Robert David MacDonald, a German-speaking playwright, wrote the third text. Mutter Courage lends itself to this kind of study due to the diversity of versions in English. These were not considered for this analysis since relocation of a text involves a different type of rewriting, which would have detracted from the specific focus this study pursues. In addition, translations in- tended for the American stage were also disregarded due to the different cultural and political norms operating in the American theatre tradition, as well as the differences between British and American English.
Brecht was a poet as well as a playwright and theorist, and his language is more instrumental in achieving the full impact of his theatre than is often recognised. Even those who discern this feature of his work, such as John Willett, have not succeeded in fully replicating it. This is always the linguistic starting point. Will a translator observe the linguistic expression of Verfremdung, comedy and politics more than a two-tier writer working at one remove from the text?
The comparison of translations written by speakers of German with those composed via a so-called literal text by well-known British playwrights with no knowledge of German will con- tribute to this little-researched area of translation studies in isolating the effect of each approach on the creation of a British Brecht. In order to establish a framework in which this complex textual analysis can be undertaken, chapter 2 begins by outlining the lie of the land within the broad, but still developing field of translation studies.
This illustrates his perceived need for an epic theatre and its reception in the Germanies. This chapter reveals how, in the UK, Brecht came to be viewed by some as a Teutonic, didactic bore, and revered by others as the creator of a model subsidised theatre and a revolutionary dramatic mode. This chapter concludes by setting out the methodology to be employed in the TT analyses which follow. Chapters 5 and 6 encompass the textual analysis of the five selected English-language versions selected for this study. In each case, the playwright worked from a literal translation prepared by a speaker of German, since they did not have the necessary language skills to access the original themselves.
In the case of production texts, the role of the director in the production process will also be taken into consideration. If Brechtianism has been reduced to its visual aesthetic, and this is what practitioners aim to jettison in performance, together with the accompanying distanced acting style, is there anything of Verfremdung left in the language of the text? This also goes to the core of a key discussion in the field of drama translation studies, which debates the presence of performance information written into the text to be detected, interpreted and rewritten into the translation.
This is usually dismissed as impossible, since it would otherwise mean that each translation of a text would result in identical performances. Aside from the linguistic interest, these two points are of particular import in assessing the portrayal of a British Brecht. Critics express surprise when the productions make them laugh, and the two-tier translators pledge to make the play funny, their vocabulary suggesting that the play will need a make-over rather than it merely being necessary carefully to reproduce what is already there. This study will reveal how much comedy is retained, and how much additional humour, apparently suited to British audience tastes, is present.
The textual analysis reveals how the political agenda is undermined in the translation process. The discussion of both the replication of comedy and politics goes hand-in-hand with the analysis of linguistic Verfremdung, since distance is required for comedy to operate, as well as resulting from it, and distancing also allows the critical detachment required for the political message of the play to be appreciated.
There can be no such absolute value, not least because the re- peated demand for new translations and performances in the UK reflects the changing cultural and social demands theatre accommodates. If it did not, then the role which Brecht plays on the modern British stage is not a politically-motivated one. This section will briefly outline the three main schools of thought on translational approaches in the West, and through them, discuss the controversial principles of equivalence, faithfulness and invisibility. This will provide the background for the ensuing analysis of drama translation in order that the way in which translation for the theatre differs from the generalised literary norm may become patent.
The translational approach was informed by Jewish ideas on the power of the Word Kelly, , and the resulting texts were thus very literal: This type of extreme ST loyalty is also known as word-for-word translation, as it sees the lexical unit as the unit of translation, ignoring the greater semantic context. Such texts were not intended to be read as independent entities, and are still used today as pedagogical 1 It should be noted here that the following discussion deals only with the issues of literary translation. The theory on non-literary text types follows a different path, and although there is some overlap, the goals and thus approaches of the two are at variance with one another, as becomes clear in Chesterman and Wagner Because interlinear translation does not take the TL grammar into consideration, the foreign was always present in these glosses, often at the expense of comprehensibility.
Interlinear translation generated the controversial debate on linguistic equivalence. The term can be applied to various linguistic levels of the source and target languages and texts, such as the lexical, connotative, pragmatic or textual. The most problematic of these is equivalence pre- supposed in interlinear translation on the level of individual words or phrases, which suggests that there is such a thing as the tertium comparationis.
This supposed common ground between two languages ensures there is a TL expression for every expression translated from the source language SL , or at least some invariable against which each can be compared. It cannot, how- ever, ensure that the resulting TT will be understood by its audience in the same way that the ST would have been in the native culture, but this is not the concern of the linguistic equiva- lence approach. This extreme level of equivalence is now rare.
