As Flotow suggested, it is possible, maybe even easy to implant feminist thoughts into a text when it originally wasn’t there. What can a translator do to make sure it doesn’t happen? That they are not reading way into the text?


Appiah suggests that thinking of the author’s intentions for the ST is not necessary, but if we don’t think of the intentions behind the text, how do we understand how it came about, what is is actually talking about, and so, how do we translate?

Adaptation movie

This is a movie about a movie, or rather, the making of a movie. The ST is the book “The orchid thief”, and the TT is the movie Charlie Kaufman was trying to write the script for. The movie then became much more than just a simple book adaptation, as it ended up having a life of its own.

This movie shows that adaptations can sometimes elaborate on the actual ST it adapted from. If we think about it in terms of human and intelligent machines, the code acts as an adaptation of the human’s commands, sometimes elaborations are needed to clarify to make it easier for machines to understand. As when I write codes in a programming language, I am adapting a formula into the computer’s language, in which, I have to specifically write out certain things or the computer would not understand.

The adaptation I choose is “Gone Girl” by Gillian Flynn. There were specific differences from the book to the movie adaptation as there are certain things that wouldn’t be as suitable if done on film (as all of the flashbacks are the female character’s narratives, and it wouldn’t have been possible to put all that on film as time does not permit). Also for the interest of time, the details are really trimmed down at some parts. Overall, it is still considered a very faithful adaptation of the original novel.


What makes a good retranslation? Especially when the original translation is already a classic, and recognized globally. Is there another retranslation that can do what KJV did?

Discussion question

Jakobson noted that there definitely is going to be harder to remain faithful to the original when ST and TT have different grammatical patterns (“She has brothers” example). The question now is: Do we result to expansion to keep the original meaning and risk losing the rhythm, or do we risk losing certain meaning to the text?

Trasnslated “Nhớ rừng” to English


Nhớ Rừng

(Lời con hổ ở vườn bách thú)

Gặm một khối căm hờn trong cũi sắt,

Ta nằm dài, trông ngày tháng dần qua,

Khinh lũ người kia ngạo mạn, ngẩn ngơ,

Giương mắt bé giễu oai linh rừng thẳm

Nay sa cơ bị nhục nhằn, tù hãm

Để làm trò lạ mắt, thứ đồ chơi

Chịu ngang bầy cùng bọn gấu dở hơi

Với cặp báo chuồng bên vô tư lự.


Ta mãi sống trong tình thương nỗi nhớ

Thuở tung hoành, hống hách những ngày xưa.

Nhớ cảnh sơn lâm, bóng cả, cây già

Với tiếng gió gào ngàn, với giọng nguồn hét núi,

Với khi thét khúc trường ca dữ dội

Ta bước chân lên, dống dạc, đường hoàng,

Lượn tấm thân như sóng cuộn nhịp nhàng,

Vờn bóng âm thầm, lá gai, cỏ sắc.

Trong hang tối, mắt thần khi đã quắc

Là khiến cho mọi vật đều im hơi.

Ta biết ta chúa tể cả muôn loài

Giữa chốn thảo hoa, không tên không tuổi.


Nào đâu những đêm vàng bên bờ suối,

Ta say mồi đứng uống ánh trăng tan?

Đâu những ngày mưa chuyển động bốn phương ngàn

Ta lặng ngắm giang san ta đổi mớỉ

Đâu những buổi bình minh cây xanh nắng gội

Tiếng chim ca giấc ngủ ta tưng bừng?

Đâu những chiều lênh láng máu sau rừng

Ta đợi chết mảnh mặt trời gay gắt

Để ta chiếm lấy riêng phần bí mật?

– Than ôi! Thời oanh liệt nay còn đâu!


Nay ta ôm niềm uất hận ngàn thâu

Ghét những cảnh không đời nào thay đổi,

Những cảnh sửa sang tầm thường, giả dối:

Hoa chăm, cỏ xén, lối phẳng, cây trồng;

Dải nước đen giả suối chẳng thông dòng

Lẩn lút bên những mô gò thấp kém;

Dăm vừng lá hiền lành không bí hiểm

Cũng học đòi bắt chước vẻ hoang vu

Của chốn ngàn năm cao cả, âm u.

Hỡi oai linh cảnh nước non hùng vĩ

Là nơi giống hùm thiêng ta ngự trị,

Nơi thênh thang ta vùng vẫy ngày xưa

Nơi ta không còn được thấy bao giờ!

Có biết chăng trong những ngày ngao ngán

Ta đang theo giấc mộng vàng to lớn

Để hồn ta phảng phất được gần ngươi

Hỡi cảnh rừng ghê gớm của ta ơi!


Yearning for the Jungle

(The voice of a tiger in captivity in a zoo)


In the iron cage my heart seething with anger,

I lie through long slow months,

Despising the gang of addle swaggerers

Who through tiny eyes dare to mock the jungle’s majesty.

Now fallen and captive, I swallow my pride

To be a curiosity, a toy,

An equal to the despicable bears,

To the pair of clueless leopards next door.


I drag a life filled with longing and love

For good old days of mighty dominion,

In the jungle amidst huge old shade trees,

Mighty howling winds, and thundering falls,

Roaring my epic and powerful roar,

I strutted in commanding steps sure and proud,

My rhythmic wave-like body strong and stout,

Stalking silent ‘mongst brambles and sharp grass.

In dark caves once I flashed my awesome eyes

All life lay quiet holding its hushed breath.

I basked in smugness, king of all creatures,

Roaming amidst the nameless plants and trees.


Now where are those moonlit nights by the stream

When hearty dinner done I savored the moonlight?

Where are those rainstorms that shook the jungle domain

When I quietly surveyed my revived kingdom?

Where are those daybreaks that bathed the lush trees

And birdsongs that riotously awakened me?

Where the blood-red rays that drowned the jungle

When I couldn’t wait for the hot sun to die

So I could seize its secret for myself.

— Oh, where have they all gone, those glory days?


I smother my deep perpetual anger

Hating the things that never ever change,

The spaces that were deceitfully built,

With tended blooms, mown grass, straight paths, grown trees,

A dark trickle that passed as forest streams

Lurking ‘mongst phony low-lying hillocks

With docile foliage shorn of mystery,

Faking so miserably the wilderness

And its eternal life’s solemnity.

O noble proud land of majesty

Where my valiant kind always holds firm sway,

The vast realm that I used to rule over,

Country that I will never see again!

Did you know in my days of dark despair

I still nurture lofty grandiose dreams

In my soul of being in your midst again,

O my dear old awesome jungle domain?


Foreign to the reader?

Schleiermacher stresses a couple times that it is better for the translated text to feel a little foreign to the readers. With that said, do readers want the text to feel foreign, or do they want to read it in the knowledge of their own culture? (For example, when foreign language novels are translated into Vietnamese, cultural facts change to fit in better with the Vietnamese audience, even foreign names are spelt for the Vietnamese pronunciation).