Challenges when translating poetry

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Introduction 4
What is translation? 6
What is poetry? 10
Arguments against the Translation of Poetry 12
Arguments for the Translation of poetry 14
Difference from ESP translation 16
I. Linguistic problems 18
II. Aesthetic or Literary problems 26
2.1 Poetic structure 27
2.2 Metaphorical expressions 28
2.3 Sound 30
III. Socio-cultural problems 31
Conclusion 36
Refences 38

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I chose to start with Steiner's affirmation (1983:78) who said that "translation exists only because people talk different languages. In fact, this truism is based on a situation that we may consider mysterious and that raises a question of both psychological and socio-historical difficulty". 
"Why must the human beings talk thousands of different languages that cannot be understood by everyone? Thus, within one language or even more than one language, communication between humans is possible due to translation" (Steiner 1983: 25). 
We should consider the fact that translation theory is the classic name that was given to the generic knowledge about translation and down the line, it has become an out-of-date term as it is associated with the old, normative, prescriptive writings on the ways in which good literary translations could be achieved.
Translation is an extremely difficult process. It is defined as "a transfer of meaning from one language to another". But sometimes we hear people who do not speak or read a foreign language often have mistaken points of view on the nature of translation. 
Many of them consider it merely a mechanical process which is like decoding (Hopkins, 1976: 114). As for Roman Ingarden (cited in Vollmer, 1986: 203), he says that the translation of a work is never completely adequate; it is a problem. 
Besides, it is, as Quirk (cited in Bassnett, 1980: 5) claims, "one of the most difficult tasks that a writer can take upon himself," while Richards (cited in Nida, 1993: 1) claims that it "is probably the most complex type of event in the history of the cosmos." Any step on the way of translation meets many problems and challenges. 
One can say that the translation of poetry may be the most challenging, then other types of translation because of the peculiarity of poetry. Accordingly, two notions are of relevance, here, to understand this paper, i.e., translation' and poetry.
Translating poetry is considered one of the most complicated types of translations. It meets many difficulties, the most important of which is the question of possibility or impossibility of translating poetry. 
So, it is better to start by asking the following question: is the translation of poetry possible? Or is it impossible? It is a rhetorical question because translation is as old as the presence of translated texts, which fills the shelves of libraries. 
One can ask despite these difficulties, who would discourage people of the world from translating poetry merely because it is fundamentally impossible? (Mann, 1970: 211).
What is translation?
Translation used to be considered an inter-language transfer of meaning, which is the point of departure for research and study. Many earlier definitions demonstrate this, using source language and target language as their technical terms. Moreover, translation theories strictly confined themselves within the sphere of linguistics. 
For many years the popular trend in the translation circles had been perfect faithfulness to the original both in content and in form, it had been regarded as the iron criterion as if from the holy Bible for translators to observe. 
The godly status and the impossible idealistic belief were not altered until new thoughts arose with the respect of consideration of target readers, the unavoidable translator subjectivity and the purpose and function of translations. 
Starting to look from new angles such as the accommodation to target cultural conventions, the translator's consciousness of linguistic and cultural adaptations to make it easy for readers to understand translated works without too much pain and effort, and translation as a purposeful endeavor. Translation is then understood as a much more complicated activity with a much broader scope.
According to Brislin (1976: 1) who notes that ,,The general term referring to the transfer of thoughts and ideas from one language (source) to another (target), whether the languages are in written or oral form; whether the languages have established orthographies or do not have such standardization or whether one or both languages is based on signs, as with sign languages of the deaf". 
It is also defined as "rendering the meaning of a text into another language" (Newmark 1988:5). Accordingly, this process needs the source language (henceforth SL) translator to find a functional equivalent in the target language (henceforth TL). 
Some theorists talk about the importance of translation to the extent that they do not consider a certain text as truly existed only after it has been translated. 
Translation comes into being inside change itself, at times it seems to confuse itself with change while still being active. To translate is to take something beyond itself.

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