TranscUlturAl A Journal of Translation and Cultural Studies

Published by TranscUlturAl Journal
Online ISSN: 1920-0323
Publications
Article
North American readers have not yet had an opportunity to appreciate, as much as their European counterparts, Jonathan Carroll, an acclaimed American writer on the old continent who, in his characteristic style, refuses to follow any generic rules, avoids imposing absolute meaning and writes against the grain. The book provokes a discussion on the mythology of the Tower of Babel and places it within the archaic signs aiming at explaining the origin of the confusion of languages and revealing a part of the truth on the nature of reality. The leitmotiv of God, which prevails in Carroll’s stories, leads me to explore the concepts of “good” and “evil” through my examination of Master i Margarita by Mikhail Bulgakov and the movies of Krzysztof Kieslowski. This thesis consists of the translation of the first part of Outside the Dog Museum by Jonathan Carroll, followed by a literary analysis and comments on translation problems
 
Article
In the context of the growing lack of understanding and even cultural conflict that plague the heterogeneous societies of today, translation naturally has its place in mass communication. Seen as the privileged locus of intercultural communication, translation is not only the expression of the necessity of intercomprehension between differences, but also, and more importantly, the necessity of the determined search for areas of incommunication (Wolton). Hence, taking into account the difficulties and the points of discord as a priority instead of aiming for compromise and pacific appeasement in the citizen-translational operation takes the shape of an emergency. Translating means, first and foremost, translating that which is not going well, that which we understand the least. In the same vein as Jakobson's project, who suggested the three categories of translation, it is our aim to show the relevance of going beyond those categories in light of a short case study undertaken in the context of the media's discourse in Quebec concerning the management of cultural diversity. It is in this sense that we are submitting, in this article, the outline of an ongoing reflection pertaining to a fourth category of translation, which we will call “inter-referential translation.”
 
Article
This paper builds on the notion of crypto-languages, or hidden languages, to narrate the author’s coming to writing and translation. His novels are discussed as all including one aspect or another of crypto-language. For example, Russian becomes the key to salvation for Sonya, who doesn’t know how to speak it, in Sonya & Jack, and a clinical psychologist in the former Yugoslavia admits in The Speaking Cure to knowing that his patients lie to him, but that behind every lie lies the truth. The author himself learned the difference between “real” foreign languages—French, German or Spanish—and cryto-languages—Polish, Czech or Yiddish—during his childhood in Chicago. The experience of learning French forged in him the desire to write, which in turn created the desire to translate that is described here as a kind of voyeurism. The title of the paper refers to the feeling one has while reading some translated fiction: “I can do better than that!” Translation, as a form of writing, can improve the original by correcting various mistakes, in the logic of the plot, for instance. But there is a difference between writing and translating: the writer writes to find out how the story will end but the translator already knows. As a result, the best way for a writer to translate is to resist reading the book before starting the translation.
 
Article
The Dutch author and translator Elisabeth de Roos has largely been ignored by literary historians. Nevertheless, she played a major role in the literary scene in the Netherlands between 1925 and 1955. She was a very productive and respected essayist, critic, journalist and translator, but in the rearview mirror of literary history her husband Eddy du Perron outshined her. The contemporary gender discourse, in which de Roos herself took part, created a blind spot for the contribution to innovation and poetical conceptualisation of female authors. The infamous journal Forum to which both she and her husband contributed was a mouthpiece for a masculine discourse: being a fellow was the highest goal. After their marriage her husband pursued his writing career, whereas de Roos took care of the household and was the family breadwinner by writing journalistic pieces instead of literary work. After her husband’s death at the start of the Second World War, de Roos started to work as a translator, a profession in which she soon gained a high degree of expertise and professionalism. She wrote lengthy and substantial essays as prefaces to her translations, revealing her thoughtful literary ideas that preferred intellect and lucidity to melodrama and sentimentality and partis pris to half-heartedness. An analysis of her translation of Wuthering Heights suggests she didn’t smoothen the source text to please the target audience, in accordance with her poetics.
 
Eunice Tietjens's musical representation of Chinese poetry 
Article
This essay examines two contributions related to “Chinese poetry” from Eunice Tietjens, an early editor of and contributor to the Chicago-based magazine Poetry. In the first, Tietjens uses western musical notation to transcribe the “tunes” of two Chinese scholars chanting a short poem. The second is a group of Tietjens’s own poetic sketches of the China she witnessed on her 1916 visit. Taken together, these projects provide a useful commentary on the translation of Chinese poetry in the early 20th century.
 
