TRANSLATING THE UNTRANSLATABLE?

TRANSLATING THE UNTRANSLATABLE?
August 31, 2012
3:00-4:15 p.m., CTC 201
Parallel Session 1-C

Moderator: Dr. Vincenz Serrano, Department of English

RAMON GUILLERMO
University of the Philippines
bomen.guillermo@gmail.com

“Preliminary Translation Analysis of the New Indonesian Translation of Marx’s Das Kapital”

Due to the recent global crises, Karl Marx’s fundamental work, Das Kapital (1867), has seen a resurgent interest. This renewed interest has also resulted in the production of several new translations of this work into various languages. The first complete translation into Bahasa Indonesia was published as Kapital: SebuahKritikEkonomiPolitik in Jakarta by the Hasta Mitra Press in 2004. The translator was Oey Hay Djoen (1929-2008), an activist and former political prisoner on Buru island during the SoehartoOrdeBaru regime. According to Oey, he used Ben Fowke’s English translation for the Penguin edition (1971) as the primary basis for his own translation. Oey also translated the second and third volumes of Das Kapital into Bahasa Indonesia aside from numerous other works by Marx and Engels. Focusing exclusively on the celebrated first chapter of Das Kapital (volume 1), this study will attempt a preliminary translation analysis of Oey’sBahasa Indonesia translation.

Marx, Karl, Kapital: SebuahKritikEkonomiPolitik, Buku I, Jakarta: Hasta Mitra, 2004 (929 pages).

Ramon Guillermo is Associate Professor at the Department of Filipino and Philippine Literature, College of Arts and Letters, University of the Philippines – Diliman. He has authored books and essays on translation studies, indigenization theory in the social sciences and Philippine writing systems. He obtained a PhD in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Hamburg, Germany.

REMMON E. BARBAZA
Ateneo de Manila University

“Übersalin: Translating Heidegger into Filipino”

Anyone who translates Heidegger not only must contend with the often-impenetrable thicket of concepts and a number of almost wholly untranslatable technical terms. The translator also necessarily has to operate within Heidegger’s own fundamental understanding of language and translation, where language is only superficially a human instrument but more essentially that which itself is the one that speaks to humans, and where translation requires letting oneself be carried over to the other shore, and back to one’s own. Thus, in translating Heidegger into Filipino, one proceeds from an experience of listening to language, what is to be thought within and through it, and traverses the distance between the particular languages involved. At the outset, the translator is faced by the difficultyof the “absence” of the verb “to be” (Ger. sein) in Filipino, given that the whole of the Heideggerian project is determined by the Seinsfrage, or the question of being. This essay seeks to reflect on the experience of translating Heidegger into Filipino, with its attendant problems and difficulties, and propose ways and strategies in carrying out this unique task of translation.

Remmon E. Barbaza is Associate Professor in Philosophy, School of Humanities, Ateneo de Manila University. He earned an A.B. Linguistics from the University of the Philippines in Diliman (1988), an M.A. in Philosophy at the Ateneo de Manila University (1994), and a Ph.D. in Philosophy at the HochschulefürPhilosophie-München (Munich School of Philosophy) in Germany (2002), under the supervision of Prof. Dr. GerdHaeffner, S.J. His dissertation, Heidegger and a New Possibility of Dwelling, was published in 2003 (Frankfurt: Peter Lang). His essay, “There Where Nothing Happens: The Poetry of Space in Heidegger and Arellano,” appears as a chapter in Heidegger and the Earth: Essays in Environmental Philosophy, second, expanded edition, edited by Ladelle McWhorter and Gail Stenstad (Toronto: The University of Toronto Press, 2009). His research interests include Heidegger, technology, language, environment, the city and translation. He is currently working on a translation of Heidegger texts into Filipino.

VICTOR DENNIS TINO NIERVA
vic.nierva@gmail.com

“Translating Donne in Postcolonial, Multilingual Bicol and the Shaping and Re-shaping of Bikol Orthography”

This paper expands the author’s preface in the book “DorosasinmgaAnghel (Air and Angels): Translations in Bikol of John Donne’s Holy Sonnets and Selected Works” (Ateneo de Naga University Press, 2012). In this translation undertaking, as it is in similar literary endeavors, it was inevitable to consider problematiques, some of which are: differences in periods and milieus, intricacy of the original language and its equivalent, and the challenges of Donne’s metaphysical conceits. The essential complication, however, came not from within the text being translated, but in the language of translation: which Bikol language? which orthography and linguistic standards? This paper presents why and how translating Donne—in the frenzy and confusion of postcolonial retrieval of lost cultural heritage and artifacts, in the time of forcible pushing for a ‘mother tongue-based education’ by the Philippine government, at a circumstance of having no linguistic standards, and at the core of a region known for it multilingual characteristic—may lead to a shaping and re-shaping of an orthography.

Victor Dennis Tino Nierva is a Bikolano poet, translator and graphic designer. He teaches media studies at the Ateneo de Naga University. His first book, “Antisipasyon (Anticipation and Other Poems in Bikol and English),” won the 2007 National Book Award for Poetry and was a finalist at the 2009 Madrigal-Gonzalez Best First Book Awards. His second book “Dorosasin mga Anghel (Air and Angels): Translations in Bikol of John Donne’s Holy Sonnets and Selected Work” (2012) is touted as the first critical translation of Donne in a Filipino language.

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