Lieber Daniel: Briefe an meinen Sohn (German Edition)

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Amazon Music Stream millions of songs. Amazon Advertising Find, attract, and engage customers. Amazon Drive Cloud storage from Amazon. Alexa Actionable Analytics for the Web. At first Rabassa thought it was a good idea, but then he changed his mind:. Later on, after the book had come out, I had second thoughts.

I came to think that perhaps confusion and fusion was meant to be part of the novel, showing how all members of our species look to apes or horses, who would have trouble distinguishing among yahoos. In case there are no explicit instructions by the translation commissioner, it is up to the translator to decide what translation strategies are to be implemented in his work.

This is a huge responsibility that is reflected on the different translation choices made by the translator throughout the target text. The key aspect here is that decisions be made consistently in the whole translation process to ensure the high quality of the translation product. An opposite view to this is held by representatives of the so called 'skopos theory' e.

Vermeer , who consider that the key factor in translation is not the communicative purpose of the author of STL, but the commissioner's instructions as to how the translation is to be performed and what textual transformation is called for.

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Obviously, within this perspective the textual transformation may be a translation or any other textual product such as an adaptation or a parody. The end justifies the means. I am not concerned here with any possible textual transformation of an original text as representatives of the skopos theory would like translation studies to be involved with, but only with what can be called translation proper.

The translator is not free to do whatever he likes. He is a prisoner:. And in keeping with the image, he must always be aware that in a very deep sense he is the prisoner of his author, convicted on any number of counts. But at the same time he must be a model prisoner, a trusty, willingly at the mercy of the text he is rendering and of all the turns it might take.

If not, he had best return to the original urge of writing something of his own inspiration and bust out. Two things are to be noted here. First, the translator's task is to re-create the original in the target language within the boundaries of what the original text actually says. In this sense, as Rabassa points out, the translator should re-write faithfully what is in SLT. Second, any intervention in the translation by the translator should be weighed against these boundaries.

In other words, the translator should refrain from modifying arbitrarily the contents of the original, its message i.

O Solitude by Catherine Millot

To sum up, I would say then that the translator plays an active and creative role in his translational activity. However, he also has to abide by some boundaries given by 1 what is said in the original, 2 the intended effect on the target audience, 3 the instructions of the translation commissioner and 4 the translation norms in effect in the target community. It was then that Rabassa put into practice his translation method: As can be seen in the above quotation, the first translation strategy Rabassa mentions is to translate as one reads for the first time.

This strategy would seem to contradict initial indications that appear in translation manuals for beginners. It is generally assumed that translation should have some kind of preparatory stage where the totality or at least the first paragraphs of the original are read.

This is done in order to get a 'feeling' of the text to be translated or to pinpoint any technical, unknown or difficult words to translate. How can then Rabassa's strategy be explained? This has to do with the specifics of reading a text for translation purposes. Whenever one reads a text it is done mainly for informative or aesthetic purposes, whereas when one reads a text for translational purposes a special type of reading is performed where an additional purpose is added: He is interested in finding out what lexical and syntactic choices have been made by the author of the original text and what specific communicative intention he had in mind at the time of writing.

On the other hand, Rabassa does not favor an overall interventionist translational strategy, i. In case the translator wants to express his own view, he should write his own text. However, respect of the original author's ideas does not mean literalness. Rabassa expresses a view I would call 'pragmatic' which intends to respect the original author's intention. For instance, commenting on the translation of Shakespeare's works, he claims that:. It is obvious that the translator will have to take liberties with the text in order to preserve the spirit of what Shakespeare 'wants to say' [ What the author 'wants to say' is what I call the communicative purpose of the text.

The guiding parameter to decode the original is a good understanding of its pragmatic dimension. Any required textual adjustments must be made at the lexical and syntactic levels taking into account the expressive means of the target language. The decoding of the communicative purpose of the original is twofold. On the one hand, an overall communicative purpose can be identified according to the text type. For instance, in the case of literary texts one tends to assume that they fulfil an aesthetic communicative purpose that intends to move the target audience and make it experience the world depicted in SLT.

