From Translation to Semio-Translation: Origins, Evolution, and Metamorphoses
Susan Petrilli, Italy (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dinda L. Gorlée, The Netherlands (email@example.com)
Translation is a speculative hypothesis across languages, reproducing not the accurate description but some elusive explanation and understanding. The evolutionary character of translation starts at formal language, developed historically and creatively into informal "language" with speculative accessories in vocalization and gestures.
The dual attraction of sign and object in Saussure's cliché of interpreted signs in translation has grown into the interpreted signs of Peirce's semiosis of sign, object and the further sign, the interpretant. Semiotranslation is a progressive thinking method, discussing "good" and "bad" interpretations of the previous language, transplanted into alien soil. Equivalence between source and target is questioned but not always answered for a variety of reasons. The argument of semiotranslation can be troublesome and chaotic with arguments about all kinds of technical versions and ornamental patterns. In the semiotic approach to translation, the translator is not a mental process or even a machine, but an instinctive mediator across languages and cultures.
"Before" and "after" semiotranslation, this session suggests answers of an evolutionary and skeptical nature about the possibility (or impossibility) of translatability and untranslatability; equivalence and fidelity and infidelity; the function and role of the intelligence, will, and emotion of the translator’s fallabilistic mind; translation and retranslation; the fate of the source text; the destiny of the target text; and many other semiotic questions.
1. Dinda L. Gorlée (firstname.lastname@example.org)
From Translation To Semiotranslation
In the first part, From interpreted signs to interpretated signs, the mechanism of translation is understood as the construction of the logical connection between the linguistic sign and object of the source text. The Saussurean two-step skill of translation is transposed into the target text. Semiotranslation analyzes Saussure’s sign-internal sign-and-object, to add Peirce’s sign-external interpretant-signs for the tentative translation of source to target text. The “genuine” effect of three-way semiosis involves “good” and “bad” (and in-between) translations made by the translator’s semiotic signatures, involving in the sign-action Peirce’s emotional, energetic, and logical qualities of the original and translated sign system. In the second part, From intersemiosis to trans-semiosis, Jakobson’s three types of intralingual, interlingual, and intersemiotic translation and other semiotic translation-theoreticians discuss how semiotranslation is considered as the “interpretive web.” The interpretive web of semiotranslation gives goal-directed habits, but without fixed results, no fixed methods, no fixed redefinitions, and no fixed agents. All results, methods, and agents are provisional and temporary habits of translation. Peirce’s revolutionary and skeptical ideas about linguistics are true for semiotranslation, signifying interpretative translation of intertextual semiosis and extralinguistic intersemiosis.
2. Dr. Stéphanie Walsh Matthews, Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, and Director of the Arts and Contemporary Studies Program, Ryerson University, Toronto, Canada.
The Origins of Semiotic Thinking: How the brain became the center of our interpretant-function
Semiotics has taken a number of turns, leading us through understandings of moral, pragmatic, symptomatic, cultural, symbolic, social and psychological theoretical frameworks of interpretation. It has, more recently, engaged in the discourse of biodiversity and zoology by extending the signification gauge to encompass the semiosphere. Interrogations into the origins allow us to go back and ask the “why” that makes any of this possible.
Questioning into the origins of language and civilisation forms the tenet of inquiry into the humanities. Recently, this line of questioning has seen a resurgence of concentration from the field that is most apt at discovering the models and the structures that would have intimately shaped the evolutionary process of thinking and interpreting. Semiotics, and its new investigative forays into cognitive and paleo-anthropological disciplines, has started to uncover interesting liaisons that might provide clues into our mental edifice. Most importantly, it does so by counter-weighing conceptual models with material discoveries, further extending the semiotics bridge into interdisciplinarity.
This paper focuses on the heuristic discoveries in neuro-science, cognitive linguistics, and artificial intelligence and demonstrates how semiotics’ key notions are ideally suited to laying out the new “Origins” map.
