On the Untranslatability of 'Translation' Considerations from Java, Indonesia

Ronit Ricci

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


    As is now widely accepted, no single, universal meaning to the idea and practice we usually term “translation” exists: ideas about, and practices of, rewriting texts have varied greatly across time and place. Aiming to bring this multiplicity of “translation” practices and theories to light and to contextualize them culturally and historically, this paper explores what “translation” meant in the literary culture of Java, Indonesia, during the eighteenth through early twentieth centuries. Although Javanese literature contains many works coming from elsewhere, these texts typically do not elaborate on the translation act and often leave out information such as the translator's identity and motives, the source language, and the date and place of translation. I ask why this may have been the case and highlight how, despite this dearth of information, it is possible to begin reconstructing the meanings of translation in Javanese society through a close reading of local translation terminology.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationTranslation in Asia: Theories, Practices, Histories
    EditorsRonit Ricci and Jan Van der Putten
    Place of PublicationUSA
    ISBN (Print)9781905763313
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


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