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Experiences in Translation [Hardcover]

Umberto Eco , Alastair McEwen

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Book Description

Dec 15 2000 0802035337 978-0802035332 Canadian First

In this book Umberto Eco argues that translation is not about comparing two languages, but about the interpretation of a text in two different languages, thus involving a shift between cultures. An author whose works have appeared in many languages, Eco is also the translator of Gérard de Nerval's Sylvie and Raymond Queneau's Exercices de style from French into Italian. In Experiences in Translation he draws on his substantial practical experience to identify and discuss some central problems of translation. As he convincingly demonstrates, a translation can express an evident deep sense of a text even when violating both lexical and referential faithfulness. Depicting translation as a semiotic task, he uses a wide range of source materials as illustration: the translations of his own and other novels, translations of the dialogue of American films into Italian, and various versions of the Bible. In the second part of his study he deals with translation theories proposed by Jakobson, Steiner, Peirce, and others.

Overall, Eco identifies the different types of interpretive acts that count as translation. An enticing new typology emerges, based on his insistence on a common-sense approach and the necessity of taking a critical stance.


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 112 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division; Canadian First edition (Dec 15 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802035337
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802035332
  • Product Dimensions: 22.5 x 14.7 x 2 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 354 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,540,575 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"'Umberto Eco's Experiences in Translation is witty and engrossing, and it will inform and entertain readers who have ever wondered about the work that goes into transforming a text from a language they cannot read into one they can.' Jules Verdone, The Boston Globe 'This book is remarkably concise, yet rich, in its discussion of the enigma posed by translation. Eco has provided the reader with an informative and succinct discussion of translation. This work will help translators, literary specialists and scholars of comparative literature to understand the process of translation better.' Frank Nuessel, Journal of Literary Semantics" --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

UMBERTO ECO is Professor of Semiotics, University of Bologna. He is known worldwide as the author of The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum and A Theory of Semiotics.


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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good start Jan. 17 2011
By Language Watcher - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
For anyone interested in how literary translation works, this is an appropriate place to begin. Eco writes in a clear, almost spare manner, mixing general observations with actual examples from his own works. The Name of the Rose. his most famous novel, is cited from the standpoint of the challenges it represented for his various translators, and William Weaver, who rendered it into English, comes in for special kudos. Experiences in Translation is divided into two parts. The first, "Translating and Being Translated," is the more interesting and will appeal to both experienced and fledgling translators. The second, "Translation and Interpretation," deals with semiotics and seems aimed more at specialists. The book is based on a series of lectures Eco gave in 1998, but the insights are timeless. Recommended.
6 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply beautiful March 13 2007
By Stephen Wilkins - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Quality book, typical Eco. What's so difficult about translation? Isn't it really just a matter of synonymy between languages, or if not synonymy, then propositional content? Short answer: no.

For Eco fans, this is a must have book. Interested in language, translation, and interpretation? Clicky.
5.0 out of 5 stars To my students, a must read. March 14 2014
By aniswal abd ghani - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is a translation. In the original, the author talks about his work being translated and in translation. The book provides an insight into translation quality from an author's perspective for those who cannot read the original.
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative & light read about translation March 3 2014
By Una Softic - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is not a typical monograph about translation. It’s a very light read based on several Eco’s lectures. He shares his personal experience as a translator, as well as translated writer, showing a distinctive line between translating and writing professions. He advocates the utmost importance of delivering „proper“ translations, maintaing the intention and effect of the text.

This is a very good and easy read for anyone with the love for written word. It gives covers basic principles and challenges of literary translation.
5.0 out of 5 stars A must book for any true scholar or individual in Translation and Interpretation July 24 2013
By Dr. Arthur Frederick Ide - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Eco is at his finest here. I use the work to augment the study of his book The Name of the Rose (well done by Sean Connery in movie format that I also employ in my classes) and the supplemental work illustrating and refining points in that wonderful treasure of fact and fiction, from Eco's Postscript to the Name of the Rose, to the well-crafted volume The Key to The Name of the Rose: Including Translations of All Non-English Passages (Ann Arbor Paperbacks) by Hart, White and White (all available on Amazon). Eco, an Italian semiotician, essayist, philosopher, literary critic, and novelist, is one of the premier investigators, researchers, translators, interpreters and writers in western civilization.

As in The Name of the Rose, and in all of his stellar literary efforts, Eco combines semiotics in fiction, biblical analysis, medieval studies and literary theory to captivate audiences in all areas of intellectual adventure and craftsmanship. This unique book on the trials, tribulations and triumphs of translation (and interpretation) goes into the subtleness of meaning of translation and details how it is impossible for an verbatim (word-for-word) translation will fail and why a true translator needs more than a dictionary or computer. Interpretation comes when a translation is correct but not easily understood and defines a separate field in the world of understanding languages. This should be used regulary, not just confined to the bookshelf to await a later use, of every translator and interpreter. I wish I could raise my rating to ten stars.

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