Ce qui est vraiment en jeu dans le débat au sujet des traduct(eur)(rice)s d’Amanda Gorman

Traduit de l’anglais par Diniz Galhos

La traduction est le domaine du paradoxe. L’un de ses paradoxes centraux, sensible dans l’opinion publique mais qui intéresse également les théoriciens de la traduction, est l’idée selon laquelle une bonne traduction n’apparaît jamais comme telle aux yeux des lecteurs. En d’autres termes, une traduction prend toute sa valeur, toute son importance en invisibilisant sa nature même. L’invisibilité des traductions (et par extension, des traducteurs), fait débat, professionnellement et théoriquement. Certains traducteurs protestent fréquemment à ce titre : la…


Photo by Roger Neve

What follows is an English translation of Janice Deul’s opinion piece (in Dutch) published by De Volkskrant (25 February 2021), carried out with her permission. The article prompted widespread debate; the interpretations of many of the subsequent contributors to this debate raise questions about their engagement with the article itself. This translation aims to make the original opinion piece accessible to a wider audience.

There are differences between the submitted and published versions of the article. The original title proposed by Deul was “Be the light, not the hill” (in English, following the line from Gorman’s poem); this title was…


What the debate about Amanda Gorman’s translators is really about

Translation is the territory of paradox. One of the central paradoxes, and one which runs through popular views of translation as much as it has occupied translation theorists, is the notion that a good translation is one where the reader cannot tell that it is a translation. In other words, a translation proves its worth, its value, by rendering its translated nature invisible. This invisibility of translations (and by extension translators) is a matter of professional and theoretical contention. Translators protest against their professional invisibility — the #NametheTranslator campaign is…

Haidee Kotze

Professor of translation studies at Utrecht University, linguist, writer, poet.

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