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TRANSLATION?

WHAT IS

From the Latin translatio translatus transferre TRANS across + FERRE to carry or to bring: to lead across or to bring across the Greek term for translation METAPHRASIS (a speaking across) has supplied English with

METAPHRASE (i.e. a literal, word-for-word translation) vs. PARAPHRASE from the Greek "paraphrasis" (which means rendering the true sense of the original in an acceptable form in target language)

TRANSLATING = transferring a written text from one language (SL or source language) into another language (TL or target language) vs. INTERPRETING (either consecutive or simultaneous) = transferring ideas expressed orally or by use of gestures (e.g. sign language)

THUS, TRANSLATION IS a process / activity / art / craft comprising the interpretation of the meaning of a text in one language (SL) the source text (ST) and the production, in another language (TL), of a new equivalent text the target text (TT)-. Both texts aim to communicate the same meaning.

Translation =

- a process and - a product. 3 types of written translation (Jakobson, 1959): Intralingual: translation within the same language, which can involve rewording or paraphrase (e.g. biscuits in BrE and cookies in AmE) Interlingual: from one language to another (e.g. biscuits in BrE and biscotti in Italian) Intersemiotic: translation of the verbal sign by a non-verbal sign, for example music or image (e.g. the word sea and its representation on canvas)

AN OVERVIEW OF TRANSLATION STUDIES:

The word over sense controversy: this dilemma has been put forward at various times in history as a series of dichotomies, e.g. ad verbum vs ad sensum, literal vs free, faithful vs free, form privileged over sense, a literal rendering rather than a natural one, a tension between impulses to facsimile and impulses to appropriate recreation, formal vs dynamic and semantic vs communicative translation how faithful the translator should be to the original text In the Middle Ages: preference for word-for-word translation which focused on the ST, was SL-oriented and was practised especially with regard to sacred texts, such as the Bible (formal similarity between ST and TT)

The recurring issues throughout the ages revolve around the following dilemma: should the translator favour the SL content and form, and thus adopt a SL-oriented approach; or should the translator favour the TL reader by adapting the ST form to TL conventions, and thus adopt a TL-oriented approach? Developments in linguistics in the 20th century go beyond the word/sense dichotomy and shifted the focus of translation theory to the effect achieved by means of different translation strategies (cf. the following two orientations proposed by Nida):

1.

formal equivalence (Nida, 1964): the closest possible match of form and content between ST and TT ---translation is seen as being SL-oriented in that it is centred on the ST and aims to give the TL reader a close understanding of the SL context dynamic equivalence (Nida, 1964): it is based on the principle of equivalence of effect on the TT reader ---the TT should reproduce the same effect on the TL reader as the ST had on the original readers

2.

= it is always necessary to aim at equivalence of pragmatic meaning, if necessary at the expense of semantic equivalence (House, 1977:28)

House (1977 / 1981):

Covert translation: the target text is not, or is not intended to be, recognisable as a translation, it is meant to appear as natural as possible in the target language and culture

closely linked to the concepts of domestication and the translators invisibility (Venuti, 1995), localization or adaptation

Overt translation: clearly recognizable as a translated rather than an original text in the target language and culture

closely linked to the concepts of foreignization and the authors visibility (Venuti, 1995)

Newmark (1981: 39):

semantic translation (it attempts to render, as closely as the semantic and syntactic structures of the second language allow, the exact contextual meaning of the original) communicative translation (it attempts to produce on the TT reader an effect as close as possible to that obtained on the readers of the original)

APPROCCIO FAMILIARIZZANTE VS. APPROCCIO DI TIPO STRANIANTE


(1)

Naturalising strategy or domestication (Venuti, 1995): a domesticated text is translated in such a way that it accommodates the conventions of the target language and culture, and the expectations of the target readership. In the process, the translator remains largely invisible. Exoticising strategy or foreignization (Venuti, 1995): the source text is translated in a way that does not accommodate the established canons of the target language and culture. The translator acquires an active, visible role and the text turns out to be strange, close to the source language and culture, and not fluent in the target language.

(2)

THE PRAGMATIC TURN IN LINGUISTICS (IN THE 70S) AND CHANGES IN TRANSLATION (IN THE 80S)
A shift of interest

from linguistic aspects to functional and communicative features, i.e. the pragmatic effect on the receivers of the translated message. It is essential to render the authors intention rather than the words themselves from lexico-syntactic problems in translation to the pragmatic and textual aspects, which has led to exploring the importance of discourse, register, text-types and usage-related factors in the shaping of the translated text a gradual swing from translation as a product to translation as a process

SKOPOSTHEORIE (SKOPS = AIM, GOAL, OBJECTIVE, INTENTION) - VERMEER (1970S) AND REISS & VERMEER (1984) IN THE LATE 70S AND EARLY 80S

