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affective meaninga type of connotative meaning, affective meaning
is the emotive effect worked on the addressee by using one particular
linguistic expressionrather than others that might have been used to
express the same literal message.
alliterationthe recurrence of the same sound or sound-cluster at the
beginning of two or more words occurring near or next to one another;
not to be confused with onomatopoeia.
allusive meaninga type of connotative meaning; in a given linguistic
expression, allusive meaning consists in evoking the meaning of an entire
saying or quotation in which that expression ﬁgures. NB If a saying or
quotation appears in full, that is a case of citation: e.g. ‘The darling buds
of May are just beautiful this year’; allusionoccurs where only part of
the saying or quotation is used, but that part evokes the meaning of the
entire saying or quotation: e.g. ‘Brrr ... No darling buds yet awhile, I’m
anaphorasee grammatical anaphoraand rhetorical anaphora.
associative meaningthe connotative meaningof a linguisticexpression
which takes the form of attributing to the referent certain stereotypically
expected properties culturally associated with that referent.
assonancethe recurrence of a sound or sound-cluster within words occur-
ring near or next to one another; not to be confused with onomatopoeia.
attitudinal meaningthe connotative meaningof a linguistic expres-
sionwhich takes the form of implicitly conveying a commonly held attitude
or value judgement in respect of the referent of the expression.
back-translationtranslation of a TTback into the SL; the resulting text
will almost certainly not be identical to the original ST.
calquea form of cultural transpositionwhereby a TTexpression is
closely modelled on the grammatical structure of the corresponding ST
expression; a calque is like a moment of exoticism, although exoticism
proper is a feature of whole texts or sections of texts. NB Calque is
different from cultural borrowing, which imports the ST expression
verbatim into the TT.
code-switchingthe alternating use of two or more recognizably different
language varieties (of the same language or of different languages) within
the same text.
coherence (adj.coherent)the tacit, yet intellectually discernible,
thematic or affective development that characterizes a text, as distinct
from a random sequence of unrelated sentences.
cohesion(adj. cohesive)the explicit and transparent linking of sentences
and larger sections of textby the use of overt linguistic devices, such as
conjunctions or grammatical anaphora, that act as ‘signposts’ for the
coherenceof the text.
collocative meaningthe connotative meaninglent to a linguistic
expressionby the meaning of some other expression with which it
frequently collocates; e.g. ‘social intercourse’ almost inevitably acquires
an association of ‘sex’ from the common collocation ‘sexual intercourse’.
Collocative meaning is thus the ‘echo’ of expressions that partner a given
expression in commonly used phrases.
communicative translationa mode of free translationwhereby ST
expressions are replaced with their contextually/situationally appropriate
cultural equivalents in the TL; i.e. the TTuses situationally apt target-
culture equivalents in preference to literal translation.
compensationa technique of mitigating translation loss: where any
conventional translation (however literalor free) would entail an unac-
ceptable translation loss, this loss is mitigated by deliberately introducing
a less unacceptable one, important STfeatures being approximated in the
TTthrough means other than those used in the ST. NB Unlike e.g. an
unavoidable, conventional grammatical transpositionor communicative
translation, compensation is not forced on the translator by the constraints
of TLstructures – it is a conscious, careful, free, one-off choice.
connotationsee connotative meaning.
connotative meaning(or connotation)the implicit overtones that a
linguistic expressioncarries over and above its literal meaning. NB The
overall meaningof an expression is compounded of its literal meaning
plus these overtones and its contextualnuances.
context(adj. contextual)the rest of the text in which a given linguistic
expressionor stretch of text (e.g. lines, paragraph, chapter, etc.) occurs;
the immediate context is a crucial consideration in making any decision
cultural borrowingtaking over an SLexpression verbatim from the ST
into the TT; the borrowed term may remain unaltered in form, or it may
undergo some degree of transliteration. NB Cultural borrowing differs
from calqueand exoticism, which do not use the ST expression verbatim,
but adapt it into the TL, however minimally.
cultural transplantationthe highest degree of cultural transposition,
involving the wholesale deletion of source-culture details mentioned in
the STand their replacement with target-culture details in the TT.
cultural transpositionany departure from literal translationthat
involves replacing SL-speciﬁc features with TL-speciﬁc features, thereby
to some extent reducing the foreignness of the TT.
decisions of detailtranslation decisions taken in respect of speciﬁc prob-
lems of lexis, syntax, etc.; decisions of detail are taken in the light of
previously taken strategic decisions, although they may well in their turn
lead the translator to reﬁne the original strategy.
dialecta language variety with non-standard features of accent, vocab-
ulary, syntaxand sentence-formation characteristic of the regional
provenance of its users.
discourse levelthe level of textual variableson which whole textsor
sections of texts are considered as coherentor cohesiveentities.
editingthe ﬁnal ‘polishing’ of a TT, following revision, and focusing
on matching TT style and presentation to the expectations of the target
exegetic translationa style of translation in which the TTexpresses
and comments on details that are not explicitly conveyed in the ST; i.e.
