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LinguaTranslations 200x138Business Translation Services: Domesticating… here we are again!

Today I stumbled again into Lawrence Venuti’s book The Translator’s Invisibility. I thought that it would be a good occasion to draw from one of his essays to give you a more real example of a domesticating translation, as we talked about a few posts ago. As a quick recap, domestication and foreignisation are two opposing methods of translation. They can be used in many areas of the industry, including business translation services.

In 1636 Sir John Denham published his translation of the Aeneid. He commented on his own work by saying that he had followed Horace’s suggestion to translate sense for sense rather than word for word. He also added that translators should not be fides interpretes (trustworthy interpreters) when dealing with poetry. This is also the case for the majority of other areas, including business translation services.

Denham wrote a very nationalistic piece of writing. However, this tradition comes from France. The contrast between this nationalistic attitude and the foreignness of the technique already highlight the contradictions of this piece. A predecessor of Denham was indeed D’Ablancourt, who translated Virgil’s Annals and dedicated them to Cardinal Richelieu. Denham aims to remind readers of the defeated royalist segment of the Caroline aristocracy. To help it regain its hegemonic status in English culture.

But how can this be achieved through a translation?

First of all, Denham’s choice of text already goes toward royalist cultural politics. He chose to translate only around 550 out of the 800 lines of Book 2. His work ends with the death of Priam. Since he translated that the king (Priam) died, but the State survived, he conveys the political allegory that the monarchy survived its destruction. Secondly, Denham’s discursive strategy is to produce a ‘naturalised English Virgil’. This is accomplished by removing names of places and characters. So Priam becomes a more general and domesticated King and modifying architectural terms. Readers are not left with any Foreignising evidence.

A comparison with Denham’s predecessors, such as Howard (1557) and Wroth (1620), highlights Denham’s strategy even more clearly. So… can you see now how powerful translations can be? Corporate translation and other business translation services need to have a big impact, so let the experts handle it. What do you think? Is foreignisation or domestication the better approach?

For more information about the services offered by Lingua Translations, take a look at our business translation services page.

Happy Birthday to our CEO Rachel Bryan!

The Translator’s Invisibility “La invisibilidad del traductor”

Hoy me he tropezado de nuevo con el libro de Lawrence Venuti The Translator’s Invisibility (“La invisibilidad del traductor”) y he pensado que sería una buena ocasión para hablar de nuevo sobre domesticación, a través del ejemplo real de uno de sus trabajos.

En el año 1636 John Denham publicó su traducción de “La Eneida” e hizo un comentario de su propio trabajo, en el que decía que había seguido la sugerencia del poeta Horacio, traduciendo el sentido del texto y no palabra por palabra. También añadió que, cuando se trata de poesía, los traductores no deben ser fides interpretes (= intérpretes fidedignos).

Denham escribió una obra muy nacionalista. Sin embargo, esta tradición proviene de Francia y el contraste entre esta actitud nacionalista y la naturaleza extranjera de la técnica pone de relieve las contradicciones de esta obra. Un predecesor de Denham fue D’Ablancourt, que realizó la traducción de los Anales de Virgilio y se los dedicó al Cardenal Richelieu. Denham tiene como objetivo rememorar el derrotado sector monárquico y ayudar así a la recuparación de su hegemonía en la cultura británica.

Pero, ¿cómo puede esto lograrse a través de una traducción?

En primer lugar, el texto elegido por Denham ya trata sobre política cultural monárquica. Optó por traducir únicamente alrededor de 550 de las 800 líneas del libro 2. Su trabajo termina con la muerte de Príamo, parte que tradujo diciendo que el rey (Príamo) había muerto, pero que el Estado había sobrevivido, transmiendo así la alegoría política de que la monarquía sobrevivió a la destrucción del rey. En segundo lugar, la estrategia discursiva de Denham es crear un “Virgilio nacionalizado”, lo que llevó a cabo mediante la eliminación de nombres de lugares y personajes (así Príamo se convierte en un Rey más general y domesticado) y la modificación de términos arquitectónicos, para evitar que los lectores perciban elementos foráneos.

Una comparación de Denham con sus predecesores, tales como Howard (1557) y Wroth (1620), e identifica con más claridad la estrategia de Denham. ¿Ves ahora el gran poder que las traducciones pueden alcanzar?

¡¡Feliz cumpleaños a nuestra Directora General Rachel Bryan!!

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