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Christine Pagnoulle - Creativity in non-literary translation

Christine Pagnoulle - Creativity in non-literary translation

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78
Perspectives:StudiesinTranslatology-
1993:
1
13.Thewordculturehereencompassesabroad.stratumofelementssuchassocialandgovernmentstructures,humanrelationships,literarygenres,oreventhewordorderincertainpoems.
Tranekar
Slot
CREATIVI1YINNON·LITERARYTRANSLATION
ChristinePagnoulle,UniversityofLiege,Belgium
Abstract
Non-literarytextssubmittedfortranslationareoftensoinaccurateandmuddledintheirformulationthattheycallforexegesisandin-depthrewriting.Thissometimesdemandsahighdegreeofcreativeimaginationinthetranslators.Thearticleconsidersthreeinstancesindifferentareas:anadvertisementforapayingguestagency,apopularizingbookinNeuro-LinguisticProgramming,
and
theabstractofafilmscript.Ineachcasemeaninghadtoberetrievedbehindthewordsasusedinthetextsandrephrasedsoastobeimmediatelyunderstandable.Thecontexthastobetakenintoaccount:whowantswhat?andwilltheypayforit?Iconcludewithsomegeneralconsiderationsontheskillsrequired.
Introduction
Thepresentarticleisbasedonmypracticeasaprofessionaltranslatorandasateacheroftranslationatthe"MaitriseenTraduction"attheUniversityofLiege.Ourstudentsaresystematicallyexposedtoreal-lifesituations,throughwhichwehopetomakethemawareofwhatisactuallydemandedinthejob.AsJeanDatta(1991)hasshown,thestrategyofthetranslatordependsonthekindoftexttobetranslated,ontheexpectationsoftheclient,andonthepurposeofthetranslation.
In
spiteoftheirdifferentfieldsofapplication,thethreeinstancesintroducedbelowallbelongtothecategoryoftextsmeanttoconvinceanextensiveaudienceoftheexcellenceofwhatevertheypresent.
In
suchcases,aswewillsee,thedutyofthetranslatoroftengoesbeyondmeretranslation.Myarticledoesnotaimatanykindoftheoreticalexh-austiveness.Thefewworksmentionedinthebibliographicalreferenceshavemuchbetterclaimtoaclearandthoroughtreatmentoftranslationproblems.Itmerelyrecordsandcommentsindetailonthreeoccasionswhentranslatingcalledforex-tensiverewriting.
 
