Basic Propositions

Translation (except in the recombinant DNA context) refers to taking a document in one language and rewriting it in another. While rendition of speech from one language to another is popularly referred to as “translating,” this is actually in many ways a different task, and has its own term: interpretation.

In the following, I’ll sketch out some of my own thoughts on translation, gathered, variously assembled, and dismantled in my 9 years as a translator, and try to give an idea of what I see as the task of the translator and the difficulties of translation. Among these, I will include (1) the mental operation that produces a translation (at least when I’m the one doing the translating), (2) the scope of translation, or the limitations on what translation can achieve, and(3) “untranslatables.”

The Thought Process

A lot of people assume that translation can be done by anyone with a dictionary, simply by looking each word up. Before continuing, let’s pause to have a look at what results this “theory” of translation yields:

§3 Allgemeines Bürgerliches Gesetzbuch
Die Wirksamkeit eines Gesetzes und die daraus entspringenden rechtlichen Folgen nehmen gleich nach der Kundmachung ihren Anfang; es wäre denn, daß in dem kund gemachten Gesetze selbst der Zeitpunct seiner Wirksamkeit weiter hinaus bestimmt würde.
{note: unusual spellings in original are due to early 19th Century Austrian orthography}

Dictionary “Translation”

§3 General Bourgeois Lawbook
The effectiveness of a law and the from there jumping out legal consequences take equally after the announcement their beginning; it would be because that in the announced law itself the time point of his effectiveness further outward was determined.

Frighteningly, there are those of my colleagues who apparently subscribe to this “theory,” and make my proofreading work that much more exciting. Since we’ve got an example handy, I’ll use that as the jumping-off point for my discussion of my own thought process in translating (and, I suspect, that of the majority of my colleagues who do not write gibberish).

The first question I ask is: What sort of text is this? This is essential, as the same word can have a multitude of meanings depending on the context (look up set or run sometime in the latest Random House Dictionary).

Among other things, Wirksamkeit can mean “effectiveness,” “efficacy,” “effect,” “ enforceability.” It’s worth noting that several of these possible meanings are possible even within the legal field alone. We speak of an enforceable contract as wirksam. Die Wirksamkeit einer Erklärung, however, does not refer to the enforceability of a declaration; it refers to the effectiveness of a declaration, notice, etc. (e.g. a notice of termination). When a statute provides “Dieses Gesetz wird am Tage nach seiner Verkündung wirksam,” however, we are referring to the law “taking effect,” on its “effective date.”

Here, we are dealing with a statute, namely the Austrian General Civil Code. This knowledge will shade my interpretation of every word and phrase in the text. For example, the dictionary “translation” above translated bürgerlich as “bourgeois.” This is not, strictly speaking, incorrect. If we were translating a sociological, historical, or Marxist text, this would most likely be the rendering of choice. In a legal text, however, bürgerlich means “civil.”

Having determined what sort of text I’m translating, my next step is to read the text. This may seem obvious, but it’s easy to skim over things and miss words like “not,” “which,” “and,” or “or,” which can change everything:

Come out with your hands up and we’ll shoot!

So careful reading of the text is essential. It also allows the translator to begin to get a preliminary grasp on what the text is saying and begin to start dealing with the actual translation. I also begin making mental notes and asking questions – are there any words that are unclear? Any strange grammatical constructions? Any stylistic peculiarities? If I find any, I write them down, and either look them up or ask someone else who might know. Once I’ve gotten a handle on the original, I start thinking about the actual translation.

With this text, which is written in the style and orthography of 19th Century Austrian legal texts, one of my first considerations will be style. Should the style of the era be reflected in the translation? Unless I’m translating the text for incorporation in a literary or other similar work, the answer will most likely be no. If I’m translating something like this, it’s usually so that 21st Century English-speaking lawyers will be able to understand what 21st Century Austrian lawyers are trying to say. There’s no need to complicate things unnecessarily just because it might be fun to try my hand at period English.

