Literary Criticism And Its Translation

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Literary criticism and its translation


Generally, when listening to literary translation it can be inferred that it is the translation of a specific work such as the Bible that was one of the first literary translations or other more famous such as Quijote, Alicia in Wonderland and the most famousAmong young people, Harry Potter .Its use today are mostly these, books: works written by literary authors;And it is likely that this is the reason why it is recognized, even if it is not his only work field of which I will detail later.

Judging by its historical origin, it could be said that it is one of the first types of translation that has been made. Its use in the course of history has allowed the general population to acquire new knowledge outside their culture and thus develop new elements that we see currently common.


Definition of literary translation

It is focused on the translation of novels, short stories, plays, poems, etc. But its most concrete form is how Ms. Pereira refers to in her report. Literary translation, rather than any other type of translation, is optimal knowledge in every way (lexicon, grammatical, syntactic and, above all, syntactic and, above all, pragmatic) of the language to which it translates, without forgettingThe importance of the starting language.

To perform a good translation, advanced knowledge of both the mother tongue and the foreigner to which you want to translate to be able to achieve it optimally and without any error that harms the intention of the original work in this type of translation, there is the erroneous idea thatIts function is to translate literally paid by word but the truth as agora translations differs.

It is that which refers to translations of texts or works that are mostly used in their original language to capture or create artistic or aesthetically. Focuses on written works regardless of their gender or the nationality of the public to whom it is directed. It translates from the author’s native language to other languages having always found that the author’s intention is clearly and precisely transmitted to the receiver, waiting for it to cause the desired emotions.

Characteristics of literary translation

Its main characteristic of literary translation is the influence of the function of poetic communication. Which means that in addition to providing information to the reader, literary translation has recreational, recreational, aesthetic functions where cohesion and coherence must be extremely related as the original, in addition to not having to get out of the context.

On the other hand, its literary style has creative purposes such as when you want to translate Hit for Six its literal word translation by word would be hit by six but according to the context where it is found, it could refer to the action mentioned before or as well as toA feeling of overwhelming. The artistic projection created in literary work in particular will have an impact on the reader. The characteristic poetic approach to the text differentiates it from the informative texts of the following ways:

  • It allows style originality (irony, shock, anecdote, humor, etc.).
  • Try to communicate the abstract and the ineffable.
  • Create an unlink reality.
  • Invents facts and situations, suggests.
  • You can use jargon to create an environment, accents, characters.
  • It is formed of idioms and unique stoicisms of each culture.
  • Allows ambiguity, extensive descriptions and exclamations.
  • It facilitates modifying views according to the author’s characters or emotions.
  • You can mix facts with opinions.
  • Invites introspection and interior enjoyment of images, ideas and sensations.
  • Prefer the arbitrary.
  • You don’t have to follow a special order.
  • Can dramatically alter the linear concept of time and space.
  • Leave the explanation to the reader.

When reading a narrative, a poem or any type of literary work translated from a foreign language we perceive the text itself with its meaning, emotions and characters. Literary translation requires a lot of skill. It should not be forgotten that perhaps the translation of a book or a poem will be read by thousands of readers. 

For this reason it means that the text must adapt to the universe of readers and also the fact that the translated document must create the same image that the original means that it should not alter the intentions of the author should be highlighted, for this it must be carried outa thorough work with the words that are chosen. Frequently, the work perfectly executed makes the translator famous, for example Jerónimo de Estres.

 Specialization of literary translation

It specializes in transmitting to the receiver emotions, ideas and artistic experiences that the original work intends, in addition to sometimes transmitting more than speculated in certain types of genres such as comic and poetic works resulting that the work translated from a greater impact. In the poetic field, it centralizes the verse and prose, the fundamental parts that the poem and poetry create. The correct term is sought to transmit to the reader what the author wishes to defer.

Difficulties of literary translation

To make a short text or complex work to other languages, a high concentration is required to respect the author’s style. Therefore, a bad translation of a simple term could change the meaning of the work. For example in the book ´´The capital´´ of Karl Marx where you can find notable translation errors according to Natalio Cosoy. 

