For those of you who may have missed it, there is a new book on translation out.
IS THAT A FISH IN YOUR EAR?
Translation and the Meaning of Everything
By David Bellos
It was reviewed in the NY Times Sunday Book Review last week. Find the review here.
In brief, Bellos, himself a well-regarded translator of literature, attempts to re-frame the translation argument, and ends up with something in the spirit of dynamic equivalence, but one which is at the same time both more constrained and more free. His approach includes translating style, even if it entails referential inaccuracies, since the style is part of the message. (Yes, Virginia, sometimes the medium is the message.) Or it allows for displacing information, if that’s what it takes.
Bible translators, especially those of us who are interested in the questions of style and literary translation, should take careful note.
(For those of you not up on the popular culture of the ’70’s and ’80’s, the allusion is to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.)