the TT is an explication, and usually an expansion, of the contents of the
exoticismthe lowest degree of cultural transposition, importing
linguistic and cultural features wholesale from the STinto the TTwith
minimal adaptation; exoticism generally involves multiple calques. NB
Exoticism is different from cultural borrowing, which does not adapt
ST material into the TL, but quotes it verbatim.
free translationa style of translation in which there is only an overall
correspondence between units of the STand units of the TT, e.g. a rough
sentence-to-sentence correspondence, or an even looser correspondence
in terms of even larger sections of text.
generalizationsee generalizing translation.
generalizing translation(or generalization)rendering an STexpres-
sion by a TLhyperonym, e.g. translating ‘clochette’ as ‘bell’. The literal
meaningof the TTexpression is wider and less speciﬁc than that of the
corresponding ST expression; i.e. a generalizing translation omits detail
that is explicitly present in the literal meaning of the ST expression.
genre(or text-type)a category to which, in a given culture, a given
textis seen to belong and within which it is seen to share a type of
communicative purpose with other texts; that is, the text is seen to be
more or less typical of the genre.
gist translationa style of translation in which the TTexpresses only
the gist of the ST; it is usually shorter than a faithful translation would
grammatical anaphorathe replacement of previously used linguistic
expressionsby simpler and less speciﬁc expressions (such as pronouns)
having the same contextualreferent; e.g. ‘I dropped the bottle and it
grammatical levelthe level of textual variableson which are consid-
ered words, the decomposition of inﬂected, derived and compound words
into their meaningful constituent parts, and the syntacticarrangement of
words into phrases and sentences.
grammatical transpositiontranslating an STexpression having a given
grammatical structure by a TTexpression having a different grammatical
structure containing different parts of speech in a different arrangement.
hyperonyma linguistic expression whose literal meaningincludes, but
is wider and more general than, the range of literal meaning of another
expression; e.g. ‘vehicle’ is a hyperonym of ‘car’.
hyperonymy–hyponymythe semantic relationship between a hyper-
onymand a hyponym; a lesser degree of semantic equivalence than
hyponyma linguistic expressionwhose literal meaningis included in,
but is narrower and less general than, the range of literal meaning of
another expression; e.g. ‘car’ is a hyponym of ‘vehicle’.
idioma ﬁxed ﬁgurative expression whose meaning cannot be deduced
from the literal meaningsof the words that constitute it, e.g. ‘football’s
a different kettle of ﬁsh’, ‘she’s so stuck up’.
idiomatican idiomatic expression is one that, in its context, is unre-
markable, ‘natural’, ‘normal’, completely acceptable. NB ‘Idiomatic’ is
not synonymous with ‘idiomizing’.
idiomizing translationa relatively free translationwhich respects the
overall STmessage content, but typically uses TL idiomsor phonic or
rhythmic patterns to give an easy read, even if this means sacriﬁcing some
semantic details or nuances of register. NB ‘Idiomizing’ is not synony-
mous with ‘idiomatic’.
illocutionary particlea discrete element which, when added to the
syntacticmaterial of an utterance, tells the listener/reader what affective
force the utterance is intended to have; e.g. ‘dammit!’, ‘hélas’, or ‘tout
de même’ in ‘Je ne vais tout de même pas serrer la main à un terroriste’.
interlinear translationa style of translation in which the TTprovides
a literal rendering for each successive meaningful unit of the ST(including
afﬁxes) and arranges these units in the order of their occurrence in the
ST, regardless of the conventional grammatical order of units in the TL.
intertextual levelthe level of textual variables on which textsare consid-
ered as bearing signiﬁcant external relationships to other texts, e.g. by
allusion or imitation, or by virtue of genremembership.
lexis(adj. lexical)the totality of the words in a given language.
linguistic expressiona self-contained and meaningful item in a given
language, such as a word, a phrase, a sentence.
literal meaningthe conventional range of referential meaning attributed
to a linguistic expression. NB The overall meaningof an expression in
context is compounded of this literal meaning plus any connotative mean-
ingsand contextualnuances that the expression has.
literal translationan SL-oriented, word-for-word, style of translation in
which the literal meaningof all the words in the STis taken as if straight
from the dictionary, but the conventions of TLgrammar are respected.
nominal expressiona linguistic expressionwhich either consists of a
noun or has a noun as its nucleus.
nominalizationthe use of a nominal expressionwhich could be replaced
by a linguistic expressionnot containing a noun.
onomatopoeiaa word whose phonic form imitates a sound; not to be
confused with alliterationor assonance.
partial overlapsee partially overlapping translation.
