The translated text as re-textualisation

Walter Carlos Costa


All texts seem to be, in one way or another, dependent upon other texts, but a translated text is dependent upon one particular text in a very peculiar way. When writing a normal text the writer is in principle free to organise a set of words, clauses and paragraphs, according to his or her intentions and abilities. Yet we all know that this liberty is more
apparent than real, since our memory of previous texts, as well as the cultural norms we have internalised, restrict, as a rule, many of our textual movements. The translator, however, works under different conditions. The text he or she writes will be based on a message that already exists in a textual form in another language. The original text constrains the new text in a number of ways. The most inmediate one is
that in order to be recognised as a translation, the translator’s text must have a great degree of similarity with its original counterpart. In translation studies this similarity is currently labelled equivalence.


English Language; English


Copyright (c) 2003 Walter Carlos Costa

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