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ERIC Number: ED102585
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1974-Nov
Pages: 9
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
The Problems of Translation.
Huntsman, Jeffrey F.
The problems confronting the translator of American Indian literature are immense. The history of European Indian relations has obscured many original Indian values and attitudes and has substituted a set of simplistic and unreal Anglo attitudes that translators must transcend. Unlike most Western literature, Indian literature does not instruct, but instead celebrates and invokes. In searching for the essence of a piece, the translator must choose between satisfying the requirement to preserve the literal content of the work and satisfying the requirement that the translation convey the spirit of the original. Translation of native American literature usually requires either a native sensitivity to the work or the aid of a native informant. Indian poetry is typically spare and even the lengthy and complex Navajo chantways abound with rarified and elusive symbolism which seems to defy elegant translation. Compounding the semantic problems is the fact that most Indian literature has an intimate place in a large context of ceremony that cannot be reproduced in print at all. The inflections of song and the rhythms of drum and dance are impossible to replicate and usually lead translators to radically alter the form and even content of the Indian originals. (TS)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: N/A
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Midwest Modern Language Association (16th, St. Louis, Missouri, Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 1974); Not available in hard copy due to marginal legibility of original document