|Heather Connelly (Birmingham City University, UK)
Gabriela Saldanha (University of Birmingham, UK)
Art Practice and Translation: a call for collaboration
International artists and curators often find themselves living and working transculturally as they navigate the international art scene and seek to engage with diverse local and global audiences. As a result, artists and academics such as Connelly (2015) and Holmkvist (2011) translation as a subject, media and method to make film, text, audio work and performances that examine personal experience, political and ethical concerns with cross-cultural communication, asking questions and provoking discussions on issues that are crucial to translation studies scholarship. Taking the existing artistic work as an invitation to dialogue with the translation studies academic community, this presentation engages with artistic performance from an academic perspective. The question that drives the work presented here is how artistic practice can contribute to translation studies as an academic discipline: Can it generate new knowledge? Can it offer new methodologies? Can it help disseminate knowledge about translation? To explore these questions, one artist/researcher (Heather Connelly) and one academic (Gabriela Saldanha) have worked together to create a performance centred on a shared concern: interlingual translation as an embodied art practice which exposes the translator’s subjectivity. Connelly and Saldanha have written a script that aims to expose the embodied and subjective aspects of translation. Our contribution will include this brief performance followed by a discussion that, based on insights derived from the art work, explores the potential of two conceptual mappings to account for the translator’s subjective and embodied response: translation as restored behaviour (Schechner 1885) and translation as linguistic hospitality (Ricoeur 2006). Saldanha (forthcoming) has argued that the anthropological understanding of performance as restored behaviour allows us to map literary translation as performance in a way that is closely in line with how translators tend to see their own practice. As a result of this collaborative project, Saldanha interrogates the meaning potential of ‘restoration’ in relation to both translation and performance. Linguistic hospitality, as defined by Ricoeur, is “where the pleasure of dwelling in the other’s language is balanced by the pleasure of receiving the foreign word at home” (2006, 10) and involves finding happiness in compromise after coming to terms with the loss of absolute equivalence. The question explored here is what affordances do these interdisciplinary and hospitable encounters enable and enact, and how can this be built upon in the future?
Connelly, Heather (2015) Speaking through the voice of another: how can art practice be used to provoke new ways of thinking about the transformations and transitions that happen in linguistic translation? https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/dspace-jspui/handle/2134/17999.
Holmkvist, Saskia (2011) In Translation [http://saskiaholmkvist.com/in-translation]
Ricoeur, Paul (2006) On Translation, translated by Eileen Brennan, London and New York: Routledge.
Saldanha, Gabriela (forthcoming) ‘Translator Style: In search of explanations’.
Schechner, Richard (1985) Between Theatre & Anthropology, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
|Heather Connelly is an artist and Research Fellow at Birmingham City University (BCU), Senior Fellow of Higher Education Authority, with a PhD by Fine Art Practice from Loughborough University (2015) and over twenty years of professional experience in the Arts. Her research concerns art-and-translation and linguistic hospitality and is particularly interested in how art practice can be used to examine the performativity of translation and engage people in the complex issues of translation, language learning and more broadly transcultural communication. Working with text, sound and the voice, Heather’s work explores our relationship with language(s) from different perspectives, often working collaboratively, designing participatory projects and events that bring together people from different socio-cultural and academic backgrounds. She established Translation Zone(s) (2016), co-founded InDialogue an independent biannual symposium (2012, 14 & 16) that interrogates dialogic practices.
Gabriela Saldanha is a Lecturer in Translation Studies at the University of Birmingham (UK). She has published extensively on translation stylistics. Her current research focuses on the translator’s artistry and how the artistic value of a translation is conceptualized and negotiated by different agents operating in a particular literary landscape. She is co-author, together with Sharon O’Brien, of Research Methodologies in Translation (Routledge, 2013). She is currently co-editing the third edition of the Routledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies with Mona Baker.
(Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies, University of Manchester, UK)
Researching Translation in/and Wikipedia: An interdisciplinary approach
This paper explores the challenge and promise of interdisciplinarity through a focus on the study of translation in the context of the free online encyclopaedia Wikipedia. It begins by arguing that previous analyses of Wikipedia by translation scholars (e.g. Drugan 2011; McDonough Dolmaya 2012, 2015) have largely failed to engage with the broader significance and complexity of translation activities taking place in this user-generated environment. The binary distinctions at the heart of much conventional translation studies metalanguage (source text vs target text, author vs translator) have tended to blinker perspectives and to concentrate research on the roles of those individuals who translate content already published in one language edition of the site in order to transfer it directly into another. As I will illustrate, however, translation is additionally an integral part of the collaborative processes through which new and ‘original’ text is produced within each version of the encyclopaedia: Wikipedia volunteers frequently make abundant use of materials written in a variety of different languages, and the construction of the site’s articles thus often involves a muddy mix of translating, re-contextualising, summarising and multi-text synthesising.
