Translating To Serve Literature – Analysis


Translation as an interactive conversational and communicative work

From Antiquity to the present day, the art of literary translation has always been a fundamental element in the transmission of knowledge from one language to another. (1)

Translation is serious interactive conversational and communicative work, which requires great mastery of the target language and the source language being translated. Indeed, translating a literary text requires great linguistic, artistic and socio-cultural skills capable of transcending the slightest vicissitudes of the original text and its slightest emotions.  (2)

Translation here must take into account the aesthetics of the text, but also its semantic essence, knowing how to transmit its style and keep its soul. The translator is not a simple receiver, he is an intermediary and a second author, who must guarantee the exact transmission of a message intended to be understood and well assimilated. Any semantic confusion can divert the original message or disfigure it. (3)

Translating a philosophical text poses the same problems, to the extent that the translator must ensure the notions used, the issues discussed, the ideas put forward, as well as being well prepared and well instructed, to avoid misinterpreting an idea or concept. 

In sociology, (4) we must above all avoid confusing visions of expectations, dimensions and sociocultural connotations which may be contradictory in the original environment, but acceptable and ordinary in the target environment. Immersing oneself in the culture of the Other, having a sufficient idea of social theories, of the linguistic and religious transformations of a community before translating one’s books, are an obligation in order not to betray the text that is the subject of translation.  (5) This has pushed certain universities and schools to train future translators to take on such a task, which is not easy. 

On the relevance of translation to social sciences, Annett Bochmann writes: (6)

“From Linguistic to Translation Studies and Social Science, the topic of translation is not only discussed in terms of technical-grammatical, linguistic specialized knowledge of languages but also regarding broader theories of power, society, and culture. Sociological and postcolonial studies particularly highlight the fact that language is not equally available to members of a community or society (Bourdieu 1991: 50; Inghilleri, 2005). Language is embedded in power and hierarchical relations, with translation routines reproducing those relations (Bourdieu, 1990/2015: 41, Gentzler and Tymoczko, 2002: XXI). This perspective is to be distinguished from linguists such as Noam Chomsky and Ferdinand de Saussures who conceptualize language as a homogeneous and autonomous object suitable for linguistic analysis (Thompson, 1991: 5). They are accused of failing to recognize the sociohistorical nature of language’s production and reception (Bourdieu, 1991: 49–50). In contrast to the structuralist view, wherein decontextualized meaning seems possible (cf. Levi-Strauss, 1991), this form of translation is ruled out for post-colonialist, relativist, and sociological theorists. Similar arguments are made in Ethnology and Social Anthropology, two disciplines where researchers are expected to learn other (often non-European) languages (Clifford 1983: 119; Evans-Pritchard, 1951: 79; Geertz, 1983: 30). By extending the idea of translation to culture, as it is common in the Writing Culture debate, ethnography became understood metaphorically; namely, as a kind of cultural translation (Leavitt, 2014: 194).”

Translation and its oral counterpart, interpretation, are practices that have always been part of social and cultural life. However, they have only very recently been theorized within a recognized discipline, namely translation studies, often considered as a branch of linguistics. (7) Of course, before this theoretical moment, many translators have shared their experience and tried to put in place precepts or methods. (8)

Many of these writings concern the translation of the Bible, the founding text of Western culture, but a certain number of thinkers have also focused on the translation of the literary text, thus instituting fundamental questions which still run through this discipline today. (9) In this article, I will explore the way in which theorists who have studied translation have focused on the literary or linguistic point of view, in order to demonstrate that the study of literary translations is a real interdisciplinarity – or same multi-disciplinarity – which alone allows an effective analysis of translations. (10)

From antiquity to the present day, the literary text in general and the novel in particular are assimilated to the mirror of a people. This would mean that they refer to elements of society or the collective consciousness of a nation or human community. (11)

Literature is by definition an art of communication which involves two agents distinct, namely: the author and the reader. It is born directly from the culture from which it is an event. Formerly, it was called “les belles lettres” (12) and presented as the place where beautiful language is practiced, domain, par excellence, of refinement of expression. Its words have power, if not powers. First, a power of persuasion, but also and above all of perversion. A power to incite people to rise up against established order or a power to put them to sleep.

What is a literary translation?

Literary translation concerns the translation of texts of a literary nature, both in prose and in verse. This type of service can be considered a literary activity in itself, because the literary translator must have exceptional linguistic sensitivity and communicative competence. The translation of a literary work must convey the essence and style of the original text in the target language and at the same time, have the same impact as the original work on the reader of the translated work. The complexity of this type of work lies in the transmission of very different proverbs, idioms and cultural elements between two languages. The two works in English, The God of Small Things (13) and Things Fall Apart, (14) have themselves become world literature in part through the many translations that have been made into other world languages.

Literary translation is the art of adapting a literary text from one language to another, preserving all the characteristics of the original. Since the dawn of humanity, man has felt the need to communicate with other human beings and has sought various means to achieve this. One of the oldest and most universal is language. However, language has its limits: it is an arbitrary code that can only be understood by those who have learned it. This is why people felt the need to translate literary texts. This task requires a lot of talent, a very good command of the language, as well as great creativity in order to preserve intact what the original reflects, whether it is translated into French, English, Spanish, German, or in Italian.

On the nature of Literary translation, Theo Hermans writes: (15)

“The standard view is that literary translation represents a distinctive kind of translating because it is concerned with a distinctive kind of text. The theory of text types, which seeks to classify texts according to their functions and features, duly places literary texts in a class of their own. The fact however that text typologies do not agree on what to contrast literary texts with – technical, pragmatic, ordinary? – suggests that what distinguishes literary from other texts may not be entirely obvious. And if there is no agreement on what makes literature distinctive, it may be equally hard to decide on what grounds literary translation should be awarded its own niche. In her Translation Criticism, first published in German in 1971 and now also in English, Katharina Reiß reviews various attempts to distinguish different kinds of translation. A.V. Fedorov, Otto Kade, J.B. Casagrande and Georges Mounin, among others, all include literary translation as a separate kind, but their criteria for doing so remain unclear or seem haphazard (Reiß, 2000: 7–23).”

Although the concept of a translation company is relatively recent, literary translation is a practice that dates back to Antiquity. Although the term “translation” was not used until the 15th century, the concept of transferring a text from one language to another already existed. The first examples of literary translation date back to the 3rd century BC, with the Greek version of the Babylonian epic poems of Genesis Enuma Elish. (16) Throughout history, literary translation has been driven by various reasons. In some cases, the works were simply unknown in the reader’s language, as is the case with Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy, which was not translated into English until 1867. Other times, readers were searching for works banned in their own country, as was the case with the clandestine manuscripts of Don Quixote during the Spanish Inquisition. (17)

With the arrival of printing and the improvement of languages and techniques, literary translation became widespread, thus laying the foundations of the translation agency as such. This allowed people from different cultures to access works written in a foreign language. In the 19th century, literary translation became more popular than ever, with classics of European literature now being translated into English. It is the beginning of a new era in which readers have access to many classic and modern works that were previously unavailable. Literary translation has also been an important factor in the development of several languages. By facilitating exchanges between cultures and languages, it has made it possible to easily integrate foreign words and phrases into the local vocabulary. (18)

Literature is a door to open to see “how” the other sees. This other is both the author, but also the translator. The translated text confronts us with numerous mirrors. It can be translated several times without any of its translations looking like the other because no reading is like the other.

The literary text includes all forms of literature, whether written in prose or verse: the short story, the novel, the theater, the essay and the critical text. A literary text, has its own language, it is clearly distinguished from the language of all days. This “particular” language is the result of the use of words, structures syntax and sentence patterns in a specific way and which creates situations emotional, mental, psychological, imaginary…that ordinary language fails to achieve. (19)

Literature is a mutating notion, subject, depending on the time and the society in which it is emanation and expression, with many interpretations. (20) The literary text is one which uses a type of language which obeys aesthetic concerns in order to capture the reader’s interest. The author of literature searches for the appropriate words to express his ideas with respect and refinement.