However, high ST equivalence is still commonly exercised in literal translation. In practice, literal translations rarely follow this ideal to the letter, providing instead a TL version of the ST, making changes only when absolutely necessary to adhere to TL grammar. This was the approach which was advocated by St.
Jerome 3 There are various implications for the status of the translator and his craft associated with direct equivalence — mainly the belief that all one needs for this type of translation is a dictionary and not necessarily any linguistic skill. Much has been written elsewhere on matters of status, not least by Lawrence Venuti a and thus will not be explained in any greater detail here.
Word-for-word translation is often seen as synonymous with literal translation, and sense-for-sense with free translation. However, later theorists, such as John Dryden, introduced a further division, whereby free translation came to mean what we would understand today as adaptation, and sense-for-sense translation, or paraphrase, as Dryden called it, was between the two extremes of free and word-for-word.
Today, literal translation is used for specific purposes rather than viewed as a genuine option for appropriate translation,6 as will be seen in the discussion of those texts produced by non-German-speakers in this study.
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At least in Western societies, it is now agreed that translation is about much more than slavish fidelity to a sacred and superior original, and it is also about more than just language. Moreover, ideology and poetics are cultural expressions which may become concrete in textual form, but Mary Snell-Hornby would take textual faithfulness a step further and argue in favour of culture itself as the unit of translation.
This meant that the resultant TT was a fairly free translation of the ST, conforming to the receiving Roman conventions rather than the Greek codes of its source. This type of translation, known as functional translation,9 is still common, as the concept of an untouchable source applies only to literary and sacred texts, although a degree of fidelity to the receiving culture is necessary in translating for the stage, as shall be explained later. It is now generally accepted that linguistic equivalence is not a valid criterion for TT assess- ment or a useful directive in TT creation.
However, the equivalence debate also operates on the textual level, which views linguistic items in a specific context and looks at intertextual relations between languages. This is a more realistic modus operandi than the chimeric notion of equiva- lence at the lexical level, but is still problematic in various areas. For example, translators often claim that their TT should have the same effect upon the receiving audience as the ST had upon its audience, but it is unclear how such effects can be measured or reproduced.
The final of the three models displayed here, which advocates a foreignising approach and is explained below, shows fidelity to ST con- ventions, which perforce challenges TC ones. A large volume of writing on equivalence-based theories of literary translation focusses on fidelity to the ST.
In this case, TT fidelity is synonymous with naturalisation, and can be widened to encompass Skopos theory, which centres on the function the TT is intended to 8 Romans were generally well educated and would have spoken Greek well Lefevere, , 15 , but Roman tastes differed from Greek sensibilities, thus plays were freely adapted into Latin Kelly, , Skopos theory, devised by Hans J. It postulates that translation is an action, and all action has a purpose and a result; the result of translation is the TT, or translatum.
In contrast to equivalence theories, Skopos theory sees the socio-cultural requirements of the receiving culture and the function of the TT in it as the informing princi- ples in the translation process. Criticism of Skopos theory asserts that it cannot apply to literary texts, which have no purpose as such, but do have a wealth of meaning and style neglected by the Skopos approach.
This neglect results from the focus on context and message rather than the finer subtleties of language: Critics also comment that there should be a check on what is a translation and what is an adaptation which corresponds to an ongoing debate in the field of theatre translation. In other words, the TT should be a vehicle which allows the TL audience to view the original text, its original source culture SC and language characteristics in a form comprehensible to them.
Rather than bringing the ST author into the receiving culture, the target audience should be taken abroad: Nevertheless, foreignising trans- lation has become popular in numerous cultures see, for example, Heylen, ; Hofstadter, ; Scott, The cultural clash inherent in foreignising reminds the spectator that he is watching his culture in transaction with another Marsh, , and is thus often consid- ered preferable to domesticating. This is achieved by naturalising not just the linguistic features of the text, but also any stylistic aberrations, and possibly, but not necessarily, any references to culturally specific realia, persons, events or similar.
The favourite metaphor for the ideal invis- ible translation is that of a pane of glass: These examples are not exhaustive, but are an indication of how pervasive this concept is in the field. These three models show different, but not mutually exclusive, approaches to literary trans- lation, on which there is no agreement and hence no rule book.
Prescriptive translation studies has sensibly restricted its energies primarily to the fields of interpreting and the translation of technical texts, which tend to be domesticated. It is extremely hard to generalise about translation across the board, even within one single genre, as approaches are also very much culture-bound. This study focusses on the sub-genre of theatre translation in the British tradition, and does not attempt to make broader statements about the field in general. Today, in descriptive translation studies, attention is properly devoted to an evaluation of the significance and the effect of the decisions made in the translation process, what informed them, 10 Foreignising has been resisted in the UK, not rejected.