Article
Médée, figure féminine incontournable de la mythologie grecque, mère coupable de fratricide et d’infanticide, a longtemps fasciné lecteurs, écrivains et chercheurs. Si le personnage de Médée constitue par son acte un être unique dans la mythologie, force est de constater que l’infanticide est un sujet prisé de la littérature féminine actuelle. Comparatiste de formation, Marie Carrière, professeure de littérature à l’Université de l’Alberta où elle dirige également le Centre de littérature canadienne (CLC), propose à ce titre de se pencher sur huit œuvres : La Médée d’Euripide (1986) de Marie Cardinal, Flowers & No More Medea (1994) de Deborah Porter, Médée, Récits de femmes et autres histoires (1986) de Franca Ramee et Dario Fo, The Hungry Woman : A Mexican Medea (2001) de Cherrie Moraga, New Medea (1974) de Monique Bosco, Médée : voix (2004) de Christa Wolf, Petroleum (2004) de Bessora et Le livre d’Emma (2002) de Marie-Célie Agnant). Ces œuvres, aussi différentes soient-elles par leur contexte, revisitent, à travers des procédés d’écriture et de réécriture variés, le mythe de Médée (l’infanticide apparaissant comme source de différend) et façonnent de manière ou d’autre, le discours féministe actuel.
 
Article
Book review: Pym, Anthony. Translation Solutions: Histories of a Flawed Dream. Bloomsbury Academic, 2016, 281 pages.
 
Article
Anime, Japanese animation, is massive, with “60% of the animation in the world made in Japan” (Goto-Jones 2009, 3). Anime occasionally makes an innovative use of graphemes on screen, but this has not been studied so far. This study, then, describes and analyses how graphemes have been translated in anime, presenting a series of cases, but concentrating on three particular releases: Gurren Lagann, Kill la Kill, and Tōkyō Godfathers, products that feature a frequent and innovative use of graphemes in its anime. These graphemes are categorised into two types: (1) the ones that are part of the original anime and (2) the graphemes added in fansubbed anime. Much anime is fansubbed (subtitled by fans), and these fans are not constrained by the industry’s rules, meaning that they have complete liberty in subtitling, allowing for really creative forms of subtitling. Even if this freedom can sometimes be taken to the extreme—with subtitles covering the entire screen—fansubs have shown creative subtitling solutions, specially in the case of graphemes that cover a great part of the screen. After describing and analysing these graphemes and how they have been subtitled, this article concludes that, even if fansubs can frequently be excessive, they are at the fore of creativity, and present better solutions than official subtitles in the translation of graphemes in anime.
 
Article
Targums are a kind of ancient Jewish translation literature that may have played an important role in synagogues, private devotion, and education. The reason scholars adduce such widespread use for the targums is because they translate the Hebrew Bible from Hebrew into Aramaic, another ancient Semitic language widely used by Palestinian and Babylonian Jews. Despite their supposed popularity, there are no sustained discussions in ancient Jewish literature concerning how to produce a targum, or what makes a quality targum. This is in direct contrast to some of the early theoretical discussions that informed ancient Christian translations of the Bible. Similarly, internal evidence from the targums suggests they underwent extended diachronic growth, thus eliminating the possibility of a single author, translator, or—as conventionally designated—targumist. As a result, theorizing the situation of a targumist is extremely difficult, in that to do so modern scholars must rely exclusively on the evidence presented by the targums themselves. Furthermore, the targumist must remain at the level of a hypothetical composite in order to reflect the historical realities of targumic production and development. Nevertheless, in this paper I will examine three issues that might give some insight into the situation of the Pentateuch Targums (targums to the first five books of the Hebrew Bible): 1) the targumic “shadow” of the Hebrew Bible; 2) the basic unit of meaning in the targums; and 3) the possible translational role of the targumic narrative expansion—extended portions of text that add new material to the Hebrew Bible narrative. By examining these issues I hope to tease out some of the translational dynamics and cross-cultural issues that likely influenced the production of the targums. And although the targumist must remain a hypothetical construct, the consistency of translational dynamics within the Pentateuch Targums probably reflects a tacit consensus of approach among the targums’ producers. As a result, it becomes possible to theorize in the absence of a theory.
 
Article
As the South Slavic oral epic originated in a primary oral culture – a culture that is unaffected by literacy – and as it is composed through repertorial formulas and themes, it may find itself subject to misunderstanding by literary minds, particularly through accusations of mechanical composition. This paper aims to argue that an idea of “fixity,” with regards to the South Slavic oral epic’s formulas and themes, is flawed when one considers the culture from whence it came. I examine the necessity of formulaic repetition in the South Slavic oral culture of the 1930s-1950s, arguing that, without literacy and the possibility of record making, repetition was the only method through which their history and culture could be preserved. Drawing from Albert Lord’s study of the South Slavic oral epic, this paper establishes that while still existing in a primary oral culture, South Slavic poets interiorize formulas and themes until they are synonymous with reflexive speech. In order to demonstrate this, this paper explores the way in which a South Slavic boy learns to perform. I examine John Miles Foley’s delineation of the South Slavic decameter, which the South Slavic boy must learn as the foundation of all future lines of verse. I also demonstrate the efficiency of this foundation by studying substitution systems in epic verse; the mastery of substitution results in an instantaneous composition of song that is only possible through the interiorization of its elements. This paper then considers the term homeostasis, which in the case of this verse, refers to the obsolescence of irrelevant cultural matter. Using a case study, I analyze a singer’s substitution of obsolete themes and formulas with ones of then-contemporary relevance, arguing that the formulas easily adapt to change. The South Slavic oral epic is thus not mechanical, but a naturalized art form.
 
