Translator: An Invisible Person?

  • 2014-12-25
  • 4431



There are as numerous and varied definitions of translation as people who have undertaken to discuss the subject. The well cited definitions, either from influential practitioners or from renowned theorists, are strikingly similar after being compared carefully: translation is merely seen as a decoding process involving the substitution of a sequence of equivalent units of the two languages, while the medium, the translator is totally neglected. The author of this paper points out the historical reasons for the translator’s invisibility, and introduces a new translation theory---modern hermeneutic translation theory, which is a product of the fusion of the philosophic essences in modern hermeneutics and translation practice. Modern hermeneutic translation theory highlights the translator’s subjectivity which is reflected from two aspects: first, it is reflected through the translator’s independent interpretation of the text; second, it is reflected by the existence of the translator’s personality in the target text. Through analyzing this theory the author concludes that because of differences in nationalities, personal experiences, disposition, artistic accomplishment, aesthetic taste and sense of value, different translators have different pre-structures to the original text, which will be mirrored in different translated texts of the same original text. Basing on this theory, the author carries her idea further that it provides a new perspective to assess a translated text.


Key words: translator’s invisibility, modern hermeneutics, subjectivity