Week One: Translation Theory

January 9, 2010

This weekend, I received permission from Professor Godzich of the UCSC Literature Department to post the notes from his class in Translation Theory. The class so far has been fascinating, and we’ve only had two lectures! Professor Godzich has a very distinctive teaching style, which includes prepared Powerpoint slides accompanying the fast-paced, intellectually-diverse lecture. The basic framing of my notes from his classes always include the full text of his Powerpoint presentation, which I embellish with as much information and commentary as I can squeeze in.

Also, I deeply apologize for the formatting of this post; I take notes in Dark Room, a fullscreen text editor with a color scheme that helps me focus. The tabs don’t translate well to the WordPress interface, so I’ll try to work on different ways to import or post this because I refuse to use any other kind of text editor for the initial notes. We shall see.

Day One: Introduction

begin notes for Godzich awwww yeah
TA = Andy (no section this week, thanx) w/ bowler hat.
Godzich was interpreter for UN for, like, funsies? also state dept. Machine transl, etc. Universities of Ottowa and Geneva = best schools of translation. Good to know. Building also in Brussels/Strasburg (European Parliament) lol Finnish into Portugese okay. Translators best paid there. 

theories/practices/problems/history of transl.
ancients onwards have three parts in translation
textual translation
translatio studii (migration of knowledges)
 bios logos > life sciences > zoon logos (bios = considered life,     worth living)
 transfer of parts of studies, renaming departments
translatio imperii (migration of center of power)
 how it's decided what to translate into
 non-mutually-intelligible englishes ("mobbing") 

translation into media other than language (intermediality) weirdcakes 

linguists late as 1920s who didn't believe that there are languages. very recent idea of distinction. Not all so-called languages fit definition of language. (yooooooh linguists.) 

field study in ling.: learning language with no languages in common. WG went to area near Senegal, Hasun-ke (sp?) has tones and WG can't hear tones due to selective deafiness. Point at goat: forty different responses: "Not mine," "Watch out, bad tempered," "Pregnant," "Don't point, it's rude," "How much will you pay?" "Too scrawny, too tough to cook," "They all smell," etc etc. Taxonomy, double-blind study, "Why are you asking again" / "What's with you and this animal?" Not one was a word for goat. 

Jespersen (sp?) wrote grammar of English, 1920s, needle = it's my daughter's. Okay. Mapping reality between two languages; kangaroo actually means "what are you asking?" 

any kind of transformation from one sequence/suite of signs belonging to one system to another sequence belonging to another system while preserving the same meaning. 

"the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak" => "the vodka is okay but the meat leaves much to be desired" [not correct but also not "bad"]

{when they mean the same thing} = all the problems. (Google overcomes it best.) There's not always two suites of signs that match. Also trying to posit a relation between things in different systems; two elements that are variable and the idea that the meaning is the constant. How the hell do you manage that? Quick, get a semanticist! We do need the notion that there is one solid meaning that both languages can express. Um what about intralinguistic ambiguity? 

translate the word translation
translatio = carrying from side to side, from transfere + latio (lateral) trans = across
traduction = tra (through) duco (lead)
pjerevod = to lead + pjere tra
ubazetzun = overlay
PAGE LAYOUT WOAH - origninal can be above (german) or beside (english)
Polish tumatzeh = ram it through the mob / vulgarization 

what are we settling for, by whom, at what point and what price and in what manner 

occasionally used to create languages; national languages repressed during soviet domination, no longer as capable of expression as if they'd evolved naturally, so they translated lots of stuff into the national language 

poets in russia = rockstars, cool; self-refreshing canon with one version of psalms for each generation

