The Rubáiyát

Qin Xuelan
March 2013
Translation Quarterly;Mar2013, Issue 67, p41
Academic Journal
The essence of translation is accommodation, a means to neutralize the differences between the source language and target language. In this paper the author gives a very brief review of some contemporary translation theories and argues that culture and language should be regarded as two isolated items instead of one in translation studies. Then a distinction is made between two kinds of differences, namely, those between languages (langue) and those between utterances or speeches (parole), followed by some examples illustrating that a translator should first try to neutralize the differences between languages and then to show the differences between utterances. The former kind occurs between two languages, a failure to neutralize which will lead to unreadable translations, while the latter kind occurs in the same language and an unsuccessful handling will make different authors' styles "your" style. In addition, the author also emphasizes the importance of properly handling the different rhetorical features between the source text and target text. A translation without accommodation is unimaginable, yet in some cases, accommodation may lead to the loss of some specific items, like the proper nouns in the seven-character version of the Rubáiyát.


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