Linguistic and Cultural Issues across Genres
From La canzone del sole (1971) to The Sun Song (1977): more than textual problems in the translation of Battisti’s pop anthem
It is inherent in the very nature of translation – as both process and product – to be frequently (though not constantly) open to re-visitation. Frequently because we often re-read and re-listen. Not constantly because, as we shall see, our processes of understanding are not and cannot be constant and consistent.
Re-visiting translation is a welcome opportunity that has provided me with the stimulus and the enthusiasm to think again on one of the most important considerations of the nature of translation that I have ever read: the first chapter of George Steiner’s After Babel, which carries the title, Understanding as Translation. It is a title that encapsulates very effectively the central thesis of Steiner’s book, a thesis so fundamental and so demanding in its repercussions that it is often convenient, necessary even, to put it to one side (1992: xii):
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