Having disposed of that consideration, I will next start the actual translating process. Ultimately, it will come out something like:

§3 General Civil Code
Statutes, and any legal consequences arising from their operation, shall take effect immediately after their promulgation, unless the promulgated statute provides for a later effective date.
In translating this statute, one of the first problems is “die daraus entspringenden rechtlichen Folgen”. Daraus is a da-compound, in which a preposition is applied to a pronoun representing some antecedent. Antecedents are important. While it would not make terribly much difference here whether the legal consequences (rechtliche Folgen) arose (entspringend) from the statute (Gesetz) or its operation (Wirksamkeit, in a dual role), sometimes it does. At any rate, making sure that daraus refers back to the correct antecedent is essential to a correct translation. Given the subject of the original (Die Wirksamkeit, the effect or operation) and the location of the clause (directly following Die Wirksamkeit eines Gesetzes, the effect of a statute), it appears clear that the legal consequences are arising out of “the operation of a statute.”

The next thing is the use of the present tense. German-language legislative drafting generally uses present tense when English drafting would not. Here, for example, “Die Wirksamkeit…und die…Folgen…nehmen… ihren Anfang.” This is a prospective, mandatory statement. § 3 of the General Civil Code mandates that they take effect immediately after promulgation. Thus, in English, I render this with “shall,” the buzzword for mandatory provisions. The same thing would apply if I were translating from English to German. In German, the future tense “shall/will” would seem strange, given that it has more of a predictive feel to it. It is just this sort of consideration that makes dictionaries at best a starting point in translation, and not always a very good one.

This also explains why many translations are much longer or shorter than the original text. For example, the original here is 39 words long, and the translation only 30. Often, one language needs fewer words to get across the same idea.

The Scope of Translation and “Untranslatables”

Translation has limits. Translation is most useful, and most precise, when the source and target languages are closely related or have a certain degree of parity of expression, by which I mean that the idiomatic expressions and grammatical constructions of the two languages closely parallel each other. The less two languages have in common, the more risk there is that important things won’t make it across the language barrier. A Spanish-Portuguese translation will likely emerge virtually unscathed; a Japanese-Italian translation, on the other hand, might not fare so well. Much as “hard cases make bad law,” “hard texts make bad translations.”

Another issue that can often throw a big spanner into the works is that of words that are specific to a particular country, culture, region, group, etc., or have strong cultural connotations.These words are often the ones described as “untranslatable.” For example, in Japanese, tatami refers to the ubiquitous floor mats used as carpeting in Japanese homes. English has no word of its own that readily brings to mind the image of tatami, much less the important cultural connotations. There is an expression: Tatami no ue de shinu (to die on tatami). Its meaning goes well beyond the plain language, however. Tatami here is a metaphor for the comforts of a Japanese home, and the image of “dying on tatami” refers to the desire to die in one’s homeland.

Similarly, many languages have features that do not exist in other languages. These features often provide a great deal of meaning. Pronouns are a case in point. Many Indo-European languages have pronouns not present in English, e.g. du/Sie (German), tú/vos/usted (Spanish), tu/vous (French), du/De (Norwegian/Danish), to/shomâ (Farsi), tum/aap (Hindi/Urdu), or anata/kimi/ anta /omae/ kisama/ ware/ temee/ sochira (Japanese, not Indo-European, but still a good example). Each of these pronouns means “you;” however, each has its own particular connotation, and gives a great deal of information about such things as context, respect of the speaker for the interlocutor, degree of intimacy, etc. The connotations of these words are not easily reproduced in English, and can reasonably be called “untranslatable” due to the vast amount of lexical information that is lost.

Willst du ‘ne Tasse Kaffee (German)
¿Le apetece un café?(Spanish)
Temee, koohii nomitee ka? (Japanese)

The meaning of these sentences is, superficially, the same: Do you want coffee? However, each sentence in the original tells us a great deal about the terms of the relationship between the speaker and the interlocutor.

The German sentence uses the familiar du and abbreviates eine to ‘ne. This tells us, without more, that the speaker is on friendly, or at least familiar, terms with the interlocutor, that they are related, of the same age, or have known each other long time. German summarises all of these concepts by saying that they are per Du.

The Spanish sentence uses the formal usted (a contraction of vuestra merced, “Your Mercy”). This tells us that the speaker may wish to show the interlocutor particular respect, is a business associate or other non-social acquaintance, is a subordinate of the interlocutor, or is from the Antioquía, where usted is used more broadly than in the rest of the Spanish speaking world.

The Japanese sentence tells us even more. Firstly, we can tell that the speaker is probably yakuza or a similar underworld type. Moreover, the speaker obviously holds his (this speech pattern is almost exclusively used by men) interlocutor in contempt. Calling someone temee is the pronominal equivalent of hacking phlegm in the interlocutor’s face. This is confirmed by the nomitee ka (drink-volitional interrogatory), which is the plainest possible form for this question.

