Essay about David Katan’s Translating Cultures

1038 Words 5 Pages
Fitzgerald or Fagles?

Translations are essential to us and our culture, because through ancient documents, inscriptions and books, historians and archeologists reconstruct the ancient societies and civilizations, as well as the story of our forefathers and the history of the entire human race. They allow communication between us and different countries and nations, whose language might be different from ours and this may create difficulties in being able to understand each other. However, translators make this possible as they are the mediators between two different cultures. The need for translations is massive, from both a social and political outlook. According to David Katan’s Translating Cultures, “The translator is a bilingual mediating agent between monolingual communication participants in two different language communities” (16). Therefore, for a translation to succeed translators have to be not only bilingual, but also bicultural. A translator is furthermore put in an exclusive but at the same time, difficult position because it is his responsibility to clarify certain ideas within cultural and natural boundaries. This can be done by keeping the same exact (literal) meaning. Interpreting and translating a text is not a simple and easy task; it takes time and is also challenging, because “the translator cannot merely search for equivalent words in the target language to render the meaning of the source” (Dingwaney and Maier, 3). Up until today there are many…

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