The History Of Translation In The Renaissance Period
The history of translation during the Renaissance period played an integral role in the history of the remodelling, transformation and interconnected relations that shape the European culture. One can say that Europe’s language is translation and other can say that the history of Europe and the history of translation are inseparable.
The history of translation in the Renaissance period began in Italy during the 14th century and was highlighted by great inventions and discoveries. The most significant of those inventions and discoveries were the moving printing press created by J Gutenberg. Also, Gutenberg created the printing press in 1450 and, consequently, made available cheaper printed books. This availability ultimately led to the quick growth of the readers all over Western Europe.
The history of translation and its influence on translation studies
The increased demand for books became a turning point as there was a need for more scholars of translation. The translation movement then noticed an increase in fiction translations. Simultaneously, the birth and strengthening of European nation-states raised the status of provincial languages. This, in turn, diminished the role that Latin played which led to translations from classic languages as well as European languages.
These seemingly drastic changes resulted in many staunch and free translations. The translation movement took hold in England, Germany and France. At this time, the translator of T.Plautus’ works, Albrecht von Eyb, and translator of Boccaccio’s and Aesop’s works were active in Germany. In France, translation was also practised by Joachim du Bellay, the poet and translator of Ovid’s poems.
Another stellar translator, scientist and publisher in France was Etienne Dolet. Dolet was put to the stake, in 1546, due to this free sense to sense translation of Socrates’ utterances.
You could say that the greatest achievement recorded in the Western Europe period must be the realist approach to portraying the source language. This is clear in works like the Bible and how it was translated in various West European national languages. The first language the scholars of translation created was the German Bible. It was written using Martin Luther’s translation.
Linguists performed this translation during this period, contrary to the tradition of the Middle Ages; the translation studies diverged from creating translations that kept the same context. This was especially extraordinary at the time, as Martin Luther resorted to using exclusively spoken German.
Why the Renaissance Period is Important in the History of Translation
The Renaissance period came right after the Middle Ages. Renaissance is a French word for rebirth, and this period lived up to its name. The history of translation in this period is said to start from 1300 to 1600. This period was one where civilisation saw a marked increase in scholarly pursuits. Some of the individuals involved were scholars of translation.
A couple of others were exploration, discovery, astronomy, and art. The history of translation period was certainly different from the Middle Ages, a relatively stagnant period in human history. Certain events from the 12th to 15th century resulted in the birth of the Renaissance period. A couple of the events included the declining influence of the Catholic Church and the end of the feudal system. The major event, however, was the development of various national languages.
Language played an especially crucial role in ending the stagnancy of the Middle Ages, thus paying the way for the Renaissance period. However, innovation worked in combination with language. Most historians state that the Renaissance period really kicked off when Johannes Gutenberg created the moving printing press. The innovation automated the production of books. This increased the volumes of texts available to users as well as increasing their availability. Considering that this meant an increase in demand for these books an increase in translation studies.
Scholars of Translation
Scholars of translation formed The Platonic Academy during the mid-1400s in Florence to further develop the translation movement. Marsilio Ficino, an Italian scholar and translator, was one of its first scholars. Ficino was able to successfully translate the entire works of Plato into Latin. This included the Enneads of Plotinus and many other Neoplatonic works.
At this time, Ficino and other scholars of translation contributed to the translation movement by translating philosophical and religious works. The 15th century saw another of the great scholars of translation Thomas Mallory. His major accomplishment was the translation of the tales of King Arthur. The building of the Platonic Academy in Florence is another turning point in the history of translation.
In the 16th century, language, arts and translation studies were developed by a large percentage of the population’s greater interest in literary pursuits. In the same century, William Tyndale, one of the English scholars of translation, did his part for the translation movement. He and others worked to produce the Tudor translation of the New Testament.
The history of the translation movement was still sort of a wild West, which is evident by Tyndale’s death. Before his death, Tyndale was able to translate half of the Old Testament before being sentenced to death. His translation of the scripture without a license or permission was the reason for his death. Other scholars of translation, such as Tyndale’s assistants, continued and completed the work.
As stated earlier, Martin Luther then translated the Bible to German. Translation studies state that this text significantly contributed to modern German’s development. Likewise, other translations of the Bible impacted the way languages developed throughout Europe. At the end of the 16th century, the Bible was translated into Dutch, Slovene, French and Spanish.
Renaissance Translations loves the Renaissance Period
Like the Renaissance period, Renaissance Translations gives so much attention to the quality of translation. To be accepted in our database, our professional translators must pass through stringent procedures. Therefore, this has helped us recruit the best translators; and that’s why we call our translators scholars.
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