Basics of Translation – spring 09 Lecture notes – week 6

Kim Ebensgaard Jensen Aalborg ni!ersit" – #$# Englis%

The process of translating 1. Introduction Last time& we looked at aspects of te't anal"sis for translators& and toda" we will mo!e on t%e t%e process of translating& as we discuss (ewmark)s approac% to t%e process of translation of a source te't into a target te't* (ewmark operates wit% four le!els of operation+
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source text level+ t%e source te't itself and its immediate impression on t%e translator referential level+ t%e le!el of content of t%e te't ,tec%nicall" t%e le!el of t%e conceptual representationcohesive level+ t%e le!el w%ere "ou aim at making a co%esi!e target te't ,and anal".e t%e co%esion of t%e source te'tlevel of naturalness+ t%e le!el of constructing a natural target te't in an appropriate language

2. Approaches to translating $t ma" be a good idea to make one t%ing clear at t%is point – man" translation t%eorists operate wit% t%e following set of terms& in w%ic% t%e" distinguis% between /translation0 and /translating0* (ow& before we start discussing t%e process translation& let us tr" out t%is refle'i!e e'ercise+ In groups of twos or threes, try to see if you can figure out what the difference is between the following terms: translation, translating and a translation. What do you think each term refers to? Last time& $ said t%at one s%ould alwa"s read t%e target te't t%roug% a couple of times before translating it* T%is is 1ust one out of two common approac%es to translation& w%ic% are+

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"ou initiall" translate bits of t%e source te't – sentence b" sentence – to get t%e feel of t%e te't& t%en "ou go back and read and anal".ed t%e w%ole te't before starting t%e translating proper "ou read t%e source te't t%roug% a couple of times first& doing bot% general reading and close reading& and t%en "ou start translating once "ou %a!e anal".ed it in sufficient detail ,"ou start translating immediatel" wit%out e!er reading t%e te't+ a lot of people tend to do t%is w%en doing translation e'ercises& sa"& in sc%ool& and it is not a good idea because t%en "ou ne!er get t%e w%ole picture of t%e te't& and "ou are bound to miss out on some important details-

2%ile (ewmark seems to recommend t%e second approac%& t%e first and second approac%es can be combined& and often are& b" e'perienced translators* T%e first approac% is largel" based on intuition& w%ic% does re3uire a lot of e'perience& w%ile t%e second approac% is based on anal"sis and t%eoretical principles* 3. The levels 4ere are t%e four le!els of (ewmark)s approac% to translating 3.1 The te tual le!el "the le!el of the source te t# At t%is le!el& "ou translate& or transpose& t%e s"ntactic structures of t%e source te't into corresponding structures in t%e target te't* 5ften "ou will find t%at& for a !ariet" of reasons& "ou will %a!e to c%ange t%ese structures into somet%ing 3uite different furt%er down t%e line to ac%ie!e target 6

