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Translation - Theories, Elements, Types, Principles, Definition

Translation - Theories, Elements, Types, Principles, Definition

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hope this will be of help to those who are taking up translation theory & practice subjects... ^^
hope this will be of help to those who are taking up translation theory & practice subjects... ^^

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Published by: Yumi Santiago-Uchida on Jun 19, 2010
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1.What is translation?
is the comprehension of themeaningof a text and the subsequentproduction of anequivalenttext, likewise calleda "translation," that communicates the samemessagein another language. The text that istranslated is called thesource text, and thelanguage that it is translated into is called thetarget language. The product is sometimescalled the target text. Translation, when practiced by relativelybilingualindividuals but especially when bypersons with limited proficiency in one or bothlanguages, involves a risk of spilling-overof idiomsandusagesfrom the source language into the target language. On the other hand,inter-linguistic spillages have also served theuseful purpose of importingcalquesandloanwordsfrom a source language into a targetlanguage that had previously lacked a conceptor a convenient expression for the concept. Translators and interpreters have thus playedan important role in the evolution of languages andcultures.
 The art of translation is as old as writtenliterature.
Parts of theSumerian 
, among the oldest known literaryworks, have been found in translations intoseveralSouthwest Asianlanguages of thesecond millennium BCE. The
Epic of Gilgamesh
may have been read, in their own languages, byearly authors of the
 and the 
Developments since theIndustrial Revolution have influenced the practice of translation,nurturing schools, professional associations, andstandards.
TheInternethas helped expand themarket for translation and has facilitatedproductlocalization. Currently, some 75% of professional translators work with technicaltexts.
Since the 1940s,
attempts have been made tocomputerizethe translation of natural-language  texts (machine translation) or to use computersas an
to translation (computer-assistedtranslation).
[Lat.,=carrying across], therendering of a text into another language.Applied to literature, the term connotes the artof recomposing a work in another languagewithout losing its original flavor, or of finding ananalogous substitute, for example, ScottMoncrieff's
Remembrance of Things Past 
 À la recherche du temps perdu,
which,translated literally, means "Looking for Lost Time." Translations of the most ancient textsextant into modern languages are calleddecipherments. Two well-known examples arethe decoding of the Egyptian hieroglyphs on theRosetta Stone (see underRosetta) by JeanFrançois Champollion and the decoding of thePersian cuneiform inscriptions on the rock of Behistun by Henry Rawlinson. Translatingsacred texts has always been the chief meansby which a culture transmits its values toposterity. Important translations of the Biblebegan with the Vulgate (Hebrew and Greek intoLatin) of St. Jeromein the 4th cent. A.D. Englishtranslations of the Bible include that of  JohnWyclif in the 14th cent. (from Latin),William Tyndale's in the 16th cent. (fromHebrew and Greek), and the great AuthorizedVersion of 1611, the King James Version, whichhas been called the most influential work of translation in any language. The Renaissancewas a golden age of translations, especially intoEnglish. Renewed interest in the Latin classicscreated a demand for renderings of Ovid's
(tr. by ArthurGolding,1565-67), Vergil's
(tr. by GawinDouglas, c.1515; Henry Howard, earl of Surrey, c.1540;and Richard Stanyhurst, 1582), andPlutarch's
(tr. by Sir Thomas North, 1579). The flavor of these renderings is indicated in theopening lines of Stanyhurst's
"Nowmanhood and garbroyles [battles] I chaunt, andmartial horror." In addition there weretranslations of important contemporary worksinto English: Castiglione's
(tr. by Sir Thomas Hoby, 1561), Montaigne's
(tr. by JohnFlorio, 1603), and Cervantes's
(tr. by John Shelton, 1612). Notabletranslations of the 19th and 20th cent. includeBaudelaire's translations of the works of EdgarAllan Poe, Scott Moncrieff's translation of Proust,and Eustache Morel's translation of James Joyce.American authors whose works have beentranslated into several European languagesinclude Mark Twain, Jack London, ErnestHemingway, John Dos Passos, Pearl Buck,Margaret Mitchell (
Gone with the Wind
), andUpton Sinclair, who set a record withtranslations into 47 languages.ETYMOLOGYEtymologically,
is a "carrying across"or "bringing across". TheLatin
derivesfrom theperfect passive participle,
("I transfer"—from
, "across" +
, "I carry" or "I bring"). The modernRomance,GermanicandSlavic European languageshave generally formed their ownequivalentterms for this concept after the Latinmodel—after
or after the kindred
("I bring across" or "I lead across").