Can we translate literature?

Translating literature is a complex and challenging task, as it involves not only linguistic skills but also a deep understanding of the source text and the ability to convey its essence in the target language. Translators must carefully consider the author’s style, tone, and cultural references to ensure a faithful and accurate translation. (21)

First of all, many wonder about the possibility of literary translation. Indeed, if we take for granted that there exists a sort of essence of the work of art, a literary “soul” which would exist independently of the text, and in the face of the challenge represented, for example, by the translation of an obscure poem by Mallarmé, one might wonder if the essence of this poem can be transferred to another language. 

This movement from one linguistic space to another can prove difficult, since, as Walter Benjamin puts forward: “What is essential in it [the literary work] is not communication, is not message.” (22) Benjamin therefore removes the literary work from the communication scheme and considers that it is not the “message” of the text that must be decoded and recoded, but this ineffable essence. He therefore differentiates between the aim – the word (le mot) – and the mode of aim – literality (literalité) –, which is the element which must be translated. (23)

The concept of the “mode of aim (mode de visée)” then seems more appropriate than the Saussurean “signified (signifié)”, (24) because it is not limited to the sign, but encompasses all the dimensions of the literary text. Thus, Benjamin locates the essence of translation beyond the word. In the same vein, Henri Meschonnic denounces the reduction of translation practice to the sole domain of language – the code – and affirms that “it is the speech, and the writing, that must be translated”. (25) These two researchers respond to the appropriation of translation studies by linguists (26) by affirming that translating literature is not reduced to simple decoding/recoding, but involves an apprehension of the work of art as a whole. For Benjamin as for Meschonnic, the need to translate is unquestionable, despite the difficulties that the translator faces when the object of his intervention is a literary text. (27)

Translators are often in the shadows, but they contribute in an essential way to the appreciation of a literary work. Do texts inevitably lose their truth when they are translated into another language, or can translation sometimes go so far as to become an enrichment?

Where is the border between fidelity to the work (28) and the interpretation that the translator can authorize? Are translators defenders of the language or defenders of the work? Should changes in the times (and therefore changes in language) cause translations to evolve?

Translate Bret Easton Ellis, Michael Connelly or even Stieg Larsson… a dream for fans of foreign literature! But literary translation is an arduous exercise that requires real writing talents to bring out all the “salt” of a foreign author, the musicality of his writing, the rhythm of his phrasing. And despite everything, the translator must disappear behind the work and make the reader forget that he is reading a translation. (29) 

Every translator must have a perfect command of the source language and the target language. He must also be able to understand the nuances of the original text, both in terms of meaning and style. This translation professional can be commissioned on novels, poetry, short stories and more broadly on any writing by an author or journalist: essays, press articles, biographies, memoirs, etc. (30)

The tasks of a literary translator (31) are varied and vary depending on the place of practice:

  • Understand the original work in its entirety;
  • Analyze the linguistic and cultural nuances of the text to be translated;
  • Look for precise and appropriate equivalences in the target language;
  • Capture the style, tone and emotion of the original work;
  • Present cultural references in a way that the reader can understand in the translated version;
  • Rewrite passages for a text that is fluid and faithful to the spirit of the original;
  • Maintain the consistency and integrity of the work throughout the translation process;
  • Review and refine translated text to ensure quality and accuracy; and
  • Engage in ongoing research to improve linguistic and artistic skills.

Literary translation and humility

Literary translation provides access to a work originally written in another language and another culture, which requires real creative work in the target language. (32) Throughout the pages, writers express themselves in particular styles, using specific techniques. This is the case, among a thousand others, of a work entirely in alexandrines, of a fantastic novel for children or teenagers, of a nugget of erotic literature or even of a story full of words and regional expressions (33) of historical novels which require solid knowledge of the period and the country concerned, as well as an acute mastery of the language in order to avoid anachronisms. In addition to dealing with the substance of the work, sometimes very technical (on maritime navigation, surgery or mining), which must remain clear because it is a question of restoring the stylistic effects as best as possible. 

For Landers, time does not play in favor of literary translation: (34)

“…every 30 years […] the translation loses half its vitality, its freshness, its ability to communicate to the reader in a contemporary voice. If this is true, it follows that major works of literature must be retranslated periodically if they are to retain their functions as a bridge between cultures and eras. “ 

If literary translation is the art of loss, it is also because the work of the translator falls into disuse quite quickly; after a certain period, everything has to start again. The translator must learn to live with this kind of planned obsolescence. He is the Tibetan monk who, during days of effort and patience, draws a magnificent mandala of colored sand and who, at the end of his gruelling work, erases his work with the back of his hand. The translator must learn to step aside and develop great humility.

For Landers, why speak of humility: (35)

“Why humility? Because even our best efforts will never succeed in capturing in all its grandeur the richness of the original.”

Literary translation is an exciting and challenging endeavor that is vital in the increasingly interconnected world. It provides a vital link between languages and cultures, giving readers access to a wide range of unique voices, stories and perspectives that would otherwise be limited to their native language. Literary translators, with their remarkable linguistic and cultural abilities, play a vital role in exposing the richness of world literature and transmitting it to a global audience. (36)

Translators are magicians who painstakingly produce translations, skillfully combining fidelity to the original text with the need to adapt and recreate its essence in a different linguistic and cultural context. Not only do they preserve the authenticity and integrity of the original work, but they also open new avenues of understanding, promote cross-cultural appreciation, and strengthen a sense of belonging to a global literary community.

On the tremendous work undertaken by fiction translators Boris Akunin writes in FT under the revealing title’’Translators: Publishing’s unsung heroes at work” what follows: (37)

“For John Cullen, his first few paragraphs are the most important and the most difficult. Just like the writers whose work he translates, he agonises over finding the right words. “I sit in my little office reading aloud to myself,” he says. “The first page has about 20 drafts. You have to see the spirit of the original author and to reproduce it. Particularly with a first-person narrative, it becomes very important to find the right voice. Once I hear that, or delude myself into thinking I have, I can go forward.” 

Cullen translated into English from French the Algerian writer Kamel Daoud’s The Meursault Investigation, one of the African novels on the longlist of the FT/OppenheimerFunds Emerging Voices fiction award. His creative efforts illustrate a growing debate about the importance of translation and whether its practitioners deserve more recognition for bringing fiction from a broader range of cultures to a wider international readership.”

Translation of Novels

Literary translation should be the task of the literary translator, this constitutes a starting point for any definition of novelistic translation. Autonomous activity and original in the middle of a complicated network of sociocultural practices, the literary translation is any translation of a work considered literary in the source culture, or any translation whose result is perceived as literary by the target culture. (38)

Novelistic translation is the type that poses the most problems for the translator, given that it is based, for the most part, on the skills of the latter. In novel translation, the translator must go beyond the simple stage of finding in the target language words equivalent to those used in the source language and must identify the subtleties that the apparent linguistic structures may contain. Subtleties caused by the interaction of words or certain syntactic structures. (39)

Novel translation presents many challenges, which can undoubtedly be attributed to the specificity of the work of art, its indecipherable essence, whether it is attributed to mystique inspiration of its author or the complexity of the literary language. This elusive part of literary text, which complicates the work of translation by scrambling the code.

Among the constraints that the translator must overcome, we can cite, first of all, sociocultural constraint; we can see that translatability is threatened if there are no common references between the two cultures. This happens when the author makes allusion to historical and/or cultural events or the particularities of the country. In short, understanding becomes complicated, even impossible if there is no experience sharing.

The exercise of translation is an effort to try to approach a solution, which remains inaccessible. Why that? Because it’s about conveying a novel from a language to another and that the difference between these two languages erects a barrier between the text written in one language and the reader who thinks and reads in the other.