In order to make sense of such complex practices, it is suggested that the analyst must look beyond the traditional methods and concepts of translation studies to those developed in other fields of enquiry. In this way, rather than seeking to distinguish translation from other modes of knowledge production and dissemination, we can attempt to emphasise the ways in which translation is inextricably bound up with many such practices, and explore how the roles of translator, author and editor may overlap. I demonstrate that an approach based on sociological understandings of narrative theory (Baker 2006; Harding 2012) can be productive in this respect, providing specific examples from my recently completed PhD research into the collaborative construction of city-related articles within the English and French-language Wikipedias. In doing so, I discuss how interdisciplinarity can both deepen our understanding of specific translation phenomena and fundamentally challenge dominant understandings of our object of study more generally.
Baker, Mona (2006) Translation and Conflict: A narrative account, London & New York: Routledge.
Drugan, Joanna (2011) ‘Translation Ethics Wikified: How far do professional codes of ethics and practice apply to non-professionally produced translation?’, Linguistica Antverpiensia, 10: 111-131.
Harding, Sue-Ann (2012) ‘“How Do I Apply Narrative Theory?” Socio-narrative theory in Translation Studies’, Target, 24(2): 286-309.
McDonough Dolmaya, Julie (2012) ‘Analyzing the Crowdsourcing Model and its Impact on Public Perceptions of Translation’, The Translator, 18(2): 167-191.
McDonough Dolmaya, Julie (2015) ‘Revision History: Translation trends in Wikipedia’, Translation Studies, 8(1): 16-34.
|Henry Jones is a Post-Doctoral Research Associate at the University of Manchester’s Centre for Translation and Intercultural Studies (UK). Having recently completed his PhD research focusing on translation in the context of Wikipedia, he is now working as part of a multi-disciplinary team on the AHRC-funded Genealogies of Knowledge project: http://www.genealogiesofknowledge.net/|
(Centre for Language Education of Southern University of Science and Technology)
A Corpus Stylistics Study of a Chinese Translation of Mental Clauses and Speech and Thought Presentation in Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love
Elizabeth Gilbert’s (2006) memoir Eat Pray Love depicts a journey of self-discovery during her trips to Italy, India and Indonesia following a difficult divorce. Among the three phases of the author’s journey, the ‘eat’ and ‘love’ aspects have received far more attention than the ‘pray’ aspect. Hence, despite the fact that the author’s experience and pursuit of happiness have had considerable resonance with a very large readership across the world, very little attention has been given to the spiritual domain of her truth-seeking journey, nor has any research been conducted specifically on the translation of this part of the novel into Chinese.
Combining the methodological tools of corpus linguistics and stylistics, this study will conduct a corpus-based stylistic analysis of the ‘pray’ part of Gilbert’s memoir (from chapters 37 to 72), and the corresponding Chinese translation by He Pei-hua (何佩樺), first published by a Taiwanese publisher in 2007. The same translation was republished by 陝西師範大學出版社（Shanxi Shifan Daxue Chubanshe）in 2008 in simplified Chinese characters and retitled “一輩子做女孩 （Yibeizi Zuo Nuhai）.”The analysis will be conducted with specific reference to mental clauses and depictions of speech and thought. It will employ the corpus analysis toolkit provided by the freeware AntConc, which provides a concordancer, word and keyword frequency generators, tools for cluster and lexical bundle analysis, and a word distribution plot for the investigation of the selected lexical items from the original and translated texts. In terms of linguistic frameworks, the study will draw on relevant concepts from Halliday’s (1994) transitivity system to explore mental clauses featuring lexical items such as think, feel, mind, meditate and pray, together with Simpson’s (1993) point of view model for the investigation of free direct speech and thought presentation. The underlying objectives of the research are to explore the author’s ideology and point of view in the representation of spiritual concepts related to mindfulness and meditation, and how these terms are rendered into Chinese. Another important aim of the study is to explore the potential for the use of corpus-based methodology and software to conduct stylistic studies involving Chinese texts.
Gilbert, E. (2006). Eat Pray Love. Free E-book retrieved from: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0By9wjQndHrkTMkxUWnpRUHFqdmM/view
He, P. H. 何佩樺. (Trans.) (2008). Yibeizi zuo nuhai [一輩子做女孩]. Shanxi: Shanxi Shifan Daxue Chubanshe.
He, P. H. 何佩樺. (Trans.) (2013). Xiangshou ba ! Yige ren de luxing [享受吧！一個人的旅行]. Taipei: Ma Ka Bo Luo Wen Hua publisher.
Halliday, M.A.K. (1994) An introduction to Functional Grammar (2nd ed.). London et al.: Arnold.
Laurence, A. (2005). AntConc: Design and Development of a Freeware Corpus Analysis Toolkit for the Technical Writing Classroom. IEEE International Professional Communication Conference Proceedings, pp. 729-737.
Simpson, P. (1993). Language, ideology and point of View. London & New York: Routledge.
|Elaine Ng received her Ph.D. in Comparative Literature from University College London in the UK. She is currently a lecturer in English at the Centre for Language Education of Southern University of Science and Technology. Prior to that, she had extensive experience teaching English and translation courses at United International College in Zhuhai, China; Hong Kong Baptist University, the School of Continuing Education; and the Open University of Hong Kong.|