On the other hand, this overall communicative purpose can be achieved only as the translator advances in his work of decoding the sequence of communicative purposes embedded in the original text. Problem solving is a general translation strategy that needs to be developed by translators as they advance in their professional activity. The competence to solve problems ensures that a translator can do his work as efficiently and as accurately as possible.

A series of steps can be identified in translational problem solving. The first step is to be able to state what the problem is about. One of the first problems Rabassa identified had to do with the translation of the novel's title: The second step in translational problem solving is to describe the problem: There is no hint in the title as to which it should be in English. We are faced with the same interpretive dilemma as the translator of the Aeneid as he starts off with Arma virumque cano.

A man or the man? By Latin standards it could be and is both. Virgil didn't have to decide but his translator must. In my case I viewed the extent of time involved as something quite specific, as in a prophecy, something definite, a countdown, not just any old hundred years. What is troublesome, of course, is that both interpretations are conjoined subconsciously for the reader of the Spanish, just as in the Latin example they are for the Romans.

But an English speaker reading Spanish will have to decide subconsciously which meaning is there. They cannot be melded in his mind. The final step is the present a solution: Also, there was no cavil on his part over the title in English" ibid. It is clear that Rabassa, in discussing the translational problem posed by the title, weighed up not only the original author's intent but also the TL readers' effect. This can also be seen in his analysis of another word of the title that turned out to be troublesome: The word in Spanish has the meaning of its English cognate but it also carries that of loneliness , bearing both the positive and the negative feelings associated with being alone.

I went for solitude because it's a touch more inclusive and can also carry the germ of loneliness if pushed along those lines, as Billie Holiday so eloquently demonstrated. As regards the translation of the novel's opening line, which plays such a crucial role in the development of the narrative, Rabassa also reflects on how he translated some key words: I chose remember over recall because I feel that it conveys a deeper memory.


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Remote might have aroused thoughts of such inappropriate things as remote control and robots. Also I liked distant when used with time" ibid. Finally, as to the translation of the original term 'conocer el hielo', Rabassa does a semantic analysis:.

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But to know ice just won't do in English. It implies, 'How do you do ice? When you get to know something for the first time, you've discovered it. Only after that can you come to come to know it in the full sense. An immediate consequence of Rabassa's stance towards respecting the original and its comprehensibility for the TL readership is his advocacy of using what we would call a foreignizing strategy when translating apparently 'untranslatable' terms, i.

For instance, in discussing the translation of Portuguese words 'jeito' and 'saudade', Rabassa considers that. These words are really only impossible when the concept behind them is hard to find in the second language and this is really what the translator is up against most of the time. Such words can be left in the original, thus giving the translation a deliciously exotic flavor which it should not have; or a footnote can be added. By not translating names we can at least maintain a certain aura of the original tongue and its culture [ Captain Roque Carnicero , which meant butcher.

In this case Rabassa applied a foreignizing strategy by keeping the term Carnicero in English, but added an explanation 'which meant butcher', intended for readers not familiar with the Spanish language. In French the captain's last name was not translated and, as its meaning is not transparent, an explanatory footnote was added carnicero: Meyer-Clason solved the problem in the German translation by translating the captain's last name into its German equivalent Fleischer.

A similar solution was also provided by the Russian translators by translating the captain's last name. The Portuguese translator had no inconvenience in leaving the captain's last name in Spanish as it is phonetically and graphemically very close to the Portuguese word for 'butcher' carniceiro. Another interesting case of the application of the foreignizing strategy has to do with the conservation of the names of the novel's main characters in the original spelling -albeit with minor adaptations- in all the translations.

This use of the original names by the translators allows for a clear evocation of the novel's Spanish origin:. In the next example, Rabassa and Mayer-Clason, the German translator, maintained the original word reales , which evokes the Spanish historical heritage depicted in some parts of the novel. The other translators adapted the word to the corresponding grammatical plural forms in their languages:. This foreignizing strategy is more difficult to maintain at the syntactic stylistic level. Unfortunately, there is no way we can preserve the grammatical structure of the original in a translation to show that this book was really written in Spanish or in Portuguese or whatever.