To avoid such atrocity, the translator must translate based on the author and not as he understood. You have to analyze each word taking care of your grammar, spelling and syntax for it you must master the language to which you translate and your own. Although at first glance it may seem quite the opposite, this specialty of the translation is very complex and can have many difficulties for the literary translator. Some of them are the following:

  • Rhetorical figures and word games. They are more frequent in poetry, but they can appear in any type of text. Sometimes, there is simply no valid equivalence in the destination language, so the translator must look for an alternative that adapts as well as possible.
  • Proper names. Sometimes, names of places or people can have meaning in the original language and have some relevance. If this occurs, the translator must consider whether or not to translate the names.
  • The terminology. Some genres, such as science fiction, may have a very specific and complex terminology that is necessary to know in order to understand and translate well the work.
  • The sagas. This point is closely related to the previous one, since if in a specific saga a word always translates in a certain way that readers already know. That is, you have to respect the terminology that fans already know and, for this, the translator must also know it.
  • Information that will be revealed later. In the translation of novels, it can happen that at the beginning they are mentioned indirectly or unclearly, which will finally be clarified in the end. These aspects can be difficult to translate if it is not known with certainty what you are talking about. For this reason, if the time is available, it is important to read the work in its entirety before starting to translate it.
  • The culture of the language to which it is going to be translated. Depending on the type of work, it may happen that the text includes many references to the culture of the language to which it is going to be translated. For example, if a novel is set in London, typical dishes that do not exist in Spain are probable and we do not know. Book translators and, ultimately, all translators must know how well possible foreign culture to understand what you are talking about in certain contexts and know how to act in each situation.

As we can see, literary translation is not a simple task that can be done lightly. A book is something very complex that should be left to professionals to guarantee the best results. One of the main problems that you have when translated is that when you do it you have no instructions to guide you to ensure if the work is well executed;Therefore, the following is differs:

  • Although there is no recipe to translate books, we could say that the translators are subject to a couple of preceptors or commandments: one, you will not, that is, you will say what the original says as the original says;And two, you will love your tongue above all things, and this also means not only being aware of its history, but be attentive to its evolution and its present.
  • We may not have a recipe as the translator Carlos Montes indicates but following his words and based on the experience in his work we agree that we have particular rules that allow us to be on the right side and perform them efficiently so as not to deviate from ourown ideas.
  • In the course of the work in certain translators, they see the need to want to enrich the original work for considering it simple or tedious, even if your general rule is totally opposed to your wishes.
  • A translator can never pretend to improve the original, but its translation is infinitely perceptible.
  • In the world of publishers it is little concurrent that cases of intentional modification occur in the work translated to improve the content of the original work since some follow ambiguity.
  • When you are a writer they offer you more work because there is the idea, a little wrong that if you are a writer you can translate better. It is not that it is wrong but it is not that there is any link between the two things. But for an editor it is a prestigious factor to have a translator who has published to be making translations.


In this globalized world where the greatest predilection is technology, it does not affect literary translation;since, this considerably encompasses the value of the interpreter author in charge of translating the text. A machine or more developed that is never going to be that it transmits feelings or emotions, while the translator will try to give an equal equivalent result to the machine in the sense that is perfect;But, you will always transmit the expressions of the text. As well as indicates the following:

Translation is privileged in the search for functional equivalence .That where the translator’s creativity is intended to achieve an equivalent artistic effect with very different means (non -linguistic), which is usually a difficult task. According to the author Rodrigez and the translators of this specialty, it can be included that this item is the most complicated to execute and according to the reactions of the readers of the translated works such as the Odyssey, Hamlet, Don Quijote de la Mancha andAmong others well known, the result is almost satisfactory.

Literary translation implies having a clear and precise knowledge of the languages and cultures with which one works, so as not to fall into the standardized mode of a machine. Its functions embark on the expression of the artistic creativity of a particular author to express it to other cultures to which you want to achieve.

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