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FAITHFUL TRANSLATION IN EUROPE
ESTABLISHMENT OF THE PRINCIPLES OF
THE EPOCH OF ROMANTICISM AND
Alongside of these trends regular free adaptation was widely practised during the 17th -18th centuries. The latter was considered to be a separate means or principle of translation as well. The most outspoken defender of this kind of «translation» in Germany was Frau Gottsched and her adherents Kriiger, Laub and J.E.Schlegel. She openly recommended «to modernize and nationalize» the foreign authors' works, «to change their scenes of events, customs and traditions for the corresponding German customs and traditions.»1 Moreover, Frau Gottsched recommended the use of dialectal material in translation and practised unrestricted free interpretation of original belles-lettres works.2 These views of Frau Gottsched, G.Ventzky and their adherents on translation radically differed from those expressed by their sturdy opponent, the noted critic and translator J.Breitinger, who considered the source language works to be individual creations whose distinguishing features should be fully rendered into the target language.3
In the second half of the eighteenth century, especially during the last decades, the controversy between the opponents of the strict word-for-word translation, and those who supported the free sense-to-sense translation (or simply the unrestricted free interpretation) continued unabated. In fact, new vigorous opponents appeared within both trends, the most outspoken among them were J.Campbell and A.F.Tytler in England, and the noted German philosopher and author J.G.Herder (1744-1803). Each of them came forward with sharp criticism of both extreme trends in belles-lettres translation and each demanded, though not always consistently enough, a true and complete rendition of content, and the structural, stylistic and artistic peculiarities of the belles-lettres originals under translation. These proclaimed views regarding the requirements of truly faithful artistic translation were also shared by several authors, poets and translators in
1 See: Franzel J.W., op. cited, p.46.
2 See: Heide Pohling. Zur Geschichte der Clbersetzung. In: Beihefte zurZeitschrift Fremd
3 See: Heide Pohling, op. cit., p.143.
other countries, including France, where free/unrestricted translation was most widely practised. Campbell's and Tytler's requirements, as can be ascertained below, are generally alike, if not almost identical. Thus, Campbell demanded from translators of belles-lettres the following: 1) «to give a just representation of the sense of the original (the most essential); 2) to convey into his version as much as possible (in consistency with the genius of his language) the author's spirit and manner, the very character of his style; 3) so that the text of the version have a natural and easy flow»1 (Chief Things to be Attended to in Translating, 1789).
A.F.Tytler's requirements, as has been mentioned, were no less radical and much similar, they included the following: 1) «the translation should give a complete transcript of the ideas of the original work; 2) the style and manner of writing should be of the same character with that of the original; 3) the translation should have the ease of an original composition.»2 (The Principles of Translation, 1792). These theoretical requirements to belles-lettres translation marked a considerable step forward in comparison to the principles which existed before the period of Enlightenment and Romanticism. At the same time both the authors lacked consistency. Campbell, for example, would admit in his Essay that translators may sometimes render only «the most essential of the original» and only «as much as possible the author's spirit and manner, the character of his style». This inconsistency of Campbell could be explained by the strong dominating influence during that period of unrestricted freedom of translation. Perhaps this explains why Campbell and Tytler quite unexpectedly favoured approval of the indisputably free versification by A.Pope of Homer's Odyssey into English.
Much more consistent in his views, and still more persistent in his intention to discard the harmful practice of strict word-for-word translation as well as of the unrestricted freedom of translating belles-lettres works was J.G.Herder (1744-1803). He visited several European countries including Ukraine and studied their national folksongs, the most characteristic of which he translated into German and published in 1778-79. Herder was captivated by the beauty of the national songs of the Ukrainian people, for whom he prophesied a brilliant cultural future. Herder himself, a successful versifier of songs,
1 See: Heide Pohling, op. cit., p.159.
2 See: Franzel W., op. cit., p.163, 166; Draper J.W., op. cit., p.247.
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