Abstract detail

Title When translation involves more than two languages: common problems and unusual complexities in translating Estienne de Lusignan’s ‘Description de toute l’ Isle de Cypre’

Apart form the many typical problems translators may encounter in the translation process, they may also chance upon old documents and fall upon highly controversial yet interesting works such as the Description de Toute l’ Isle de Cypre, The Description of the Whole Island of Cyprus ,written by the historian Stephen Lusignan, who is better known with his French name, Estienne de Lusignan. Lusignan’s Description, published in 1580, presents a series of complexities, as the author rewrote his work in Post-Medieval French from the Italian version in which he had initially written the greater part of it. My talk is an analysis of common problems of translation; it focuses, however, mainly on the unusual problems a linguist comes across when translating a translation. Rendering Lusignan’s ‘world’ and ‘language’ into both Greek and English requires explanations on the opacity of parts of the texts and clarifications on the disputable use of the source language and of the difficulties this may create to faithful translation. Additionally, my talk accounts for the operative preservation of the effect of the original text and of the constant awareness of the idea that the source language was initially a target. There will be many examples in both Greek and English to support the abundance of complexities in the Description, examples that will include probably cypriotisms, expressions, deviations (language choices), and other linguistic and stylistic characteristics of the writing of this historian who has not given himself to grids that would have framed his unique praxes.

Primary author
Erma Vassiliou