DELISLE, Jean and WOODSWORTH, Judith (eds.)
In AD 629, a Chinese monk named Xuan Zang set out for India
on a quest for sacred texts. He returned with a caravan of twenty-two horses
bearing Buddhist treasures and spent the last twenty years of his life in
the "Great Wild Goose Pagoda", in present-day Xi'an, translating the Sanskrit
manuscripts into Chinese with a team of collaborators.
In the twelfth century, scholars came to Spain from all over Europe seeking
knowledge that had been transmitted from the Arab world. Their names tell
the story: Adelard of Bath, Hermann of Dalmatia, Plato of Tivoli. Among them
was Robert of Chester (or Robert of Kent), who was part of an elaborate team
that translated documents on Islam and the Koran itself.
Doña Marina, also called la Malinche, was a crucial link between Cortés
and native peoples he set out to convert and conquer in sixteenth-century
Mexico. One of the conquistador's "tongues" or interpreters, she was also
the mother of his son. She has been an ambivalent figure in the history of
the new world, her own history having been rewritten in different ways over
James Evans, an Englishman sent to evangelize and educate the natives of
western Canada during the nineteenth century, invented a writing system in
order to translate and transcribe religious texts. Known as "the man who made
birchbark talk", he even succeeded in printing a number of pamphlets, using
crude type fashioned out of lead from the lining of tea chests and ink made
from a mixture of soot and sturgeon oil. A jackpress used by traders to pack
furs served as a press.
These are just some of the stories told in Translators through History, published
under the auspices of the International Federation of Translators (FIT). Over
seventy people have been involved in this project - as principal authors,
contributors or translators and proofreaders. The participants come from some
twenty countries, reflecting the make-up and interests of FIT.
1995 - 346 Pages