Basic Knowledge of Translation Theory Translation Translation criteria or principle Prerequisites of a translator Translation strategies Literal translation and liberal translation Terms
The definition in the old days (618-907) (960-1279) The British scholar Dr. Samuel Johnson once said: To translate is to change into another language, remaining the sense.
The current definition(1) Translation consists in reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalence of the source language, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style. ---------Nida A good translation is one which the merit of the original work is so completely transfused into another language as to be as distinctly apprehended and as strongly felt by a native of the country to which that language belongs as it is by those who speak the language of the original work.---------Tytler
The current definition(2) The replacement of textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL) ----------- -----Prof. Huang Long Translatology
In summary Translation is the information transferring between two languages and the cultural communication between two language families. Translation is a rendering from one language into another. Translation is a science, an art, a bilingual art, a craft, a skill, an operation and communication. Translation is a representation or recreation in one language of what is written or said in another language. Translation is a kind of science because it was a whole set of rules governing it and certain objective laws to go by in the process of translating.
Varieties of translation Interpretation and written translation SL and TL: Interlingual translation, Intralingual translation, Intersemiotic translation Style: political essay, practical writing, science and technology, literary translation
Tytlers Essay on the Principles of Translation, 1791 A translation should give a complete transcript of the ideas of the original work; The style and manner of writing should be of the same character as that of the original; A translation should have all the ease of the original composition.
Yanfus Faithfulness, Expressiveness and Elegance Faithfulness means the full and complete conveying of the original content of thought; Expressiveness demands that the version should be clear and flowing without any grammatical mistakes or confused logic and sense; Elegance refers to the use of classical Chinese before the Han Dynasty.
Others translation principles (1) Lu Xuns: Rather be faithful (in thought) than smooth (in language) in opposition to Liang Shi-qius translation principle in 1930s. Fu Leis : TL should be similar to SL both in Form and in Spirit. Liu Chongdes : faithfulness, expressiveness and closeness. faithfulness: to be faithful to the content of the original; expressiveness: to be as expressive and smooth as the original; closeness: to be as close to the original style as possible. Liang Shiqiu s and Zhao Jingshens : Its better to have a smooth version than a faithful one.
Others translation principles (2) Eugene A. Nidas : Dynamic equivalence or Functional equivalence or Equivalent-effect theory. The translator is to produce as nearly possible the same effect on his readers as was produced on the readers of the original.
Others translation principles (3) Peter Newmarks : Semantic translation and Communicative translation. Semantic translation: The translator attempts, within the bare syntactic and semantic constraints of the TL, to produce the precise contextual meaning of the author. Semantic translation focuses primarily upon the semantic content of the source text. Communicative translation: The translator attempts to produce the same effect on the TL readers as was produced by the original on the SL readers. Communicative translation focuses essentially upon the comprehension and response of receptors.
Translation criteria Faithfulness and smoothness Faithfulness refers to that content and style of TL should be faithful to the SL. Smoothness requires that version should be clear and distinct, flowing and easy to read without signs of the mechanical word- for-word translation, of obscure language, of grammatical mistakes, confused structure and logic.
Prerequisites of a translator The enhancement of our political consciousness The betterment of our command of the relevant languages The broadening of the range and scope of our general knowledge. By Zhou En-lai
Translation strategies: foreignization and domestication Foreignization: If the translators preference is placed on preserving the language and cultural differences of the Source Text, we call this kind of approaches or its translation foreignizing or foreignization. Domestication: the method or practice of adapting the translation to the norms and values of the Target Language and culture is called domesticating or domestication.
Examples (1) 95 Man proposes, Heaven disposes. (Yang: 90) Man proposes, God disposes. (Hawkes: 152)
Examples (2) Unless youve an ace up your sleeve, we are dished.
Examples (3) Among Wolves one must howl. Go to law for a sheep, you lose a cow.
Two basic translation methods Literal Translation means word-for-word translation. It takes sentences as its basic units and the whole text into consideration at the same time in the course of translation. It strives to reproduce both the ideological content and the style of the entire literary work and retain as much as possible the figures of speech. Liberal Translation is also called Free Translation. It is a supplementary means to mainly convey the meaning and spirit of the original without trying to reproduce its sentence pattern or figures of speech.
Examples (1) To kill two birds with one stone.
Examples (2) The worst wheel of a cart creaks most.
Examples (3) When the tree falls, the monkeys scatter. Members run away when the family falls. / Rats leave a sinking ship.
Terms (1) Polysemy: One word has various parts of speech and various meaning. Firth said: Each word when used in a new context is a new word. Examples
Examples (1) I want my martini dry. There are still some dry states in the United States. She prefers dry bread.
Examples (2) The cows are dry. He gave us a dry lecture yesterday. I am sure what he presented was a dry fact.
Terms (2) Commendatory and derogatory words: Commendatory word means a praising word, or a word in good sense. Derogatory word means a word to lessen or impair the power or authority or a word in bad sense. Examples
Examples (1) Many people think that he is one of the most ambitious politicians of our times. Although he is very young, he is very ambitious in his research work.
Example (2) They incited him to go into further investigation. The plotters incited the soldiers to rise against their officers.
Terms (3) Diction: It means proper choice of words in translation on the basis of accurate comprehension of the original. Examples
Examples (1) We can make out the meaning of the word from the context. We should settle the disputes in the context of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence.
Examples (2) It is in this context that the tragedy of Sahara was born. We must operate within the context of the Olympian Spirit.
Examples (3) In this context, Ive to call your attention to the fact that the peaceful trend in the Indo- China Peninsula is essential to peace in the world.
Examples (4) The traditional pattern of classroom experience at the college level brings the professor and a group of 20 to 30 students together for a 45-to- 50 minute class session two or three times a week. The most common mode of instruction is the lecture. 45 50
Terms (4) Repetition: In translation we are required to repeat words over and over again for clearness, for the sake of emphasis and for attractiveness (vividness). Examples
Big families had their own difficulties. Ignorance is the mother of fear as well as of admiration.
Terms (5) Amplification: It means supplying necessary words in our translation work so as to make the version correct and clear. Words thus supplied must be indispensable either syntactically or semantically. Examples