Translation and Iconicity
Translation is a structural part of modelling devices, the very condition even for creativity, innovation, simulation, ultimately for what with Peirce we may indicate as the “play of musement” in the human world (CP 6.460–465, 486; Sebeok 1981; cf. 15.4). Iconicity, as amply demonstrated by Peirce, carries out a decisive role in all such processes.
Canonical translation is based on the code, convention, authority, authoriality, respect. Contrary to such an orientation, the task of the translator is not to give the impression that the translation is not a translation, but rather to convey the uniqueness, the specificity of the interpretant, its unrepeatability, the sense of its untranslatability, that is, its signifying materiality, specificity, absolute otherness. Translation is construed in the specificity of the signifier and in this sense is “by the letter”. As such the translative procedure is dominated by iconicity whose signifying value is an “effect” of language provoked by the “original”, by virtue of what Peirce calls its quality.
4. Olga Lesicka, Ph. D., Faculty of Linguistics, University of Warsaw, Poland
Semantic connotation in the linguo-semiotic researchinto terminological loanwords (based on the example of English terminological loanwords in Russian economic texts)
Semiotics – which is the necessary condition of the existence, functioning, analysis and use of information – is becoming more all-embracing and integrating field of research. It is therefore the basis for integrating sciences of information, among others, linguistics which analyses information connected with language. A particular kind of a sign – carrier of information – are terminological loanwords which, by reason of the role in the modern language, require the semiotic interpretation.
Research on language – as an element of the social and cultural semiosphere – shows, that phenomena emerging in the modern world, considered as semiotic entities, cause specific changes in human’s private and social life and thereby participate in communication and information processes [S. Siatkowski, 2012]. My research on the English terminological loanwords in the contemporary Russian economic texts, has shown, inter alia, that owing to the influence of various non-linguistic factors together with intralingual factors, several processes are taking place in the language – transformation inside the structure, interlingual contacts, especially the impact of foreign languages and tremendous amount of loanwords. My analysis of the borrowed economic terms collected from modern Russian texts (mostly Americanisms and Briticisms) allowed to introduce the multiaspectual (multi-level) classification of the numerous and diversified material, which covers almost 8000 examples. Collecting and organizing such extensive research material as well as its classification enabled achieving the main research goal, i.e. creating the classification scales based on grammatical, structural, lexical-semantic and stylistic attributes as well as the phases of adaptation in the text. The research has also shown, that in the specific field of human activity (such as economy), different types of signals form more complex heterogeneous semiotical structures, which can be internally differentiatedand complement information they contain. In this way different types of signs as well as different systems and subsystems of the semiosphere in our analysis, within the culture in a broad sense, usually interact with each other and complement each other.
The semantic connotation – as an element of the wider semiotic aspect, so connected with syntactic and pragmatic factors – has become one of the criteria for building this classification, because without this type of analysis wouldn’t be possible the empirical comprehensive analysis.
The purpose of my paper is to show the role which in the modern dynamic and global life play the existing and newly emerging spheres of formation of signs as well as opportunities of using old and new signs in one of the areas of human activity, which is economy. Any changes in the language (in this case we speak about such a global change like the process of borrowing on a large scale) have the impact on the lingual image of the world, because the meanings of the words (in this case – terms) reflect the attitude of the given society towards the reality. Semantic connotation is therefore an important element of the lingual image of the world, because it enablesus todraw conclusions based on the analysis of the following phenomena:
meanings of the borrowed terms and their modification in the host language;
differences between the borrowed and ethnic terms;
the way in which the meaning of the borrowed term connects with the reality in which the host language exists;
mechanisms of adaptation of terms in the host language (inter alia word-formative, grammatical and stylistic);
meanings of terms in metaphorical and phraseological form.
Devoting attention to the above-mentioned phenomena in terms of a holistic analysis of the collected lingual material clearly indicates that translation a term from the donor language into the host language doesn’t confine to the interlingual relation, but is a phenomenon of a heterogeneous nature.