In the novel, as mentioned above, the aesthetic value can easily be contrasted with the pragmatism of scientific and technical works. Novel translation gives great consideration to the style of the text to be translated. Very often, the translator of a fictional work uses adaptations in order to produce a good translation. Given that in a literary context, the translation operation aims above all to adapting – to be understood – the context of the source language to the target language that is why the translator often considers expressions, styles, images other than those of the initial context. The novelistic translation is supposed to account for all the referential, cultural and semantic elements of the initial text, that is to say; that the process to follow will be equal to the subjective process of creating the source text. (40)

Translating the novelistic style also involves knowledge of the language literary which is none other than the sum and result of individual styles. The main task of any translator is to produce in the Target Language (TL) the closest and most appropriate natural equivalent of the message of the Source Language (SL) as in style and meaning.

Translating novels can be rendered difficult when facing some specific constraints, in this regard Sarah Rababah and Linda Al-Abbas write: (41)

“Translating Saq Al-Bambu into English was foiled by four main constraints: cultural, social, political, and religious. The cultural constraint included issues in rendering different cultural beliefs that are present in the Filipino and Arabian cultures, and in negligently translating footnotes in the ST without taking into consideration the rich cultural background they contain which helps to draw readers into the cultural soul of the novel. The social constraints include issues of rendering proper names of martyrs, towns, tribes, and nicknames. The political constraints include the translator’s responsibility to shed light on the First and Second Gulf wars and engage the TL’s readers with its reasons, parties, and general information that could be beneficial in providing context to readers. And finally, the religious constraints involve the rendering of religious specific terms, like the term “son of God.”

In terms of the strategies used, the results showed that the translator used the strategies of omission, cultural substitution, and translation using a loan word or a loan word accompanied by an explanation more frequently to deal with culture-specific items in the novel, which confirms previous findings by Rahmani (75) and Al-Khalafat and Haider.”

Poetic translation

“Translation into poetry”: this seems an irreconcilable contradiction! Indeed, poetry is often deemed inherently untranslatable. Don’t we say “to translate is to betray”? Trying to translate poetry does not necessarily mean amputating what gives it its charm and its power of intensity and melody? Because at first glance the musicality specific to poetic language seems to be deeply linked to the particular genius of the language in which it is expressed. (42)

Poetic translation is above all an art of recoding, it is up to say a linguistic activity whose aim is to decipher codes of a source message in a target language and to produce an aesthetic effect, hence the need to respect the poetic dimension inseparable from poetry. (43)

Translating poetry requires a mixed approach playing mainly on the sensitivity and own experience of the translator. A comparison of the author’s perception and that of the translator very often helps to enrich the translated result. (44)

On the inherent difficulty of translation poetry Carmen-Ecaterina Aștirbei writes: (45)

“The literary text brings into play so many components that any reflection on its translation is confronted with a complex problem. However, the translation of poetry seems to constitute a field of privileged research, likely to advance debates. For some critics, the translation of a poem appears as utopian, as an impossibility, being doomed to failure from the start. The so-called translator would place himself here before an “aporetic postulate” (Davoust 1994, 111), because poetry is the creative process through excellence which plays with a coded system which is the language itself. If we try to “recode” this system in another language, we will observe that the poetry is “unique”, “non-repeatable”, and, therefore, “non-translatable” (Davoust 1994, 111).”

This operation of transfer of a culture, of a feeling from one language to another and the implementation of an aesthetic value does not come without difficulties and constraints which are generally the order of re-expression. It is therefore important to control the conceptual framework, which poetic creation. (46)

But in translating, we necessarily lose, on one side, while we gain on the other. It’s about using the compensation process wisely in the most natural way possible. In this sense, in-depth knowledge of the original culture is fundamental. A simple search is far from enough.

In poetic translation, the choice of words is fundamental. It must respond not only to the choice of the original author, who starts from his own linguistic environment, but also to the linguistic conception of the destination language, so that the poem can be understandable. It must retain its original poetic dimension, while adapting to specifications specific to the destination language. It is this set of constraints that pushes poetic translation towards rewriting in the destination language, because poetic translation necessarily involves choices, and not the least important ones. (47)

The constraints of final and interior rhymes, rhythm, punctuation (or not), stylistic figures, comparisons, etc. constitute both a difficulty and a challenge for the translator, who must both make the foreign reader understand a text and facilitate its poetic dimension by placing it in the context of the original writing.

Even more, the rhetorical, linguistic and harmonics, the imaginary, polysemous and symbolic power, the multiple functions that poetry fulfills mean that poetic translation is an activity with multiple dimensions. In this sense, the language of poetic texts differs from that of other forms of expression, it is a plural language, hence the problems of communicative, cognitive, aesthetic, cultural, linguistic nature and others. (48)

The differences between the original and the translation, however slight, betray the need to adapt the poem to the language of destination and the culture inherent to it. Need is to make a slight change of point of view in order to make the action of removing the cover understandable, to clarify the curled-up position of the stinger so that we understand that the scorpion’s tail resembles a question mark which ensnares the author in beauty and fear and fascinates her to the highest degree.

It is not impossible to translate the original poem word for word, but then we would lose the original rhythm as well as the image projected in the reader’s mind.

It then becomes preferable to alter the order of a verse – or of several verses -, to favor one formulation over the other, which, as close as it was to the original in the strictest sense, is the most removed from the interpretation that can be made of it. (49)

Translating poetry is not just about sticking to what is said. It is seeing beyond, trying to understand the complexity of the author, his conception of words, to reformulate it in the language of translation. In this sense, poetic translation can turn out to be more of a rewriting than a translation. The translator then becomes a new author having appropriated the poetic language of the original author.

The specificities of poetry translation 

What are the specificities of poetry translation? We can say that they fall into two main categories: specificities in substance on the one hand, and specificities in form on the other hand.

First of all, poetic texts are characterized by very distinct formal features. The majority of poetic volumes produced, all periods combined, in fact respect metrical rules. These metrical rules govern both the length of the verse (12 syllables for the alexandrine, 8 syllables for the octosyllable, etc.) as well as the size of the stanzas (couples, tercets, quatrains or quintils) or even the richness of the rhymes (poor rhymes, sufficient or rich).

This regular arrangement on the page is an integral part of the identity of the poem, so we can legitimately expect this to be found in the target language text. The size of the stanzas is often an easy element to maintain. On the other hand, how can we consider the translation of rich rhymes (more than three syllables in common between the verses concerned), without the result sacrificing meaning for sound? (50)

Sometimes, especially when languages are distant from each other, there is no rhyming equivalent in the target language. Respecting the length of the verse is also a constraint which can quickly become a headache for the translator: it is then necessary to twist the syntax, invert relative synonyms in the target language to achieve this objective. (51)

However, the alexandrine, with its very balanced binary rhythm, sums up in itself the whole spirit of French classicism, while the octosyllable, shorter and humbler, is emblematic of medieval oral literature.

It therefore seems essential to preserve this original metric so as not to distort the poem and its historical and cultural dimension. One might believe that modern poems escape this constraint of strict metrical rules.

Indeed, since the free verse revolution instigated by Guillaume Apollinaire at the beginning of the 20th century, many poems have turned their backs on poetic tradition, and are now composed only of irregular verses, sometimes even irregularly arranged on the page. Under these conditions, translation may seem easier. (52)

However, the absence of regularity is deceptive: it often hides meticulous work of formatting, a “false disorder” in reality very studied, and as difficult to render in the target language as a poem in stanzas and regular verses.

This difficulty in terms of form is already considerable, compared to the translation of a prose text. But the specificities of translation into poetry prove to be just as important… in substance.

