Translation is not mere translation. A few remarks on the translation of a fragmentary bilingual text: Cuvântul nisiparniță (Le Mot sablier/The Hourglass Word) by Dumitru Tsepeneag
The present paper will focus on the translation of a fragmentary bilingual writing. Interested both in his own monolingualism and in the monolingualism of the other (see Derrida 1996, and here mainly the monolingualism of the French reader who should constitute a kind of pseudo-source-audience3), Dumitru Tsepeneag turns his own bilingualism into a topic in his book Cuvîntul nisiparniță (published first in translation as Le Mot sablier in 1984). “This (im)possible appropriation becomes the generating reason of the creation and in the creation, then in the self-translation”; a “writing experience” where the writer cultivates his bilingualism and his biculturalism, and sheds light on the process of translation from a perspective that is at least double: that of the translated42 and self-translated writer, but also that of the translator-writer” (Lungu-Badea 2008, 20). What translation strategy would be appropriate for a book that begins in Romanian and ends in French? We could claim that its destiny is to show how one language replaces another and, consequently, renders translation useless for bilingual users. If this is but an argument for the counter-translation, the French translation, published by the P.O.L. publishing house, does not challenge it. It could respect neither “the psychological intention of the author” (Ladmiral 2006, 140), nor the “semantic intention of the text” (Ladmiral and Lipiansky 1995, 53).