Challenging the Traditional Axioms
Translation into a non-mother tongue
Translation into a non-mother tongue or inverse translation, especially of literary texts, has always been frowned upon within Translation Studies in Western cultures and regarded by literary scholars and linguists as an activity of dubious worth, doomed to fail. The study, which received an award from EST in 2001, sets out to challenge the established view and to critically question some of the axiomatic assumptions of Western theorists. Its challenge is supported by extensive empirical research involving reader response to translations of specific literary texts. The conclusion reached is that the quality of the translation, its fluency and acceptability in the target language environment depend primarily on the as yet undetermined individual abilities of the particular translator, his/her translation strategy and knowledge of the source and target cultures, and not on his/her mother tongue or the direction in which s/he is translating.