To do so would be to produce some kind of gibberish that would be unintelligible to both sides. At the same time, however, there ought to be some kind of under-current, some background hum that lets the English speaking reader feel that this is not an English book. This strategy has to do with the extent to which the stylistic peculiarities of the original have been respected and reproduced by the translators using the different stylistic resources available in their target languages.

O Solitude

The most important stylistic phenomena that could be perceived in the comparison between the original and the target languages texts is the use of what I have called 'fictionalizing strategy' i. In other words, the fictionalizing strategy consists in the use of a more 'literary or 'colorful expression' in the Target Language Text that does not appear with that stylistic mark in the original. This may correspond to a translational norm, according to which translators consider that the translation of a literary text should result in an 'actual' literary text.

As Rabassa , p. We are faced, then, still with the intangibles of translation; what makes one version better than another after the accuracy of both has been established? It can only be a felicitous choice of words and structure which not only conveys the meaning in English but enhances it by preserving the tone of the original.


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In fact, Rabassa did 'enhance' the Spanish original of One Hundred Years of Solitude by using an overall stylistic strategy. Whenever it was possible to render a Spanish word by two choices, either a word of Anglo-Saxon origin or another one from a Latin root, Rabassa tended to choose always the lexical entry from Latin origin, and in case there is another choice also from Latin origin that is not similar to the Spanish original, he would generally prefer the similar one.

This confirms the view we expressed above that Rabassa's overall translation strategy approached him very closely to a translation that respects the original's content at all times, but that when it comes to stylistic matters, it displays a clear foreignizing strategy, by using calques , that attempts to show English readers that the original was written in Spanish.

Let's see some examples:. These two examples clearly illustrate the overall stylistic strategy used by Rabassa that consists in calquing the original Spanish term whenever it was possible: This is achieved basically at the lexical level in as far as semantically related terms belonging to one single semantic network or field are recreated in the Target Language Text.

Rabassa paid special attention to this translational aspect. For instance, in the following example he maintains the religious allusion related to the origin of man by God, metaphorically transferred to the building of the houses in Macondo:. Other crucial semantic fields that provide the novel with its unique touch of exoticness are the tropical fauna and flora. The fauna used in the original and recreated in the translation into English and into the other languages help to portray a place inhabited by typical birds of Colombian rain forest regions:.

In a short time he filled not only his own house but all of those in the village with troupials, canaries, bee eaters, and redbreasts. The Colombian flora used in the novel helps to depict some of the common plants used for feeding purposes in the Caribbean region where most of the novel's plot takes place:. In this paper I have shown that Rabassa's views on the nature and definition of translation are still valid. The concept of equivalence as the defining feature of translation cannot be approached in mathematical terms. This means that it should be recognized that linguistic universals help to relate language to thought processes by verbalizing and categorizing the surrounding reality.

In this same sense, it should also be recognized that the same or similar meanings can be expressed by using different linguistic means available in typologically different languages around the world. The key aspect to bear in mind here is that translation is an equivalent i. As to the role of the translator, in Rabassa's approach the translator should 'have an ear in translating' that I understand as his competence to emulate the intended effect the translation is likely to have on the target audience. Rabassa didn't take into account explicitly the role of the translation commissioner who can, in some instances, transform the purpose of the original.

This is a notion representatives of the skopos theory would support but which I consider leads to the production of other texts not to be recognized as translations proper because the communicative purpose of the original has been completely obliterated and the original is not a source text but simply becomes a motif to produce a brand new text.

Special recognition should be given to Rabassa's stance that the translator has to always respect the original and in case he is interested in expressing his own views, he should write a text of his own. Many poststructuralist and postcolonial authors would disagree with Rabassa on this idea, as they would like the translator to intervene and interfere in the translated text as much as possible. As regards the translation strategies, Rabassa is able to perform a careful and thorough reading of the part of the original is going to translate to the extent that he can start translating immediately.

This thick reading I label 'surgical' as it goes beyond traditional and superficial readings and attempts to dismantle the original to see how it has been built. Likewise, the original's communicative purpose, what the author wants to say, should always be the key translating parameter. Translating is also undertaken by Rabassa as a problem solving activity.

He illustrated the application of this strategy in some translation problems of One Hundred Years of Solitude.