5. Pavel Dronov, Ph. D. (Institute of Linguistics, Russian Academy of Sciences, Moscow, Russia)
Raising and holding one’s head high: A corpus-based study of Stylistic, Pragmatic and Lexical Variability of the Idiom in Russian, Serbian, English, and German 
The report deals with comparing and contrasting the idioms whose literal meaning involves ‘placing one’s head in an upright posture’. The idioms – namely, podnimat’ golovu (Russian), dići glavu (Serbian), to raise one’s ugly head, to hold one’s head high (English), den Kopf oben behalten / hoch halten (German). The fact that mention of body parts and/or gestures constitute a significant part of phraseology is self-evident; after all, there are somatic responses and gestures that are shared by all human beings, e.g. a laughing person makes one happy, a yawning person makes one sleepy, etc (see Robinson 1991). Some of those idioms may as well be considered common figurative units (Piirainen 2012).
The aim is to find out what modifications they can undergo. Similarity of structure, as well as that of figurative meanings, may result in similar mechanisms of their modifications. More interesting, though, are their differences. For instance, the Russian podnimat’ golovu “to raise one’s head”, usually meaning ‘to occur’ when referred to an event or ‘to commence an action’ when meaning a person or entity, appears to be modified quite rarely. The reason may be its image structure that allows one to use it in its literal sense rather than its figurative meaning (or, more accurately, to use a homonymous word group that means ‘to place one’s head in an upright posture’). If a modification occurs, it is usually adnominal (with an adjective or participle inserted into the idiom), context-based, or serving as a double-entendre device (e.g. podnimaet očerednuû golovu ‘raises yet another head’; on idiom modifications see Dobrovol’skij 2007, Dronov 2011). As for the English counterpart, to raise its ugly head, which has an adjectival constituent, it is used in its figurative meaning almost exclusively. The modifications that appear there are usually lexical and may involve replacement of a constituent (e.g. fashion raised its inconsistent head).
The report narrows the topic down to the figurative units having the NP head; thus it excludes idioms such as the Russian vyše golovu!, Serbian glavu gore!, German Kopf hoch! (literally, “head up”) for the reason of their English counterpart involving a chin instead of a head (chin up!). This aspect, along with those of other metaphorically similar units, is to be taken into account in a larger study aimed at taking a closer look at idioms’ semantic, combinational and stylistic properties of idioms containing somatic components across languages.
 Supported by a grant from the Russian Scientific Foundation (RSF), research project 14-28-00130.
6) J. Marais, Department of Linguistics and Language Practice, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein (email@example.com)
The agency of translation: Exploring semiosis and the emergence of the social
Translation scholars from various contexts have suggested or are suggesting a redefinition of the notion of translation (Arduini & Nergaard, 2011; Petrilli, 2003). These scholars are seemingly realising that limiting translation studies to the study of interlinguistic translation (Jakobson, 2004), or translation proper, is only restricting their understanding of translation as such. In earlier work, I suggested a theory of emergent semiotics as a conceptual framework for thinking about translation (Marais, 2014).
In my arguments for emergent semiotics, I referred to Latour’s (2007) use of the notion of translation in sociology and in particular to his reference to Greimas’ (1990) semiotics, which Latour used as the source of his use of translation. In this paper, I intend exploring in more detail the philosophical and theoretical underpinnings that allowed Latour to make use of the notion of translation, linking it to my earlier suggestions on emergent semiotics and translation. In particular, I shall analyse the relationship between Latour’s work and the semiotics of Greimas in an effort to understand the link between semiosis and translation as evident in their work
The paper thus entails a conceptual analysis of the role of semiosis and translation in social emergence, also linking the argument to the work of scholars like Lotman (2000) and in particular exploring Peirce’s (1994) work on translation in more detail. This analysis will be related to a conceptualisation of the nature of semiotics on which Latour initially based it. The paper will close with an attempt at a further expansion of the notion of translation to argue that the semiotic links the material and social by means of a paradoxical, complex transformation or translation. One of the implications of the arguments made above, that semiosis allows one to study the material components of society, will be expanded in linking the paper to the role of translation in the African context.