A 19th-century trend saw the foreignisation of texts for a scholarly audience, and Ellis and Oakley-Brown , list Ted Hughes and Tony Harrison as contemporary foreignising translators. Foreignised texts tend to be produced for a specific usually scholarly or intellectually elite audience, and not the mainstream.
Thus translation analysis becomes an assessment of the function of the two texts, revealing a cultural window onto the receiving society. This functional approach demands that the context in which the TT is produced is taken into consideration. The context of the theatre provides us with a contained, yet complex environment in which to begin such an assessment.
However, the translational parameters of drama and theatre texts must first be examined, as these occupy only certain sections and subsections of the broader sphere of literary translation. The reasons proffered rest on a number of common conjectures. The most prevalent is the complexity of this particular type of translation;13 this is inherent in the dramatic genre itself, where the spo- ken text is only one of many visual and acoustic levels which culminate in a stage performance.
A second frequently-cited reason is the tension between page and stage in drama translation. Despite the advent of functional translation approaches, many studies still look at playtext trans- lation from a similar perspective to that of the translation of narrative texts, taking the textual level only into consideration, yet the function of these texts is performance and thus the effect of the TT on stage must also be taken into consideration.
Finally, it has been suggested that drama translation is a relatively new phenomenon, and this could also account for the limited number of studies on the matter. In order to focus more sharply on the particularities of drama translation as opposed to the translation of narrative genres, we will consider the latter two propositions in reverse order, before proceeding to a definition of the terminology of process and product appropriate to the translations to be discussed in this study. The examination of the translation of playtexts will reveal what it is about translating for the theatre that has prompted so many translations of Mutter Courage und ihre Kinder to be undertaken over a relatively short period in the UK, and will allow us to establish the assessment criteria for the case studies presented later in this study.
In her study, Time-Sharing on Stage: Drama Translation in Theatre and Society, Sirkku Aaltonen draws a distinction between drama translation and theatre trans- lation 4.
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With this development, drama TTs were first placed under similar scrutiny to TTs in literary genres which require fidelity to the source, whereas the theatre has traditionally taken an open and flexible approach to all forms of adaptation. There is thus some truth in the suggestion made by Farrell, an academic writing as a practi- tioner in the field, that one reason why there is less writing on the translation of drama than on that of other genres is because drama translation as such is a relatively recent development Far- rell, , This type of third-party translation by a monolingual playwright working from a literal pre- pared by a bilingual scholar17 has become common practice in the theatre, as this study will show, so the remoulding of a theatre text for a new culture is still practised, even if it can no longer be taken for granted and often incurs controversy.
The new phenomenon in drama translation is thus not the translation itself, but the assumption that playtexts should 14 The same terminology has been adopted in this study. This should be a warning to any translator who attempts to translate his plays without taking the performance dimension into consideration. They need not necessarily speak both as native tongues. There are significant differences between written and spoken texts, and between those intended to be read and those which will culminate in a performance.
Ownership and Fidelity The assimilation of material from a variety of sources may have been common practice in the theatre for centuries, but it has never been as widespread or accepted in the case of other literary texts, especially since the emergence of the notion of the ownership of the text. This arose in Europe in the 18th century when copyright was introduced. The traditional metaphor of the ideal translational act as an invisible pane of glass is implied. The resulting TT is posited as a true representation of the original, the only change being that it is now expressed in the TL.
A strict application of and adherence to this principle is misguided, as even the most faithful translation can never be an flawless TL representation of an ST: As playtexts considered to be cultural capital have begun to be treated as literature,20 it follows that foreign playtexts and their translation into a TL are subject to the same scrutiny as translations of narrative fiction and are produced according to similar principles.
However, although this may work in the limited number of closet drama cases, a blanket application of such criteria of faithfulness to all theatre 18 Copyright was first granted to authors in the English Statute of Anne in When I refer to drama as literature, this refers to a playtext which is available to be read rather than drama available for consumption by the public only as performance on stage.
Translating a drama text is less problematic than translating a performance text, as couching the ST in a TL is a similar process to the translation of narrative texts. Translating performance, on the other hand, is a complex and subjective undertaking, whose realisation and examination are both demanding and circumstantial. Therefore, issues concerning the tension between page and stage and the complexity inherent in translating for the stage overlap to a certain degree.
This discussion will begin by outlining the origins of theatre translation viewed from a literary perspective and judged using literary criteria, before moving on to an examination of first text and then performance in translation, concluding with an overview of the difference in aims and intentions of the literary and theatre translation project.
The Language Dimension Before the comparative field of translation studies emerged, playtexts were examined as part of literary or performance studies: Thus, the evaluative background of trans- lated playtexts as material for examination originates in literary criticism. For many reasons, the discussion of theatre translation from a literary standpoint is likely to result in critical conclu- sions.
