AWEJ Special Issue on Translation No. (2) 2013 PP.149-170
The Art of Translating Poetry between Myth and Reality
Department of English Language
University Constantine One
Translating poetry caused hot debates for centuries and is still causing lot of controversies. Many scholars point out the difficulty of translating poetry either from English to Arabic or vice versa. Some of them claim that poetry is untranslatable and it is needless for the translator to try because when poetry is translated, it may lose its aesthetic values. Others emphasize on the translatability of poetry by using some strategies which swing between foreignising ,i.e., sticking strongly to the rules of the source language, and domesticating ,i.e., submitting or adapting the rules of the source language to those of the target language. For the sake of knowing if poetry is translatable or not and which modifications should be done to the source text in order to transmit poetic discourse all with its linguistic, stylistic, semantic, pragmatic, and its gleam beauty from English into Arabic, this study focuses on these aspects which should be taken into consideration when poetry is translated. Moreover, it attempts to find out a solution for some cultural gaps which put professional translators in troubles. Besides, it tries to drive out the stereotype of the untranslatability of poetry through a contrastive linguistic study between English and its translated version of Robert Frost’s poetry which has been given to translation students at Constantine 1 University.
Keywords: Translation, poetry, translatability and untranslatability, strategies.