Article
La traduction audiovisuelle, si elle est se prête à la glose métaphorique du passage de frontière linguistique comme toute autre forme de traduction, remet pourtant en question le concept de frontière : de l’écrit au parlé, de l’oral spontané à l’oral de performance, de l'entendu au vu, la ligne est imprécise. La frontière est donc plus vecteur de passage dans un continuum que de fermeture, malgré ce processus très contraint qu'est le doublage, dont nous nous attachons ici à définir les modalités, en approfondissant les concepts de traduction et d’adaptation : la littérature scientifique montre qu’ils se refusent à toute délimitation normative et sont l'objet d'un constat débat. Notre intérêt se porte notamment sur la place de l’adaptateur-dialoguiste comme passeur linguistique et culturel du "texte" filmique, et sur l’importance de l’interprétation et de la phase de réception dans les choix traductifs induits, en particulier pour le doublage interlinguistique. L’image que se fait le traducteur du spectateur final devient alors déterminante pour subvertir avec succès la dichotomie auteur/cinéaste originel-spectateur allophone final. Nous nous appuyons pour cette étude sur la notion d’herméneutique comme exégèse et sur la théorie de la réception de Jauss et les notions afférentes d’Auteur et Spectateur modèles.
 
Article
Like many postcolonial African novels written in English, Half of a Yellow Sun (2006) written by Nigerian writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie presents many instances of literary hybridity. This paper focuses on these occurrences of hybridity and examines their translation from English into French. The paper considers various manifestations of hybridity in the novel and compares them with the novel’s French translation to illuminate translation strategies while analyzing the implications of key translation choices. This paper emphasizes that the translator made a significant effort to employ ethnocentric strategies to preserve the resonances of the author’s culture, especially instances of vernacular language inherent in the original text. The paper also notes seemingly arbitrary choices that exoticize and homogenize the translated text. Despite these instances, this paper concludes that the translation managed to maintain a balance between the source text and the target language.
 
Photo by Elena Siemens
Photo by Elena Siemens 
Photo by Elena Siemens 
Photo by Elena Siemens 
Photo by Elena Siemens 
Article
This paper discusses the controversial “Be Stupid” advertising campaign by Diesel, recipient of the Grand Prix Lion at the Cannes International Advertising Festival (2010). Banned in some countries for its potentially negative impact on children, this campaign employs theatrical staging combined with provocative slogans, such as “Stupid Might Fail. Smart Doesn’t Even Try.” Illustrated with orginal images inspired by Diesel, the paper refers to prominent theorists and artists (from Derrida to Warhol) to consider the complex (and productive) relationship between translation and performance.
 
Article
The twelfth-century Anglo-Norman poet Marie de France undertook to preserve for posterity the adventures and romances embodied in a vanishing genre, the old Breton lais as she had heard them recounted by minstrels. That she succeeded is evidenced by the popularity of these lais for more than eight hundred years; that she perhaps succeeded too well is suggested by the fact that, within a century of her lifetime, the Breton lais had become exclusively a French form of literature, and whatever might have been the original form, linguistic structure and cultural content in Breton has been relegated to the realm of hypothesis. This raises questions about the relationship between translation and cultural autonomy. Marie’s purported memorial to the Bretons became instead an institution of French language and culture. Had the Breton features been totally effaced, this could be called assimilation; had they been preserved intact, it would have been literal translation. In fact, Marie’s work can be reduced to no such simple binary. Nor can her aims be analyzed through any single lens, whether political, religious, cultural or artistic. Rather, I argue that her unsettling and robust positioning of contradictory elements—sorcery, sensuality, feudality, religion—results from her strategy of adopting the memory of the Bretons: neither glossing over its strangeness nor highlighting it as foreign, but making its distant and exotic characteristics part of her own invented heritage. I conclude that her translation project is more effectively analyzed as an ethical process of incorporation and restitution (Steiner) than as a placement along the spectrum of foreignization versus domestication (Venuti).
 
Article
An Experiment with Google Translate
 
Article
This article is a general exploration of translation issues involved in the translation and performance of the art song, arguing that although critical interest in recent years has been growing, the problems involved in these hybrid translation projects involving both text and music present a number of conundrums: primacy of text or music, focus on performability, and age-old arguments about fidelity and/or foreignization vs domestication. Using information from theatre translation and input from singers themselves, the author argues that this particular area of translation studies will work best in the future with a collaborative approach that includes translators, musicologists, and performers working together in order to produce the most “singable” text as possible for the art song in performance.
 
