Translation in an International Perspective : Cultural Interaction and Disciplinary Transformation

Abstract : a.This is a selection of articles from an international conference on translation, titled “Shifting Paradigms: How Translation Transforms the Humanities,” held at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, October 14-16, 2010. . b.Main selling points of the book: This is a unique collection of perspectives on translation by translation scholars from Europe, the US, Canada and Asia focusing on translation as interaction between languages, cultures, ideologies, worldviews and identities. Translation identifies and represents those relationships and also transforms their dynamics. Translation studies has been described as the central analytic term of the contact of cultures and as a paradigm for studying our multilingual world. The articles fall within this scope and encompass three broad themes: social motivations of translation (gender and identity); translation as a discipline of theory and practice (what is translation? Why is it done? And how?); and translation as transformation (a discourse of modernity, a transfer of world views, and transformation of traditional disciplines). Translation is presented as an integral part of the humanities, while transforming traditional humanistic disciplines in innovative ways. The uniqueness of the book rests in its diversity of content, style and methodology. The contributors are faculty members, and in the case of two contributors, advanced graduate students at universities where translation is taught as an integral part of the curriculum. The majority of the contributors come from the two co-host institutions of the conference, The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), the Université Denis Diderot (Paris VII) and its research arm, the Centre Nationale de Recherches Scientifiques (CNRS). Each partner institution hosts an interdisciplinary Center for Translation Studies that serves as a nucleus for development of translation studies and a catalyst for inter-disciplinary research and teaching. Other contributors are from other US and Canadian institutions. The motivation to publish this selection derives from our joint interest in advancing translation studies as an important international discipline linking our institutions. We make the point that translation and reflections upon it are global practices that have varied greatly according to place, time and disciplinary perspective. Scholars have just only begun to describe the rich multicultural and interdisciplinary dimensions of the field. We hope that this volume will effectively challenge established disciplinary assumptions and open new doors for further reflection and research. c.New findings of fact, statements, theory or viewpoints contained in the book: The articles in the volume offer fresh perspectives on translation through the lenses of a variety of disciplines. The following summary will highlight a few of the viewpoints contained in the collection. In the section on social motivations of translation, Florence Binard offers a comparative study of gender bias in the French and English languages and suggests that “feminist non-sexist language …modifies the lens through which we see existing ‘reality’ while paving the way for perception of a “new reality.” Patricia Cotti demonstrates the far-reaching consequences of translation and mis-translation of core psychoanalytical concepts, using the translation history of Freud’s “trieb” to argue that translation “impacts and changes the human science it translates.” Barbara Pausch analyzes the role that women translators played in Romantic Germany, addressing a series of key questions leading toward conclusions about the role of women in the Romantic age. José Ignacio Hualde discusses the Spanish retranslations of Refranes y Sentencias (1596; an anonymous compilation of Basque proverbs) in the context of the formation of early modern Basque identity. The section on issues in translation as a discipline will cover the functions, goals and methods of translation. Philippe Postel’s article titled “The Scholar and the Beauty: First Translations of Chinese Novels in England and France (18th to the 20th centuries) examines several translations of the novel Haoqiu zhuan, exemplifying modes of translation during that time period, and motivations for translating this particular novel. He identifies three trends in translation practice of the period, ranging from a romantic interest in discovering an authentic China, to a positivist approach showing China in a “scientific” or scientistic light, then to an exotic portrayal of China leading to a “paradoxical unfaithfulness to the original text.” Anastasia Lakhitkova examines the issue of literalness in translation in her article on Nabokov’s translation of Eugene Onegin , concluding that Nabokov’s interlinear translation has furthered research in translation studies and linguistics based on the use of parallel text corpora which assist in the comprehension of the original text. Danielle Candel and Didier Samain address translation as a historically situated activity, focusing on terminological issues in translation from theoretical and practical viewpoints. They propose that intra-language translating as well as inter-language translating are important steps in the language enrichment process. The paper suggests that terminological work is a more complex process than commonly thought, involving intense interdisciplinary methodology and cultural sophistication. The last section, titled “translation as transformation” includes a number of articles relating to the role of translation in altering disciplinary discourse, world views, and theoretical and practical trends in languages and linguistics. Jeanne Garane returns to an in-depth examination of “the language question” in francophone African literary studies and the ways in which conventional notions of translation as secondary and derived are often linked to the ways in which “francophone” African writing is read. The paper argues that postcolonial translation theory can transform both francophone studies and postcolonial studies when used as a tool for re-reading. Jean-Robert Noel, in his article “Translate Scripture and Change the World—How Translation Transformed a Language, a World View, a Text: an Example from East Asia,” shows how the transmission of Buddhist Scriptures from Sanskrit into Chinese caused a deep transformation of the target language and also the world view of the readers of these imported texts. The article concludes that while China has been portrayed in the west and particularly France as isolated from surrounding civilizations, this was no longer the case once a “great wave of translation (of Buddhist texts) began, lasting for centuries and making up one of humanity’s greatest intellectual adventures.” The consequences of this phenomenon altered the structure of the Chinese language as well as concepts of tense and how translation itself is a “self-sustaining process.” Rainier Lanselle, in his article “Shifting Practices as an Effect of Shifting Language: The Case of the Acclimatization of Psychoanalytical Discourse into Chinese” also demonstrates how the Chinese shift toward modern science caused a “massive reconstruction of the Chinese lexicon” in one or two generations, affecting “not only vocabulary, but the very structure of language, producing new thoughts as well as new behaviors.” He argues that this shift is the result of translation practice. Lanselle maintains that “something occurred at the heart of the Chinese language…neologisms were …literally a new discourse.” Sylvie Archaimbault and Jacqueline Léon examine theoretical and practical shifts within American and Russian linguistics as an outcome of machine translation (originally devised as a “war technology” by the US developed by engineers and programmers, not linguists). The article argues that MT contributed to the “shifting of paradigms within language sciences in the 1950s and 60s.” The authors link this effort with the use of MT to analyze American Indian languages in from the 1940s to the 1960s. They conclude that thanks to MT, translation became a real issue both for Bible translation undertaken by the summer Institute of Linguistics, and also for the description of American Indian Languages. This led to new developments in American linguistics, such as the ethnography of communication and sociolinguistics. Arnaud Regnauld examines translation as hypertextuality, showing how the concept of translation exceeds the stricter interlinguistic definition of theorists such as Meschonnic or Berman in emerging forms of electronic textualities such as the cyberfiction text Patchwork Girl by Shelley Jackson “which beg for an intersemiotic approach.” Regnauld posits that the interplay of fragmentation and recomposition of this text that “feeds on the alterity of the text and the machine” invites the elaboration of a “new cognitive framework based on the hybrid figure of the cyborg.”
Complete list of metadatas
Contributor : Rainier Lanselle <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 1, 2016 - 10:44:09 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, July 17, 2019 - 2:40:09 AM


  • HAL Id : hal-01390244, version 1


Rainier Lanselle, Antoine Cazé. Translation in an International Perspective : Cultural Interaction and Disciplinary Transformation. Rainier Lanselle; Antoine Cazé. France. Peter Lang, 2014, Translation in an International Perspective: Cultural Interaction and Disciplinary Transformation, 978-3-0343-1433-6. ⟨hal-01390244⟩



Record views