80
Perspectives:StudiesinTranslatology-
1993:1
ENFAMILLEAGENCY
(TheFrenchextractsshouldhave"sic"everywhere.)
'WhatIsEnFamilleAgency?"TheEnFamilleAgencywasfoundedin1945bypeoplewhowereinterestedintheideaofinternationalcooperation,TheywantedtohelppeoplefromdifIerentcountriestogettoknoweachotherandlearnthelanguage,bystayingwiththemintheirprivatehomes.Wehavethelivelyco-operationofmanyhundredsofhost-familiesthroughoutthewholeofBritainwhoareeagerand
willing
tosharetheirhomeandfamilylifeandsocialactivitieswithpayingguestsfromoverseaswhostaywiththem"enfarn1lle'-thatis,livingasamemberofthefamilyandenjoying
all
thebenefitsofafriendlyenvironment.
"Qu'est-ceque
c'estl'Agence
En
FamilLe7'L'AgenceEn,oFamilLeaetejondeen
1945
par
des
gensquis'interessaient
a.
l'idee
de
laHospitfilileIntemationale.
Ils
voulaientaiderdesgensquivenaient
de
paysd!1ferents
dese
connaltre,d'apprendrelalangue,en
demeurant
chezewe
dans
leurs
maisonsparticulieres.
Nous
allOnslacooperationanimee
de
plusierscentalnes
de
jamilles
d'accueil
partout
en
GrandeBretagne,quisontdestreusesetpreies
a.
partager
leur
joyeret
leur
viejamilialeet
a.
[aire
des
activttessocialesavecdeshbtespayants
de
l'outremerqui
demeurent
chezewe
"en
jamille"-
en
demeurantcomme
un
vraimembre
de
lilJamilleetenjouissant
de
tausles
benefices
d'une
ambienceamicale.
"CanIimprovemyEnglish?"Yes-theeasiestandmostnaturalwaytolearnorimproveexistingknowledgeofthelanguageisbystayingwithafamilywhereEnglish
is
spokenallthetime,withaharmoniousfamilybackground.Theatmosphereisfriendlyandrelaxed,andthehost-familyisabletogivehelpand.encouragementindailyconversationandfamilyactivities.
"Puis-je
amelioter
man
anglais7'QUi-jaconIeplusjacile
et
Ie
plusnatureld'apprendre
all
d'ameliorer
une
langueestendemeurantchez
une
jamille
all
on
parleL'anglais
tout
letemps,dans
un
milieujamilial.L'ambianceestamicale
et
reiaxee,
et
lajamilled'accueilpeutdonner
de
L'assistanceet
de
l'encouragementdansentretiensjoumaliers
etdes
activitesjamiliales.
'Willmychildbelookedafterproperly?"Parentsandteachersmayhave
conftdence
thattheyoungguestistreatedentirelyasamemberofthefamily,withreponsibilityandcare.
"Est-ce
quel'on
s'occupe
deman
enfaniscommeiljaut7'Desparentsainsidesinstituteurs
peuvent
etre
traite
entierement
comme
un
membre
de
lajamille,avec
de
responsabilite
et
avecsoin.
"Canyouarrangegroupvisits?"Yes-
if
youletusknowwhatIsrequiredandthedifferentareasofBritainthatareofinterest,specialgrouprateswillbesentlmmediately.
"Est-ce
queeous
pouvezarranger
des
visites
pour
lesgroupes7'QUi-
Nous
serionsheureweenvoyerlesprixparticuliers
sur
demande.
ChristinePagnoulle:Creativityinnon-literarytranslation
81IllustrationsThethreeselectedinstancesaretakenfromdifferentareasofexperienceandinvolveadifferentrelationshiptotheclient.IneachcaseIshallfirstcommentonthenegotiatingsituationandseconddiscusssomeaspectsoftheactualworkinvolvedinthetranslation.
'EnFamille'Agency:aleafletadvertisingPayingGuestsHolidaysinBritain
NegotiatingsituationExcerptsfromthisbilingualleafletisshownonthelefthandpage.TheFrenchtextwassoappallingthatwedecidedtorewritetheadvertisementasaclassroomexercise.Afterwardswetriedtosellourworktotheagency.Theyweredulythankfulbutdidnotofferanypayment,Fromthiswelearnedthattranslatorsarenotcharityworkers;andthatnexttimewhoeverwantedacorrecttranslationwouldhavetopayforit.RephrasingThemistakesthathaddrawnourattentionwereofdifferentkind.Somewereprinter'serrorsshowingthattheproof-readerhadaninadequatecommandofFrench(lilaviedelacamagneanglaise"),othersincorrectsyntacticalconstructions("lesfamillesvous.donnentdesollicitudeetdeconseil"),andmoreorlessunderstandablebutdefinitely"unidiomatic"useofwords(lilacooperationanimeedeplusieurscentainesdefamilies").Suchblundersaretypicalofdictionary-wieldingtranscodingasopposedtoactualtranslation,andarefairlyeasytoremedy.ButaswewererevisingthetranslationwerealizedthateveninEnglishthetextwasawkwardlyorganized.Soinourtranslationwesuggestedthataftertheirintroductionofhostfamiliestheagencyoughttoexplainwhatcategoriesofguestswhereconcerned,withoneparagraphonchildren(lastparagraphincolumn1)andoneparagraphonadultsandfamilies.Afterthistheycouldaddressthelinguisticadvantagesofthiskindofstay,thenturntohobbies,andconcludewithsomethingon'BedandBreakfast'holidays.Asentencesuchas"Allourarrangementsaremadeonapersonalbasisfortheindividual-ofanyageornationality,foranytimeoftheyear",whichatalleventsisnotagoodsentence,belongsintheintroductoryparagraph.
 