Day Two: Lecture Onestart notes for Godzich, lecture 2 lesson 1? 1/8/10


interpretation vs translation
 whether there is such thing as translation in oral     society
Translation in Oral Societies?
tend to be very hierarchical w/ respect to communal social structures
 delegated speech
 who may speak to whom under what circumstance
 someone speaking on the behalf of authority
 (logophoros) very important role~
 mode of translating speech
 Moses and Pharaoh
 Moses had a speech impediment, whut? [c.n.]
 Aaron=golden-voiced boy [c.n.] also Jew :(
 {very characteristic of this; speaker is                 merely conduit of speech}
 Market places; need interpreters for haggling
 (Truchuman/Drogaman) not                             interpreter/transl but rather facilitator
 how to register for classes in Italy (20E)
 know not only the language but the customs!
 lingua franca: used mainly as common ground,                 starts as artificial pidgin(?) language for             trading
 Swahili, Maltese, Godzich is not allowed to             be wrong about things. Did anyone tell him                 that?
 reading signs vs rendering speech
 reading entrails particularly
 extralinguistic partially
 must discern semantic content, render into                 speech
 always highly figurative, not literal
Interpretation and Reading
 reading out loud
 greek inscriptions: cf Pella tablet
 voicing [St. Ambrose Bishop of Milan = patron                 saint of readers, could do w/o moving lips]
 punctuation intr. Middle Ages in Ireland                 (they couldn't pronounce Latin of fucking                 course; taught Latin by Germans and also                 Irish phonology is RIDIC so you know)
 comma: unit of thought or breath?
 anxiety over voicing: grafitto
 something appropriating your voice when you             read it aloud
 grafitto: "You who read my glory, I have                 just sodomized you." Greek btw.
 cf Bakhtin of course
 it is not the oral that is important, he says. I         am inclined to disagree.
 voicing in semitic languages
 T-L-B: cultivate
 taliban = talib student plural
 tulipan = tulips valuable dutch wat
 "vocalization" actually means adding vowels in             ling terms, ja?
 interpretation as performance
Interpretation 1
 simultaneous interpretation at the UN aka conference     interpretation
 official vs working languages
 teams of 2 in 20 min shifts
 rate of interpretation
 5/6 words ahead of the speaker
 status of interpretation
 text of remarks
 official text
 consecutive interpretation (US State Dept Model)
 to and fro movement
 translating units
 units of speech vs units of thought
 interruptions and pauses
 status of interpretation
 officieux vs officiel
 business interpretation
 tends to be a mixture of cons./conf.
Translation History vs Translation Theory
 History as record of practices
 implicit theory and its Reconstruction
 tacit knowledge
 constructed after the fact
 folk theory and its Evaluation
 Doxa - gr. opinion/generally held
 not formal, no real author
 highest repository of ideology
 what values are articulated
 Explicit Theorizing and its Assessment
 relation to practice:
 governing pract.
 normative, prescriptive
 accounting for pract.
 derivative, descriptive
Role of controversies
 translation as a defensive practice
 "Translator's Preface" as a polemic intervention
 a practice in search of "perfection"
 servicable/horizon of perfection
 the "art of translation"
 few will invoke idea of artism; lasers
 the Intertwining of history and theory
 copyright expiration
 (works of Freud expired yesterday wow!)
 otherwise translators would have to pay ~40%
 tend to lag stylistically by one generation
 international copyright law makes me want to die
 world intellectual property organization [jfgi]
 something about Max's dad
A Quick Survey 1
 Ancient Near East: transl. sacred texts
 sacredness of text imposes word as unit of trsl
 St. Augustine = patron saint of                         untrasnlability
 opposed to Cicero (cf Schulte, 12)
 oratory, smoothness of speech
 render so as to work in result language~
 St. Jerome = patr st of translators
 Renaissance: transl sentences (Sch 13-14)
 translating Seneca's paratactic sent's into                 something that... doesn't suck? Woo!
 German Romanticism: in search of the specificity             that conjoins historicity and nationality
 conception of original language
 from language and sentence to discourse and text             (Benjamin)
 from transfer to target lang. and appropriation ->             (decentered) relation between langs
 dropping the binary of "letter and spirit"  
 in favor of sheer textuality

Do you think I should just start posting weekly notes on my blag?  Like a Friday-roundup; I shall email my teachers to check if it's okay.  

do you think he shines his head so as to reflect god's wisdom back upwards because he doesn't have any room for more? 

 [c.n.] = [citation needed]
 [jfgi] = [just fucking google it]

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