Translation is everywhere, and matters to everybody. Translation doesn't only give us foreign news, dubbed films and instructions for using the microwave: without it, there would be no world religions, and our literatures, our cultures, and our languages would be unrecognisable.
In this Very Short Introduction, Matthew Reynolds gives an authoritative and thought-provoking account of the field, from ancient Akkadian to World English, from St Jerome to Google Translate. He shows how translation determines meaning, how it matters in commerce, empire, conflict and resistance, and why it is fundamental to literature and the arts.
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Matthew Reynolds is The Times Lecturer in English at Oxford University and a Tutorial Fellow of St Anne's College. He is the author of The Poetry of Translation: From Chaucer & Petrarch to Homer & Logue (OUP, 2011). His previous work on translation includes the Penguin anthology Dante in English (Penguin, 2005) which he co-authored with Eric Griffiths, the chapter on 'Principles and Norms of Translation' in vol. 4 of the Oxford History of Literary Translation in English (OUP, 2006), and a series of essays in the London Review of Books. He chairs the annual Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize.
1: The multiplicity of translation 2: Word for word? 3: Translation and paraphrase 4: Translation and power 5: Words of God 6: Honest interpretation 7: Translating performance 8: Translation and literature 9: Languages in the world Further Reading Index