Indeed, the characteristic of poetic language is polysemy. That is to say, poetry is the literary genre which takes language to its highest degree of intensity, which most deploys the semantic and imaginary capacities of each word and each echo of the words of the poem. (53)

The task is, therefore, particularly difficult for the translator, since it is not only a question of restoring the main meaning of a word in the target language, but of finding this depth of meaning specific to poetry, and therefore to find a way to transfer several meanings inherent to a single word into the target language. (54)

However, since languages do not all divide reality in the same way, the work of the poetry translator requires both erudition and sensitivity.

In this regard, H. S. Ghazala argues: (55)

“The translation of poetry has been and will continue to be an issue of great concern to translators, men of letters and readers. Poetry has been approached differently by translators. They are divided into two major parties: one insists on translating poetry into poetry with respect to all prosodic features; another suggests translating sense with no concern in prosody, especially rhyme, rhythm, meter and foot, especially when the translator is for some good reason, unable to translate a poem into a poem in the target language (TL). Each party has their own justifications for their claim.”

The cultural dimension of literary translation

Translation sports also a cultural dimension as G. Mounin says so well: (56)

“Fulfil two conditions, each of which is necessary, and none of which in itself is sufficient: studying the foreign language; to study (systematically) the ethnography of the community of which this language is the expression.”

Producer of a new work in the target culture, the translator of the fictional text works on both language and culture, where identity is changing and cannot be restricted in everyday community expressions of the French and English languages or Arabic, or in foreign language which is perceived as annoying chatter.

Translation is seen as a negotiation of differences and no longer as an opposition between the universal and the local. Translating is also thinking about culture as a relationship between cultures. This is why there can be no question of a homogeneous culture. Differences are present within the same culture and between cultures, as they are also within the same language and between languages. So, translating between cultures constitutes a challenge of civilization. (57)

Translation is a matter of the coexistence of cultures although there are always traits distinctive in their ways of seeing things (traditions and customs, mythology and symbolism) which the translator must be well informed about, and with which he must familiarize himself, as much as possible, with certain social and historical truths which characterize each culture as well as the evolution of the meaning of words through the ages, with the aim of protecting oneself from any misjudgement of the meaning of a word, and therefore of any false translation.

Cultural transfer (58) consists of providing the foreign reader with knowledge about a world that is not his own. This contribution does not quite cover the distance between the two worlds but opens a window onto the original culture.

Translation is a matter of coexistence of cultures although there are always traits distinctive in their ways of seeing things (traditions and customs, mythology and symbolism…) which the translator must be well informed about, and with which he must familiarize himself with, as much as possible. (59)

When you write a book in your mother tongue, you use cultural words. We know that all readers, or at least most of them, will understand the words in question since we share the same culture with them. But when a book is translated, new readers do not have the same understanding of these words, and therefore not the same conception of things. The translator must help his readers understand the cultural words using different strategies. (60)

Culture is a complete system that encompasses habits and behaviors to which language is closely linked. It is defined as a set of characters of identity exceptions. The link between literature and culture no longer needs to be demonstrated. It is a special link because the novel is the place, par excellence, of the expression of the cultural and social universe of a given community. It is the most Interior manifestation of culture and the privileged space for the affirmation of values and morals specific to a given society. Thus, literature, presented as a cultural fact contributes to the construction and affirmation of the national identity of a country. (61)

So-called cultural problems are often mentioned in the difficulties of translation, objects and notions which belong exclusively to a given culture do not have lexical correspondences in the receiving culture, something which makes their transfer of the most difficult nature. It is not enough to find the equivalent word but also, and above all, to be able to convey everything it conveys as a semantic load. Some words cannot be understood correctly if they are isolated from the cultural phenomena that they convey and of which they are symbols.

In this regard Marianne Lederer writes: (62)

“…it is not just a question of knowing which word to place in the target language in correspondence to that of the source language, but also and above all to know how convey as much as possible the implicit world that the language of the other covers”

Reading a novel without the reader realizing that it is the translation of a work written in a foreign language, in the context of a different culture, is the object of desire, even the dream, of every novel translator. Translating a novel in such a way as to ensure that all its stylistic components are transcoded into the target language, while respecting the order of ideas and dialogues, is a feat that deserves the greatest of respect and the greatest consideration for the translator. (63)

Literary translation and the broadening of the cultural horizon

The broadening of the cultural horizon that literary translation offers is comparable to a window open to the world. It allows readers to travel across continents from the comfort of their homes. It provides valuable access to literary works that embody the very essence of different cultures. Translation makes imaginary journeys possible, allowing us to explore not only the physical geographies, but also the cultural and emotional landscapes of each society. (64)

Each translated story is an invitation to enter a different world, to understand the subtleties of a language, the nuances of a tradition, and the values of a people. This goes beyond simply translating words. It is an act of interpretation, where the translator must capture the soul of the original work and faithfully transmit it in another language, thus preserving its authenticity. By sharing the stories of other cultures, we develop a deeper respect for the diversity of the world, which in turn nurtures tolerance and acceptance. (65)

In the metaphors and turns of phrase of each language lies the soul of a culture. Ancient myths, heroic legends, traditional tales and poems remain alive through literary translation. It offers them a new life, a new voice, and a new audience.

Literary translation also ensures that ideas and perspectives that have been carefully woven into the works of writers and poets are not lost with the decline of languages or dialects. It is a form of cultural preservation, where literary works are preserved in the stone of words, ensuring that future generations can connect with their roots and understand the evolution of their society. (66)

This translation process allows readers around the world to explore universal themes, such as love, freedom and the search for meaning, through the unique lens of each culture. By reading translated works, we slip into the deep thoughts of authors who live in remote corners of the world, allowing us to see the world through their eyes. We are invited to contemplate truths that may seem foreign at first, but through the process of reading become familiar and understandable. (67)

These exchanges of ideas are not limited to intellectual enrichment; they also touch the heart and soul. By reading translated stories, we can feel the same emotions as the characters, experience the same torments and celebrate the same victories. It creates a deep human connection, reminding us that, despite our cultural differences, we share common emotional experiences. (68)

Each language, with its own cadence and deep meaning, offers a different view of the world. The globe is an ecosystem teeming with dialects, languages and regional languages, each carrying the essence of a specific community. Literary translation presents itself as the guardian of this diversity, offering each language, even the most threatened, the chance to be heard throughout the world.

By providing a voice to minority languages, often silenced by dominant languages, literary translation acts as a cultural beacon, preserving unique traditions, stories and expressions.

In addition to being an act of preservation, literary translation is an essential educational vehicle. It encourages the discovery of languages, awakens the curiosity of young minds and promotes intercultural understanding. By opening the door to a range of major works in their native language, it offers students an enriching education, well beyond the acquisition of knowledge. (69)

Intellectual emancipation, encouraged by literary translations, transcends the walls of schools and universities. It gives individuals the tools to think critically, to question dogmas, and to develop their own perspective on the world.

For Rehema, translation occupies an important place in education: (70)

“Translation occupies an irreplaceable role within the expansive domain of education, functioning as an essential channel to facilitate the unimpeded exchange of knowledge and ideas. In the complex web of educational pursuits, translation acts as a bridge, connecting individuals from different linguistic and cultural backgrounds, thus fostering a rich and dynamic environment where learning and communication thrive. Without the transformative power of translation, the global educational landscape would be marked by barriers that hinder the cross-pollination of ideas and the dissemination of wisdom, making it a truly indispensable component of modern education.”

In addition to being an act of preservation, literary translation is an essential educational vehicle. It encourages the discovery of languages, awakens the curiosity of young minds and promotes intercultural understanding. (71)

By opening the door to a range of major works in their native language, it offers students an enriching education, well beyond the acquisition of knowledge.

Intellectual emancipation, encouraged by literary translations, transcends the walls of schools and universities. It gives individuals the tools to think critically, to question dogmas, and to develop their own perspective on the world.