A shift from the ST to the TT A translation can be deemed successful only if it succeeds in having a certain intended effect on a given intended audience Skopos theory regards translating from the point of view of a text functioning in a target-culture for target-culture addressees (Vermeer, 1996: 15) the source text must be regarded as an information offer, all of whose elements are subject to the choice of its reader or translator [] with the objective of disseminating them in another linguistic (interlingual) and cultural context (transcultural) governed by scopos (Sandrini, 2006:109-110)

AN INTERMEDIATE POSITION
Functionality + loyalty (Nord, 1992) The model of functionality + loyalty represents a kind of intermediate position in which the source text is restored to, at least, part of its former influence, although not necessarily as far as its surface qualities are concerned. In the translation process, the translator has to take account of both the source text-in-situation and the translation scopos (Nord, 1992: 40)

THE CULTURAL TURN (IN THE 80S AND 90S)

Far beyond a mere linguistic operation, translation is understood as a cultural transfer Translation = not the production of a mere text comprised of sentences and words but an expression of culture, politics and economics the focus is on the extra-linguistic determinants of the process of translation, such as the aesthetic and ideological requirements of the target culture, power relations, the status of particular texts and genres, the profile and the cultural background of the targeted addressee and many others which may be assumed to influence the decisions taken by the translator and thus shape the target text

TRANSLATION AS A PROCESS:
= translation consists of studying the lexicon, grammatical structure, communication situation, and cultural context of the source language text, analyzing it in order to determine its meaning, and then reconstructing this same meaning using the lexicon and grammatical structure which are appropriate in the receptor language and its cultural context (Larson, 1998:3) A. DECODING THE MEANING OF THE SOURCE TEXT B. RE-ENCODING THIS MEANING IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE

A. DECODING THE MEANING OF THE SOURCE TEXT = to figure out the meaning / message / intention of the original writer (different elements have to be taken into account: the author of the text, the text itself in its function(s) or communicative purposes(s) and the reader) B. RE-ENCODING THIS MEANING IN THE TARGET LANGUAGE = how the same decoded meaning / message / intention can be expressed and reproduced in the target language / text / culture

Or in the light of Hatim and Masons considerations (1990:21), translation as a process consists of three stages:
a.

comprehension of the ST transfer of meaning assessment of TT

b.

c.

A TOP-DOWN APPROACH:

Snell-Hornby (1988:69) suggests that the textual analysis, which is an essential preliminary to translation, should proceed from the top down, from the macro to micro level, from text to sign. The text cannot be considered as a static specimen of language, but as the verbalized expression of an authors intention as understood by the translator as reader, who then recreates this whole for another readership in another culture. Hatim and Mason (1990) propose that things such as text-type and context should be taken as starting points for discussing translation problems and strategies.

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PARAMETRI PER LA SCELTA DI UNA MACROSTRATEGIA TRADUTTIVA (SCARPA, 2008: 113-120)


Fattori extratestuali: Emittente e sua intenzione? Destinatario? Mezzo di comunicazione utilizzato? Luogo? Momento? Motivo della comunicazione? Con che funzione? Fattori intratestuali: Argomento? Struttura del testo? Caratteristiche lessicali e sintattiche del testo?

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HOW CAN WE TRANSLATE TEXTS SERVING


DIFFERENT COMMUNICATIVE PURPOSES AND FULFILLING VARIOUS FUNCTIONS (ULRYCH, 1992)?
emotive or expressive function (the sender expresses emotions and his/her inner states); informational or referential function (it is concerned with information transfer); conative or directive function (it seeks to affect the inner state and emotions or feelings of the addressee) poetic or aesthetic function (the use of language for languages sake) metacommunicative or metalingual function (language about language) phatic function (it establishes contact between the addresser and the addressee. Thus, language is used to keep social relationships in good repair) (see Jakobson, 1960)

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a. Expressive / emotive _________ author-centred SL-oriented function translation (e.g. autobiographies, speeches, personal correspondence, creative literary texts, etc.) The authors personal style of writing and idiosyncrasies are part of the actual text and need to be translated intact (Ulrych, 1992: 39)

[] Le mie grandi pene in questo mondo sono state le pene di Heathcliff, e io le ho [] My great miseries in this conosciute e le ho sentite world have been Heathcliffs tutte una a una dal principio; miseries, and I watched and felt each from the beginning; my great la sola ragione di vivere per me lui. [] Il mio amore thought in living is himself. [] per Linton simile al My love for Linton is like the fogliame del bosco; il tempo le foliage in the woods. Time will muter, ne sono sicura, come change it, Im well aware, as linverno muta gli alberi; il winter changes the tree. My love mio amore per Heathcliff for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath a source of somiglia alle eterne rocce che stanno sottoterra; una little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff sorgente di gioia poco visibile, ma necessaria. Nelly, hes always, always in my mind not as a pleasure, any more than I io sono Hathcliff! Lui sempre, sempre nella mia am always a pleasure to myself but as my own being- so, dont talk mente; non come un piacere, come neppur io sono sempre of our separation again- it is un piacere per me stessa, ma impracticable; and come il mio proprio Emily Bront, Wuthering Heights essere. Cos non parlare pi della nostra separazione: (Confessione di Cathy a Nelly, impossibile, e Cap. IX)