Arduini, S. & Nergaard, S., 2011. Translation: A new paradigm. Translation, pp. 8-15.
Greimas, A., 1990. The social sciences: A semiotic view. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press.
Jakobson, R., 2004. On linguistic aspects of translation. In: L. Venuti, ed. The translation studies reader. 2nd ed ed. London: Routledge, pp. 138-143.
Latour, B., 2007. Reassembling the social. An introduction to actor-network theory. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lotman, Y., 2000. Universe of the mind: A semiotic theory of culture. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
Marais, J., 2014. Translation theory and development studies: A complexity theory approach. London: Routledge.
Peirce, C., 1994. The collected works of Charles Sanders Peirce. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Petrilli, S., ed., 2003. Translation Translation. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
7) Caroline Mangerel, Department of Linguistics and Language Practice, University of the Free State, Bloemfontein, South Africa (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The silence of translation: responsibility and power in inter/intralingual translation
In this paper, I propose to examine power dynamics as manifested through the absence of translation. The notion of responsibility will be put forth and developed as a semiotic and social potentiality of translation.
I will first provide an overview of the many avatars of fidelity in the history of “classic”, intertextual translation – from literary critique’s tendency towards accusations of betrayal to translation studies’ metaphorical excesses. This contextual frame already establishes a power dynamic between original and translation; source and target; writer, translator, and reader.
Next, I will examine the effects of non-translation in the context of a US electoral campaign, using George Lakoff’s work on conceptual metaphors and framing, specifically in the context of political discourse, and extend my analysis to encompass Jakobson’s notion of intralingual translation.
I will use as well Iouri Lotman’s Semiosphere and Édouard Glissant’s theory of Relation to situate translation’s responsibility in an increasingly homogenizing global culture where interconnectedness can become damaging and power dynamics are tending towards eliminating whole cultural spheres.
8) Rovena Troqe, Centre de Recherches Sémiotiques (CeReS), Université de Limoges
On the Concept and Practice of Translation, from a Greimassian Semiotics Perspective
Reasoning on what translation is varies between intuitive claims and cultural-time-space bound relativistic attitudes. In both cases, the definitional problem remains. This study is set in an interdisciplinary field and draws on Greimassian Semiotics. The advantages to adopting a semiotic view are clear: it allows us to conceive translation as a complex-beyond-language activity and provides an effectively applicable method to the study of translation, as a sociocultural, intersubjective and thymic practice that shapes and leaves its mark on the translated texts.
In this research, a model of translation as a theoretical concept and as a social practice is outlined.
As a theoretical concept, translation is defined by the Semiotic Square of Translation as the emergence of the category I coming into being in relation to the category non-I, through the operations that correlate the immanent concepts equivalence and difference. The question of identity represents a crucial epistemic aspect in the study of translation. The fact that in the semiotic square the ‘Translation-I’ is generated in relation – equivalence or difference – to the other, the ‘Original-non-I’, makes explicit the confrontation, exchange, resistance or docility, compatibility or incompatibility ruling the existence of those identities.
As a practice, translation arises from the contractual interaction between two actants (Initiator-Translator), who operate through acts of manipulation, performance and sanction. The observational stance of a theorizing actant, the Researcher, allows the practice to be formalised in a descriptive model, the Semiotic Model of Translation.
This framework is applied to the translation activity financed by the Rolex Institute in its philanthropic programme. A tensive semiotic analysis is applied to a parallel corpora of original English texts translated into Italian and French. The textual analysis was conducted by looking for translational enunciation markers that pointed to the presence of the instance of enunciation in the translated texts. The translational markers in the translated texts represent tangible data that refer to the discoursive action of the actants involved in the translation practice, which actualizes the virtualities of the semiotic square.
