Theorising Theatre Translation Ref. S. Aaltonen, Time-Sharing On Stage (ch.2) • Literary texts live within a given cultural system • they are the outcome of an author • author = cultural product of – Times – social group – Breed – cultural and economic background Movement of texts • different cultural systems • different original background • different reception of texts ↓ evaluation and analysis ↓ implies interdisciplinary framework made up of translation studies, theatre studies, cultural, literary, communication studies crossing the borders ↓ material act + cultural act ↓ the text enters a different cultural world as well as a different linguistic and socially organized society original meaning of text has to be reorganized original reading not necessarily imposed on translation Readings result of relations: - among signifiers - between signifiers and readers/audiences Readings result of different interactions due to variation of readers/audiences. context generates reading. If context changes, reading changes Reading linked to the linguistic, sociocultural, and theatrical context movement of theatrical texts across borders often implies translation act of translation unavoidable in different geographical varieties, and different sociolinguistic varieties translating often implies new approach to text, and new readings translation depends on reading translator gives of text No text can be completely original because language itself in its very essence is always a translation – first from the nonverbal world, and then, because each sign and each phrase is a translation of another sign, another phrase. However, the inverse is also entirely valid. All texts are originals because each translation has its distinctive character. Up to a point, each translation is a creation and thus constitutes a unique text. (O. Paz) Comparison between translated and source texts ↓ some features of meaning construction become visible thanks to multitude of meanings resulting from crossing cultural and linguistic boundaries In related cultural systems dominant themes can still be shared Summing up: • translation implies transforming the original • original text never reappears in the target language • but it is there Main aim of translation: - expressing the text - converting the text into a verbal formula (reproduction and different object at once) Translational activity and translational decision making guided by idiolect ↓ in this context specific approach or discourse ↓ functional to a given system & based on contextual elements and text production • Even Zohar → Intra-literary relations • Lefevere → extra-literary links • Toury → study of translational norms and conventions ↓ – polysystem theory: complex cultural activities need taking into account both the diachronic and synchronic dimensions of a socio-cultural system. The creation of an “open system of systems” allows explaining cultural complexity • Even-Zohar/Lefevere: systems as open structures with vague borders. • Lefevere: literary system as an artificial system consisting of objects (texts) and those who read/write/rewrite them. • Rewriting= manipulating (under a series of constraints) literature to various ends. • Rewriters = translators, historians, compilers of anthologies ↓ • can choose to remain within parameters imposed by constraints of their culturesystem • can choose to operate outside constraints. • translators’ work influenced by target system • translators’ survival depends on acceptance of system conventions or on tolerance of system Lefevere: professionals (critics, reviewers, teachers, translators) control literary system from the inside respecting ideological parameters set by patronage ↓ patrons = groups of people, religious body, political party, social class, publishers, media. Patronage guided by ↓ ideology economy status • Ideology implies choice and development of both form and content • economy implies reward granted by patronage • status implies integration into a particular group • When written foreign text crosses the boundaries, it has to pass through several hands • once on stage, the spoken element takes over • voice = outcome of both theatrical system and surrounding social/cultural/linguistic systems. • discourse of theatre translation = part of discourse of entire cultural system • Theatrical systems = living organisms which tend to merge into other systems, creating a web of various subsystems. • Theatre texts not necessarily synonymous with dramatic texts • theatre texts = texts used in the theatre • dramatic texts = texts which function as literary texts and not necessarily used in the theatre. • Drama translation includes translation for both literary and theatrical system • theatre translation confined to theatrical system • Word drama used to refer to both written text and theatrical performance but • in theatre translation written text is necessary • Written dramatic texts may function outside theatrical system (e.g. theatrical shows in media such as radio, television) • In a functional perspective, drama can be distinguished because of its function: if a text is used as a dramatic text, it is a dramatic text, and if it is used on stage it becomes an element of the theatrical system. • Both the oral and the written text are elements of the theatrical system. • staging of a text: – not performative realisation of the text – Not necessarily faithful to a dramatic text because other elements belonging to the theatrical system are involved • Any text can be decoded in different ways by different practitioners and performers • Dramatic text is only one of the elements of staging. All elements equally important. • foreign drama needs integrating into domestic system • each theatrical and literary system has its own norms and conventions • 19th century: two different forms of drama translation developed↓ – commercial translation (performance) – aesthetic translation (classical texts for the reader) • Germany and England: considerable number of printed drama translations, because literary system provides texts for the production in the theatre and can wait for a play to establish itself before being performed. In England Methuen leading publisher of drama, and it privileges stage translations (not accurate repetition of details of source text, rather translations which predict possible meaning of play on stage) • Italy: printed text of new plays usually after successful performance • Finland: began to print drama even before establishment of a national theatre • translation strategies vary according to system translators work for. • Dated translations →accepted within literary system → revised or rewritten if to be used in production • Theatrical system= immediacy of orality • literary system =permanence of written language. • These two systems behave according to their own rules. • theatre translation more tied to its immediate context • theatre audience functions as a whole and in a restricted time and place • Orality, immediacy and communality (that is the collective presence of the audience) introduce a new dimension to the translation of texts. Out of necessity, theatre translation rewrites or adapts many aspects of the source text, and this strategy finds its justification in the requirements of the stage and in criteria such as playability and speakability. • Attributes of theatre translation: academic scholarly literary These attributes mark the difference between translation and adaptation, and are used as synonyms to refer to faithful translations where the source text has been entirely translated. literal = used to refer to transcription of source text in TL (esp. with rare languages). literary = applied to translations which follow the conventions of the literary system (no consideration of possible similarity or dissimilarity to the conventions of theatre translation). adaptation = implies that text sounds natural and playable (sometimes producing effects not found in ST but conceived by adapter). Translating implies creating a new text. New text has a life of its own in another context. Texts are always and inevitably built on other texts, it is an endless chain. In theatre translation one speaks of adaptation, and features to be looked for are speakability and playability. Language of drama in functional relationship to speaker, to listener and to norms of the spoken language. Of course it is not spoken language, rather it is a stylised form of spoken language since it is constrained by theatrical conventions, and is built on the principle of easy graspability. • short sentences • words chosen on the basis of frequency • sentence chains • difficult consonant clusters Attempts at defining speakability and performability. Pavis: speakability ↓ easy pronunciation (but no banality to get a text that speaks well). Language-body (union of speech and gesture) Speakability not to be confused with convenient pronunciation. It is functional to generating theatrical meaning. Speakability is not simplicity. A playable speakability stresses the significance of rhythm. The language should follow the natural rhythm of breathing. The rhythm of speech is the key to understanding the language of the stage. Patterns of speech vary in time, they are in a continuous process of change, therefore the language of the stage has to follow this continuous change.