Additionally, theAncient Greekterm for"translation", μετάφρασις (
, "aspeaking across"), has suppliedEnglishwith
 (a "literal translation", or "word-for- word" translation)—as contrasted with
("a saying in other words", from theGreek παράφρασις,
corresponds, in one of the more recentterminologies, to "formal equivalence"; and
A widely recognizediconfor the practice andhistoric role of translation is theRosetta Stone,which in theUnited Statesis incorporated intothecoat of armsof theDefense Language Institute.(http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translation)2. What are the principles of translation?
*It is now pretty generally agreed, thattranslating the writings of the ancients is, if notthe sole, at least the plainest, the shortest, andthe surest means of becoming well acquaintedwith them and their language. It is also agreed,that a translation ought exactly to express theoriginal; that it should neither be too free nor toservile; that it should neither deviate into longcircumlocutions, which weaken the ideas, noradhere to strictly to the letter, which debasesthe sentiment.(http://aboutranslation.blogspot.com/2006/10/principles-of-translation.html)*Good theory is based on information gainedfrom practice. Good practice is based oncarefully worked-out theory. The two areinterdependent. (Larson l991, p. 1) The idealtranslation will be accurate as to meaning andnatural as to the receptor language forms used.An intended audience who is unfamiliar with thesource text will readily understand it. Thesuccess of a translation is measured by howclosely it measures up to these ideals. The ideal translation should be…
Accurate: reproducing as exactly aspossible the meaning of the source text.
Natural: using natural forms of thereceptor language in a way that isappropriate to the kind of text beingtranslated.
Communicative: expressing all aspectsof the meaning in a way that is readilyunderstandable to the intendedaudience. Translation is a process based on the theorythat it is possible to abstract the meaning of atext from its forms and reproduce that meaningwith the very different forms of a secondlanguage. Translation, then, consists of studying thelexicon, grammatical structure, communicationsituation, and cultural context of the sourcelanguage text, analyzing it in order to determineits meaning, and then reconstructing this samemeaning using the lexicon and grammaticalstructure which are appropriate in the receptorlanguage and its cultural context. (Larson l998,p. 3)In practice, there is considerable variation in thetypes of translations produced by translators.Some translators work only in two languagesand are competent in both. Others work fromtheir first language to their second language,and still others from their second language totheir first language. Depending on thesematters of language proficiency, theproceduresusedwill vary from project to project. In mostprojects in which SIL is involved, a translationteam carries on the project. Team rolesareworked out according to the individual skills of team members. There is also some variationdepending on the purpose of a given translationand the type of translation that will be acceptedby the intended audiences.(http://www.sil.org/translation/trtheory.htm)3.What are the elements of translation? Three Elements to Produce a Good TranslationWorkDue to the highly developing global economyand the modern communicationtechnologies, a mass of translation companiesemerges in the translationindustry,. How can a company take a steadyposition in this arena? It is thetranslation quality that makes success..Because translation is a complicated cross-cultural communicative activity, atranslation which is faithful, expressive andclose to the original text isessential. Here are some suggestions for you togain better comprehension andapply in your real work.a.First, use target-oriented phrases on thelexical level. Just make clear what theauthor really wants to express, ,then re-expressit with the appropriate phrase.Don’t try to make translation word for word.1 Ensure each of the terms in original languagegets translated consistently intothe appropriate term in the target language. The translation managert shouldcreate a terminology bank for the translators allassigned for a certaintranslation project.2 Use a very commonly used word to make thefundamental meaning which agrees withthe original word perfectly.3 If you use acronyms, be sure to also spellthem out.4 According to the context and writing style,permit a certain term’s changeswhether it is complicated or not in form.b.Second, use proper devices on the stylisticlevel1 Use rhetoric devices designated to impresstarget readers to respond, including
