Pym (18-23) & ‘To Translate’

Pym Ch. 2 (pg. 18-23)

2.4 Text-Based Equivalence

  • Werner Killer
    • denotative – based on extra-linguistic factors
    • connotative – based on the way the source text is expressed;
    • text-normative – respecting or changing textual and linguistic norm
    • pragmatic – with respect to the receiver of the TT
    • formal – the formal-aesthetic qualities of the ST
      • The categories suggest that the translator uses different types of equivalence depending on the function of the ST.
  • Reiss
    • informative, expressive, operative

2.5 “Theory of Sense”

  • tertium comparationis – a third element of comparison used by both languages.
  • Selesovitch
    • “deverbalizing” – the ST to be aware of only the sense which is expressed in all languages
      • “Theory of Sense”

2.8 Natural Equivalence as a Historical Sub-Paradigm

  • hierarchy of lanugages
    • “divine” “philosophical” “less-developed”



‘To Translate’

  • traducere (Latin)  – “to lead across”
  • vagueness of verbs
  • Translation vs. Metaphor vs. Equivocation


  • Schleiermacher
    • bringing the reader and author as close together as possible
    • Dolmetscher – works on commercial texts
    • Ubersetzer – works on scholarly and artistic texts
  • 2 different types of translation
    • leave the author at rest and bring the reader to him/her/they (Venuti’s Foreignization)
    • leave the reader at rest and bring the author to him/her/they (Ventuti’s Domestication)

Greek Monolinguism

  • Hellenizein
    • speaking, speaking well, thinking well, living well
    • representing in a clear and distinct manner
    • ‘barbarism’ – a word morphologically unrecognizable
  • The semantics of verbs that tough upon the operation of translation
    • eidos – the form which is the name in itself, naturally appropriate to its object
    • hermeneuin – “interpreting, explaining, expressing” thoughts into words
    • blurred lines between Literal translation vs. Literary adaptation, shows difference in translation during classical period
      • primarily focused on translating meaning not “word”
  • Fluidity of meanings and contradistinctions
    • imitari (imitate)
    • interpretari (translate)
      • Cicero says he imitated not translated
    • defining work in relation to Greek model

Thus we’re saying that the diction we use to label our “act of translating” underlies how we translated and the difficulty of such.

Translations of the Bible 

  • Bible into Greek
    • Greek culture – par excellence
  • St. Jerome 
    • directly translated Hebrew texts to Latin
      • Latin Vulgate, official Bible of Roman Catholicism until mid 1900s
      • translated ideas, not words
  • Middle Ages
    • translation = “transfer”
  • The medieval grammarians and lexicographers wanted to “distinguish the different modes by which two terms can be set in relation to each other, on the condition that they have something in common.”
    • expositio
  • The German Tradition of Translation
    • “Der Übersetzer als Dolmetsch” – interpreter-translator as LIVING dialogue


  • “to translate” becomes synonymous with “to think”




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About Tyler Candelora

Tyler Candelora is a first-year student at Bucknell University. He is from Coal Township, PA. He speaks English but is currently learning Spanish, French, and Arabic. Tyler is a comparative humanities and language major.

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