Theatre practitioners translate differently: A script written by someone who customarily sees things written down, and a script by someone who sees things spoken and moved, are very dissimilar [. A literary scriptwriter and I will include academic translators in this title looks at the visual impact the words make on the page, the rhythm of the commas, the fullness and clarity of the sentences, and — possibly — the inclusion of visual word puns or witty side-references to other famous classical plays.
A theatrical scriptwriter is thinking in three dimensions, not two. How long does it take to speak a sentence out loud? This is compounded by the fact that the standard discourse of translation studies is a negative one of loss, distortion and betrayal, whereas the theatre thrives on the creative principle Hale and Upton, , 9 , which is at odds with the precepts of fidelity and the sacred nature of the owned text. It is not merely the application of the fidelity principle to theatre translation where there is a discrepancy between traditional translation studies and the theatre.
Literary translation stud- ies deals with immutable and complete texts, whereas in theatre translation, the translator and scholar still work predominantly with the playtext, yet the target audience receives and evalu- ates the text as performance. Brecht frequently made changes to his works precipitated by critical evaluation of performances: Thus the TT in the case of a literary text is fixed, and once published, as immutable as its ST, whereas the source and product of the translation of a performance text remain flexible and open to change.
Comparative ST — TT textual analysis as applied to narrative texts is appropriate to their immutable form, but the same measures of fidelity cannot universally apply to performance texts. Nevertheless, the textual faithfulness vs. Even though the dialogue is only one of a number of semiotic layers in a play, it is still generally per- ceived as the central one.
The logocentric tradition in British theatre dates back to Elizabethan times, when the play moved away from its improvisational origins. As soon as theatre texts were written down and classed as literature, they became subject to similar treatment to other narrative forms as regards the principles of ownership and fidelity. Such control is not only exercised posthumously: Despite a tendency to treat the textual level of a performance text in a similar way to other narrative forms, the differences between the two are manifold.
Not only must the performance text be held in a different regard concerning its position within a complex whole, but the lan- guage of the text itself is different to that of a narrative. Spoken language operates according to different conventions from written language, which is more stable and less likely to be lo- cally coloured.
The rhythm of the language must also be different. Anthony Vivis , identifies dramatic rhythm as: Spoken language involves re- dundancy and is accompanied by visual elements such as gesture Aaltonen, b , and thus its translation demands the application of different methods to the translation of narrative texts. Johnston c , for example, warns against too much caution in translating dialogue. Local colouring and the degree of national and cultural linguistic markers present even in standard spoken language should also not be underestimated, as Bassnett-McGuire exemplifies: He cannot compensate for culture-specific nuances by inserting descriptive adjectives or explanatory footnotes.
The dialogue is all the translator has. Stage dialogue is a stylised form of spoken language, which is problematic to translate for numerous reasons. First, it dates much faster than written language. Archaisms, outdated connotations and topical references must be handled with care. If the ST is written in a local dialect, the translator is often left in a lose—lose situation. A corresponding TL dialect may help retain some connotations of the ST but would possibly distort meaning in doing so, as associated cultural and social markers are 23 This phrase has been adopted from Roman Jakobson For further comment on translating expletives across cultures, see also Eivor Martinus , and, for interesting anecdotes on how to deal with archaisms, J-A.
Likewise, John Clifford, referring to Lorca, notes that: For here, more than any other medium, we are not just translating words. Words in a dramatic text are not an end in themselves; they are a kind of scaffolding on which the actor constructs his or her performance. And what counts are not just the words themselves, but the gaps between the words. The feeling behind the words. What is left unsaid matters as much as what is said: If a translator is to detect all of these and their intended effects on the stage from the written ST alone and reproduce the full package faithfully in the TT, judicious use of a dictionary or even fluency in the SL and TL is not sufficient.
Focussing on paralinguistic elements is one way in which translation scholars have attempted to identify a concrete connection between text and movement, if not text and performance. In performance, the dialogue is merely one of a range of semiotic layers which convey meaning to the audience; if the dialogue could stand alone, the audience would be watching a recital and not a performance. In narrative texts, the text itself is the only level of communication and thus is inevitably of core significance.
Accordingly, we may expect to encounter a higher degree of precise linguistic correspondence between ST and TT than may be the case with a playtext. However, in practice, this depends upon the aim of the translation project and reminds us of the tension between text and performance once more: Pirandello felt he could control the world he created on the page, but knew it would have to pass through the interpretative filters of the other agents in the production process before it reached his audience as performance.
