Experiences in Translation by Umberto EcoExperiences in Translation by Umberto Eco

Experiences in Translation

byUmberto EcoTranslated byAlastair Mcewen

Paperback | April 5, 2008

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 110 plum® points

In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


In this book Umberto Eco argues that translation is not about comparing two languages, but about the interpretation of a text in two different languages, thus involving a shift between cultures. An author whose works have appeared in many languages, Eco is also the translator of Gérard de Nerval's Sylvie and Raymond Queneau's Exercices de style from French into Italian. In Experiences in Translation he draws on his substantial practical experience to identify and discuss some central problems of translation. As he convincingly demonstrates, a translation can express an evident deep sense of a text even when violating both lexical and referential faithfulness. Depicting translation as a semiotic task, he uses a wide range of source materials as illustration: the translations of his own and other novels, translations of the dialogue of American films into Italian, and various versions of the Bible. In the second part of his study he deals with translation theories proposed by Jakobson, Steiner, Peirce, and others.

Overall, Eco identifies the different types of interpretive acts that count as translation. An enticing new typology emerges, based on his insistence on a common-sense approach and the necessity of taking a critical stance.

Umberto Eco is Professor of Semiotics, University of Bologna. He is known worldwide as the author of The Name of the Rose, Foucault's Pendulum and A Theory of Semiotics. Alastair McEwan is a translator living in Italy. He has translated more than 60 books.
Title:Experiences in TranslationFormat:PaperbackDimensions:112 pages, 8.49 × 5.49 × 0.35 inPublished:April 5, 2008Publisher:University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing DivisionLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:080209614X

ISBN - 13:9780802096142

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents




Equivalence in Meaning
Incommensurability versus Comparability
Sameness in Reference
Translating from Culture to Culture
Source versus Target
Foreignizing and Domesticating
Archaic versus Modern
Can a Translator Change the Story?
Translating Rhythm
How Not to Get More and How to Accept Less
Compensating for Losses
When the Text Has Us See Things
Compensation through Rewriting


Rewording as Interpretation
Definition versus Translation
Stylistic Values and Expressive Substance
Expressive Substance and Aesthetic Effect
Change of Continuum
Interpretation, Translation, and Transmutation
Borderline Cases


Editorial Reviews

?Eco remarks at the outset that he doesn?t offer a theoretical approach to translation, but a common sense approach ... Then he gives us enough theory to satisfy the most demanding readers.?

-Floyd Merrell, Department of Foreign Languages and Literatures, Purdue University