From Theorizing Translation to a Poetics of Translation

Dr. Victor IVANOVICI, “Aristotle” University of Salonika, Greece / IRH-ICUB Visiting Professor

Earlier versions of this post-graduate course were presented, over a ten-year period, before classes of the National Capodistrian University of Athens (especially its Interdisciplinary and Interdepartmental  Program in Translation and Translation Studies), and the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, as well as a wide range of scholarly conferences both local and international (including their published proceedings) beside the context of numerous peer reviewed professional journals.

Important aspects of this research project have been presented within the academic setting of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria (Spain), the Claustro de Santa Teresa and UNAM (Mexico City, Mexico).

A Modern Greek version of this project-in-progress is available under the title Translatology, Athens: Dione Publishers, 2004.

Doctoral, post-doctoral, language-and-literature department students besides practicing translators would be the most suitable participants in the course with the ideal desideratum, though not a pre-requisite, of a reading knowledge of Spanish and Modern Greek.

The Course, as indicated by the title, is two-pronged.


I.1. Tips from the Grammars of Error Analysis: Centers on the “grinding” or advanced stages of foreign language learning but also on the “facilitators” that may arise during the transition from a “source language” to a “target language.”

I.2. Functional Stylistics Perspectives contrasts various “functional styles” (levels or registers) of languages in contact so their mutual translatability is assessed.

 I.3. Pathways toward a Model for Contrastive stylistic (or Literary Stylistics in the service of translation): Aiming for the appropriate “insertion point” of the source text (in light of the functional stylistic system of the source language) that will produce the target text (in the respective target language functional stylistic system). In Damaso Alonso’s this stage is termed the “probing of  stylistic methods and limits;” it includes approaches to a literary, (or an author’s), style and corresponding applications during the translating process.

To sum up so far. Although the larger theoretical framework is derived from several sets of European languages, the specific analyses emphasize the contrasts, implying translating from and into, among three languages; Spanish, on the one hand, and Romanian and Modern Greek on the other which are also the instructor’s native ones.

II. Segment B: TOWARDS A POETICS OF TRANSLATION outlines and, on occasion, opposes theoretical and methodological approaches to Segment I.

Structurally, this segment is patterned after the tripartite organization of the communication process:

II.1.Poetics of Translation as a (creative) act occupies the position of the Addresser.

II.2. Poetics of Translation as a product (of the preceding, i.e. the translated text) covers the Message.

II.3.Finally, Poetics of Translation as reception (i.e. reading of the work) stands for the Addressee.

                  addresser               ⇒             message                  ⇒            addressee

Poetics of trans. as an act    Poetics of trans. as a product      Poetics of trans. as reception

instating poetics                                       receiving poetics