On Self-translation An Exploration in Self-translators’ Teloi and Strategies

On Self-translation

An Exploration in Self-translators’ Teloi and Strategies

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The book explores aspects of self-translation, an all but exceptional phenomenon which has been practised, albeit on the quiet, for nearly two thousand years and has recently grown exponentially due to the increasing internationalisation of English and the growing multilingualism of modern societies. Starting from the premise that self-translation is first and foremost a translational act, i.e. a form of rewriting subject to a number of constraints, the book utilises the most valuable methods and findings of translation studies to account for the variety of reasons underlying self-translation processes and the diversity of strategies used by self-translators. The cases studied, from Kundera to Ngugi, and addressing writers like Beckett, Huston, Tagore, Brink, Krog and many others, show that the translation methods employed by self-translators vary considerably depending on their teloi. Nonetheless, most self-translations display domesticating tendencies similar to those observed in allograph translations, which confirms the view that self-translators, just like normal translators, are never free from the linguistic and cultural constraints imposed by the recontextualising of their texts in a new language. Most interestingly, the study brings to light certain recurring features, e.g. a tendency of author-translators to revise their original during the self-translation process or after completing it, which make self-translators privileged authors who can revise their texts in the light of the insights gained while translating.

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Simona Anselmi

Simona Anselmi is a Lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the Catholic University of Piacenza. Her research interests include translation studies, English as a lingua franca and multilingualism. Her most recent publications: ‘The editing of non-native texts and translation: evidence from the EuroCom corpus’ (2011) and ‘Translating and renarrating multilingual texts: the extreme case of Finnegans Wake’ (with Margherita Ulrych, 2011).

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