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The challenge of translating Brian Friel's translations

Mazzara, F.; Philippopoulou, D.; (2001) The challenge of translating Brian Friel's translations. Green open access

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Abstract

Introduction: «Translations is a modern classic» (Daily Telegraph). «[...] The most deeply involved with Ireland but also the most universal: haunting and hard, lyrical and erudite, bitter and forgiving, both praise and lament» (Sunday Times). In our essay we introduce Brian Friel’s Translations starting from some historical data and we move on to an analysis of the major themes presented in the play. Because translation holds a special place among them, we pay specific attention to the concept of translation, as Friel sees it: as metaphor of ‘Irishness’. Later on, we unfold our strategy in translating an extract of this work, explaining in as much detail as possible why we adopt the basic principle of Skopos theory. Firstly, we present the unusual nature of the play, which ‘plays’ with Irish and English on stage. Secondly, we describe our purpose, which is to maintain the original setting, in the sense that we do not ‘acculturate’ it. We feel that it is important to keep English as the theme of the play, changing of course the medium, since we translate it using the Italian and the Greek language. Finally, we incorporate our individual translations with some commentary.

Type: Working / discussion paper
Title: The challenge of translating Brian Friel's translations
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Keywords: Translation studies, theatre translation, Skopos' theory, Italian, Greek, Irish literature, Gaelic language, Brian Freel, Field Day Theatre Company
UCL classification: ?? AQ ??
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/14618
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