The per- formance dimension is multifaceted and the earliest work on the analysis and definition of the semantic layers of theatre performance was undertaken by members of the Prague Linguistic Circle in the s. This indicates the cen- trality of the text in the dramatic process, but more recent work by semioticians such as Tadeusz Kowzan and Anne Ubersfeld builds on the work of the Prague School and clarifies that the text is merely one element of the whole experience where there is no hierarchy of levels see Niko- larea, , for a detailed comparison of their views. Ubersfeld comments that the written text is incomplete without performance and that the two cannot be separated Nikolarea, , I.
The fact that a drama text is considered incomplete until performed is one of the main factors which distinguishes drama translation from other forms of literary translation and the role of performance in the translation process has generated a heated debate on what can realistically be expected of the theatre translator. There has been criticism, not without a hint of sceptical incredulity, of the fact that he is expected to sit at his desk and imagine a hypothetical per- formance of the TT he is writing.
Especially in the case of plays from an earlier period, but also in the case of more modern texts, the response of the original native audience member upon seeing a performance cannot be reconstructed with any degree of certainty. There are too many unknown variables, even before we take into consideration the personal interpretative filter through which each spectator receives any such performance. In imagining the hypothetical ST performance, the translator must imagine the work of the 26 See Link for an examination of different levels of interpretation in creating and receiving performance.
This polyphony is an intrinsic element of performance and performance texts, not present in other standard literary forms Aaltonen, The same is true for a TT published after performance, where we cannot know what was penned by the translator and what was added or cut due to a directorial directive or similar. Don Taylor in Aaltonen, b, 56—7 illustrates three different types of director.
In the theatre, however, there has never been direct communication between playwright and audience, so the genre is more tolerant of medial interpretation, whether in the form of translation or otherwise. If we assume for a moment that the drama translator can, in some way, reproduce the effects of the ST in the TT, how are these effects recorded in the text in order to be translated into that experience on stage in the receiving culture?
In the same article, he also mentions the importance of considering paralinguistic elements in translating. Unfortunately, such terms are rarely defined and so a direct comparison of views is problematic. There is no doubt that there is more to performance than just the text, but since indicators as to what shape this should take are largely subjective, many questions are left open: What role does the translator have in all of this?
Can or should text and performance be completely divorced, each falling under the remits of two separate, and often independent professionals? Susan Bassnett has long ruminated on performability. She first takes up the issue in her ques- tionnaire of theatre practitioners in , where she poses the question of whether there is a difference when translating for the page or the stage. She believes that there is, but the practi- tioners disagree Bassnett-McGuire, b. She later opines that the paralinguistic elements of a text, particularly deixis, are the key to transferable performance information between ST and TT as outlined above, but, in , finally concludes that it is, in fact, impossible to encode an acting subtext into a TT Bassnett, , as the multi-layered elements of a play cannot cross cultural boundaries, since gesture is culture-specific.
Presumably, the pressure to be faithful to the ST makes translators feel such excuses are necessary. Together with the issue of how much performance in- formation should be made available in a text and whose job it is to put it there, this takes us back to the issue of fidelity to the ST author versus a duty to the TC audience, now extended 29 See, for example, Pavis , Should the TT performance reflect the original performance of the ST, if this is at all possible, or must any TT be performed according to contemporary TC theatrical conventions anyway?
Indeed, assuming that the author of the ST expected his work to be performed according to contemporary conventions, there would have been no need to encode superfluous performance instructions in the text Link, , 25 , thus such information may not be present to be translated.
Descriptive studies of plays in trans- lation quickly come up against their limitations when discussing performance, and, unfortu- nately, this study will be no exception. The TT is already complete and thus the starting point for inves- tigation is the finished text rather than an observation of the decisions taken in the translation process and their justification. If a performance is analysed, any observations made have only limited validity as each production is a new reading of the text and as such, a singular metatextual comment on the work Batty, He felt it was necessary because he aimed precisely to challenge the theatrical conventions of the time as well as to counter the inherent instability of the drama text.
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In addition, Brecht wrote numerous plays in exile and so did not always know on which stage, or even in which culture they would be performed. The TT can be said to represent for the director what the literal provides for the rewriter, and thus it should include as much information as possible so that the director is in a position to make informed decisions on nuances of portrayal. Some translators are no longer alive to describe their approach or intention, if this was not already recorded during their lifetime.
Beyond that, we can only hypothesise about the performance, just as the translator himself does in creating TT from ST. Attempts are being made to overcome these shortcomings, such as the Platform project see Aaltonen, b, for details which considers process, performance and reception alongside ST and TT Aaltonen, a, This more comprehensive approach should produce less subjective results in the future.
It is generally accepted that the most basic description of the process is that the translator translates the text from its SL into the TL, and the director translates the resulting TT from page onto stage. It is rarely as simple as that. The translation process in general is often narrowly viewed as the conveyance of meaning from one language to another. In drama, this meaning must not only be immediate, but it is also accompanied by emotion Pulvers, and it is this factor which, more often than not, places priority on the requirements of the target audience over any notion of absolute fidelity to the ST author.
