On the untranslatability of "translation": Considerations from Java, Indonesia

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    As is now widely accepted, no single, universal meaning to the idea and practice we usually term translation exists: ideas about, and practices of, rewriting texts have varied greatly across time and place. Aiming to bring this multiplicity of translation practices and theories to light and to contextualize them culturally and historically, this paper explores what translation meant in the literary culture of Java, Indonesia, during the eighteenth through early twentieth centuries. Although Javanese literature contains many works coming from elsewhere, these texts typically do not elaborate on the translation act and often leave out information such as the translator's identity and motives, the source language, and the date and place of translation. I ask why this may have been the case and highlight how, despite this dearth of information, it is possible to begin reconstructing the meanings of translation in Javanese society through a close reading of local translation terminology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)287-301
    JournalTranslation Studies
    Volume3
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2010

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