AbstractsLanguage, Literature & Linguistics

Metaphor and agency in the English-Spanish translation of texts in the social sciences

by Jeffrey Marcelino González

Institution: Monash University
Department: School of Languages, Cultures, Literatures and Linguistics / Literary and Cultural Studies
Year: 2015
Keywords: Translation studies; Descriptive; Directionality; Inverse translation; Idioms; Figurative language; Transcreation; Political discourse; Idiomatic expressions; Translating metaphor; Intervention; Rhetorical devices; De-facto literary agent; Case study; L2 translation; Non-mother-tongue translation; Compensation strategies
Record ID: 1034886
Full text PDF: http://arrow.monash.edu.au/hdl/1959.1/1145064


This doctoral thesis contains two parts: a critical exegesis in English and a scholarly translation in Spanish. With the latter comprising a book-length collection of essays from Contrary Notions. The Michael Parenti Reader (2007), this study seeks to contextualize Parenti’s work within the global translation market; additionally, it examines the researcher’s translation of Russell Crandall’s Gunboat Democracy: U.S. Interventions in the Dominican Republic, Grenada and Panama (2006), published in Spanish as Democracia a la fuerza. Intervenciones estadounidenses en la República Dominicana, Granada y Panamá (2011). Involving process- and product-oriented issues in two English-to-Spanish book translations in the social sciences, this study focuses on the rendering of metaphor and other stylistic devices, while delving into the role of the translator in replacing, via a text-holistic strategy of compensation, sentence-level loss with book-length gains. Additionally, in the context of the researcher’s own second-language (L2) translations, it seeks to challenge underlying assumptions regarding first-language (L1) translation and the privileged status it holds with regard to directionality and argues that, when it comes to identifying L1 and L2 proficiency in the context of translation, the intricacies involved require nuanced approaches, leaving little or no room for facile prescriptions of a binary nature. Further, this study examines the translator’s agency and collaborative-intervenient role as writer and researcher in producing, with authorial consent, bibliographically-expanded texts to meet target-culture expectations regarding scholarly work with local implications. Drawing from this researcher’s extensive communications with publishers in relation to the Crandall source and target texts, this study also examines, within the framework of agency, the translator’s role as de-facto literary agent from project conception and proposal submissions to peritextual production and rights-related negotiations. In short, this thesis represents a practice-led case study on translating scholarly non-fiction—challenges posed, strategies developed and agency wielded in creating Spanish versions of two books in the social sciences.