The degree to which the translator disregards ST characteristics in favour of accommodating his intended audience is one of the focuses of this study. When does translating for the stage become adaptation rather than translation, and what are the reasons behind and consequences of such shifts? Just as the written text is subject to change at any stage in the theatre process, be that during rehearsals, a performance run or between productions, the variables of theatre are also open to change to a much greater extent than literary variables are.
Like the literary text, literary variables remain relatively constant. The parameters of theatre play an inevitable role in the translation of theatre texts, as does the position of theatre in the receiving and source cultures. The creative process is advocated in theatre translation, albeit to different degrees in different cultures, and thus the translator should be a confident contributor to the performance process, not a slave to linguistic equivalence.
Johnston c emphasises the creative role of the translator, stating that: At the heart of the creation of the playable translation is a dramaturgical remould- ing, because such a remoulding creates the vehicle which transports — the root of the meaning of the verb to translate — the audience into the experience of the play. In other words, rather than giving new form to an already known meaning, trans- lation for the stage is about giving form to a potential for performance.
As with so many things in theatre translation, however, the picture is not clear: The translator as dramaturg must be aware of theatre variables when writing a TT, just as the ST playwright was in creating the original. The demands placed upon the TT for a specific performance can be manifold, from adapting the setting of the text to a specific time and place to catering for a certain size and style of stage.
Other literary translation forms can be affected by ideology, but the practical considerations present in performance are absent. This does not mean that the play can never be performed again in the future, but a text conceived for a particular context and purpose is tightly bound to those circumstances, and thus any rewriting must involve change on all levels, not just the linguistic one. Hence, theatrical norms and parameters must be considered both when looking back at the ST and forwards to a potential TT.
Theatrical norms are culture-specific, and thus in addition to the action of the play itself, the form and mode of performance render a playtext culturally loaded on multiple levels. The translation of drama texts thus demands that a great distance be covered in the cultural reloca- tion of the ST into the TC. Performance is an immediate art form: Therefore, cultural relocation is a more pressing requirement than in other literary forms, where a foreignising TT may act as a window through which the original work can be seen. Venuti has suggested that drama translation cannot be judged using traditional linguistic models of translation, since these view language as independent of its cultural and social context a, 25 , yet precisely these contexts are so tightly bound to all levels of a performance text that they cannot be separated from the linguistic level and thus a different approach must be adopted.
Not all discussion of the performance dimension concerns performance texts. Closet drama 38 This applies to performance texts only. Closet drama has no need to take the semiotic levels of performance into account and thus the two types of text must be treated differently in the process of translation and in analysing the subsequent TTs. Difficulties do, however, arise in the precise definition of a closet text. Consequently, not all performances are generated from performance texts. If we adhere to the view expounded above, that a performance text cannot contain performance information, then it would be fair to ask why a distinction needs to be drawn between performance and closet texts: In his introduction to Stages of Translation, David Johnston agrees with Eric Bentley that closet drama does have a function and that significant STs should exist in both closet and performance form, but adds: Playtexts are often commissioned for a particular production, and the selection of specific texts is prompted and determined by the receiving culture and thus aims and intentions are culture-specific.
It is not only closet drama texts which are conceived without a specific production in mind; as with other literary forms, some playtexts are translated as a result of personal enthusiasm for a work or playwright. Different approaches to drama translation depending on motivation are another area in which drama translation differs from that of other literary forms, at least according to translation scholars. All three categories depart from the conventions of traditional literary translation processes, and all three will be discussed in the case studies examined in this study alongside adaptations, which are outlined below.
Its complexity is further compounded by adaptations, and acculturation. Of the texts examined in this study, three so-called translators worked from a literal version because they do not speak German and thus had no other means of accessing the ST. The ideal of a literal translation reproducing the ST in the TL without making any changes in meaning is utopian, as complete parallelism between any two languages does not exist. The literal transla- tor is a reader like any other, and thus makes judgements, which are recorded in the literal from which the monolingual playwright subsequently works.
Eivor Martinus believes that literal translation should be restricted to the realms where it cannot be avoided, such as in simultane- ous interpretation. She feels that a literal translation for a non-linguist to re-work is inadequate as it is a translation of content, but not form, and is thus incomplete. All of these challenges of literal translations occur within a discussion of the need to differentiate between 41 This is one of numerous cases where scholars and practitioners disagree.