None of this information can adequately be expressed in an English translation without completely obliterating the original text

The Translator's Task

What, in light of all the limitations and concerns I've described above, is the translator's job? This is a subject of considerable debate, to which I hope to contribute the following.

I see the translator's job as being similar to that of a judge. There is a clear analogy to be drawn between statutory construction and translation. Unlike an author or a legislator, who is writing on the tabula rasa, the translator, like a judge, is not expressing her own ideas. Instead, the first task of translators and judges is to figure out exactly what the author (legislature) meant. The question is not what the author should have said. Nor is it the translator's job to modify the content of the original.

I once got into a debate with a professor of mine over the translation of the dedication of a book by an editor. The editor expressed his Ehrfurcht of the addressees of the dedication. Ehrfurcht means awe. However, my professor was of the opinion that this should be rendered as "respect," because "an American editor would never admit to being in 'awe' of anyone." In other words, the translator should attempt to reformulate the content of the original author's words in order to fit what a similarly situated person in the country in which the target language is spoken would say. I believe this leaves far too much discretion to translators. A rule of thumb such as this is useful when no adequate rendering of the original word is available. However, where there is an accurate translation of a word or expression, a translator should not substitute her judgment for that of the author. If the author had meant "respect," the author knows how to say Hochachtung. If the author says "awe," then we say "awe."

While I firmly believe that the best translations come from texts that leave little or no discretion to the translator, most texts do not fit this category. When terms are ambiguous or translations are unclear, the translator must, of necessity, use some discretion. There, it is perfectly appropriate to think in terms of how a native speaker of the target language would express a concept. The translation must not seem translated. If a literal translation of the plain language of the original leaves an awkward, odd-sounding text that does not ring true to native ears, then the translator can and should be creative.

However, once creativity comes into play, the translator must be even more vigilant than before. We must never lose sight of the fact that it is someone else's work that we are construing. Thus, in the exercise of our creative impulses we must be guided by the intentions of the author, to the extent that they can be discerned (of course, it's even better when the author can be asked directly; unfortunately, this is rarely the case). Here, again, the analogy to the task of a judge holds. The author is, presumably, the expert on what the author meant. Thus, we must defer to the author in all cases, unless the author's writing makes it impossible to discern the intended meaning (or, as occasionally happens, the author's writing is lousy).

Note, however, that I'm not saying that the content of the author's thoughts should be changed simply for lack of a decent equivalent in the target language. Rather, we must use the tools available to us in the target language to figure out how best to make clear the author's intent, real or assumed, in our translation. If the thought is total gibberish, it is our job to create equivalent gibberish, faithful to the original, in the target language. The quality of the thoughts is not our concern.

Similar concerns arise when translating legal documents. There, the problem is often that a particular legal concept exists in the country of the author, but does not exist in the country of the target language. Here, what is called for is not so much translation as explanation. Sometimes this can be done quite inobtrusively, by "translating" the concept with a phrase that describes roughly what is meant. For example, if I were required to translate "Rule Against Perpetuities," a concept that few non-common law systems have been masochistic enough to adopt, into Russian, I would not translate it literally into the (unintelligible) "Pravilo protiv vjechnostjej." Instead, I would render it "Zaprjeta vremjonno neogranichonnyx kosvjennyx prav na imushchestvo," or the prohibition of temporally unlimited contingent interests in property," since this, as far as anyone has been able to tell, is what the RAP is all about. Failing all else, I'll simply put in a footnote with the prefix "Trans. Note:". Contrary to what some believe, the use of explanatory notes does not necessarily denote a bad translation. However, they should be used rarely, and as a last resort.

Is Translation another word for Reception?


Translations are rather similar to generation gaps: for as long as there have been different languages that have necessitated communication, there have been translations. As soon as a new generation is born, a gap forms between them and their predecessors, and later another gap will grow between them and their successors. In both respects, the words that are used to communicate and the ideas that they convey are not going to be identical. In between an original piece of work and a translation, there has to be an act of interpretation: an attempt to make the original intelligible to the recipient. Consequently, is translation actually reception?

Defining 'Reception'

Before going anywhere, we need to clarify what is meant by the term 'reception' in this context. Over the past twenty years, reception theory is a branch of academia that has grown in popularity, making it a complex topic in its own right. At one end of the spectrum is the idea that an author will have imparted an essence into his or her text at the time of writing, and reading will uncover it. Opposing this is the theory that a text is virtually meaningless until it has been read: meaning depends on the reader/translator.

