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The Market and Translation into Polish

发布时间: 2024-07-08 10:01:53   作者:etogether.net   来源: 网络   浏览次数:
摘要: The statistics also tell us that English became a dominant language from which Polish publishers were buying translati...


Although the transition was painful, there is no doubt that after 1989 translation into Polish began to flourish. (Korzeniowska & Kuhiwczak, 1994) The UNESCO statistics (Index Translationum), indicate that, after the initial collapse of the Polish publishing market in 1990, the next five years were marked by a steady growth of translations from English into Polish. After that year the numbers fluctuate slightly, which means that a natural saturation of the publishing market must have been reached. The statistics also tell us that English became a dominant language from which Polish publishers were buying translation rights. In contrast, the translations from Russian, which collapsed from 90 in 1989 to 19 in 1990, never reached the pre-1989 level. This is also the case for all the former 'Eastern Bloc' languages, including German because the official policy before 1989 was to subsidise the publishing of books from the 'fraternal countries'. Translations from French, although recovered from the low point of 42 in 1989, fluctuated widely in the same period and reached 116 in 1995. The general trends remained unchanged in the second half of the decade and in the early years of the 21st century. In the most recent set of statistics provided by Insyutut Ksiazki (Polish Book Institute) for 2004 the gap between translations from English (1602 titles) and the second largest translated literature, German (116 titles) remains very substantial.


But numbers alone do not provide a full picture. In the pre-1989 Poland, publishers were obliged to supply data about the number of copies printed, and statistics about sold number of copies was easily obtainable. This is no longer the case – yet another symptom that Polish publishing has caught up with the rest of the developed world. The most recent available independent research (Polityka, 2006) reveals that between August 2005 and August 2006 the eight largest publishers published 1267 novels. Only 121 of these were by Polish authors, and only one publishing company had a substantial proportion of Polish authors (40%).


While discussing the systemic changes, Evan-Zohar (1990: 48) states that when the literary system evolves the 'established models are no longer tenable for a younger generation'. When applied to the particular situation in Poland, Evan-Zohar's statement implies that the wider social changes may have led to the change of public taste, and then perhaps to the change of literary style. The question about public taste is not hard to answer. The liberation of the market meant an instant influx of popular literature, particularly from the USA and the UK. The evidence for this is not only in statistics and titles, but also in Polish language, where a generic new term for low-grade popular literature is 'ludlum' coined from the name of Robert Ludlum – a master of popular fiction. This sudden influx of popular literature caused a major change of proportions between the genres, favouring narrative prose at the expense of poetry and drama.


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