Andrea Labinger, professor of Spanish emerita, educated faculty and students on the multiple meanings of translation with her lecture “A Sense of Entitlement: Perils and Pleasures of Title Translation,” on Monday.
Labinger had originally proposed the title of her presentation as “The Weight of Temptation” from a title of a novel hoping to bring in a larger audience, but decided to change it.
“Titles are very important,” Labinger said.
Labinger joins with an author who has written a book in Spanish and translates the original work to English.
“It is best to translate into your dominant language,” Labinger said.
She said it is difficult to find good books that are written in Spanish.
Labinger went on to explain some common techniques that she uses when translating, which included literal translation, radical departure, vanillization, resolution of ambiguity and preservation of ambiguity.
She said there could be many translation techniques.
Labinger gave examples of each technique by comparing the titles of an original book to one that had already been translated.
She explained vanillization as the translation being flattened.
She showed an example of this technique by a book in Spanish titled, “La Isla de Los Amores Infinitos,” which translated in English to “The Island of Eternal Love.”
“You take what made it special and made it plain,” Labinger said.
Labinger continued her lecture by talking about ambiguity and tying it in with the last two techniques.
“Ambiguity is the meaning of the different stories,” Labinger said.
She used the example of the word “fin” and explained how it can be translated to mean, “end” as either a conclusion or as a purpose.
Labinger recently translated the novel, “Una Mancha Mas,” where she worked with author Alicia Plantes.
She is currently in search for a publisher for the translated novel.
Labinger said the novel will probably be titled “Murder of a Different Stripe.”
“When you’re translating, you’re writing creatively,” Lambinger said.
She uses pictures and listens to music in her translation process.
Labinger ended her presentation by reading a small passage from “Weight of Temptation,” which focused on how one is faced with temptation and how they can overcome it.
She added to the presentation by giving her input of translating as a career.
“It’s hard to make a living translating,” Labinger said. “You have to love what you’re doing and have to have another source of income to survive.”
Marga Madhuri, associate professor of education, thought the lecture rocked.
“I loved the different titles,” Madhuri said. “Don’t think how much goes into it.”
Madhuri brought up the example of the translation of the novel, “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” during the lecture and said that the themes are different in the Spanish version.
“The Swedish version actually translates to English,” Madhuri said.
“You need to know cultures really well to bring an understanding,” Madhuri said.
Junior biology major Nathanael Morales came in with a mindset based on his interpretation of the lecture title.
Morales thought the presentation was really interesting and liked her techniques for coming up with the titles.
“It is not something you think about often,” Morales said. “You have to also have to consider the marketing value of the product.”
Sarah Veissalov can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.