Article
Sujit Mukherjee passed away in 2003, having been an outstanding intellectual figure in India and beyond. A writer himself, but most of all a translator, Mukherjee contributed greatly to stirring the debate and reflection on translation in India. Although he quite humbly declared, on several occasions, that India never had such a thing as a theory of translation, his books and articles have traced the history of this activity and given shape to a metadiscourse on translation which is far from the abstractions of theories and full of the strength of the enlightened practitioner’s point of view. Mukherjee’s approach to the observation of translation practices is permeated by his modesty, his brisk simplicity and, above all, his relentless positivity. In his words, translation becomes a dynamic, pervasive and constructive practice, far from the subordinate and derivative essence so often ascribed to it by Western scholars. This paper brings to the fore the non-theories of Sujit Mukerjee and proceeds by discussing them along a chronological axis. Organized in three sections, the paper first analyses Mukherjee’s viewpoint on translation in India before the British, to then move onto translation and the role of English during and after colonization. The third and final section offers a comparison between Mukherjee’s ideas and reflections and those by three outstanding Western translation scholars.
 
Article
The article traces the evolution of the image of Rudyard Kipling and of the role his works played in the Russian literature and culture. The study is performed on the material of Russian retranslations of Kipling’s poetry and of The Jungle Book, which followed different patterns and contributed differently and at times even dissonantly to the construction of the image of Kipling and his literary legacy in the Soviet Union. Strong competition of big independent publishers in the Russian Empire ensured multiple retranslations of The Jungle Book in order to cater for the demands of the wide readership. The change in political powers in 1917, the nationalization of print, and the focus on education worked towards the development of a very selective approach to the rendering of The Jungle Book, which eventually reduced itself to recycling a limited number of episodes. By contrast, Kipling’s poetry translation took the form of pioneering work, especially in the context of the ban on Kipling in the 1930 – 1970s. These two opposite vectors that Kipling’s translations took in the twentieth century had a tangible effect on the perception of Kipling as an author and inspired the Russian art of the second part of the twentieth century in the fields of literature, music, and film.
 
Article
The article deals with the concept of borders and barriers in considering scenarios where the linguistic barrier is eventually lifted by technology one day. It begins with reflections on the biblical narrative of the Tower of Babel as an ancient representation of the concept of linguistic barriers between language communities. It gives numerous examples of the uptake of this narrative, from Translation Studies, to project calls and the marketing statements of machine translation technology. In the following section, examples of existing technology are presented, which could be considered as a first generation of automatic translation/interpretation systems. In the main section, several trends are predicted for both the translators’ profession and general economic/business/political/societal developments. The consequences are anticipated of a situation where ordinary cross-language communication will eventually have been almost fully taken over by automated systems. The article points to both the technology’s positive potential and, by showing the eventual risks involved, it equally rejects an attitude of the technology’s uncritical uptake. The article closes by pointing to the ethical dimension of machine translation systems linked with their types of uses and the choices reserved for their users.
 
Article
The Alexander Romance and the Apocalypse of Pseudo-Methodius deserve a place in any discussion of the impact of the translator’s work on the construction of memory in multicultural societies. Both works are remarkable as the products and the objects of translation throughout the middle ages. Successive recensions of the Alexander Romance were translated, either from the original Greek or from Latin translations, into numerous vernacular languages until there were popular versions of the Romance in circulation from Iceland to Indonesia. The Apocalypse was first written in Syriac at the isolated monastery of Singara, but under the impulse of the initial Arab conquests it was translated into Greek and then Latin for a readership that stretched from one end of the Mediterranean to the other; translations into various vernaculars were made throughout the middle ages in places as far apart as England and Russia. The remarkable extent to which translation made both the Romance and the Apocalypse available to ever wider audiences has long been recognized. What has not necessarily been appreciated to the same extent is the cultural impact of these translations, especially in regard to the contact and conflict of cultures. I would like to redress this neglect by drawing attention to the implications of a single episode, one borrowed from the Apocalypse into a later recension of the Romance and perhaps the most famous incident in either work: Alexander walling up the Unclean Nations, the agents of the End Times, beyond the Mountains of the North. Up to the appearance of this incident Alexander had been seen, as he perhaps still is, as a conqueror who extended not only his own realm, but the cultural sphere of the Greeks as well, drawing barbarian peoples into the civilized world of the oikoumene. Under the impact of the Arab conquests, I will argue, Alexander was given the very different, but just as formidable, task of excluding foreign and exotic peoples from a world which was ideally homogeneous, represented by his confining of the Unclean Nations. This act symbolizes the reaction which characterized the next several centuries of Byzantine strategy, of retrenchment, defense of the frontiers, and assimilation of all deviant groups (pagans, heretics, and Jews) within the borders. The memory of Alexander inspired by repeated translations of the Romance and Apocalypse spawned this xenophobic response not only in Byzantium, but throughout Europe, until the Turks were at the gates of Vienna in 1683. Perhaps its legacy can still be discerned today in the inclination toward eschatological hysteria provoked by the perceived aggression of the Muslim world.
 