Chesterman and Wagner discuss such discrepancies, although in the context of non-literary translation. As soon as a different theatre or company wishes to perform the work, the parameters change and so must the text. Amongst scholars, this approach is a controversial one. In the following argument, adaptation will be used as the general term for TTs which depart from translation proper. See Willett for details. Their citation of extracts from various contemporary reviews illustrates an acknowledgement of the process by which the alien source material has been relocated within the cultural experience of the new target audience, in terms of both dramatic form and thematic resonance.
Whether such a process of domestication represents an undue betrayal of the source, or due recognition of the target, is a matter of opinion. Linguistic fidelity is neglected, as he places a premium on rhythm rather than meaning. Because for spectators who have no access to the ST the TT is the original, many practitioners urge caution in making radical changes and still labelling the play a translation.
However, there is a lack of a standard terminology for the different translation and adaptation methods, and even a lack of agreement on what form each of these might take. In addition, due to the misleading assumption that theatre texts can be treated as literature, descriptions of theatre translation have been couched uncomfortably in ill-defined or ill-definable terms from the field of prose translation, whereas in fact, an entirely different branch of terminology would not only clarify the current confusion, whereby spectators assume a theatre translation is based on the same principles as a narrative one, but would also make clear the distinction between these two disciplines and their respective demands.
Until such terminology can be clearly defined and established, ambiguity and deception, however unintentional, are inevitable.
The fidelity principle aims to avoid loss, and precisely this idiom of loss, so at odds with the principles of the theatre and performance, is used to lament the treatment of the ST in two-tier translations. This is ironic considering that the main justification for commissioning a rewrite rather than a translation is for its emphasis on writing for the stage rather than producing a text-focussed product. And it is not impossible to attain. Working on the basis of the terminology currently used in criticism, such 47 Recent suggestions are many and varied, and that is precisely the problem: Until a standard terminology is adopted, the discussion threatens to remain focussed on labelling rather than concentrating on translation itself.
In this study, I have consciously adopted what I consider suitable terms suggested elsewhere to consolidate what already exists rather than devising new labels, which would only exacerbate the situation. It goes without saying that innovations need their own vocabulary, but this has not been necessary here. Translation terminology overview 2. As can be seen in Figure 2. However, creating a two-tier translation is a monolingual process, despite it being dressed up in terminology which suggests the opposite: The background to this is based partly on the fidelity principle, although it is primarily expressed in terms of accuracy.
Such disparate views suggest that there is not only a lack of agreement, but also of com- munication between two-tier writers and those who discuss their output. The field of theatre translation seems to be rather unresponsive in this respect. In a synthetic process in which each agent can benefit from the expertise of the others, there is a greater chance of the result success- fully balancing the demands of fidelity and creativity, of loyalty both to the original text and to the target audience.
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In this utopian scenario, the need to differentiate between a translation and an adaptation could become redundant, as an amalgamation of the two would then be the norm. In such a situation, a literal translation would no longer be necessary, and this would be welcomed by many for a variety of reasons. Some rewriters do not believe that literals are necessary even without co-operation.
Ranjit Bolt explains how he translated Arturo Ui, despite not being fluent in German: It was a nightmare working on Ui, because I had to prepare this plodding version first, going through the German dictionary, looking up more or less every other word at first, and gradually getting a bit better at it. I thought on balance I was pursuing the right course, rather than having someone else prepare a literal which just places one more barrier between you and the spirit of the original. This approach, which is a further variation on what we have seen thus far and blurs the distinc- tion between two-tier texts and translation proper, still acknowledges that a lack of linguistic competence renders a full understanding of the ST impossible.
Without a fully informed un- derstanding of the original, informed decisions on rendering the nuances of the TT cannot be made. However, as long as the TT is labelled a translation, the audience assumes that in- formed decisions have been made, hence the need to apply descriptive terminology designed to distinguish a translation from other approaches. There are few arguments against drawing this distinction, the only cogently-formulated rea- soning is that it is impossible to be wholly faithful either to the ST or the target audience, thus any TT will always be a mixture of both Bassnett-McGuire, ; Pimlott and Sams, ; Bassnett, Even if we do identify sub-categories of translation and adaptation on a con- tinuum between the two, knowing where to draw the line in each case is a different matter entirely.
Despite that, conceding that any one approach cannot necessarily be wholly adhered to does not change this multiplicity: In the discussion of translation-adaptation difference, only limited space is devoted to iden- 50 See Dear , for example. Inconclusive debate focusses on when a translation is no longer a translation, leaving a myriad of options open as to what then these non-translations are. The second level in the hierarchy of figure 2. This is analogous to the translation-adaptation discussion, where the term adaptation is arbitrarily applied.
This vagueness means defining what falls into each of the categories in the lowest layer is problematic, not only because there is little agreement over what belongs where, but also because without accurate labelling, the audience does not know what treatment the play underwent in the translation process.
