Sunday, December 30, 2012

Approaches to Translation


Many linguists and translators attempted to define translation, which, in my opinion, is not merely the replacement of the source language (SL) words with equivalent words in the target language (TL), but is an attempt to convey the same effect and message of the SL text on the readers of the TL. In other words, it is the target language expression of what is already expressed in the same source language. In my opinion, the perfect translation is the one that transfers the idea expressed in the source language in the best syntactic and stylistic structure, and the nearest cultural and linguistic equivalents in the target language. Therefore, it is not an automatic exchange of SL words with TL equivalents. A translator needs to have many tools to manipulate the process of translation, one of which is the knowledge in two languages concerning syntax, semantics, cultural aspects (for example proverbs and metaphors),-lexis (or vocabulary for example technical terms., collocations, idioms, metaphors and phrasal verbs) structure and grammar, and background information about the text. Translators do not only need to knowledgeable in the source language, but they also need to have a thorough understanding of the field of knowledge covered by the source text. Similarly, they need to recognize any social, cultural, or emotional connotations that need to be specified in the target language, if the intended effect is to be conveyed". (Crystal D., 1978, p.70) Another tool is the artistic sense or in other words "translator's intuition" which shows his/her individuality.

First, the linguist G.C Catford, defines translation as "the replacement of textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL). (Catford, 1965, p.20) "The use of the term 'textual material' underlines the fact that in normal conditions it is not the entirety of a SL text which is translated, that is, replaced by TL equivalents(ibid)

Second, according to Larson, the translator’s goal should be to produce In the receptor language text, which communicates the same message as the source language, but using the natural grammatical and lexical choices of the receptor language. His goal is an idiomatic translation. (Larson, 1984, p. 17) Translation is a complicated process. However, a translator who is concerned with transferring the meaning will find that the receptor language has a way in which the desired meaning can be expressed, even though it may be very different from the source language form. Jerome said that the two things are necessary for a good translation: an adequate understanding of the original language and an adequate command of the language into which one is translating." (Larson. 1984, p.22) 

Third, Halliday maintains that "translation is the relation between two, or more texts playing an identical part in an identical situation. (Halliday et al, 1965, p.173)

Fourth, according to Taman (1995), translation is a blend of both science and art. In other words, it is a science based on art or an art guided by science. On the one hand, if translation was regarded as a talent, the idea of practice and trial-error feedback training will be useless, however, if it was regarded as a science, there would have been clear basis and rules that controls the process of translation. Moreover, many translations will be identical. In fact, there are no precise rules agreed upon by all translators; therefore, the dream of automatic translation has not become a reality until the present time. In his opinion, translation should be regarded, firstly, as a skill, which gets better by practice through the trial-error feedback training not mentioning personal variations. He likens the good translator as a clever craftsman who has his own tools and means which in addition to his individuality help him to produce a different product from that cf others. Secondly, he believes that translation needs also creativity and artistic sense, which is parallel to the creativity and productivity of language. Thirdly, any translator should have perfect knowledge about the two languages involved and their cultures. Fourthly, a translator has to have his own ways of persuasion in both languages and has to be aware of the suitability of the context.

Fifth, according to Nida, the translator closely resembles the engineer in the process of building a bridge. He must draw upon knowledge gained from other fields such a physics, metallurgy, and mathematics, in order to erect his construction. Similarly, in order to arrive at the translation, the finished product, the translator also seeks support from a number of disciplines. (Anderman G and Margret R., 1996, p.3)

Sixth, Peter Newmark attempted to define translation as "a craft consisting in the attempt to replace a written message and / or statement in one language by the same message and/or statement in another language. Each exercise involves some kind of loss of meaning, due to a number of factors. It provokes a continuous tension, dialectic, an argument based on the claims of each language. The basic loss is a continuum between overtranslation (increased detail) and undertranslation increased (generalisation)". (Newmark, 1982, p.7)