The challenges of literary translation

Literary translation is a style of translation with major challenges. Like other types of translation, this should not be transcribed word for word. However, it is more complex to maintain the creative and imaginary aspect of a work while adapting it perfectly to the target language. (72)

Literary translation must comply with fundamental rules. First of all, perfect mastery of both languages is required; it is necessary to respect the style of the work. Indeed, it is necessary to preserve the idea, the play on words, the style of the author, the innuendoes, the figures of speech; the choice of words, cultural references (a song, a party, etc.). (73)

It is essential to master the grammar, lexicon and spirit of the text. However, you also have to face other elements such as pitfalls to avoid, cultural differences, and many others. 

The traps to avoid are:

  • Barbarism → writing a word that does not exist in a language;
  • The opposite meaning → a translation opposite to what is initially written;
  • Misinterpretation → taking one word for another;
  • Omission → refusal to translate, linked to complexity; and
  • Solecism → a syntax that does not exist in a language

In addition, literary translation is incompatible with automatic translation carried out by software because there is a very important creative character in the target text that has to be preserved and only human intelligence can detect and act accordingly for that. (74)

Amparo Hurtado Albir is a Spanish professor, translator and researcher. In her work called Traducción & Traductología: Introducción a la traductología (2001), (75) she developed 5 techniques for literary translation, which are as follows:

  • Adaptation: It consists of replacing one cultural element with another, specific to the target culture;
  • Linguistic amplification: It involves adding linguistic elements to the target text. For example, the use of periphrases to replace a word without equivalent;
  • The compensation: This technique aims to add an element of information or a stylistic effect to another place in the text if it is not possible to translate in the same place as that initially planned;
  • The elision: The translator can decide to remove elements that are not necessary for understanding in the target text; and
  • The loan: Finally, this technique preserves a word or expression from the source text.

Characteristics of a good literary translation

What are the characteristics of a good literary translation? A good literary translation is the result of alchemy. It involves letting the author whisper the story into the ear of the translator so that the latter can transcribe the dictation of his neighbor at the table, as if the translator were a magician capable of deciphering the hieroglyphs of his thoughts. 

In literary translation, one must not betray the original by composing a text that departs from it, but one must not make a literal and mechanical translation of it either. The most important thing when translating a novel, a collection of poems, an essay or a play is to respect the soul of the author. His style, his personality, and his essence. (76)

There are translations that originally were a left-wing manifesto, yet the resulting translation converted them into a far-right manifesto. The same goes for certain novels written by women who claim their femininity and whose translation does not respect this feminine perspective. A good literary translation is one whose text flows as if it had been written in the original language. (77)

To translate is to make a text credible, to bring it into its own idiomatic territory, to step into the skin of the author.

The distinction between adaptation and translation is essential in the field of literary translation. While translation involves the accurate reproduction of source material in the target language, adaptation goes beyond language conversion. Adaptation requires making intentional choices to ensure that the translated work reflects the essence, cultural subtleties and intended impact in the target language. This may involve changing language, rephrasing words, or even adding or removing specific elements to achieve the desired impact. Finding the right balance between adaptation and translation is essential to producing a translated work that remains faithful to the original while resonating with the target audience.

For Margaret Jull Costa, literary translation is synonymous of faithfulness: (78)

“…translation sometimes seems to me like creative writing in reverse. The act of writing for the original writer often begins as a largely intuitive process that becomes progressively more conscious, whereas translation starts as a more conscious activity—transforming someone else’s words into equivalent words in another language—and moves on to acquire an intuitive authority. If the translation is to have a life of its own, the translator must allow the text being translated to become part of her own imaginative life, of her own imaginative furniture. The translation has to have a voice of its own, just as the original does. A translator cannot be a neutral conduit through which language passes. The best translations have the stamp of individuality on them, but a dual individuality: that of author and translator. A good literary translation should have a new personality composed of those two individuals.”

What is the purpose of literary translation?

Literary translation serves the important role of bringing works of literature from one language to another, allowing readers to access and appreciate texts that they may not have been able to read otherwise. It helps to bridge cultural gaps, promote understanding and appreciation of different cultures, and enrich the literary landscape with diverse voices and perspectives. (79) 

On the nature of literary translation, Lirak Karjagdiu and Naser Mrasori argue: (80)

“When it comes to translation, most often a distinction is made between literary and non-literary translation. Literary translation is in a way considered a form of art, whereas non-literary translation is viewed as a craft. This is owing to the fact that literature is the art of words. Therefore, there are opinions that literary translation is of a higher status compared to non- literary translation. Literary translations aim at influencing man’s artistic sensibility in order to achieve a particular aesthetic effect. One of the main literary translation’s objectives is to be creative by trying to provoke the same artistic experience in target language receivers, as the original message would in the source language. Studies on literary translation are extremely important given that translation in cultural aspect is naturally more important for smaller rather than nations with larger population. Therefore, the paper focuses mainly on the function and importance of literary translation in enrichment and strengthening of national literature especially in those fields, genres, styles, narrative techniques, etc., where national literature is in the process of its development.”

Literary translation is an art that does not simply consist of translating a text from one language to another. It is an art that requires great mastery of languages, and above all great knowledge of the language in which the text to be translated is found. You also need to understand very well the context in which it takes place. But also, be able to relate it to the context of the country in which it is located. (81)

To be able to translate literarily, you also need to know the literature and culture of the country in which you have to translate the source text.

There are several objectives in literary translation. The first and most important is to give the reader the same message as the original text. This is why it is necessary to ensure that the reader understands what the original text wanted to convey. Another objective of literary translation is to allow the reader who does not speak the original language of the original text to identify with the text itself, its characters, and its context. Literary translation must allow the reader to feel the emotions that the original text wanted to convey. (82)

There are two ways to translate. Direct translation and indirect translation. Indeed, in direct translation, the translator uses the same vocabulary as in the original text in the translated text. On the other hand, in indirect translation, the original text is transposed so that it is easily understandable in the reader’s language. This method has the advantage of allowing the reader who does not know the original text to perfectly understand the translated text. (83)

Literary translators play a very important role in the world of translation. They participate in the communication and dissemination of literary works. They allow an author or writer to make their work and ideas known to readers in the language they have chosen to translate the work into. Literary translation is not only a means of communication between people of different cultures and languages, but also a kind of cultural diplomacy.

It is in this sense that translation has played a role in the democratization of literature.  Indeed, in countries where a language was spoken that did not have any political and cultural power, literary translators allowed such languages to establish themselves as literary languages. Translations thus gave languages previously reserved for the private sphere the right to appear in the public domain as literary languages.

It not only played a role in the democratization of literature. It allowed authors from developing countries to benefit from prestige. But also, the fame that was denied to them by authors in the Western world.

Literary translation, like any other activity, must follow a certain procedure. Several stages can be distinguished:

  • The first step is reading. The author must read the text he is going to translate. He must read and reread it in order to grasp its apparent and hidden essences.
  • The second step is deciding. The author must then decide whether he wants to do the translation himself or whether he delegates this work to a translator. He himself must be present to possibly give some explanations to the translator.
  • The third step is proofreading. The author must reread the text to ensure that the translator does not make mistakes and does not introduce words that do not correspond to the author’s style. He must also ensure that the translator has understood his work and respected his style. He must then correct what needs to be corrected.
  • Finally, the last step is sending the text to the customer. Since the client-reader must read the translation, any errors that could be made and which could disturb them must be avoided.

In summary doing a translation is a difficult task. You have to take a lot of time and have a lot of imagination. You also need to know how to put yourself in the author’s place and understand his style, his emotions and aims.

Literary translation is an art 

Literary translation is an art that does not simply consist of translating a text from one language to another. It is an art that requires great mastery of languages, and above all great knowledge of the language in which the text to be translated is found. You also need to understand very well the context in which it takes place. But also, be able to relate it to the context of the country in which it is located. (85)

There are several objectives in literary translation. The first and most important is to give the reader the same message as the original text. This is why it is necessary to ensure that the reader understands what the original text wanted to convey.

