CENTRE DE RECHERCHE EN TRADUCTION ET COMMUNICATION TRANSCULTURELLE ANGLAIS-FRANÇAIS / FRANÇAIS-ANGLAIS
From the letter to the spirit : translation or adaptation?
It is common to establish a clear-cut distinction between translating and adapting a work. However, an adaptation - which is a multi-faceted and polyvalent notion - covers a wide gamut of translating strategies, the aim of which, to different degrees and with an infinite variety of types, is to naturalise the foreign work by giving priority to its transmissibility and the expectations of the future reader. But to say that an adaptation differs from a translation in no way implies an opposition between the two. There is no point where a translation stops and an adaptation begins. Naturally the authors of « les Belles Infidèles » adapted freely : they added, suppressed, and transformed parts, and extrapolated on the original; they treated the original as a raw material to be adjusted to the taste and sensitivity of their contemporaries; they reduced the otherness of the foreign work in order to integrate it more easily into the receiving culture; they set about acclimatising the work.
Isn’t the process of adaptation, then, an integral part of any translating operation? If different means can re-create the same effects, translation can no longer be opposed to adaptation, but can be seen as one of its manifestations, as one of its most appropriate and most effective modes of expression. The set of problems inherent in adaptation is no doubt inseparable from that of the reception of the translated work, which in turn is often conditioned by the expectations of the public and the publishers. It is clear that, from the point of view of the aims and the processes involved, this question needs to be placed in a much wider perspective.
The colloquium will be held on 14 -15 June 2002 at the Institut du Monde Anglophone
Suggestion for talks, together with a half-page presentation in French or English, should be sent by 15 February 2002 at the very latest to the address below.
The talks will be published, after acceptance by the editorial board, in Palimpsestes 16.
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