The approach that I am adopting here is based more on the reader/translator than on the text or the author. It is going to consider how the experiences, beliefs, opinions and ideals of the reader/translator will influence his or her reading of a text.

Two Possible Arguments

In Gadamer’s opinion, a text only assumes meaning at the moment of reading. The original intention of the author is lost to space and time. Only the reader/translator, and his or her approach to the text, is important. Here, translation becomes virtually synonymous with reception: the translation will exist only as it has been received. Of course, if the translator is a different person to the reader, then the text is going to be received differently yet again!

A more moderate examination of the relationship between translation and reception might involve considering the interaction of original author and reader/translator through the medium of the text. Following the author’s task of laying out his or her opinions, views or intentions in the text, it falls to the reader/translator to read, interpret and describe in another language these positions. Interpretation then becomes the pivotal word; it signifies how both parties have their own role in the meaning and understanding of the text.

Context and Culture

If you believe that there is a relationship between the reader/translator and the author, then context is something that becomes important. What were the external influences that had their part to play in the author's composition? Understanding the author's circumstances will help to understand what they wrote, just as the reader/translator's experiences are going to affect how he or she reads something.

Closely related to this idea of context is the culture barrier that might exist between the original text and the author, and the reception and the reader/translator. It is conceivable that the difference in culture between the author and reader/translator is so vast that a relationship cannot be forged between the two. There is no common point at which a connection can be made that enables a mutual understanding to grow. This inability to receive a text would mean that a translation would be difficult, if not impossible, because in addition to translating the words, there has to be a translation of the meaning. Alternatively, problems may arise owing to misunderstanding; the reader/translator might misconstrue what the original author wrote, rather than not having the cultural ability to understand him. Translation is largely dependent on a meeting point of the perceptions of the reader/translator and the intentions of the author.

Genre and Audience

Of course, translation is not just about context and culture, but the genre of a piece can also affect how it is translated. Whilst some translators prefer to render a text as directly and literally as possible from one language to another, however clumsy it might be, others favour a more 'free' approach, where the emphasis is placed on generating a fluid — but slightly more liberal — translation. The personal preferences of the translator are about more than how he or she has received it. Terms that are often mentioned in conjunction with translation are faithful and accurate, yet to what is the translation supposed to be faithful or accurate? A translation might give an accurate linguistic equivalent of the original, but the sensory feel of the words has not been successfully conveyed. Conversely, in presenting a translation that relates the feeling of the original piece, some of the direct meaning might be lost. It has long been recognised that a perfect translation is impossible, but that a suitable balance between meaning and feel can be struck.

Linked to the style of translation is the intended audience of the translation. Classical texts are not the preserve of classicists alone; historians, English students and writers (to mention just a few) also refer to them. Consequently, the style of the translation might have to vary to satisfy the needs of the different users. A historian might require a close, precise translation in order that he or she might be able to examine a text for its content, rather than its literary style. A writer might prefer a freer, literary translation that conveys the artistry of the original, rather than its scholarly intention. The reception of the translator is working in conjunction with the perceived reception of the intended reader; there is a point in between these two, where the appropriate linguistic jump must be made. Of course, there does seem to be a mid-point in translation, where the balance is achieved between close and free. The aim of the translation is to produce a work that reads naturally in the receiving language, giving a suitable reflection of the original, facilitating an understanding of the text in a language other than that in which it was originally composed.

Take four translations...

Translations of poetry allow, perhaps, for the greatest divergence of style between literal and free. Not only must the metre of the poem be considered, but the translator's reception of the piece is going to heavily influence how he or she transforms the words from one language to another. Below are four translations of Martial's Epigram III.43, in addition to the original Latin. Although I have offered my opinions on the different translations, these are of course my opinions; any other reader might see things differently.

Mentiris iuvenem tinctis, Laetine, capillis,
Tam subito corvus, qui modo cycnus eras.
Non omnes fallis; scit te Prosperina canum:
Personam capiti detrahet illa tuo.

Thou dy’st thy haire to seeme a younger man,
And turn’st a crow, that lately wert a swan.
All are not cousen’d; hels queene knows thee grey.
She’ll take the visor from your head away.

