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Mouse or Rat?: Translation as Negotiation (English Edition) [Format Kindle]

Umberto Eco
4.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (2 commentaires client)

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Présentation de l'éditeur

From the world-famous author of THE NAME OF THE ROSE, an illuminating and humourous study on the pleasures and pitfalls of translation.

'Translation is always a shift,not between two languages but between two cultures. A translator must take into account rules that are not strictly linguistic but, broadly speaking, cultural.'

Umberto Eco is of the world's most brilliant and entertaining writers on literature and language. In this accessible and dazzling study, he turns his eye on the subject of translations and the problems the differences between cultures can cause. The book is full of little gems about mistranslations and misunderstandings.For example when you put 'Studies in the logic of Charles Sanders Peirce' through an internet translation machine, it becomes 'Studies in the logic of the Charles of sandpaper grinding machines Peirce'. In Italian 'ratto' has no connotation of 'contemptible person' but denotes speed ('you dirty rat' could take on a whole new meaning!)

What could be a weighty subject is never dull, fired by Eco's immense wit and erudition, providing an entertaining read that illuminates the process of negotation that all translators must make.

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1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
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As a translator, this book spoke to me, since I negotiate language every day. It was interesting to see the examples and the way Eco formalizes the different types of negotiation. However, it is a book that deals mainly with literature, so it must be taken as such.
It is written for a well-read audience, as are all Eco's books. I would recommend it to any translator, but would understand why a technical translator might find it less interesting.
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4.0 étoiles sur 5 Avec un bon professeur, le savoir passe facilement ! 25 novembre 2005
Eco a encore signé là un essai vivant, plein d'humour, et qui donne envie de se plonger dans les problèmes et de comprendre de quelle façon on leur a trouvé des solutions. Le seul problème est que ce livre se base sur quatre langues : l'anglais, l'espagnol, l'allemand et le français... Cela rend parfois la lecture difficile étant donné qu'on ne comprend pas forcément toutes les langues (et encore moins leurs subtilités).
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11 internautes sur 11 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 The Diplomacy of Translation 30 juillet 2006
Par Julia Shuvalova - Publié sur Amazon.com
To judge by its premise, the respected Professor Eco wrote one of the most brilliant books. Many authors before him (George Orwell, e.g.) and including him (Eco, 'On Literature') attempted to answer the question 'how I write', but hardly anyone asked themselves 'How am I being translated into foreign languages, and what do I think about it'. Admittedly, to ask this question one needs to be able to answer it, and without Eco's knowledge of foreign languages it is impossible. If, however, like him, a reader knows at least one more language, apart from his native one, then 'Mouse or Rat?' will be an engaging, at times merely hilarious, reading. Bearing in mind Eco's long-standing research into semiotics of language, literature and philosophy, this monograph of his is at times a curious self-assessment of Eco the linguist, philosopher, writer and, in fact, translator.

This 'personal' aspect must always be remembered. In spite of drawing general conclusions, the book is often an analysis of Eco's own experience in engaging with professionals who translated his works. Eco argues - powerfully and convincingly - that translation is a negotiation between two cultures, and not merely two linguistic systems, which thesis cannot, of course, be regarded as the new word in Translation Studies. Strictly speaking, he does not attempt to formulate any new ideas, and shows great respect to Steiner's `Before the Babel'. His main goal is therefore to illustrate the application of different translation techniques (ekphrasis, rewriting, foreignising and domesticating of the source text, adapting for screen, etc.) to a variety of texts and then to analyse the results from the point of accuracy and equivalence.

As I indicated above, if a reader commands at least one foreign language, then Eco's book will be an interesting reading, not to mention the fact that the reader's awareness of the limitations and opportunities of his first and second languages may become more acute. However, bearing in mind his belonging to the so-called Joycean tradition in literature, one cannot help thinking at times, how much each of Eco's readers benefited from the author's availability for consultation and advice, as it is evident how many gems of the Master's unrivalled erudition could be lost (or, indeed, were lost).

Among the book's most inspirational and engaging passages are the analysis of Joyce's extract from 'Finnegans Wake' and its translation into French and Italian; the analysis of a poem `A Silvia' by Leopardi and its rendering into French; the exploration into the pains of a translator working on Dumas's novels, etc. The only problem the reader may encounter is the layout of the book, mainly the alteration between regular and bold fonts and italics, for purposes of highlighting various instances of translation.

Nevertheless, for an unexperienced reader 'Mouse or Rat?' will possibly be one of the best introductions to Translation and Language Studies, and even to Litetary Criticism. Despite its complexity and the monstrous abundance of examples, its basic idea is terribly simple - besides the knowledge, the key to a successful translation (and, in fact, writing) is one's sensitivity to language. This ability to 'sense' the opportunities and limitations of the source language and of the target language, so as to achieve the best possible equilibrium, makes a translator a true diplomat, a messenger between his own cultural milieu and that of the source text.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Mandatory reading for all translators and professors of translation. 26 novembre 2013
Par Dr. Arthur Frederick Ide - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Relié|Achat vérifié
This is the clearest, most distinct well-reasoned text on the value and necessity of sound translation ever written. From page 18, the great scholar Umberto Eco carefully deails by electronic translations are not only a waste of time but academic fraud. Eco shows through graphic arguments that one word cannot substitute for another without understanding the cultural context and the realities that words have limitation, thus the title: Mouse or Rat? While both creatures stem from the same family, there is little in common between a mouse or rat, even though those who do not take the time to study this unique species are determined to define them as equal. I use this in all of my translation classes and find it beyond any value previously known.
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Eco rocks at this! 6 mars 2013
Par djc - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
This must be one of his lesser-read books, but although it ostensibly deals with problems and subtleties of translation, that naturally carries meaning for any writer who cares about the words. Eco cares about words and meanings. So do I. And he is himself an excellent writer, so this book is just wonderful.
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