partially overlapping translation(or partial overlap)rendering an ST
expression by a TLexpression whose range of literal meaningoverlaps
only partially with that of the ST expression; e.g. translating ‘agents
hydratants’ as ‘moisturizing ingredients’ in a text on toiletries: the literal
meaning of the TTexpression retains something of the ST literal meaning
(‘part of the toiletry’), but also addssome detail notexplicit in the literal
meaning of the ST expression (‘element included in a recipe or formula’)
and omitssome other detail that isexplicit in it (‘active element’); partially
overlapping translation thus simultaneously combines elements of gener-
alizingand particularizing translation. NB In this example, the overall
message is preserved despite the needless partial overlap, because ‘mois-
turizing’ implies agency.
particularizationsee particularizing translation.
particularizing translation(or particularization)rendering an ST
expression by a TLhyponym,e.g. translating ‘bell’ as ‘sonnette’. The
literal meaningof the TTexpression is narrower and less general than
that of the corresponding ST expression; i.e. a particularizing translation
adds detail to the TT that is not explicitly expressed in the ST.
phonic/graphic levelthe level of textual variableson which is consid-
ered the patterned organization of sound-segments in speech, or of letters
and layout in writing.
prosodic levelthe level of textual variableson which are considered
‘metrically’ patterned stretches of speech within which syllables have
varying degrees of prominence(e.g. through stress and vowel-differenti-
ation), varying degrees of pace(e.g. through length and tempo) and varying
qualities of pitch.
reﬂected meaningthe connotative meaninggiven to a linguistic
expressionby the fact that its form (phonic, graphic or both) is reminis-
cent of a homonymic or near-homonymic expression with a different literal
meaning; e.g. ‘I can see you’re naval’ could have a reﬂected meaning of
‘bare midriff’ in certain contexts. Reﬂected meaning is thus the ‘echo’
of the literal meaning of some other expression that sounds, or is spelled,
the same, or nearly the same, as a given expression.
registersee social registerand tonal register.
revisionchecking a TTagainst the STto eliminate errors and incon-
sistencies; compare editing.
rhetorical anaphorathe repetition of a word or words at the beginning
of successive or closely associated clauses or phrases.
rhymerhyme occurs when, in two or more words, the last stressed vowel
and all the sounds that follow it are identical and in the same order.
sentencea complete, self-contained linguistic unit capable of acting as
a vehicle for communication; over and above the basic grammatical units
that it contains, a sentence must have sense-conferring properties of into-
nation or punctuation, and may in addition contain features of word order,
and/or illocutionary particles, which contribute to the overall meaning,
or ‘force’, of the sentence. NB In this deﬁnition, a sentence does not
necessarily contain a verb.
sentential levelthe level of textual variableson which sentencesare
SLsee source language.
social registera style of speaking/writing from which relatively detailed
stereotypical information about the social identity of the speaker/writer
can be inferred.
sociolecta language variety with features of accent, vocabulary, syntax
and sentence-formation characteristic of the class afﬁliations of its users.
source language(or SL)the language in which theSTis expressed.
source text(or ST)the textrequiring translation.
STsee source text.
strategic decisionsthe initial decisions that constitute the translator’s
strategy; strategic decisions are taken, in the light of the requirements of
the TTand the nature of the ST, as to which ST properties should have
priority in translation; decisions of detailare taken in the light of these
strategythe translator’s overall ‘game-plan’, consisting of decisions
taken after an initial read-through of all or part of the ST before starting
to translate in detail, e.g. whether and when to give literal meaninga
higher priority than style, to address a lay readership or a specialist one,
to maximize or minimize foreignness in the TT, to use formal language
or slang, prose or verse, etc.
synonym (adj. synonymous)a linguistic expressionthat has exactly
the same range of literal meaningas one or more others. NB Synonymous
expressions usually differ in connotative meaning, and are therefore
unlikely to have identical impact in context.
synonymythe semantic relationship between synonyms; synonymy is
the highest degree of semantic equivalence.
syntax(adj. syntactic)the branch of grammar that concerns the arrange-
ment of words into phrases and sentences.
target language(or TL)the language into which the STis to be translated.
target text(or TT)the textwhich is a translation of the ST.
textany stretch of speech or writing produced in a given language
(or mixture of languages – cf. code-switching) and assumed to make a
coherentwhole on the discourse level.
textual variablesall the demonstrable features contained in a text, and
which could (in another text) have been different; i.e. each textual vari-
able constitutes a genuine optionin the text.
TLsee target language.
tonal registera style of speaking/writing adopted as a means of
conveying an affective attitude of the speaker/writer to the addressee. The
connotative meaningof a feature of tonal register is an affective meaning,
conveyed by the choice of one out of a range of expressions capable of
conveying a particular message content; e.g. ‘Excuse me, please’ vs ‘Shift
translation lossany feature of incomplete replication of the STin the
TT; translation loss is therefore not limited to the omission of ST features
in the TT: where the TT has features not present in the ST, the addition
of these also counts as translation loss. In any given TT, translation loss
is inevitable on most levels of textual variables, and likely on all. NB
The translation losses only matter in so far as they prevent the successful
implementation of the translator’s strategyfor the TT.
transliterationthe use of TLspelling conventions for the written repre-
sentation of SLexpressions.
TTsee target text.
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