More on translation

Lucien Lefevere, en Translation / History / Culture:

Translation has to do with authority and legitimacy and, ultimately, with power, which is precisely why it has been and continues to be the subject of so many acrimonious debates.

Translation is not just a ‘window opened on another world’ or some such pious platitude. Rather, translation is a channel opened, often not without a certain reluctance, through which foreign influences can penetrate the native culture, challenge it, and even contribute to subverting it. ‘When you offer a translation to a nation’, says Victor Hugo, ‘that nation will almost always look on the translation as an act of violence against itself’.

Que, traducido (valga la paradoja), quiere decir:

La traducción se relaciona con la autoridad y la legitimidad y, en último término, con el poder, lo que explica precisamente por qué ha sido objeto de tantos y tan agrios debates.

La traducción no es simplemente una ‘ventana abierta a otro mundo’ o algún otro tópico semejante. En realidad, la traducción es un canal abierto, a menudo con ciertas reticencias, a través del cual las influencias extranjeras pueden penetrar en la cultura local, desafiarla e incluso contribuir a subvertirla. ‘Cuando ofreces una traducción a una nación’, dice Victor Hugo, ‘esa nación casi siempre mirará esa traducción como una agresión contra ella’.

Unas afirmaciones probablemente excesivas, o excesivamente generales, pero muy interesantes como contraste con la habitual visión de la traducción como proceso ingenuo, transparente y sin mayores consecuencias.

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