METM22 presentation

How far can we stray? Considering the translator’s agency in translating texts

Fiona Kelso, Barcelona, Spain

This presentation will address the question of the translator’s agency in the task of translating the original text. How far can translators stray from the original text in order to achieve a functional translation for the target audience? When does translation become rewriting? Whether or not you are aware of the functionalist and “skopos” translation theories of Christiane Nord, Katharina Reiss et al. or André Lefevere’s idea of translation as rewriting, you will be aware that translation involves decisions. I will look at a number of practical examples from different genres to examine the extent to which the translator has scope to apply their personal touch.

This presentation is aimed at translators in general but will be particularly useful to those who are engaged in translating texts which involve cultural information and appellative language.

My examples will be taken from translation from Catalan into English, and I hope that they will reflect some of the problems of a minoritised language in translation.

About the presenter

Fiona Kelso is a translator with more than 25 years’ experience. She is currently working for the Language Service at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona and as an adjunct lecturer for the Faculty of Translation and Interpreting at the same university. She has a number of published translations.