Example 1

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AN EXPRESSIVE TEXT IS AUTHOR / SL CENTRED:


THE PERSONAL COMPONENTS SHOULD BE MAINTAINED IN THE

TL VERSION

[nella traduzione letteraria], il testo di arrivo pu e spesso deve- mantenere tracce dello stile dellautore del testo di partenza, poich il testo considerato come molto pi che un vincolo di informazione. [] un approccio di tipo straniante della traduzione letteraria, dove il lettore calato in un testo in cui le differenze tra la lingua / cultura di partenza e quella di arrivo sono di norma mantenute perch il testo a contare (Scarpa, 2008: 85)

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b. Vocative / directive ____________ TL-oriented function translation (e.g. advertising, propaganda, and persuasive writing of any kind)

reader-centred

The form is generally an intrinsic feature of text but while in expressive texts form is considered part of the ST authors personal use of language, in vocative texts it is geared towards the receiver of the TT. TL conventions therefore take pride of place, and the effect the translator seeks to achieve is one of pragmatic equivalence between ST and TT (Ulrych, 1992: 41)

Example 2

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A VOCATIVE TEXT IS READER / TL CENTRED:


IT HAS TO BE FULLY AND IMMEDIATELY COMPREHENSIBLE TO THE READER AND IT SHOULD FULFIL ITS COMMUNICATIVE FUNCTION

c. Informative / referential content-centred function ____________________________ text-oriented (e.g. textbooks, technical reports, translation and scientific articles to name but a few)

the writers personal style is generally less important and it is the actual content itself that should be translated accurately and appropriately (Ulrych, 1992: 40)

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Example 3
When the first electronic computers arrived on the scene in the late 1940s, few imagined the day would come when a video screen was standard computer equipment. For one thing, not many people had even seen video screens back then. According to Variety, in 1949, there were only 1,082,100 television sets in use in the entire United States, approximately 450,000 in New York City. Nor was it obvious that a computer could have anything to "say" that would require a screen. Alla fine degli anni Quaranta, quando comparvero i primi elaboratori elettronici, nessuno immaginava che un giorno lo schermo sarebbe stato un componente standard dei sistemi informatici, anche perch al tempo la maggior parte delle persone non aveva nemmeno visto uno schermo televisivo. Per di pi, le informazioni elaborate a quei tempi dal computer non richiedevano certo luso di uno schermo.

AN INFORMATIVE TEXT IS TEXT / TL CENTRED:


THE TRANSLATORS TASK IS TO CONVEY THE MESSAGE ACCURATELY AND IN A WAY THAT MAY BE ACCESSIBLE TO THE INTENDED TT READER

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[N]ella traduzione specializzata laccettabilit legata allaccuratezza e trasparenza del testo di arrivo, cio alla sua aderenza alle norme e convenzioni della scrittura specializzata nella cultura di arrivo. [] approccio familiarizzante della traduzione specializzata o localizzante, dove la lingua / cultura di partenza tende a essere avvicinata e resa familiare al lettore di arrivo, perch il testo visto soprattutto come un mezzo per trasmettere informazioni (Scarpa, 2008: 85)

Example 4 d. Poetic or aesthetic function (all forms of discourse where the form of the message is as important as the message itself)

Reeling and Writhing, of course, to begin with, the Mock Turtle replied; and then different branches of Arithmetic Ambition, Distraction, Uglification and Derision

Prima di tutto le locali e le consolanti, naturalmente rispose la Finta Tartaruga. Poi le quattro operazioni : Ambizione, Sostazione, Mortificazione e Derisione

Reading and Writing Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication and Division

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POETIC OR AESTHETIC TEXT:


A SENSITIVITY TO STYLISTIC ASPECTS OF LANGUAGE WHICH SHOULD BE MAINTAINED AND RENDERED IN THE TT SIMILAR EFFECTS ARE CALLED FOR IN THE TT IF IT IS TO BE AS EFFECTIVE AS THE ST, OR SOME KIND OF COMPENSATORY STRATEGY NEEDS TO BE FOUND

Example 5
e. Phatic texts (standard phrases which aim to create a common ground for conversation or to establish contact for social reasons) - Yours sincerely, Con loccasione inviamo i pi distinti saluti - Prego Low-frequency use of prego after thank you Not at all Youre welcome

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ST PHATIC FUNCTION:
TRANSLATED WITH STANDARD EQUIVALENTS IN THE TL

Example 6
f. Metalingual texts (e.g. explanations and descriptions in grammar books, language textbooks or dictionaries)

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ST METALINGUAL FUNCTION:
TRANSLATED WITH STANDARD EQUIVALENTS AND STANDARD TERMINOLOGY IN THE TL

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