For Yifeng Sun, literary translation is explained in the following terms: (86)

“The translator’s main role is that of a communicator—and a cross-cultural one at that. Literary translation communicates more than semantic meaning. A range of literary features is also expected to be reproduced. Reconstructing the literary value and aesthetic experience of the source text is significantly hampered by literary untranslatability. The fundamental purpose of translation is communication, but because it is subject to a multitude of constraints that seriously limit communicative possibilities, literary untranslatability constantly threatens to hinder successful communication. Since translation is often said to transfer the original message to the target reader, communication breaks down when this attempt fails—which occurs more often than not. Literary translation purports to capture, convey and communicate multi-layered and interconnected information and feelings about another situation and community. Any monolithic perception of this inherent irreducibility of all-round functionality is at odds with the nature of literary translation. From a communicative perspective, literary translation aims at developing sophisticated forms to better convey and communicate ideas and feelings, as well as to provide situational cues to elicit appropriate responses from the target reader in tandem with that of the source reader.”

Another objective of literary translation is to allow the reader who does not speak the original language of the original text to identify with the text itself, its characters, and its context. Literary translation must allow the reader to feel the emotions that the original text wanted to convey. (87)

Literary translation is distinguished from other forms of translation, because it admits a certain freedom and, creativity on the part of the translator.  (88)

Kamal Osman Sharfi Mohamed describes the creativity aspect of translation as follows: (89)

“While the notion of creativity in translation has been considered with some suspicion, creativity is an inevitable aspect of the translation process. Creativity is an important task, which at an individual level involves problem solving and on a societal level leads to innovation. According to Sternberg and Lubart: “Creativity is the ability to produce work that is both novel (i.e. original, un-expected) and appropriate (i.e. useful, adaptive concerning task Given that translation retraces the creative impulse of the original, both writer and translator are equally constrained by “the handling and crafting of the raw material of language”. A commitment to the mere equivalence of this “raw material,” too often the cornerstone of translation excellence, has the ability of erasing the most outstanding features of the source text and reducing the translation to an inferior copy, making it therefore unable to live up to the original. “

The primary issue in literary translation would be therefore to avoid falling into literalism, but also, in a “free translation which deletes and changes, or adds and invents what is not in the source text”. (90) For this, the model proposed by A. Hurtado-Albir (91) remains current and seems to be an adequate method for defining the limits of literary translation as best as possible.

Literary translation is distinguished from other forms of translation, because it admits a certain freedom and creativity on the part of the translator. Creativity remains the key word in any literary work. Likewise, the translation of this type of speech is none other than the creation of a new work, while keeping the soul of the original. But what exactly do we mean by “creativity”?

It is mainly a question here of language creativity, but this notion is not limited solely to language, but to parameters that transcend the Linguistics factor itself. A creativity, that is, conditioned by the famous conflict between the letter and the spirit, as expressed by Ladmiral, (92) with a touch of philosophy: “Emphasizing the spirit of the text does not consist of taking one’s ease with the letter, but on the contrary of digging into the letter.’’

In short, this is a constraining challenge the translator has constantly to demonstrate a balance between these two components: say just what you need, with the right words. But then how to stay within the limits of the mind, without sinking into the traps of over-translation?

At the lexical level, the gap with the original could be felt notably through the choice of register, namely rendering a register more or less supported by a familiar register, etc., or again the use of neologisms which do not suit the context of the original, when the spatio-temporal gap between it and its translation is quite important.

It is quite obvious that literality in no way results in a faithful translation, when by literal, we designate a translation which gives priority to language to the detriment of meaning. (93) 

So that the meaning is re-expressed in a manner adequate, the translator must use the resources available in the target language, and make sure to keep the same semantic content (example of the literal sense/figurative sense), while respecting, as cited previously, the constraints of the genius of language, in order to ensure good understanding by the target recipient. (94)

Amparo Hurtado Albir, defines the errors of translation according to the impact that they can generate on the meaning, arising either from a poor understanding of the meaning of the author, or the imperfect mastery of the target language, a lack of extralinguistic knowledge, or yet another choice of method that is inappropriate for the purpose of the speech. (95) In short, the choice of method remains a most decisive element, due to the fact that (96)

 “… certain translators have clarified links between sentences, provided information, clarifications, or modified the syntax while others have rather adapted to the meaning of the words or to the original structures.” 

Just as over-translation, or adaptation would be possible when “the translator freely interprets the author’s meaning, or goes too far into the possibilities of reformulation.” (97)

Literary translation, a pure recreation

If the language of a given society is linked to its own culture and that it reflects a certain vision of the world, the translation between two cultures – or two visions – is not impossible. Since the translation is the transfer of a message from a source language-culture to another target language-culture, the translator of any work is supposed to master both the source language and culture and the language and culture targets. (98)

This is, undoubtedly, a linguistic-cum-literary skill known as: “translation competence”, it is introduced by Kirsten Malmkjær in the following terms: (99)

“Even those discussions of translation competence in translation studies that strive towards the Chomskyan understanding tend to include aspects of, or be akin to, the Human resources and Social Competence definitions. For example, PACTE (2000, 100) claim to have borrowed the notion of translation competence “from the idea of linguistic competence”, but they define translation competence as including an array of knowledges, skills and abilities which vary between individuals and which would never find their way into the notion of linguistic competence.”

However, Pacte organization defines the concept of “translation competence” in a more detailed way: (100)

  1. Communicative Competence in two languages, including linguistic, discourse and sociolinguistic competence.
  2. Extra-Linguistic Competence composed of general world knowledge and specialist knowledge.
  3. Instrumental-Professional Competence composed of knowledge and skills related to the tools of the trade and the profession.
  4. Psycho-Physiological Competence, “defined as the ability to use all kinds of psychomotor, cognitive and attitudinal resources” including “psychomotor skills for reading and writing; cognitive skills (e.g. memory, attention span, creativity and logical reasoning); psychological attitudes (e.g. intellectual curiosity, perseverance, rigour, a critical spirit, and self-confidence)”.
  5. Transfer Competence, which is “the ability to complete the transfer process from the ST (source text) to the TT (target text), i.e. to understand the ST and re-express it in the TL (target language), taking into account the translation’s function and the characteristics of the receptor”.
  6. Strategic Competence, which includes “all the individual procedures, conscious and unconscious, verbal and non-verbal, used to solve the problems found during the translation process”.”

Moreover, the translation of the novel, as a literary genre, fits into so-called literary translation which proves difficult because it has an aesthetic overload inseparable from the form of the source text. So, does it go beyond the simple transposition of words and sentences to have the same effect as the original text, or is it truly “an operation of recreation”?  (101)

Literary translation is therefore different from other forms of translation by the fact that the expressive function of language is dominant in literature because the author seeks to arouse emotions of its readers by using significant formal elements contributing to create a particular aesthetic effect. The literary translator should therefore transmit in the target text a language having the same expressive function, without necessarily adopting the same forms of the initial text. he can however, draw inspiration from it to create equivalent effects on its recipients. Translation specialists therefore consider the translator of literature as “a co-author” because he participates in “the creation of a work more or less new”. (102)

In literary translation, we are faced with two enunciators that the receiver must “listen” to at the same time, namely: the author and the translator. The latter must be faithful to the first in style without however betraying his own recipients to whom he addresses by carrying, so to speak, the message of the first speaker. In other words, the translator is obliged to have a double loyalty: on the one hand towards the original author and, on the other side, towards the receivers of the incoming text. Albir emphasizes, this remark, that “the translator fulfills a double function: receiver of a speech formulated in a language and transmitter of a new speech formulated in another language.” The culmination of the translation process lies largely in the balance of this dual function. (103)

It goes without saying that the literature of a certain nation reveals the essential features of its culture. There you can find popular beliefs and religious, political customs, gastronomy, etc. This is why, from the second half of the 20th century, the question of cultural transfer has begun to arouse the interest of theorists. In his Theoretical Problems of translation, Mounin  (104) devotes an entire chapter to this question (105) where he focuses on the need to study the ethnography of society whose language is the subject of translation. Then, Meschonnic (106) forms the concept of “language-culture” to indicate that the language and its culture are truly inseparable. A few years later, Ladmiral and Lipiansky (107) confirm that language is not only an instrument of communication but still it is the mirror of its culture. Having put emphasis on the cultural dimension of translation, Cordonnier (108) gives a summary view of the problems that the translator could meet in the translation. In an article in Meta, the same author (109) goes further in his interpretation by addressing the value of social translation. It emphasizes five key notions: otherness, history, criticism, ethics and tasks of translation.

