The Signifi cance of Language in Translation
DOI link for The Signifi cance of Language in Translation
The Signifi cance of Language in Translation book
Acts of translating heighten our awareness of the fact that different languages and cultures need not imply the impossibility of achieving a unity of ideas or of purpose, however partial and impermanent. There are, however, radically different views about how, or indeed if, language achieves this unifying function and about the fundamental nature of language itself: its epistemological and ontological status. Is it a medium, a tool, a set of rules for our engagement with the material world, or reality itself? Translation scholarship, with regard to the written word, has considered this question through intellectual traditions such as German Romanticism, hermeneutics and structuralism, postmodernism and postcolonialism. This range of infl uences refl ects the close relationship between translation studies, literary theory, and the written word. Interpreting scholarship has considered the same question with regard to the spoken word mainly through the lens of structural linguistics, and has incorporated many of its assumptions and orthodoxies about language-namely that signs have determinate forms, that each form has a determinate meaning and capacity for linear, contrastive combination with other signs, and that knowledge of this ‘system of signs’ or langue is shared amongst its speakers. Saussure emphasized the primary function of language as one of reference to a pre-given world; a correspondence view that assumes a pre-linguistic consciousness, a ‘truth’ about the world to which language corresponds.