“Broadly defined, the study of translingual practice examines the process by which new words, meanings, discourses, and modes of representation arise circulate, and acquire legitimacy within the host language due to, or in spite of, the latter’s contact/collision with the guest language. Meanings, therefore, are not so much ‘transformed’ when concepts pass from the guest language to the host language as invented within the local environment of the latter.”
Translingual Practice: Literature, National Culture, and Translated Modernity--
Here I offer my translation of two passages and two Greek words some of you have commented on this week. The aim has been to free up the word play sacrificed in previous translations. The goal has been to host ἡμιωβέλια and σταδίους into English, to invent concepts born out of these guest words. I welcome the former as “half pieces of silver” and the latter as “arenas.” Now in the local environment of the English language blogosphere and in the verses below, I’m welcoming the concepts.
What do you think? Could these phrases for concepts work in the various historical and cultural contexts in which we find their counterparts in Aristotle, in Luke, and in their contemporaries and forebears? Are they comprehensible to you in your English? To use some of your language, is it both “accurate” and “believable”? And do we now still need footnotes?
ἀδίκημα δὲ μεῖζον, ὅσῳ ἂν ἀπὸ μείζονος ᾖ ἀδικίας: διὸ τὰ ἐλάχιστα μέγιστα, οἷον ὃ Μελανώπου Καλλίστρατος κατηγόρει, ὅτι παρελογίσατο τρία ἡμιωβέλια ἱερὰ τοὺς ναοποιούς:
An injustice gets big when it’s from an injustice that’s bigger. The smallest thing can get to be the biggest; this happened when Melanopus was indicted by Callistratus for a miscalculation of three half pieces of silver consecrated to the temple makers.
ἐπὶ δικαιοσύνης δὲ τοὐναντίον. ἔστιν δὲ ταῦτα ἐκ τοῦ ἐνυπάρχειν τῇ δυνάμει:
With justice it’s different from that. It is rather out of the original capabilities within.
ὁ γὰρ τρία ἡμιωβέλια ἱερὰ κλέψας κἂν ὁτιοῦν ἀδικήσειεν. ὁτὲ μὲν δὴ οὕτω τὸ μεῖζον, ὁτὲ δ' ἐκ τοῦ βλάβους κρίνεται.
A thief of three half pieces of silver consecrated should be capable of any injustice whatever. What’s bigger really comes out of what’s been judged harmful.
Aristotle, Rhetoric Book Α Chapter XIV Verse 1
Καὶ ἰδοὺ δύο ἐξ αὐτῶν ἐν αὐτῇ τῇ ἡμέρᾳ ἦσαν πορευόμενοι εἰς κώμην ἀπέχουσαν σταδίους ἑξήκοντα ἀπὸ Ἱερουσαλήμ, ᾗ ὄνομα Ἐμμαοῦς
Now look at this: two out of the group, on that very day, were going into a village (a distance of sixty arenas from
Luke, Narrative Chapter 24 Verse 13
Now that you’ve read in contexts above, what do you think?
What’s the difference in “half pieces of silver” and the previous English attempts: “vessels of small price”; “vessels”; “half-pence of money”; “half farthings of property / money”; “half-obels”?
What’s the distance between “arenas” and “stadia,” “stades,” “kilomètres,” “miles,” and “furlongs”?
“As I have argued elsewhere, one does not translate between equivalents; rather, one creates tropes of equivalence in the middle zone of translation between the host and guest languages. This middle zone of hypothetical equivalence, which is occupied by neologistic imagination, becomes the very ground for change.”
Tokens of Exchange: The Problem of Translation in Global Circulation
“It is a commonplace that verbal signs are not stable and can change with time and usage; but as two, three, or multiple languages are involved and implicate one another, can we recapture the foreignness of that which has penetrated the opacity of the indigenous? . . . a hetero-cultural signifying chain . . . always requires more than one linguistic system to complete the process of signification for any given verbal phenomenon. . . .the semiotic operations of translingual speech and writing . . . acting out the verbal unit of one language and simultaneously displacing its signification onto a foreign language or languages, always in what one might call an occulted movement of thrown-togetherness. . . Suppose we transpose Peirce’s hypothesis onto Defoe’s island and imagine a European outcast and a
The Clash of Empires: The Invention of