Conclusion: in literary translation one culture is recreated in another culture

Taking into account that cultural difference and its impact is a sine qua non condition for translating from any language-culture towards another, the translator ought to recognize and respect the space of otherness. The reader, in turn, must strive to assimilate this strangeness since he realizes that he is dealing with a literary work carrying a culture foreign to his own.

In the translation process, as Cordonnier (110) says, “it is not in fact necessary to take the Other with me in his entirety, nor lose him in my totality to understand him, to live in the world with him.” We note how difficult it is for the translator to maintain a certain balance between the two languages-cultures in contact in order to achieve a translation that can both promote awareness of the source culture and respect the genius of the target language.

For this, cultural study occupies a central place in translation studies. Since translation represents the transfer of a message from a source language-culture to another target language-culture, the translator must have mastered the original culture as well as the destination culture to avoid cultural mismatch.

In today’s translation studies, the translated text is seen as a complex semantic ensemble that is embedded in the linguistic, historical and political contexts of the target culture. Every translation is never isolated; it is related to other texts, other discourses that are intimately, closely linked to the cultural experience of a given country, to the history of a people, to a vision and perception of the world. Every translator seeks a key to the literary text of the Other.

For Reedsy literary translation transforms how we think: (111)

“Why is literary translation important? If books and stories are meant to show readers a range of experiences and perspectives, then translated literature is absolutely crucial to doing that. Through translations, you can travel to various places and experience various lives without even leaving your armchair. It makes accessible to us the worlds of the foreign narrators, their concerns, their conundrums, and their joys. We can see cultural similarities and differences in a way that encourages empathy and consideration of new points of view on all sorts of issues. 

Not only does foreign language literature expose us to different ideas, it also continuously boosts diversity in genres and storytelling craft. Can you imagine a world without the realist psychoanalytic masterpieces of Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the magical realist tales of Gabriel García Márquez, or the ruminations on human relationships of Elena Ferrante? These insightful materials that can provoke thought in readers as well as inspire writers all over the world to broaden their horizons with their writing — something that would be far more limited without literary translations. “ 

The aim of this work was to identify, in the most exhaustive and relevant way as possible, the criteria allowing us to judge whether a translation is acceptable or inadequate. For the case of literary translation, we have seen that creativity remains the unavoidable factor. Nevertheless, the question of where and when this creativity stops, it still remains a complex element to define. (112)

The primary issue in literary translation would be therefore to avoid falling into literalism, but also in a “free translation which deletes and changes, or adds and invents what is not in the source text.” (113)

In conclusion, literary translation is much more than a simple transposition of words from one language to another. It is a complex and significant act that opens the doors to the world through words. By allowing us to understand, appreciate and celebrate cultural diversity, literary translation enriches our lives and connects us to our common humanity. It is a valuable art that deserves to be celebrated and supported, as it continues to fuel our curiosity and enrich our understanding of the world around us and bring people of different cultures and creeds together. 

Literary translation is a form of tolerance, an expression of mutual understanding, a reflection of coexistence, a sign of mutual respect and most importantly a tool for living together and global peace. Amen.

