help with terminology; he calls the client and asks to

talk with technical writers, engineers, technicians, marketing

people, etc. (would these research consultants be counted as

part of the commissioner? part of the source-text texter?).

• The translator sends out an e-mail query over Lantra-L or

FLEFO, asking for help with specific words or phrases; she faxes

or e-mails friends in the source-text and/or target-text culture

who might be able to help; and has her husband, who is a native

speaker of the target language, edit the target text for fluency.

• A community interpreter is interpreting a conversation

between a poor Texan Chicana accused of child abuse and the

Anglo social worker sent by the county to investigate the

charges; she stops the conversation many times to ask one of

the speakers for clarification on this or that vague word or

phrase, so that both speakers serve at various times as sourcetext

texter, target-text recipient, and research consultant.

 (d) Finally, retell any one of the stories in (a)—(c) from a first-person

point of view, adopting at least two different roles in succession.

Rethink and redraw the diagram to accommodate this new point

of view.