unit 2, assignment 2

One idea I struggled with from Thursday’s panel was with how translation can be a creative art; they are not solely prescribing word for word an author’s original meaning but instead most translators are trying to stick with what the author intended to write. This is the idea of pure language and the intentional meaning of an author. I thought this was a little bit confusing since technically both versions could be deemed as true — in this sense a word for word translation is correct because those were the authors’ original words, but also this interpretive translation is accurate because that’s closer to what the author actually means when they write these specific words. Furthermore, can there ever be an ‘accurate’ translation? One thing that I hadn’t even considered was how each word has many different translations / options that are all technically a ‘correct’ translation. This is what leads to this idea of translation being an interpretive and creative art. When doing a translation, the person needs to take into consideration the direct translation of a world, as well as what the author intended to say, which gives translators an immense amount of power and imagination about original intent. This power within the interpretation of a text ties back with the politics of transition and the authority of those who get to control the narrative. Literature, and therefore translations have an extremely important influence on the very grains of society and people’s thoughts and opinions. So, the people who translate these texts are also influential. This goes back to the question: who controls the narrative? Even if a text is written by someone on the margins of society, or even a different culture, the narrative can still be controlled by these western influences and power dynamics, which can change the very meaning of the original text. However, there is hope in the realm of translation because there are many different translations, so the original meaning can be upheld. 

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