82
Perspectives:StudiesinTranslatology-
1993:1
Asawholewefeltfreetoreorganizethistextandtodispensewithsomeredundantormeaninglessinformation.Wealsofoundthattheparagraphongroupvisitscouldbeeffectivelyreplacedbyasinglesentenceaddedtothepracticalinformationattheend("Prixspeciauxpourgroupessursimplede-mande").Anotheralterationconsistedindoingawaywiththedialogueforminthesubtitles.True,theformissometimesusedinFrench,butinthetranslationofthisad,thequestionssoundedstiltedandartificial.
UsingyourBrain~/oraChange
Negotiatingsituation
UsingyourBrain-foraChange
isabookonNeuro-Linguistic-Pro-gramming.Neuro-Linguistic-Programmingisabranchofappliedpsychologywhichclaimstohelpunderstandandstructurewhatisgoingoninyourownandotherpeople'smindsandtotellyouhowtochangehabitsorevenbeliefswhichyouhavecometoregardaslimitating.ScoresofNeuro-Linguistic-Pro-grammingpublicationsareonlyavailableinEnglish,sothereshouldbeamarketfortranslations.Ifirstusedthebook
UsingYourBrain
forclassroomexercisesandex-plainedwhyitmightappealtopublishers.Oneofmystudentswasinterestedintranslatingasubstantialpartofitasthetranslationrequirementforthedegree.andIthereforetriedtodothingstheproperway:Iwrotetotheno-minalauthor(RichardBandler)andtothepublisher,whoalsoturnedouttobetheeditorofthetext.Thelatterwasmosthelpful.Hesentmeallthenecessaryinformation,andgavemepermissiontotryandfindapublisherforaFrenchtranslation.Iwrotetoseveralandspenthoursonthetelephonetalkingwithreceptionistsandsecretaries.EventuallyIestablishedwhatlookedlikeapromisingcontactwithaladywhohadveryspecificrequi-rementsforoursampletranslation.It.involvedinfactafairlythoroughrewritingofthetext.Shefoundourworksatisfactoryandsentadraftcontract.Weinsistedthatweshouldbepaidfortheamountofrewritingworktobedone,andwelostthecontracttoalessdemandingtranslator,whodidnotbothertorephraseanything,asappearsfromthepublishedFrenchversion.Inthiscase
there
hadbeennoobjectiontoourmakingtheFrenchtext
ChristinePagnoulle:Creativityinnon-literarytranslation
83morecoherentthantheoriginal,onthecontrary.Butthepublisherwasul-timatelymoreinterestedinkeepingcostsdownthaninbringingoutahighqualitytranslation.RephrasingTheoriginaltextisasloppytranscriptofaseriesofseminars.Itraisesseveralproblems.Oneofthemconcerns
outwardstructuring.
Wefeltthatamorevaried
lay-out,
distinguishingclearlybetweendialogueswithparticipantsintheseminar,commentsandconclusions,wouldhavemadethebookfarmoreattractive,andthereforemoremarketable.Otherproblemswereraisedby
languageusage.
(a)ChapterVdealswithourunderstandingof"whypeopledothings."Thisischaracteristicofthetextasawhole:the
vocabulary
isdeliberatelylimited.Thenumberofoccurrencesofthever~"do,"ofthenoun"thing,"andofthe.compoundpredicative"feelgood/bad"isstaggering.BothrepetitionsandpovertyofvocabularycalledforchangeintheFrenchversion.(b)Anotherproblemrelatedtovocabularyistheuseofwordsinthespecialmeaningtheyhaveacquiredwithinappliedpsychology."Partsoftheself'inTransactionalAnalysis,forinstance,are"EtatsduMoi,"not"parts"or"partiesdemoi-meme";and"reframing"inFrenchis.customarilycalled"recadrage."(c)Thetitleofthechapteris"GoingforIt,"andthelanguagethroughoutisoften
idiomatic.
Judgingfromthepublishedtranslation,andfromsomemis-readingsinmystudent'stranslation,thisisasourceofdifficulty.Forinstance,whenBandleraskssomeonewhohasa"niceloud"criticalvoiceinsidehimwhetherhecanhearitandtheparticipantanswers:"Yes,it'scritizingmefor
speakingup,"
thephrasemeans"prendrelaparole,"not(astheprintedversionhasit)"parlerfort".Themostseriousproblem,however,arisesfromtheuseofa
muddledsyn-tax'
anda
confusedlogic.
ToillustratemypointIshallcommentontwoparagraphstowardsthebeginningofChapterV(seenextpage).Thefirstsentenceisacaseinpoint:"thefieldofpsychotherapy,"wearetold,"hasdevelopedmanymodelsthattheylaterfoundsimplyweren'tthecase."Itisnotentirelyfelicitoustohaveafield"developingmodels,"butthe

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