Translation is stigmatized as a form of writing, discouraged by copyright law, deprecated by the academy, exploited by publishers and corporations, governments and religious organizations. Lawrence Venuti exposes what he refers to as the 'scandals of translation' by looking at the relationship between translation and those bodies - corporations, governments, religious organizations, publishers - who need the work of the translator yet marginalize it when it threatens their cultural values. Venuti illustrates his arguments with a wealth of translations from The Bible, the works of Homer, Plato and Wittgenstein, Japanese and West African novels, advertisements and business journalism.
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(234mm x 156mm x 14mm)
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Country of Publication:
UK Kirkus Review »
Although this polemic is chiefly targeted at universities and publishers, it contains much of interest to any general reader (except those of you who read everything in the original). The scandals of the title are not primarily the errors of translators, of whom the author is one, but the underrating of his profession and 'the scandalous conditions under which publishing decisions and literary evaluations are made with foreign texts'. Nearly half the world's annual translation output is from English, but translations account for only a few per cent of books published in English - the cultural effects of this discrepancy are often overlooked. Moreover, the foreign works chosen for translation tend to be ones that reinforce existing stereotypes about the foreign culture and do not jar domestic attitudes. Venuti also draws attention to the 'transindividual determinants' (linguistic, cultural and social factors) that affect a translator's choice of words. Too often a translation is praised - if it is noticed at all - for being 'transparent', when it cannot and, Venuti argues, should not be that. (Kirkus UK)
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