Making the invisible visible: raising student awareness of literary translation
Additional Publication Information
Translation studies emphasise the need for accurate literary translation, where the translation process, as much as possible, is seamless and invisible to the reader. This ‘illusion of transparency’—an effect that conceals the translator’s mediation of the translated text—potentially erases a sense of ‘otherness’ that readers may feel when reading a literary work in the source language. The invisibility of the translator also means that the role of the translator in the interpretation process has been, ironically, almost completely overlooked in literature subjects when texts originally written in languages other than English are read and discussed in English. As a result, the fact that literature students attempt to access another culture, society or belief system via a translation often becomes secondary to the literary theory or perspective used to analyse the literary artefact. This study discusses some of the strategies used in the classroom to raise student awareness of the theoretical and practical issues in reading a translated text to enhance students’ critical understanding of texts originally written in a language other than English.