Thomas May’s version could be considered a close rendering of the original. He has moved away slightly from the Latin convention of the epigram and towards to English with the introduction of a rhyming scheme, but maintains the four line ideal. A notable word that May uses in his translation is 'visor', with respect to 'personam'. It is possible that this is a reflection of the time at which May was writing, the early seventeenth century. A visor was of course part of the helmet of a coat of arms, covering the face. More than just concealing the face of the wearer, it also works neatly with the idea that battle is a young man’s occupation, and that Laetinus is attempting to preserve his youth. Whilst maintaining the spirit of Martial’s work, May also succeeds in presenting his version with some relevance to the time at which he was writing.

Why should’st thou try to hide thyself in youth?
Impartial Proserpine beholds the truth,
And laughing at so fond and vain a task,
Will strip thy hoary noddle of its mask.

Joseph Addison appears to have surrendered mention of the swan and the crow in order to retain a semblance of the Latin metre. The epigram is translated in four lines, and the language used seems to give an impression of the humour that Martial intended to include in his original. 'Hoary noddle' is perhaps not what was generally used to refer to a greying gentleman in pleasant early eighteenth century society! Here, Addison has adapted his translation to relate to his intended audience, constructing it so that the comic element can be received.

Thou that not many months ago
Wast white as swan, or driven snow,
Now blacker far than Aesop’s crow,
Thanks to thy wig, set’st up for Beau.
Faith Harry, thou’rt i’the wrong box,
Old age these vain endeavours mocks,
And time that knows thou’st hoary locks,
Will pluck thy mask off with a pox.

A translation that could be regarded as moving closer to a modern interpretation and away from the idea of a close translation is Thomas Brown’s late seventeenth century version. Rhyme features significantly in this working, but in order to achieve this, the translator has been forced to make his own inclusions to the epigram, which are not found in the original. 'Driven snow' is not part of Martial’s work, but without it, Brown cannot complete the rhyming scheme of the first four lines of his translation. 'Aesop’s crow' is also an interesting choice. Aesop has been used in order to place the necessary number of beats in the line to conform to the rhythm, but why use Aesop? Is this, perhaps, a reference to the epigram’s classical origin? Although Aesop was Greek and Martial Roman, it does give an indication that the epigram was not originally from Brown’s time. The addressee of the epigram has become Harry, rather than Laetinus, which is also an indication of Brown’s choice to pull the epigram nearer towards his contemporaries, rather than pull his audience closer to the original. Brown has presented the world with his own ideas of how Martial works in a time other than his own; it is a translation based quite heavily on how Brown received the original.

You are trying to recapture lost youth in dying your hair, Laetinus,
Suddenly you are a crow, when recently you were a swan.
You cannot fool everybody; Prosperina knows your truth:
She will peel the wig from your head.

The final version is my own translation. This was a useful exercise, forcing me to consider how I receive and interpret texts myself and also experiencing the difficulty in choosing the correct word to express exactly what I thought that Martial meant. I chose the phrase 'recapture lost youth' because it seemed to be an idea that Martial was attempting to express and it was something that the modern reader could understand. Time is a universal enemy, which is fought by all. The order in which crow and swan should be placed presented me with a surprising problem. In terms of rhythm and tone, I could not decide if I preferred the gentle swan leading into the harsh crow, or the menacing crow preceding the elegant swan. Eventually, I allowed Martial to dictate my course — this was his work, after all — thus I placed crow before swan. In choosing to translate 'canum' freely, as 'your truth', rather than 'hoary' or 'white-haired', I saw it as referring to the truth behind the deception. The reader, and Prosperina, knows what Laetinus is really like, and it emphasised his attempts to conceal it. Translating 'detrahet' as 'peel' was based on the idea of an actor peeling off a mask. The dye is, ultimately, only a mask, which will be removed from him. It seemed to fit in the context of the poem. Wig was the translation of 'personam', being an appropriate mask for the hair.

My translation is clearly dependent on the combination of my own reception of the poem and my choice of words to express my interpretation. Using the phrase 'recapture lost youth' was something that has arisen out of the time in which I live. On reading the epigram, Martial implanted in my head the idea of a wig or mask being peeled from somebody by using the word 'detrahet', hence I translated it as 'peel'. This translation has been a combination of the visions that Martial succeeded in conveying, and a respect for the originality of Martial himself.

