Translation and Paraphrase

Matthew Reynolds

in The Poetry of Translation

Published in print October 2011 | ISBN: 9780199605712
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191731617 | DOI:
Translation and Paraphrase

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Translation theorists typically emphasize the differences between translations and their sources. Yet they cannot help letting the idea that there is something identical between the two creep back into their discussions. This happens especially in discussions of poetry, where notions of functional equivalence cannot govern the definition of translation (I discuss the work of J. C. Catford and the ‘Skopos’ school of translation theory as I make this argument). The same pattern recurs in everyday usage: we all know that a translation of Proust is not really Proust; we all slip into saying ‘oh yes I have read Proust’ when all we have really read is a translation. This paradox, I suggest, is what defines translation: a translation is a text that is taken to be different from another and also taken to be the same. A scene from Brian Friel's Translations illustrates the claim.

Keywords: translation; paraphrase; J. C. Catford; skopos; Clive Scott; Donald Carne‐Ross; Brian Friel

Chapter.  4088 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (Poetry and Poets)

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