Translation adaptation illustration
With ideas taken from “Task of the
Translator,” by someone who is probably
really old and obsolete
What is illustrated in art will be adaptation when translated by a viewer who is not the creator of the artistic illustration. This being said, it will help to know the language of which the illustration is transcribed. To go further with this point, some are more talented translators than others, although, quite possibly, the definition of a translator could be a living organism that can take in information from the outside.
Let us go into greater detail, and provide examples of how illustration can be adapted when translated. First, and foremost there is the problem of miss interpretation. This can happen when the translator will translate something without knowing the language of which the illustration is illustrated. It can also happen when the translator will be biasing his view of the illustration on false assumptions which lead the translator away from the point the illustrator was trying to convey. This may be the whole purpose of the illustration, to make the translator’s eyes and mind wander, which I would so desperately like to do.
Let us get working definitions of illustration, adaptation, and translation. Probably the most relevant definition of illustration is visual matter used to clarify or decorate a form of art (where the word art is used loosely to mean all things which do not have a definitive answer). Interestingly enough, the dictionary gives the word illumination as an obsolete definition of illustration. The meaning of adaptation is something, such as a device or mechanism, that is changed or changes so as to become suitable to a new or special application or situation. Adaptation can occur when, over time, definitions change, or when something is viewed by a different group, or a combination of the two, or something entirely different. The literal explanation of translation is a written communication in a second language having the same meaning as the written communication in a first language, although the use of the word “written” and “language” in the context of this essay can more be used to mean “illustrated” and “art.”
Getting working definitions brings up an interesting topic: can we have definitions? For if different people translate the same thing differently, deciding which one is the right is very hard. But why worry about it? I mean, getting into an argument about an opinion is not only dumb, it is also stupid; so we do it all the time. As long as other people’s translations of something do not affect the larger populous, is there really anything to worry about?
Yes there are things to worry about; it is just that they do not pertain to this essay which not that many people are going to read.
But I digress. I was supposed to be giving examples of how something can be adapted when translated. If you are a visual learner, let me provide a translation of a light bulb: light bulb You see, there is another definition of translation, which is that it slides an object a fixed distance in a given direction. The original object and its translation have the same shape and size, and they face in the same direction. The word “translate” in Latin means “carried across”. It is interesting to see the similarities between the mathematical definition and the artistic definition, which is the reason I brought this up, other than to take up space so that I can get this paper done sooner. Art can be seen as the “object” which gets moved to another viewer. The “object” does not change in appearance, it merely changes in perception, therefore combining the two definitions. Is it not interesting that we can combine art and math, when, in a sense, they are opposites.
Alright, enough with the examples, now for the long and drawn out conclusion. Illustration can be seen in any manner imaginable; therefore, there are a infinite number of possible translations. Take this paper for instance. One person may think that this paper ought to be published in a MAD magazine, while another may think it should be shredded and never read again. So why even try to define the definitions of things, even if they are written in an extremely hard to translate manner (not to mention hard to read). The phrase “beauty is in the eye of the beholder” comes to mind. “Translation is in the eye of the beholder.” The word “translation” is only relevant when agreed on by more than one person. But on the other hand, if there was no translation, there could be no speech. So the only definite thing is that nothing is definite. However, this is paradox, and is probably not true. Things like: “I think, therefore I am,” and “something exists, even if it is only nothing,” are probably definite. But the truth is, no one knows anything for certain, save what they believe. This brings up another interesting topic, if you want to call it a different topic, which I don’t really, that is: someone needs to believe in something in order for them to translate it. To put it in a different manner, translation can almost be called a simile for definition. But I am leaving adaptation and illustration out in the bitter cold rain, causing them to ketchup a horrible cold and cannot comment on this paper do to a sore throat.
-Aaron E-J

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