of t%e source te't are and w%at t%e perlocution mig%t be* 5nce "ou %a!e decoded t%e word or e'pression in 3uestion& "ou encode it into an appropriate target language e'pression* (ote t%at t%ere will be cases& like idioms and metap%ors& in w%ic% "ou will %a!e to use literal e'pressions in t%e target language& because it does not %a!e an" corresponding idioms or metap%ors* T%e referential le!el and t%e te'tual le!el are& of course& closel" intertwined& as t%e nature and te'ture of t%e source te't con!e"s t%e message& and& of course& "ou also encode t%e message& using language& into t%e target te't* 3.3 The cohesi!e le!el T%e co%esi!e le!el links t%e te'tual and t%e referential le!els in t%at it deals wit% t%e structure7format of t%e te't and information as well as wit% w%at (ewmark calls t%e mood of t%e te't .s.$ The referential le!el As mentioned abo!e& t%is is t%e le!el of content& so %ere "ou operate primaril" wit% t%e message .or information.s.Basics of Translation – spring 09 Lecture notes – week 6 Kim Ebensgaard Jensen Aalborg ni!ersit" – #$# Englis% language naturalness* 3.let us call it t%e tone instead so as not to confuse it wit% grammatical mood-* At t%e structural suble!el& "ou in!estigate %ow !arious connectors& suc% as con1unctions& enumerations& repetitions or reiterations& definite articles and determiners& general categor" labels& s"non"ms& punctuation marks& simple or comple' con1uncts& link sentences and structure t%e te't and w%at (ewmark calls its train of t%oug%t – w%ic% is basicall" its underl"ing information structure* 8ou establis% its tone b" finding so9called value-laden and value-free passages& suc% as sub1ecti!e and ob1ecti!e bits& eup%emisms& and ot%er framing devices& framing being t%e strateg" of linguisticall" presenting somet%ing in t%e perspecti!e of one)s own !alues and world!iew& in a wa" promoting t%ese* All of t%is will %a!e to be some%ow transferred into t%e target te't so "ou ac%ie!e ma'imal e3ui!alence at t%is le!el to* 3.and illocution.cognate wordsparticiples& infiniti!es and nonimali.ations : .or semantics of t%e te't* T%is is w%ere "ou decode t%e meaning of t%e source te't and build t%e conceptual representation* T%is is w%ere "ou disambiguate pol"semous words and p%rases and w%ere "ou decode idioms and figurati!e e'pressions* T%is is w%ere "ou figure out w%et%er w%at t%e locution.% The le!el of naturalness T%is le!el is target te't oriented& focusing e'clusi!el" on t%e construction of t%e target te't* 2%at is important %ere is t%at+ ● ● t%e target te't makes sense t%e target te't reads naturall" like an" ot%er te't composed in t%e target language T%is is apparentl" more difficult t%an one mig%t e'pect& because one tends to reproduce a lot of grammatical structures& p%rases and wordings w%ic% are natural in t%e source language but& w%ile possible in t%e target language& w%ic% do not feel natural as suc% in t%e target language* (ewmark lists some t"pical problem areas %ere+ ● ● ● ● word order one9to9one translation making common structures seem unnatural false friends .

+s the years pass. who follow neither the heart nor the brain. their wit becomes cynicism. They ha!e sinned against passion and truth. . but by the ordinary course of nature. they feel and produce discomfort where!er they go. nor. )ut they ha!e yielded to the only enemy that matters * the enemy within. those allied deities will be a!enged. They ha!e sinned against -ros and against . 'he put out the lamp It did not do to think. and not by any hea!enly inter!ention. . making it sounds as natural as possible: She put out the lamp. they are censured. to feel. and (oined the !ast armies of the benighted. and !ain will be their strife after !irtue. as it had recei!ed 2iss )artlett thirty years before.Basics of Translation – spring 09 Lecture notes – week 6 Kim Ebensgaard Jensen Aalborg ni!ersit" – #$# Englis% ● ● ● old9fas%ioned or loft" target language diction non9corresponding categories and p%enomena suc% as tense9aspect& definite article use& idioms and metap%ors& nominal compounds& collocations etc* random& unpredictable t%ings t%at 1ust seem unnatural in t%e target language 2%at makes t%ings more complicated is t%at naturalness often depends on t%e situation& suc% t%at somet%ing mig%t seem natural in one conte't but unnatural in anot%er* T%e best& per%aps onl" wa"& to ensure naturalness is to read t%roug% "our translation and spot unnaturall" sounding parts and c%ange t%em into somet%ing t%at sounds more natural* T%is is somet%ing t%at most people skip w%en t%e" do translations in sc%ool . their unselfishness hypocrisy. The night recei!ed her. translate the following into &anish. The armies are full of pleasant and pious folk. for the matter of that. 'he ga!e up trying to understand herself. The exercise In small groups. Their pleasantry and their piety show cracks. and march to their destiny by catchwords.allas +thene. and pretended to 1ecil that she lo!ed no one. /ucy entered this army when she pretended to 0eorge that she did not lo!e him.and e!en in some more professional conte'ts-* 4.

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