Authenticity and Originality

The further from the original text that the translator stands, the greater the possibility that the reworking will come to be viewed as an independent work of art: a somewhat controversial concept. It can be argued that removing the translation from the original context and format deprives it of its spirit that the original author put into it. The text becomes devoid of its original meaning and as a consequence, it can be misconstrued and misinterpreted. Furthermore, it can also be argued that the translator has in fact manipulated and abused the original. Of course, this can be countered by arguing that the relevance of the text is dependent on it being accessible to the reader; only by bringing the text closer to the reader is it possible to make it comprehensible to all. Perhaps what is most important is that any translation can be misconstrued or manipulated, the author’s intention can always be distorted. Translation is an act of interpretation and the original author’s ideal can never be fully realised by a reader.

Cultural Maturity

The intimate link between translation and reception — particularly when associated with a translation being able to stand alone as a work of art — is further strengthened by the idea that a language must be sufficiently advanced in order to receive a translation. Unless a language is able to make the appropriate linguistic correlations and necessary cultural leaps, it cannot receive a translation. Without an ability to identify with the original author, or the society in which he was living, a language could not render a suitable translation. Reception is indicative of a cultural advancement, and translation can only come with this maturity. This could perhaps be most successfully explained in terms of idioms, or words that have no direct translation. Despite there being no direct equivalent for words such as virtus or polis, English is able to explain them by using a series of words, it has the cultural development to make sense of them.

Translation can also go deeper than rendering a text from one language to another. Language is a continually evolving entity; an English text written in 1850 would have been constructed differently to one composed in 2000. Consequently, although the 1850 text may be intelligible to a 2000 reader, this person may 'translate' the text in his or her mind into something more consistent with their own patterns of speech. The implications for this on translations from different languages are significant. A translation can never be fixed, whether this is owing to the evolution of language, or of culture, time is always going to play its role. This is evident in the linguistic differences between the four translations of the Martial epigram. Furthermore, translation might encompass more than text-to-text alterations; it could also include text-to-image renderings. For example, on reading an evocative piece of poetry that conjures a vivid picture in the mind’s eye, the reader has, effectively, translated the words of the text into the images of his or her imagination. My own translation of Prosperina peeling the wig from Laetinus’ head illustrates this point. Once this image had been formed in my mind on reading the Latin, I faced the challenge of translating the image that was in my mind's eye into English. The word translation can include an image-to-text aspect, too.

Building Bridges

To further the notion that translations are similar to generation gaps, which require bridging, another image relevant to the relationship between translation and reception is that of building bridges. A translation is a bridge between the original text and how it is received, passing over the waters of time. The translator stands on the bridge, at any point between a close rendering of the text and a modern reworking.

To say that translation is another word for reception would perhaps not do justice to either term. Translation is a complex and involved process, with different aspects and considerations. Translation does not necessarily refer to text-to-text or language-to-language processes, either. Reception is equally complicated and diverse. Whether or not the translator intends to produce a close, literal rendering or a complete reworking, the original text first has to pass through him or her as a medium. At this point, the translator is going to be affected by myriad factors. These will include the language that he or she speaks, his or her own cultural background, beliefs and ideals, an agenda that he or she might wish to convey via the translation. Furthermore, there will be what the translator perceived the author as wishing to say, and the affects and influences of the author’s background. After the translator has received the original text, he or she then faces the challenge of transferring these images, ideas and meanings into words. After that, the translation is going to rely on the reception of the reader. However the translator has expressed his or her version of the text, the text is going to face yet another wave of reception. Ultimately, the process of translation is open to interpretation; the point where the translator stands on the bridge of translation, between original text and reception, is the moment of interpretation. Every reader is going to experience a text individually, and a translator’s expression of this experience will also be individual. Reception is inherent to translation, but is not is not the only aspect, especially, expression is just as influential as reception.


  • Martial: Martial in English, J Sullivan and A Boyle (eds), Penguin, London, 1996.
  • J Biguenet and R Schulte: The Craft of Translation, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 1989.
  • L Hardwick: Translating Words, Translating Cultures, Duckworth, London, 2000.
  • R Holub: Reception Theory: a critical introduction, Routledge, London, 1985.
  • C Martindale: Redeeming the Text, CUP, 1993.
  • T Savory: The Art of Translation, Jonathan Cape, London, 1957 (1968).
  • J Taylor, E McMorran and G Leclercq (eds): Translation Here and There, Now and Then , Elm Bank Publications, Exeter, 1996.
  • A Motluk: “You are what you speak”, New Scientist, 30/xi/2002.

Thanks also to Heschelian, who provided invaluable advice when writing the original essay on which this was based.

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