Zooming in on what Tymoczko has enlarged: English-to-Czech literary translation and the holistic approach to translation culture



Year of publication 2012
Type Chapter of a book
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description In her project on Enlarging Translation, Empowering Translators, Tymoczko has proposed a holistic approach to translating culture, pointing out the shortcomings of what she calls linear approaches (2007, 232-249). This paper explores how Tymoczko's more comprehensive and strategic approach, whose advantages are easy to see, interacts with current literary translation from English into Czech, both theoretically and at the level of specific texts. The paper divides the theoretical exploration into two areas. The first comprises translations of contemporary literary fiction originating from English-speaking countries which have influenced significantly the current globalized world and consequently represent cultures whose distance to Czech culture is rather small. The second area is translation of English texts mediating more distant cultures and sensibilities to Czech readership. The first area raises questions such as: Given the relative proximity of the two cultures, is there anything left to translate holistically? Is there a general pattern? How often is this potential for strategic translation decision-making recognized by translators in practice? In the second area an intuitive use of the holistic approach to translating culture/s seems much more likely – but is this really the case? Are there lessons to learn for students of translation? And how do translators’ choices reflecting their holistic approach to culture interact with current translation norms? An empirical analysis of two examples of the second type of texts is used to test the concept and to produce convincing examples to be employed for didactic purposes.
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