Article
When Felipe Alfau’s novel Chromos was published in 1990, approximately fifty years after its creation, it was nominated for the National Book Award in the US and critics repeatedly commented on the novel’s unique language. For most critics, Alfau’s language was special because of the New York-based, Spanish-born author’s decision to write in English. Alfau’s profession as a bank translator has often been dismissed as having any relation with his literature save its disconnection from his creative writing. In this article, I argue that translation techniques are responsible for the extraordinary language of Chromos, and further, that the novel’s existence relies on the narrator’s role as a translator. Translation in Chromos is an integral and essential part of literary creation-- especially for an author working in a multilingual and multinational setting--to the extent that the novel, in its original version, impersonates a translation.
 
Article
This article addresses the problematics of creating meaning in literary translation by comparing three versions of Alice Munro’s short story “Child’s Play” translated into German, Ukrainian, and Russian. Proceeding from a fluid and unstable source text that represents the conflict of socially perpetuated normative thinking and non-conforming “monstrous” bodies marked by intellectual disability, the translators renegotiate the meaning of embodied otherness and its stigmatization in society in unique ways that reflect their personal perspectives on translation and individual agendas in their translation projects. Munro’s focus on the relationship between a special needs girl and the narrator responsible for her death exposes the society’s deeply ingrained aversion, fear, and hate against people with intellectual disabilities. These prejudiced views find their expression in equating “special” bodies with passive objects, repulsive animal-like creatures, and wild monsters. However, this metaphorical language reflects first and foremost on the narrator, whose hateful speech, breaking through the surface of her seemingly impartial account, unmasks the true faces of the victim and the perpetrator. Each translator ascribes a different meaning to Munro’s deliberately ambiguous narrative: while the German version accentuates the original’s insistence on complexity and uncertainty, the Ukrainian translation increases intensity of the protagonist’s emotional involvement bringing her hatred and disgust to the extreme to make a point about social marginalization of the vulnerable other. The Russian text, conversely, rationalizes the narrator’s actions and turns her tale into a deeply tragic personal confession to align it with a typical plotline of the Russian literary tradition. Overall, three target-language versions of the story add new dimensions to the original text and further destabilize it by consolidating their preferred readings in their treatment of the socially constructed opposition between “monstrous” and “normal”.
 
Article
An interview with Kathryn Hellerstein, a translator of Yiddish poetry into English, a poet, and a professor of Yiddish at the University of Pennsylvania, conducted on March 11th, 2015.
 
Janko Messner 8 
The " Guillotined Thirteen " 11 
Article
I have been actively translating for about twenty years. Looking back, I now realize that it made translation easier when I tried to ‘become’ the original writer: I was more successful when I asked myself, “what would they have written if they had had my knowledge of English?” and, for poetry, when faced with the clash between the demands of form and content, “which way would they bend?’ Rather than attempt any theorizing, I propose to relate my efforts to get under the skin of a number of poets, for example: one, surviving the siege of Leningrad; another, pioneering multiple poetic genres in early 19th-century Central Europe; a third who (successfully? I am not sure) aimed to capture the horror of a Nazi atrocity in Vienna; a fourth who became the most popular author of Slovene poetry for children by temporarily shedding his own adulthood. Also, I will add my recent attempts to capture, in Slovene, the style of children in war-torn Northern Uganda who are writing to the sponsors who are paying their school fees in a charming but not always clear fractured English (which they are just learning): is it possible, is it expedient to pretend to be such a child in order to transfer their thoughts into Slovene? It certainly helps to have been a teacher. Teachers are, I believe, better teachers if they can act the roles of others, and translators can perhaps be better translators if they can ‘become’ other people. Anyway, it makes for a more interesting life.
 
Article
This paper investigates the validity of André Lefevere’s assumption that “a canonized author is translated more on his own terms (according to his own poetics) than on those of the receiving system” (2000: 237) through a case study of Edgar Allan Poe retranslations in the Turkish literary system. The first part of the paper includes extratextual analysis carried out according to Gérard Genette’s categorization of “metatexts” and “paratexts,” and a further category which includes the social media. Poe’s poetics and the poetics of the Turkish literary system, as well as Poe’s reception in the system are explored through extratextual analysis to determine whether Poe gained more canonicity or reputation. The extratextual analysis reveals the author’s increasing influence, reception and reputation in the Turkish literary system over a time span of almost ninety years. The second part of the paper presents the textual analysis of Poe’s two tales, “Hop-Frog” and “The Masque of the Red Death”, in eight translations published between 1928 and 2002. Textual analysis serves to reveal whether Poe was translated more according to his own poetics as he became more reputable in the target literary system. The paper concludes that factors other than reputation of an author have also a role to play in translating an author according to his own poetics.
 
