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The Politics of Translation

  • 13 Apr 2016
  • 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM
  • 745 Commonwealth Ave., Boston, Room 625

Building on her experience in translating a Turkish short story by Ayla Kutlu titled “The Moon and Water,” Prof. Micallef will examine the various polemical issues raised by the act of translating a literary text in light of theoretical issues raised by Umberto Eco in Experiences in Translation. She will also discuss the practical side of publishing the text. Choosing a text to translate is a matter of preference, and one must ask oneself: Why this text? Linguistically, Turkish is dramatically different from English. Is it possible to translate the language “faithfully” without being “literal” (Eco’s terminology)? The translator must make choices about style and content, and if working with a living author must also consider the author’s preferences. However, the translator presumably wants to be published and thus must also work with editors, journals, and peer reviewers. “The Moon and Water” was to be part of a projected collection of short stories by Middle Eastern women writers, which unfortunately never came to fruition. In this presentation, Prof. Micallef will also discuss the process of submitting a translation for publication and working with editors who may or may not know anything about the source language, author, or text.

 


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