Keywords: epistemology, translation concept, translation practice, Greimassian semiotics, tensive semiotics, parallel corpora.
9) Daniella Aguiar, Joao Queiroz (Federal University of Juiz de Fora, Brazil)
Hypoiconicity in literature-to-dance intersemiotic translation
Charles S. Peirce distinguishes icons from iconic signs, or hypoicons, and introduces a division of the latter into images, diagrams, and metaphors. According to this division, images represent simple qualities involved in iconic sign-mediated processes. Differently, diagrams represent, through the relations between its parts, the analogous relations that constitute the related parts of the object it represents. The object of the diagram is always a relation. Unlike the image, which stands for superficial qualities, the diagram is an arrangement of related parts, and its object is an analogous relation. Finally, the metaphor is an icon of analogical relations between sign effects (or interpretants) by creating an analogical parallelism with another interpretant. Our major proposal here is to introduce this division, and provide an example of its application in literature-to-dance intersemiotic translation. Jakobson defined intersemiotic translation as an interpretation of verbal signs by nonverbal sign systems. As several authors, we have assumed a broader sense of this notion including several sign systems and processes. Based on this approach and on Peirce’s hypoiconic division, we consider three types of intersemiotic translation -- imagetic, diagrammatic, metaphorical. We focus on the translation of the Brazilian modernist novel “Macunaíma” to Paula Carneiro Dias’ dance piece “Para o herói: experimentos sem nenhum caráter - corpo sobre papel”.
10) Inna Merkoulova, Centre de Russie pour la Science et la Culture à Paris & STIH, Université Paris-Sorbonne
De la traduction sémiotique à la traduction intersémiotique:l’ouvrage «Sémiotique des passions» en russe
Selon U.Eco, «pour élaborer une théorie de la traduction, il ne serait pas nécessaire d’examiner de nombreux exemples de traduction, mais aussi d’avoir fait ces trois expériences: avoir vérifié les traductions d’autrui, avoir traduit et été traduit - où, mieux encore, avoir été traduit en collaboration avec son traducteur» (U.Eco, Dire presque la même chose, Paris, 2006).
L’exposé portera dans un premier temps sur notre expérience personnelle de la traduction écrite en russe de l’ouvrage de référence des sémioticiens français A.J.Greimas et J.Fontanille «Sémiotique des passions. Des états de choses aux états d’âme» (trad.russe I.Merkoulova, Moscou, 2007). Notamment, les termes relatives à la passion telles que «phorie» ou «ombrage» n’ayant pas d’analogue exact en russe, les variantes possibles de la traduction ont été discutées avec l’un des auteurs, Jacques Fontanille.
Dans un second temps, nous nous pencherons à la question de la traduction orale consécutive et du système spécial des notes utilisé par le traducteur. Ce système de notation, comprenant des abréviations et des signes visuels, a été élaboré dans les années 1960 par le traducteur russe R.K.Miniar-Beloroutchev (R.K.Miniar-Beloroutchev, La traduction consécutive, Moscou, 1969). Le système repose sur le principe de la transposition intersémiotique; il est à présent à la base de la traduction orale franco-russe dans les organisations de l’ONU.
