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Translating Theory

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Title: Translating Theory
Authors: Jaques, Thomas Browse this author
Issue Date: 25-May-2010
Publisher: 北海道大学大学院メディア・コミュニケーション研究院
Journal Title: メディア・コミュニケーション研究
Journal Title(alt): Media and Communication Studies
Volume: 58
Start Page: 153
End Page: 178
Abstract: Generative Linguistics can and should be engaged by those with an interest in Translation Studies while developing their own positions on literary theory in general, but translation theory in particular. Generative theory provides empirical evidence for a free, creative mind that can comprehend, read, speak and translate a language. What is being proposed here contrasts radically with the dominant position of this generation's Translation Studies specialists, who freely incorporate Post-structuralist and Deconstructionist ideas in their "theories" of language. Generative linguistics allows for an infinite number of well-formed ("grammatical") sentences in a language, not an infinite number of interpretations of those sentences or opportunities for them to display differance―the Deconstructionist's notion in which the differential nature of meanings in language ceaselessly defers or postpones any determinate meaning; language is an endless chain or "play of differance." Within this framework, it is impossible to locate invariable meanings in SL (source language) texts which can be perfectly converted into equivalent linguistic units in TL (target language) texts, rendering the possibility to "translate" manifestly impossible. This is the assumption that pervades scholarship in the field today. The position taken in this paper, predicated largely on generative insights, departs radically from this position (the inherent untranslatability of literature) by explicitly incorporating a very specific, rational theory of language. And if this theory of language is seriously engaged, then translators and translation theorists may practice their activities with the certainty that language actually has meaning and that one language may be translated into another. In application, literary translators are provided with the justification for translating as literally as possible, not as freely or playfully as possible.
Type: bulletin (article)
Appears in Collections:メディア・コミュニケーション研究 = Media and Communication Studies > 58

Submitter: Thomas Jaques

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