Translating to Share: An Enigmatical Compromise between Tradition and Treason
Keywords:Translation, Tradition, Treason, Compromise, Negotiation, Fidelity, Reversibility
Translating means transposing a text from a source language to a target language. This practice considers that languages are defined as discrete in a reality dominated by continuity: they apply arbitrary cuts that do not correspond among idioms. Quine defined the principles of translation’s indeterminacy: the perfect translation does not exist; each one starts from hypotheses to draw conclusions. A language is more than a vocabulary or a grammar as well as a translation is more than an interlinguistic exchange: they represent the combination between vocabulary and encyclopaedia. The term translation presents a lexical proximity with tradition but also with treason. We cheat in order to get into the text, adapting the piece and the source language to the reader and the target language. A mechanism, in literature, which not only considers ideas but also creativity. The aim is to create a parallelism between two cultural systems and transpose semantic differences and nuances of meaning. The translator is called upon to give evidence of his/her abilities to promote a fruitful dialogue between two systems. These theories guided me during my first translation into Italian of the novel Chamsa, fille du soleil: a linguistic challenge in the understanding of the original text and then a cultural one rewriting it, bringing the Arab world closer to Italian readers. Translation is therefore an act of betrayal, of textual separation, but also a rally point among communities, safeguarding diversity. Finding the compromise among these variations is the real headache of a good translator.
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