jueves, 26 de octubre de 2017


The shifts in religious tolerance during the seventeenth century also proved fruitful for translation theory: for instance, Cavalier translators that had been exiled in France during Cromwell's Puritan republic brought French ideas on translation home with them to England after the Restoration. Sir John Denham and Abraham Cowley, in particular, who were especially influenced by Perrot d'Ablancourt's advocacy of free imitation, promoted the recreation of the spirit of the original, but in a form that would ensure the audience's reading pleasure. It was John Dryden though who made the first major contribution to English translation theory in his preface to Ovid's Epistles (1680). His views, which gave rise to the most stringent sets of conventional rules, were shaped by a desire to instill some form of rational order at the end of such a chaotic century. By the end of his career, he had supplied literary translators with ten rules (ten commandments if you will), according to which the literary translator must:

  1. be a poet
  2. be master of both the language of the original and one's own
  3. understand the characteristics that individuate the original author
  4. conform one's own genius to that of the original
  5. keep the sense "sacred and inviolable" and be literal where gracefulness can be maintained.
  6. make the author appear as "charming" as possible without violating the author's real character
  7. be attentive to the verse qualities of both the original and the translated poem
  8. make the author speak the contemporary target language that they would have spoken
  9. not improve the original
  10. not follow the original so closely that the spirit is lost.

Moreover, Dryden classified translation into three categories: metaphrase (literal translation), paraphrase (translation with some latitudes), and imitation (entirely free translation). He advocated that paraphrasing was the ideal method of retaining the source text's entire meaning, without making the target text cumbersome. Alexander Pope, another translator who wrote in the same era, situated 'correct' translation between Dryden's metaphrase and paraphrase:
It is certain no literal Translation can be just to an excellent Original in a superior Language: but it is a great Mistake to imagine (as many have done) that a rash Paraphrase can make amends for this general Defect; which is no less in danger to lose the Spirit of an Ancient, by deviating into the Modern Manners of Expression.
Both Dryden and Pope agree, therefore, that the message of the source text is the sacred focal point in the translation process.

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