Renæssanceforum 14 • 2018

Marianne Pade
Greek into Humanist Latin: Foreignizing vs. domesticating translation in the Italian Quattrocento

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Fifteenth-century Italy witnessed an explosion both in the production of Latin translations from the Greek and in theoretical writings on translations. Nevertheless, humanist translation theory is more or less ignored by many modern translation specialists. In this article I draw attention to some frequent issues in fifteenth-century discussions of translation that show how Renaissance theoreticians addressed a number of the same questions as those raised in contemporary translation studies, for instance by Antoine Berman, Lawrence Venuti and Anne Coldiron. From the beginning of the fifteenth century there was among Italian humanists a discussion of what we today would call domesticating versus foreignizing translation. The father of humanist translation theory, the Byzantine Manuel Chrysoloras, advocated some kind of foreignizing translation in which the foreignness of the source language would remain visible and the reader made to move towards the author. However, humanist theoreticians increasingly began to favour domesticating translation, even developing a new terminology to describe their aims and methods.