hyperbole, simile, metaphor, personification,pun, alliteration analogy and so on.2 Use active voice, which is easier tounderstand. If the material is beingtranslated into a language which frequentlyuses passive voice, such as German,the translator will make the accommodation forthat language.3 Be of conciseness and consideration... Graspthe soul of text thoroughly andfirmly.4 Be of unity and variety. Unity refers to a kindof decoration of wisdom’scustom and language, whereas variety refers toa kind of deviation to unity andbreak away from custom. Unity is a general ruleto be obeyed for all text in onearticle, It is on the base of unity that the targetword can vary. For example, wetry to avoid writing essentially the same thing indifferent places. If you needto repeat information, it is better to repeat itverbatim.c.Third, be faithful to the original text.1 Avoid ambiguity. A translator needs tounderstand precisely what the authorwants to express in order to translate themcorrectly. If it is ambiguous, thetranslator will need to have it clarified.2 Make sure there are no defects in the sourcematerials, Any error in the sourcematerial is compounded when translated intomultiple languages.Fundamentally, being faithful to the original andusing expressive phrases makethe target text easy to understand. Except themost important three elementsmentioned above you should apply to. Takinginto consideration of the content andstructure of the source text as well asacceptability of the target text, isanother technique translators can’t miss. .It is well known that translation is an art job, Itcan reproduce fine ideas bywords. Therefore, the art of translation is acombination of knowledge of contentsand linguistic principles in both target andsource languages. And, through thisarticle, we put forward faithfulness,expressiveness and closeness as basicprinciples which a quality translation serviceneed to obey.4.What are the theories of translation?
History of Western theory
Discussions of the theory and practice of translation reach back intoantiquityand showremarkablecontinuities. The distinction that hadbeen drawn by theancientGreeksbetween
was adopted by theEnglishpoetandtranslator  John Dryden(1631– 1700), who represented translation as the judicious blending of these two modes of phrasing when selecting, in the target language,"counterparts", orequivalents, for theexpressions used in the source language:When [words] appear... literally graceful, it werean injury to the author that they should bechanged. But since... what is beautiful in one[language] is often barbarous, nay sometimesnonsense, in another, it would be unreasonableto limit a translator to the narrow compass of hisauthor's words: 'tis enough if he choose outsome expression which does not vitiate thesense.
Dryden cautioned, however, against the licenseof "imitation", i.e. of adapted translation: "Whena painter copies from the life... he has noprivilege to alter features and lineaments..."
 This general formulation of the central conceptof translation —equivalence— is probably asadequate as any that has been proposed eversinceCiceroandHorace, in first-century- BCERome,famously and literally cautionedagainst translating "word for word" (
verbum proverbo
Despite occasional theoretical diversities, theactual
of translators has hardlychanged sinceantiquity.Except for someextrememetaphrasersin theearlyChristianperiod and theMiddle Ages, and adapters in various periods (especially pre-Classical Rome, and the 18th century),translators have generally shown prudentflexibility in seekingequivalents— "literal" where possible,paraphrasticwhere necessary— for the originalmeaningand other crucial"values" (e.g., style,verse form, concordancewithmusicalaccompaniment or, infilms, with speecharticulatorymovements) as determinedfrom context.
In general, translators have sought to preservethe context itself by reproducing the originalorder of sememes,and henceword order when necessary, reinterpreting theactualgrammaticalstructure. The grammaticaldifferences between "fixed-word-order"languages
 (e.g.,English, French,Germ an) and "free-word-order" languages
(e.g.,Greek, Latin, Polish, Russian) have been no impediment in this regard.
When a target language has lackedtermsthatare found in a source language, translators haveborrowed them, thereby enriching the targetlanguage. Thanks in great measure to theexchange of calquesandloanwordsbetween languages, and to their importation from other

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