Article
Full text (external site) Dubbing is the most common AVT technique in France but few scientific studies have been conducted on the subject, due to several factors: the difficulty in understanding oral speech, the cultural devaluation of a mode of translation initiated by the American studios to target the masses or the impossibility of assigning an author to a collective production. Nonetheless, a Cinéma d’auteur exists, far from Hollywood studios, and thus quite rare in the American film system. Woody Allen, an American director independent from the Majors, is a unique example: he has been able to preserve his artistic autonomy while using international distribution channels. They have brought him a real fame in France, thanks to the subtitled and dubbed versions of his films. Cinéma d’auteur and dubbing can however be regarded as an antinomy as the former is supposed to address an elite and the latter is ontologically tied to mass media. The “Frenchification” of Allen’s films lies at the very heart of that paradox and demands a balance between two poles, one leading towards the author’s speech, and the other towards the facilitation of the spectator’s work. This dissertation seeks to understand how dubbing has negotiated the contradictions at the very heart of this situation, and what room is ascribed to the author in the dubbed versions, between the Model Author and Addressee as defined by the reception theories. Based on examples taken from nine of Allen’s comedies over a 30-year period, this descriptive diachronic and comparative study contrasts the original versions of the films with their translations in French editions and their dubbed versions, using Berman’s theory of “deforming tendencies”.
 
Article
The purpose of the present article is to compare Antoine Berman’s theory of translation with Emmanuel Levinas’ ethical philosophy. Contrary to what has often been claimed, these works differ in many aspects that will be systematically addressed. The author will then undertake to derive a theory of translation from Levinas’ philosophy of language. L’objet de cet article est de comparer les théories de la traduction d’Antoine Berman et d’Emmanuel Levinas. Contrairement à ce que l’on pourrait croire, ces théories diffèrent sur un certain nombre de points que nous examinerons. Après avoir comparé ces deux théories, nous dériverons une théorie de la traduction de la philosophie du langage de Lévinas.
 
Article
On June 17th 2011 graffiti artists transformed the West side of the Monument of the Soviet Army (MSA) in Sofia, Bulgaria. MSA comprises part of a spatial environment where the invented traditions of the Bulgarian state interact and compete. The art of provocation challenges those invented traditions and opens up the potential for alternative readings and discursive practices of the past and present, contrary to the official political and NGO discourse. As such it subverts ideological symbols in a fashion similar to the carnivalesque. The graffiti art provides the potential to reevaluate, bridge and connect a violent past with an equally violent present, as well as pose questions about the future. It signifies the presence of history and politics in everyday life.
 
Article
Le francoprovençal (FP), parlé pendant des siècles dans quelques régions de France, de Suisse et d’Italie, ne compte plus que quelques dizaines de milliers de locuteurs, souvent âgés, qui appellent leur langue "patois". Sans statut officiel ni orthographe consensuelle, le FP peine à être reconnu par les autorités scolaires. Dans ce contexte, la traduction de bandes dessinées peut avoir une fonction éducative et favoriser la redécouverte d’une langue devenue inaudible. Elle peut même prendre la forme d’une traduction culturelle dépassant l’enjeu linguistique, comme nous le montrons en analysant le texte et le paratexte d’un album de Lucky Luke traduit vers le FP de Bresse (France), dans lequel le héros emblématique de la "BD western parodique" offre l’occasion de présenter des éléments de la culture bressane. En raison de la présence de personnages amérindiens, l’album traduit illustre les rapports que les cultures dominantes tant américaine que française entretiennent avec l’autochtonie (amérindienne ou "régionale"). Mais la démarche pose aussi la question de la légitimité de certaines transpositions; car le FP, certes ultra-minoritaire, reste associé à l’Occident colonisateur, et l’autochtonisation (bressanisation) du récit par des clins d’œil (noms de personnages et de lieux, proverbes, allusions aux chants, danses ou rituels de mariage bressans) n’inverse pas la perspective eurocentriste. Il reste que, bien qu'on puisse difficilement comparer une situation coloniale aux conséquences génocidaires en Amérique du Nord et une oppression sous forme d’assimilation lente en France, cette traduction peut nourrir la réflexion sur la condition autochtone de part et d’autre de l’Atlantique.
 
