Allusion as translation problem : Portuguese versions of second Isaiah as test case

Cherney, Kenneth A. (2014-12)

Thesis (PhD)--Stellenbosch University, 2014.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: An allusion in the source text poses a serious problem for a translator. A relevance-theoretic approach would define an “allusion” as the re-use of language from a prior text such that, by calling the prior text to mind, an implied reader is aided in his/her attempt to plausibly reconstruct the alluding author’s meaning. For this to happen, the reader’s “context” in the relevance-theoretic sense must include the source of the borrowed language. To explicate the connection for the reader, however, can thwart the pragmatic effects of an allusion, since these often require maintaining some “openness” in the text; hence the translator’s dilemma. Isaiah 40-55 (Deutero-Isaiah or DtI), a richly allusive text, furnishes an ideal test case for a descriptive translation study (DTS) focused on this source-text feature. This investigation of eleven Portuguese versions will attempt to determine whether and how the translators’ decisions with regard to DtI’s allusions might be accounted for. Source-oriented approaches to translating often tend toward lexical concordance; therefore, these approaches—in theory—should tend to preserve instances of vocabulary that is shared between an alluding- and an alluded-to text. Target-oriented approaches (e.g. “functional equivalence”) are more interested in contextual clarity than lexical concordance; these could then be expected to produce target texts that are less allusive. Increased sophistication in translation theory should result in more sophisticated approaches to allusion in translating. Collaborative and coordinated translation projects should produce more allusive target texts than those whose procedures are more piecemeal. The investigation reveals less correlation than expected between general source-orientedness and allusiveness in the target text. Target-oriented approaches—e.g., classical functional equivalence—do tend to produce less allusive target texts. In addition, there is a correlation between a translation project’s organization and the perspicuity of allusion in the target text, but it is mostly negative. That is, projects that do their work piecemeal produce unallusive versions, but more collaborative and coordinated projects still leave many inter-textual resonances inaudible. It appears that translations will preserve this source-text feature in a way that tends toward randomness unless the perspicuity of inter-textual allusions is articulated as a conscious value in translating. Above all, “allusion-friendly” translating will require target cultures that want more allusive Bibles. Translators, as “model readers” themselves, will need to recognize the presence and function of allusions in the source text and make the attempt to represent these in translation a priority.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Sinspeling in ’n bronteks kan aansienlike probleem skep vir vertaler. Relevansie-teoretiese benadering definieer “sinspeling” as die hergebruik van taal uit vroeëre teks tot so mate dat veronderstelde leser, deur die vroeëre teks voor die gees te roep, in sy/haar poging om die sinspelende outeur se bedoeling te rekonstrueer, gesteun word. Om dit te bewerkstellig, moet die leser se “konteks,” in die relevansie-teoretiese sin van die woord, die bron van die ontleende taaluiting insluit. Om die verband aan die leser te verklaar kan egter die pragmatiese effekte van sinspeling teenwerk, aangesien sinspeling as sulks dikwels die handhawing van mate van “openheid” in die teks vereis; vandaar die vertaler se dilemma. Jesaja 40-55 (Deutero-Jesaja of DtJ), teks met baie gevalle van sinspeling, bied die ideale geleentheid vir beskrywende vertalingstudie (BVS) wat op hierdie brontekskenmerk fokus. Hierdie ondersoek van elf Portugese vertalings sal poog om te bepaal of en hoe die vertalers se vertaalkeuses met betrekking tot DtJ se sinspelings verklaar kan word. Bron-georiënteerde benaderings tot vertaling neig dikwels tot leksikale konkordansie; daarom behoort hierdie benaderings – in teorie – te neig om die gevalle van woordeskat wat tussen sinspelende en opgesinspeelde teks gedeel word, weer te gee. Teiken-georiënteerde benaderings (bv. “funksioneel-ekwivalente benaderings”) stel meer in die verstaanbaarheid van uitdrukkings in die konteks waarin dit gebruik word as in leksikale konkordansie belang; van hierdie vertalings sou dan verwag kon word om teikentekste op te lewer wat minder sinspelend is. Toenemende sofistikasie in vertalingsteorie behoort tot meer gesofistikeerde benaderings tot sinspeling in vertaling te lei. Gesamentlike en gekoördineerde vertalingsprojekte behoort meer sinspelende teikentekste voort te bring as die waarvan dit nie die geval is nie. Die ondersoek openbaar minder korrelasie as wat verwag is tussen algemene brongeoriënteerdheid en sinspeling in die teikenteks. Teiken-georiënteerde benaderings neig wel om minder sinspelende teikentekste te produseer. Daar is boonop korrelasie tussen vertalingsprojek se organisasie en die duidelikheid van sinspeling in die teikenteks, maar die korrelasie is meestal negatief. Dit wil sê, projekte wat hul werk stuksgewys doen, produseer niesinspelende weergawes, maar meer gesamentlike en gekoördineerde projekte laat steeds baie intertekstuele resonansies nie tot hulle reg kom nie. Dit blyk dat hierdie brontekskenmerk slegs op ‘n lukrake wyse in ’n vertaling tot sy reg sal laat kom, tensy die duidelikheid van intertekstuele sinspelings as bewuste waarde in die vertaling uitgespel word. Bowendien, “sinspelingsvriendelike” vertaling sal teikenkulture vereis wat meer sinspelende Bybels wil hê. Vertalers, as “modellesers” hulself, sal die teenwoordigheid en funksie van sinspelings in die bronteks moet herken en die poging om hierdie in vertaling te verteenwoordig prioriteit maak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/95847
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