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The A to Z of Literary Translation: J to L

By Georgia de Chamberet

Jerome of Stridonium is the patron saint of theological learning in the Roman Catholic Church and is also recognized as a saint by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Remembered in particular for his version of the Old Testament based on the Hebrew texts, he is credited for the principle of translating ísense for senseë as opposed to íword for word.ë The prestigious St. Jerome Lecture on Literary Translation hosted by the Times Literary Supplement has become the Sebald Lecture on literary translation promoted by the British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT). The lecture usually follows on from the TA's annual Translation Prize-giving ceremony.

Knowledge of the culture, ideas and mother tongue of the writer to be translated, is imperative. Along with a whole host of linguistic and other criteria. For Orhan Pamuk's translator, Maureen Freely, the starting point was ía strong emotional attachment to Turkish from childhood. I loved the music of it and longed to find a way of bringing that music to English…ë Resources like Mona Baker's Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies are useful for attaining greater knowledge of translation theory and practice.

Love of learning and language sustained by a logical mindset are de rigeur. Whatever the approach, a translation should make sense, convey the spirit and style of the original, feel natural, and flow. Application of good grammar, consistent word use, keeping phrases and sentences intact, translating nouns by nouns and verbs by verbs; respecting punctuation marks, paragraph breaks, poetic indentation, are further necessities.

Published Mar 18, 2008   Copyright 2008 Georgia de Chamberet

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