Abstracts numero 2

a cura di Katy Hannan

Online dictionaries and language corpora for translators from German

by Susanne Kolb – Over the past twenty years the number of instruments available for translators has increased considerably, in both quantity and quality. Currently on line there is a very wide range of Italian-German dictionaries and German language corpora. This article analyses certain important portals, in particular IDS, Institut für deutsche Sprache (www.ids-mannheim.de), illustrating in detail certain characteristics and headings of the various projects currently underway.

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The Italian ghost of Tom Joad

by Anna Tagliavini – The Grapes of Wrath, Steinbeck’s masterpiece on the Great Depression, has lost none of its poignancy and impact even today. But the same cannot be said of the Italian version, Furore. Its publication in 1940 – just a few months after the novel appeared in the USA – was certainly a daring and commendable venture. Nonetheless, Carlo Coardi’s translation has outlived its time: obsolete and baroque in style, it has a number of mistakes and misinterpretations and, even worse, too much cutting… Perhaps the time has come for a new, and most of all, integral translation.

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Benjy doesn’t play golf

by Andrew Tanzi – Published in 1929, William Faulkner’s The Sound and the Fury took the literary world by storm as baffled critics struggled to decipher the mental meanderings of the Compson brothers. The latest Italian translation, L’urlo e il furore (Einaudi, 1980), fails to convey many of the elements crucial to Faulkner’s poetics; indeed, much of what André Bleikasten calls the novel’s “remainder” has been lost in translation. A translation-oriented analysis of selected passages has been carried out to highlight some instances of the Italian version’s translation losses.

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Interview: Elena Loewenthal

by Paola Mazzarelli – In this interview by Paola Mazzarelli, Elena Loewenthal, who translates from Hebrew, discusses the problems and responsibilities involved when translating from a language that is structurally different from Italian, underlining how certain choices imposed on the translator by the Hebrew language necessarily lead to a communicative approach towards translation.

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A homage to Catalonia

by Laura Mongiardo – Not everyone is aware that more than one language is spoken in Spain; as well as Castilian, the Spanish speak Basque, Galician and Catalan, and each language has its own literary tradition. For historical and cultural reasons – primarily because of Aragon’s colonial dominance over most of the Western Mediterranean – Catalan literature began to be recognised in Italy as early as the end of eighteenth century, thanks to an increase in comparative studies. But a barrier was created, firstly because of the Spanish Civil War, and later because of Franco’s dictatorship, not only preventing Catalan…

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Aunt Barbara and Anita / 1

by Gianfranco Petrillo – This is the first part of an essay that describes the long and very active life of Barbara Allason (1877-1968), author, translator, militant member of the underground anti-Fascist movement Giustizia e Libertà (Justice and Freedom), and that of her niece Anita Rho (1906-1980), also an anti-Fascist and renowned translator of important works of 20th century German literature.

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The Inn of the Remote

by Isabella Vaj – In the past ten years Isa Vaj has focused on translating literature by authors in exile: writers with a dual culture and for whom English is not their mother tongue. In this article Ms Vaj describes how translation becomes a process of sharing the personal human experience with the foreigner, thus cancelling all foreignness. The translator becomes the author’s double, inserting her own personal and cultural experience, from linguistics to language education, from archaeology to the history of Islamic art. Her encounter with the writings of Khaled Hosseini confronted her with a culture in which speech…

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Fifty years as a translator

by Raffaele Petrillo – How to earn a living as a translator. Raffaele Petrillo began as a teacher, translator and interpreter in the golden days of the economic boom in Milan in an attempt to earn enough to make a good living. Since then he has accumulated dozens of translations from various languages into Italian as well as English, hundreds of days of interpreting, and thousands and thousands of hours teaching… and he is still going strong.

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Dirty hands

by Angelo Morino – Angelo Morino (1950-2007) was an essayist, author and university professor, but above all, a translator. In this article, brilliantly presented by Mario Marchetti, Morino describes the beauty and hard work involved in translating, while comparing the need to «get one’s hands dirty» in the hand to hand battle with everything, from language to purely theoretical quibbling.

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A tribute to Peter Newmark

by Giulia Baselica – The aim of this article is to pay tribute to the figure of Peter Newmark, translation scholar and theorist, with a summary of the specific aspects of his theory which was directed at offering the translator adequate instruments for dealing with every possible type of text. For Newmark, translation was a weapon to combat deception, mystification, ignorance and reticence, made all the more efficient when the translator is capable of listening to the text, establishing an intimate dialogue with the written word and making every single choice in a responsible manner.

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