Article
In a recent article, I argued that Native American literature, as a minor literature according to Deleuze and Guattari, is a great candidate for being translated in a minoritizing way, as proposed by Venuti. Since this literature is very popular in Spain –13 translations published in the 2010s–, I analysed the most recent translations of Sherman Alexie’s, Louise Erdrich’s and N. Scott Momaday’s novels and concluded that they were aimed at entertainment, at linguistic and syntactic fluency, and at over-refined stylistics. This kind of translation means, hence, the erasure of indigenous cultural and literary aspects from the target texts and the hiding of the socio-political implications of the source texts. In the present article, I insist on the idea that Venuti’s ‘minoritizing translation’ can be adapted to attend to the minor literature features of American Indian books and, consequently, to produce culturally and socio-politically engaged translations. After revising Venuti’s proposal and Tymoczko’s criticism on it, I present a brief description of the translations of works by Alexie, Erdrich, Momaday and Zitkala-Ša, all published during the 2010s. Then, I detail the precise strategies that would help to emphasize the specific characteristics of this literature, and I compare passages from the published translations with my alternative minoritizing translations.
 
Article
Hybrid literature has flourished in the Russian diaspora in the last decade and much of it is semi-autobiographical, concerned with the reconfiguration of identity in emigration. It dwells productively on the translation of the self and (more broadly) on the relationship between center and margin in the post-Soviet, transnational world. Gender roles are subject to contestation, as writers interrogate and reconsider expectations inherited from traditional Russian culture. This article situates Russian hybrid literature vis-à-vis Western feminism, taking into account Russian women’s particular experience of feminism. Four female writers of contemporary Russian-American literature – Lara Vapnyar, Sana Krasikov, Anya Ulinich, and Irina Reyn – inscribe failures of domesticity into their prose. Their female characters who cannot or do not cook or clean problematize woman’s role as nurturer. Home (geographic or imaginary) carries a semantic load of limitation and restriction, so failure as a homemaker may be paradoxically liberating. For female characters working in the West to support their families in Russia, domesticity is sometimes even more darkly cast as servitude. Rejection of traditional Russian definitions of women’s gender roles may signal successful renogotiation of identity in the diaspora. Although these writers may express nostalgia for the Russian culture of their early childhood, their critique of the tyranny of home is a powerful narrative gesture. Failures of domesticity represent successful steps in the redefinition of the self and they support these writers’ claim to transnational status.
 
Article
Art Spiegelman abrió con Maus (1980-1991) un nuevo camino para la novela gráfica a nivel internacional: entrevistando a su padre, que le cuenta sus memorias sobre el Holocausto, presenta una historia de carácter confesional, inédita hasta entonces en este ámbito de manifestación artístico-literaria. Junto con la impactante representación de los personajes, destaca especialmente la historia de supervivencia en primera persona. En este trabajo, analizamos la importancia del lenguaje en Maus, y más concretamente los rasgos lingüísticos que caracterizan la forma de expresión del protagonista, cuya lengua materna no era el inglés, sino el polaco. Son numerosas las incoherencias y errores intencionados en el original (por ejemplo, “… I can tell you other stories, but such private things, I don’t want you should mention”). Para ello, trataremos de determinar si existen en estas incoherencias parámetros recurrentes y posibles influencias de otra(s) lengua(s). Finalmente, analizaremos cómo han podido interferir estas pautas en la traducción al español de una de las novelas gráficas más destacadas del siglo XX y la primera ganadora del Premio Pulitzer en 1992.
 
Article
La traduction de films peut en dire long sur les relations entre deux cultures, ce qui en fait un sujet d'étude des plus fascinants. En tant qu'espace de pratique discursive, les films et autres produits audiovisuels et leur traduction jouent effectivement un rôle important dans l'articulation de concepts culturels, comme, par exemple, la féminité, la masculinité et l'altérité (Díaz Cintas 281). Un cas de figure intéressant en traduction audiovisuelle est le film québécois Léolo, qui constitue l'un des rares exemples où un produit cinématographique est adapté vers l'anglais - donc, d'une communauté périphérique vers une culture dominante. Cet article analyse le rôle de la voix-over dans Léolo et son doublage en version anglaise et propose une interprétation idéologique de l'adaptation en tenant compte de son contexte sociopolitique. La notion de voix-over telle que conceptualisée en études cinématographiques ainsi que quelques précisions terminologiques sur cette même notion en traductologie mènent ainsi à une analyse idéologique et culturelle de l'accent en traduction audiovisuelle. Cet article suggère que la traduction, au lieu de construire des ponts entre les cultures, sert parfois de frontière entre celles-ci. En effet, un contexte sociopolitique donné a d'importants impacts, directs ou indirects, sur les choix et stratégies de traduction de produits culturels. Dans le cas précis de Léolo, cet article conclue que la traduction joue un rôle dans la construction d'identités distinctes et dans la formation d'une frontière entre ces dernières. Translated movies can say a lot about the relationships between two cultures, which makes audiovisual translation a fascinating area of research in Translation Studies. As Jorge Díaz Cintas puts it, «[a]s a site of discursive practice, audiovisual media and its translation play a special role in the articulation of cultural concepts such as femeninity, masculinity and Otherness, among others.» (Díaz Cintas 281) One interesting case study is the movie Léolo, from Québec, which is one of the few movies that was translated into English - that is, from a peripheral community to a dominant culture. This paper analyses the role of voice-over in Léolo as well as its dubbing in English, and suggests an ideological interpretation of its adaptation, considering its sociopolitical context. The notion of voice-over, as studied in Film Studies, as well as some clarification about the terminological vagueness surrounding that same notion in Translation Studies bring us to a cultural and ideological analysis of the accent in audiovisual translation. This article argues that instead of building bridges between cultures, translation can sometimes serve as a boundary between them. A given sociopolitical context certainly has important repercussions, direct or indirect, on the choices and decisions made in the process of translating cultural products such as movies. In the case of Léolo, this paper highlights the role of translation in the articulation of separate identities and in the construction of a boundary between them.
 