You can follow Professor Mohamed Chtatou on Twitter/X: @Ayurinu


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  34.  Ibid., pp. 10-11.
  35.  Ibid., p. 8.
  36.  Karjagdiu, L. & Mrasori, N. (2021). The role of literary translation in the development and enrichment of national literature. Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies, 17(4), 2332-2345. Retrieved from file:///C:/Users/hp/Downloads/3860-14357-1-PB.pdf 
  37.  Akunin, Boris. (2015). Translators: Publishing’s unsung heroes at work. FT. Retrieved from 
  38.  Cadera, S. M. (2012). Translating fictive dialogue in novels. In The translation of fictive dialogue (pp. 33-51). Leiden: Brill.
  39.  Latifaha, Nita Wardatul, Baharuddin, & Udin. (2022). An Analysis of Translation Shift in Novel Shine by Jessica Jung and Its Translation. Culturalistics: Journal of Cultural, Literary, and Linguistic Studies, 6(2), 11-17. Retrieved from 
  40.  Rababah, S. & Al-Abbas, L. (2022). Overcoming Constraints in Literary Translation: A Case Study of Rendering Saud Al-Sanousi’s Saq Al-Bambu into English. Open Cultural Studies6(1), 260-271.
  41. Ibid
  42.  Czerniawski, A. (1994). TRANSLATION OF POETRY: THEORY AND PRACTICE. The Polish Review, 39(1), 3-19. 
  43.  Oseki-Dépré, Ines. (2004). Traduction et poésie. Paris : Maisonneuve & Larose.
  44.  Bassnett, Susan. (1998). Transplanting the seed: poetry and translation. In S., Bassnett & A., Lefevere (Eds.). Constructing Cultures: Essays on Literary Translation (pp. 57–76). Clevedon: Multilingual Matters.
  45.  Aștirbei, Carmen-Ecaterina. (2010). Pour une poétique du traduire. Techniques de traduction de la métaphore dans le texte en vers. Translationes, 2. DOI: 10.2478/tran-2014-0026. Retrieved from 
  46.  Weissbort, Daniel. (1989). Translating Poetry: The Double Labyrinth. London: Macmillan.
  47.  Lefevere, André. (1975). Translating Poetry: Seven Strategies and a Blueprint. Assen: Van Gorcum.
  48.  Jones, Francis R. (2011). Poetry Translating as Expert Action: Processes, Priorities and Networks. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  49.  Moos, David. (2022). Matière, maître et modèle : Rutebeuf dans la poésie moderne et contemporaine. Palimpsestes, 36. Retrieved from 
  50.  Boase-Beier, Jean. (2009). Poetry. In M., Baker & G., Saldanha (Eds.). Routledge Encyclopaedia of Translation Studies (2nd edition, pp. 194-196). London: Routledge.
  51.  Voldeng, E. (1984). La traduction poétique comme duplication ou dérivation naturelle d’une langue à une autre, Meta29(2), 220-224.
  52.  Chtatou, Mohamed. (2021). The Notion of Equivalence in Translation. Eurasia Review. Retrieved from 
  53.  Sáez Hermosilla, T. (1990). Pour traduire la poésie : notes et notations. Meta35(3), 615-624.
  54.  Suhamy, H. (2005). La traduction des métaphores et des hypallages dans Shakespeare et dans Scott: quand l’intertextualité s’ en mêle. Palimpsestes. Revue de traduction, (17), 57-70.
  55.  Ghazal, H. S. (2019). Poetic Vs. Poetical Translation of Poetry (English-Arabic). AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, 3(1). Retrieved from  
  56.  Mounin, Georges. (1963). Les problèmes théoriques de la traduction (p. 214). Paris: Gallimard.
  57.  Abu-Mahfouz, Ahmad. (2008). Translation as a Blending of CulturesJournal of Translation, 4(1),1–5. doi:10.54395/jot-x8fne
  58.  Bandia, P. F. (1993). Translation as culture transfer: Evidence from African creative writing. TTR: traduction, terminologie, rédaction6(2), 55-78.
  59.  Chtatou, Mohamed. (2021). Introduction to Translation. Eurasia Review. Retrieved from 
  60.  Holden, N. J., & Von Kortzfleisch, H. F. (2004). Why cross‐cultural knowledge transfer is a form of translation in more ways than you think. Knowledge and process management11(2), 127-136.
  61.  Abu-Mahfouz, A. (2008). Op. cit. 
  62.  Lederer, Marianne. (2006). La Traduction Aujourd’hui, Le modèle Interprétatif (p. 102). Caen : Lettres Modernes Minard.
  63.  Shaw, R. D. (1987). The translation context: Cultural factors in translation. Translation Review23(1), 25-29. 
  64.  Al-Sofi, B. B. M. A., & Abouabdulqader, H. (2020). Bridging the gap between translation and culture: towards a cultural dimension of translation. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Culture6(1), 1-13.
  65. Ibid
  66.  Bassnett, S. (2003). The translation turn in cultural studies. In Translation translation (pp. 433-449). Leiden: Brill.
  67.  Wang, N., & Domínguez, C. (2016). Comparative literature and translation: A cross-cultural and interdisciplinary perspective. In Y. Gambier & L. van Doorslaer (Eds.). Border crossings: Translation studies and other disciplines (pp. 287–308). Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  68.  Wagner, B. (2012). Cultural translation: A value or a tool? Translation. Narration, Media and the Staging of Differences, 51-68.
  69.  Fernández-Alonso A. (2022). The Role of the Student in the Literary Translation Classroom: A Pedagogical Approach Towards a New Learning Perspective. In P.C., Leotta (Ed.). Language Change and the New Millennium. European Scientific Journal, ESJ, 18 (18), 73. 
  70.  Rehema. (2023). Unlocking Knowledge: The Importance of Translation in Education! Afrolingo. Retrieved from 
  71.  Al-azzawy, Istabraq Tariq, & Ziyad Fadhil Himood. (2007). Impact of Translation on Teaching Literature at the English Department. Tikrit University Journal for Humanities, 14(4). Retrieved from 
  72.  Yousef, T. (2012). Literary translation: Old and new challenges. International Journal of Arabic-English Studies13(1), 49-64.
  73.  Shields, K. (2013). Challenges and possibilities for world literature, global literature, and translation. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture15(7), 7.
  74.  Taivalkoski-Shilov, Kristiina. (2019). Ethical issues regarding machine(-assisted) translation of literary texts. Perspectives, 27(5), 689-703. DOI: 10.1080/0907676X.2018.1520907
  75.  Hurtado Albir, Amparo. (2011). Traducción y Traductología: Introducción a la traductología. Madrid: Ediciones Cátedra.
  76.  Abdallah, K. (2012). Translators in production networks: Reflections on agency, quality and ethics (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from
  77.  Costa, Margaret Jull. (2008). The Literary Translator’s Many Ways of Being Faithful. Yearbook of Comparative and General Literature, 54, 137-143. Retrieved from 
  78. Ibid
  79.  Grubisic, Katia. (2021). What Is the Point of Literary Translation? The Walrus. 
  80.  Mounin, Georges. (1963). Op. cit., p. 232.
  81.  Leighton, L. G. (1990). Translation as a Derived Art. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, 134(4), 445-454. 
  82.  Chtatou, Mohamed. (2021).  Translation and its Cross-Cultural relevance. Eurasia Review. Retrieved from 
  83.  Shields, K. (2013). Challenges and possibilities for world literature, global literature, and translation. CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture15(7), 7.
  84.  Venuti, L. (1996). Translation and the Pedagogy of Literature. College English, 58(3), 327-344. 
  85.  Cadera, S. M. (2016). Literary retranslation in context: a historical, social and cultural perspective. In S. M. Cadera, and A. S. Walsh (Eds.).  Literary Retranslation in Context. Oxford and New York, N.Y.: Peter Lang. Doi: 10.3726/b10749 
  86.  Sun, Yifeng. (2022).  Literary translation and communication. Front. Commun. 7:1073773. Doi: 10.3389/fcomm.2022.1073773. Retrieved from 
  87.  Mengying Jiang. (2021). Translation as cultural diplomacy: a Chinese perspective. International Journal of Cultural Policy, 27(7), 892-904, DOI: 10.1080/10286632.2021.1872554
  88.  Baker, M. (2000). Towards a methodology for investigating the style of a literary translator. Target. International Journal of Translation Studies12(2), 241-266.
  89.  Sharfi Mohamed, Kamal Osman. (2016). LITERARY TRANSLATION AS A MEANS OF CREATIVITY. Global Journal of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, 4(1), 49-52. Retrieved from 
  90.  Mansour, L. (2008). La traduction du dialogue dans la trilogie de Naguib MAHFOUZ : Une déformation ou un parcours créatif ? CADMO, An International Journal of Educational Research, Roma III, Italy, p. 17.
  91.  Hurtado Albir, Amparo. (1990). La notion de fidélité en traduction. Paris : Didier Erudition.
  92.  Ladmiral, J. R. (2004). Lever de rideau théorique : quelques esquisses conceptuelles. Palimpsestes, 16, 15-30, p. 16.
  93.  Hurtado Albir, Amparo. (1990). Op. cit. p. 119. 
  94.  Ibid., p. 118.
  95.  Ibid., p. 146.
  96.  Ibid., p. 137.
  97.  Ibid., p. 121.
  98.  Malmkjær, K. (2009). What is translation competence ? Revue française de linguistique appliquée, XIV, 121-134.
  99. Ibid
  100.  PACTE research group (Proceso de Adquisición de la Competencia Traductora y Evaluación) was established in October 1997 at the University of Barcelona (Universitat Autónoma de Barcelona, Departament de Tradducció i d’Interpretació). Its main aim is to investigate Translation Competence and its acquisition in written translation in order to improve the teaching of translation (link: <http:// www. fti. uab. es/ pacte/ indexenglish. htm>). Cf. PACTE (PACTE, 2000, 101-102).
  101.  Laurence, Malingret. (2002). Stratégies de traduction : Les lettres hispaniques en langue française (p. 33). Paris : Artois Presses Universitaires.
  102.  Danbaba, Ibrahim Dasuki. (2011). Les problèmes pratiques de la traduction littéraire : le cas de la traduction en français de Magana Jari Ce. Synergies Afrique centrale et de l’ouest, 4, 93-100, 98.
  103.  Hurtado Albir, Amparo. (1990). Op. cit. p. 90. 
  104.  Mounin, Georges. (1963). Op. cit.
  105.  This is the fourth chapter entitled “Visions du monde et traduction/Worldviews and translation” (pp.189 -223).
  106.  Meschonnic, H. (1973). Pour la poétique II. Paris : Gallimard.
  107.  Ladmiral, Jean-René & Lipiansky, Edmond Marc. (1989). La communication interculturelle (p.95). Paris : Armand Colin.
  108.  Cordonnier, Jean-Louis. (1995). Traduction et culture. Paris : Didier.
  109.  Cordonnier, Jean-Louis. (2002). Aspects culturels de la traduction : quelques notions clés. Meta : journal des traducteurs, 47(1), 38-50.
  110.  Cordonnier, Jean-Louis. (1995). Op. cit., p. 178.
  111.  Reedsyblog. (2023). Literary Translation: The Art of Bridging Cultures. Retrieved from 
  112.  Mounin, G. 2016. Les belles infidèles. Villeneuve d’Ascq : Presses universitaires du Septentrion. Doi :10.4000/books.septentrion.76123  
  113.  Mansour, L. (2008). Op. cit. p. 17.

Dr. Mohamed Chtatou

Dr. Mohamed Chtatou is a Professor of education science at the university in Rabat. He is currently a political analyst with Moroccan, Gulf, French, Italian and British media on politics and culture in the Middle East, Islam and Islamism as well as terrorism. He is, also, a specialist on political Islam in the MENA region with interest in the roots of terrorism and religious extremism.

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