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Focussing almost exclusively on this polarity also means that there is precious little discussion of the level below. Despite the widespread observation of not knowing where to draw the line between one cat- egory and the next Bassnett-McGuire, ; Clark, ; Bassnett, ; Aaltonen, b , some suggestions have been made as to what constitutes an adaptation.
The majority are cen- tred around precisely the fidelity-creativity polarisation Aaltonen is so cautious about. Johnston a sees translation and adaptation at opposite ends of the fidelity pole, but also comments that some adaptation is inevitable to make an ST performable on the TC stage Examples of further studies on this topic regarding texts from a wealth of cultures are too numerous to list here. The nature of the changes necessary to make a TT acceptable to its target audience are numer- ous, and often unspecified. In extreme cases, this can result in a distortion of the ST and perception of the foreign playwright.
Link calls the extreme of this type of adaptation rewriting, where the TT is an interpretation of the story of the ST, not of the text itself. Acculturation and Adaptation The history of translation in the UK shows a resistance to foreignising and a reliance instead upon TT fluency, as Venuti has shown. Somewhere between the extremes lies accul- turation, whereby culturally-bound terms of reference in the ST are made neutral.
If complete fidelity to the ST is impossible, then all TTs must involve some acculturation, even if it is just in the TC-influenced interpretative filter of the translator creating a foreignising TT. Many critics see acculturation as especially inevitable, or at least tempting, in the field of theatre translation, where the effect must be immediate Heylen, ; Anderman, ; Aaltonen, b. For this reason, acculturation is not necessarily a marker of conscious adaptation in theatre translation, where adaptation refers to a departure from translation proper.
If theatre translation TTs are a hybrid between the two extremes of fidelity and target-audience oriented versions, they can also represent that form of the translated ST which is faithful to the original whilst still being understandable in the receiving culture. If this type of text were classed as an adaptation, no translation at all would be possible for the stage, only the page. The fluency tradition has informed British theatre for centuries, thus strengthening the ten- dency, which in turn, informs new translations. Gooch laments the effect of this: The problem arises when there can be no compromise, as the ST includes culture-specific topical or political references, or makes use of objects or practices specific to its source culture.
Changes are even necessary when performing a British play in the US or vice versa Glaap, , or within the same culture if a socially relevant play written in the past is to be revived for a modern audience Redmond, It appears that this is a peculiarly British phenomenon. Hale and Upton remark that adap- tations in which two-tier texts are implied have a higher status than translations in the UK, and Clark notes adaptations have a higher status in the UK than elsewhere in Europe.
John Willett believes it is possible to write a good TT if assimilation of the ST is not taken to an extreme: Acculturation need not take place only on the content level, but in style and form as well. Interestingly, Brecht is a commonly quoted example of this, as the principles of epic theatre are often at odds with established practices in the receiving culture.
Opinion on changes such as those outlined above is divided. Some object to cases in which changes are made under the guise of playability and a need to make cultural changes. Farrell wonders what the point is of translating a foreign author if there is nothing left of his work once the TT has remoulded it beyond recognition. This is a fair question to which she does not suggest an answer.
Dario Fo has undergone similar treatment to Chekhov, the social and political references in his works being replaced by fictive comedy. There have been various theories posited on how such cases can be handled, but none are conclusive, as there can be no rule book for translation of this sort. It is most commonly the social environment which is forced into the background, if it still appears at all. Roger Pulvers opines that is it not only the translator who should be familiar with the historical and cultural context of the ST, but this should be expected of the director and actors as well.
This can occur in two-tier texts where the playwright is a representative of his own language, culture, and theatre tradition, but has no connection to the SL or its culture. Misunderstandings and refractions coupled with a lack of social and historical context lead to polarised interpretations. Polarisation is another form of foregrounding, but the narrowest form, often not just highlighting one area amongst the other facets of the work, but possibly omitting them to emphasise the desired feature. Polarisation may not even be deliberate, but simply result from ignorance as the translator does not have full access to the nuances of the ST.
Another factor to influence the degree of deliberate acculturation in a TT is how well the ST playwright is known in the UK. There are advantages and disadvantages to translating a new author: Preparing new ground usually means the translation will be close to the ST to provide as authentic a view of the work and its author as possible. Despite the prevalent support of the careful treatment of new works, Hale and Upton note several examples of two-tier texts on the London stage in of which they ask: These plays both two-tier texts were fully naturalised rather than acculturated, as they involve cultural relocation.
Thus it appears that either well-known or almost unknown STs are most likely to undergo extreme acculturation, that is domestication, in two-tier texts. The opposite extreme, which resists acculturation, is foreignisation. Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography. Learn more at Author Central. Popularity Popularity Featured Price: Low to High Price: High to Low Avg. Dem Andenken eines Freundes: Available for download now.
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