Article
In Petersburg (1916), Andrei Bely uses the space of the city to examine and attempt to reconfigure the persistent question of identity within the Russian consciousness. Bely’s awareness of St. Petersburg’s historical and national significance as a political nucleus compels him to work within the symbolic, drawing from various disciplines including mythology, philosophy, and mathematics. As Robert A. Maguire and John E. Malmstad suggest in the novel’s introduction, the city’s geographic positioning contributes to its greater cultural uncertainty; it pits the Neo-Kantian reason, structure, and order of the “West” against the alleged irrational, impalpable, and intuitive nature of the “East” (Bely viii). Bely’s urbanized creative consciousness can be contextualized by way of its origins in Western philosophy, particularly its Nietzschean influence and the idea of eternal return. Although his use and understanding of this concept fluctuated over the years, Bely interpreted Nietzsche’s notion of “return” as being creative, using it to describe the circularity of every artistic, philosophical, and literary endeavor (Maguire and Malmstad 103). By approaching Bely’s symbolism via its Nietzschean foundations, a better understanding can be gained regarding his use of the city’s geometric space in establishing a connection with the modern. Bely’s creative reading of Nietzsche facilitates his turn to the symbolic, and more critically, the novel’s enduring significance in his “diagnosis of modern culture” (Maguire and Malmstad 102). The amalgamation of Western philosophy, the modern novel, and the modern city ignited his examination and creation of Petersburg, as within this context, the symbolic rests in the act of creation. For Bely, the city and the text are interchangeable; both behave creatively as developmental centers for the modern. Likewise, his calculated and mathematical re-creation of St. Petersburg within the text allows it to operate as a public space for the articulation of Russia’s political and cultural anxiety.
 
Article
Angelone, Erik, Maureen Ehrensberger-Dow and Gary Massey (eds). The Bloomsbury Companion to Language Industry Studies. Bloomsbury Academic, 2020. 406 pp.. The Bloomsbury Companion to Language Industry Studies. Bloomsbury Academic, 2020. 406 pp.
 
Article
Written in the form of a dialog between translator and translation theorist, this article considers both the difficulty and the necessity of a reciprocal, mutually informed relationship between translation theory and practice. The starting point of the article is my experience translating the poetry of Anja Utler, a contemporary Austrian poet whose linguistic experimentation poses a significant translation challenge. Utler's poetry functions in part by means of what she calls “interweaving” (“Verflechtung”), making use of highly polysemous words to efface boundaries between landscape, body, and language. In addition to blurring semantic lines, Utler also employs certain syntactical and grammatical characteristics of the German language (such as separable prefixes) in unorthodox ways that multiply possibilities of meaning. One of the greatest difficulties for a translator, then, is to find ways of approximating this semantic and syntactic play and innovation in a language that rarely offers a one-to-one equivalent. In addition to addressing specific practical issues in translating Utler's poetry, I consider the role that translation theory played in shaping my translation strategies, and more generally the interaction between the theoretical conceptualization of translation and its actual execution. I also describe my communication with the author, who has contributed greatly to the translation process, supporting an idea of translation as collaboration. Translation theory and practice appear less as correctives to each other than as a cooperative undertaking, part of a conversation between translator, theorist, author, and reader from which, ideally, all sides benefit in the end. By portraying this exchange as an internal dialog, I hope to demonstrate that the realms of translation practice and theory are not alien to one another, but rather engaged in constant, productive exchange, both within the mind of the individual translator/theorist and on the level of translation as a social phenomenon.
 
Absolute Actor Studio, 1110 Joe Annie Street, April 2013 © Birringer 
Protester running from tear gas, Ferguson, Missouri, August 2014 © News archive 
Absolute Actor Studio, 1110 Joe Annie Street, May 2014 © Birringer 
Article
A short critical fiction, derived from my experience of the demolition of my studio & home on Joe Annie Street, Houston, TX, placed in the context of a political/philosophical reflection on the "destructive character" (Benjamin) and the performative illusions or self delusions of street protest and street art in times of war.
 
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