11) Dhonghui Lim, Pusan National University (email@example.com)
King Sejong’s and Koreans’ Translatoriality in Korean: The Transcorporeal Semiosis Translated into Languages
This research aims to shed new light to the nature of the Korean language system(s) of Han Geul by investigating Hunminjeongeum, the Korean script invented by King Sejong in 1443, and examining its transsemiotic (thus translative) clues for the inter-/ intra-/ transcorporeally made evolutionary development in the Korean language(s). Inspired by Petrilli’s (2003) theory of translation that extends from the Peircean notion of translation to Sebeoks’ doctrines of global semiotics, it abductively applies the global notion of the sign as the trans-sign process (thus, a sign is already and always an instantiation of translation) not just to the written language forms but also to the bodily (that is, inter-/ intra-/ transcorporeal) experiences and their semiosis (cf. embodied/ enacted cognition) available in the Korean setting, particularly, in quest for the empirical evidence for the translative correlations among the written sign, the spoken sign, and the corporeal sign/ semiosis. In the translative―thus transdisciplinary and multidimensional―analysis of the sign examples in Korean Hunminjeongeum and Han Geul (a generic term for the Korean language) (cf. Han Guk Eo or Guk Eo for the standard/ official Korean language), even though many Korean and overseas linguists tend to understand and advocate King Sejong as the inventor of the new authentic writing system of Hunminjeongeum and, thus, as an ingenious and intuitive linguist who created the written signs, this account is going to argue that even the seemingly “linguistic” realizations and phenomena involving Hunminjeongeum should be initially scrutinized from a corporeally transsemiotic perspective (therefore, biosemiotics, cognitive semiotics, verbal/ linguistic semiotics, etc. under the heading of transsemiotics) for a better understanding of the human phenomena in focus. When examined from the (trans-) corporeally translative (and transsemiotic) point of view, it becomes ostensibly clear that Yi Doh (as a unique human being rather than as the fourth heir to the Joseon throne) is a transsemiotic translator who not only comprehended the context-sensitive semiotics of the classical Chinese in the biosemiosphere of his time but also (re-) investigated the semiosis of the then local sign system(s) in multidimensionally semiotic-translative senses, rendering (part of) his fully integrated knowledge and unparalleled insight into Hunminjeongeum (both as the guide book and as the writing system). What also becomes evident from the translatively oriented analysis is that, apart from the fact that Hunminjeongeum needs to be viewed as a multidimensional kind of translation working on the phonemic/ graphemic/ textual level(s), the role of the laypeople’s transcorporeal semiosis/ semiotics, too, was more than huge as the then locals’ bodily translations (i.e., cognitive embodiment/ enactment) of their everyday life experiences―especially in relation to the ontogenesis in infancy (Lim 2013a)―had been translated into their mother tongue(s) that must have worked as part of the source text(s) in Yi Doh’s translating processes.
In conclusion, research on the Korean language and culture can benefit a great deal from taking the Petrillian notion of translation and considering Hunminjeongeum and Han Geul in terms of the translatoriality of Yi Doh (a.k.a. King Sejong) and, also, that of the Korean people.
12) Gergana Apostolova, “South-West University Neofit Rilski” - Blagoevgrad, Bulgaria
A Rhetoric of Meanings. Between understanding and translation of worlds
While reading the situation of semiosis it is inevitable to avoid the intricate play of signs deliberately fixed to a desired patten. This is where human signs acquire motivation and an aim. The main questions how motivation works and why the choice of human signs is such in a clearly outlined situation can be studied in close connection with the exploration of the frontiers of a world created by the verbal and non-verbal signs in a cross-cultural exchange. Our understanding of a message is seen as an incessant process of sign translation so that the signs we perceive fit into our individual patterns and finally achieve the stage of rewording. This is clearly outlined in the communicative aspects of the situation of translation where the relevance of message-exchange is the marker of understanding.
The focus of this study thus is the play of signs, verbal and non-verbal, in a message design. The goal is to reach a scale of citeria for calculating the level of human art in using the situational canvas in deliberate message transfer. The communicative situation is approached in turn from the positions of the initiator and the receiver of the message in a situation where another language is used. The mentalist idea of I-language is used as a leading axis in the space where verbal and non-verbal, and deliberately used and existent situational signs form the rhetoricity of signs applied to meanings and vice versa of meanings applied to signs. A side effect of the study leads to possible answers to the question how much time is needed to learn a language? The basic rhetoric matrix is applicable in designing the cross-cultural situations where understanding and translation do not necessarily meet in the doubled text of a message.
Key words: intercultural communicative situation; motivation; choice of signs; I-language; rhetoricity; translator-mediated communication; sense – meaning – significance; ethos – pathos - logos.