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Translations of the American Anthem - Essay Example

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Translations of the American Anthem

In the translation of the anthem in 1919, prepared by Francis Haffkine Snow for the U.S. Bureau of Education, he makes a conscious effort to go beyond the confines of narrower linguistic theories to put linguistics into the framework of communication. His translation addresses the matter of text interpretation based not just on the words of the text but on the intent of the author, the relationship of the author to the intended audience, the culture and world view of the author and the original audience and also of the receptor's audience. His translation is receptor oriented. Thus, his translation of the National Anthem of America is based on the wider context of the communication situation.
We find that the issue of sporadic rhythm in the translated text is not anomalies but a case of contextualism where the changes of rhythm take place normally in the linguistic texture of the translated text.
One of the problems in translating a text such as a national anthem lies in the national sentiments associated with it. The idea of belonging to a territory whose easiest brand recall is an anthem and the task associated with the translation of this brand recall becomes difficult for the simple fact that the process of translation is seen as an operation performed on languages; a process of not merely substituting the text but also the associated contexts which are present or may be present in the text.
The translation made in 2006, was called Nuestro Himno meaning Our Anthem, and was loosely based on Snow's translation of the American Anthem. The traslation was more on the lines of a transliteration and was not a word-for-word translation of The Star -Sprangled Banner. The only changes to the first verse from this version are a replacement of "no veis" ("don't you see") with "lo veis" ("do you see it"); "barras" ("bars") with "franjas" ("stripes"); and "Fulgor de cohetes, de bombas estruendo" ("the brilliance of rockets, the roar of bombs") with "Fulgor de la lucha, al paso de la libertad" ("the brilliance of struggle, in step with freedom"). However, subsequent verses diverge significantly between the 1919 and 2006 versions.
In the Samoan translation:
O roketi mumu fa'aafi, o pomu ma ...Show more


In a world of muti-culturalism, where we declare ourselves to be living in a global village, the issue of translating a national anthem is not only politically sensitive but problematic. This is so, simply because the act of translation is always seen as a transgression of the natural order of nationalism and belonging…
Author : jany04
Translations of the American Anthem essay example
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