Teoría de la Traducción - Topic 1 (2016)Apunte Inglés
UNIT 1. INTRODUCTION: THE CONCEPT AND CONTEXT OF TRANSLATION
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COVADONGA SUÁREZ ARGÜELLES - KSUAREZARG
UNIT 1. INTRODUCTION: THE CONCEPT AND CONTEXT OF TRANSLATION
1. DEFINING TRANSLATION
Translation is the act or instance of translating, or a written or spoken expression of the meaning of
a word, speech, book etc. in another language. (The Concise Oxford English Dictionary)
The presence of translation is strong in everyday life. However, it often becomes invisible, and people usually only become aware of it when there is a translation mistake.
The term translation can refer to the process of translation, the product of translation and the field.
Keywords: Source text (ST), source language (SL), target text (TT), target language (TL) "Un proceso interpretativo y comunicativo consistente en la reformulación de un texto con los medios de otra lengua que se desarrolla en un contexto social y con una finalidad determinada" (Hurtado Albir) Translation is a mental process between texts in different languages, not just between languages. We translate something which has already been produced in a certain context.
Translation is also an act of intercultural communication, not only produced between two languages or between two texts, but between two different cultures in order to bridge the gap between them.
So translation is: o o o an act of communication an operation at the textual level (between texts) a mental process The translator must first interpret the text, the context and the purpose of the translation and then communicate through his/her target text.
Hurtado Albir: Esquema estándar de la traducción en la comunicación escrita. Diferencias Básicas.
*Not exactly the same meaning The ambit of translation (Hatim & Munday) o The process of transferring a written text from SL to TL, conducted by a translator or translators in a specific socio-cultural context.
o The written product, or TT, which results from that process and which functions in the sociocultural context of the TL.
o The cognitive, linguistic, visual, cultural and ideological phenomena 2. THE CONTEXT OF TRANSLATION We should examine the sociocultural, communicative and contextual factors which determine the process of translation and the final product.
"To study translations in isolation from the factors affecting their production is consequently to miss out an important dimension of the phenomenon" (Hatim & Mason) Hurtado Albir: Incidencia de las características contextuales.
Hurtado Albir: Factores y participantes en la producción y recepción del texto original y de la traducción.
We can also distinguish between a verbal context or cotext, a cognitive context, a situational context or a sociocultural context: o Verbal context or cotext - the textual environment o Cognitive context - Information received throughout the reception, the mental context o Situational context - Extratextual environment (immediate). Refers to the situation, the register, the media, the tone etc. Factors which affect the production and translation of the text.
o Sociocultural context - Extratextual envinroment (wider) There are two sides in the notion of context, in relation to translation: o Linguistic: Translation as a textual operation o Extralinguistic: Translation as an act of communication Varying relationships between target texts and the source/target language and culture: o At an individual level: There are degrees of equivalence between the SL context and the TL one.
SL context - - - x-----x------x--- TL context o On a general, 'national' level: volume and direction of translations between countries o Determined not just by textual factors, but by political, historical, economic, sociocultural ones.
3. THE TRANSLATOR'S JOB Translation aims at effective communication across linguistic and cultural boundaries. It is vital for the dissemination of goods, products, services, values, ideas etc.
Translator's competence goes well beyond the command of languages.
People need translation to communicate and understand a different language. So, to be a good translator, you must have a good knowledge of the context, and the more expertise in the terminology, the faster and more accurate the translation will be (which is why, quite often, translators specialize in a specific field) "The effectiveness of the communication process is the ultimate test of quality in a translation, not the ways and means used to express the message" (Gouadec) The quality constraints (Gouadec) o Translation should be: accurate, meaningful, accessible, effective, compliant with relevant constraints, compatible with the client's interests and economically viable.
o There are seven quality constraints according to Gouadec: ACCURATENESS: The translation must be true to the fact. It must be faithful, referring to all the contents and facts without missing a bit.
MEANINGFULNESS: The translation must make sense to any user of the translation.
EFFECTIVENESS: The translation is an operation used to communicate a message, but it also has a purpose, a function.
ACCESIBILITY: Translation must be readable, logical and coherent.
COMPLIANCE WITH RELEVANT CONSTRAINTS: It refers to the adaptation to a specific context (for instance, changing the unit of measurement when translating a recipe). Translation must also fit in within the technical constraints of dubbing.
COMPATIBILITY WITH THE CLIENT'S INTEREST: Translation must be compatible with the client's interest (for instance, ifyou are working for a defendor, you can't make up things) ECONOMICAL VIABILITY: It must not be too expensive according to the client's budget.
There are three main phases in the overview of the translator's job (Gouadec): o PRE-TRANSLATION: Includes anything that takes place up to the moment the translator actually receives the material for translation. Anything that has to do with getting the job, writing out estimates, negotiating, contracting etc.
o TRANSLATION: There are three stages in translation: o PRE-TRANSFER: Includes all the operation leading up to the actual 'translating', including preparation of the material, documentary searches, alignment, terminology mining etc.
TRANSFER: Is the well-known core activity of shifting to another language-culture combination POST-TRANSFER: Covers anything that has to be done to meet the quality requirements and criteria prior to delivery of the translated material. It mostly pertains to quality control and upgrading, formatting and various preparations for delivery.
POST-TRANSLATION: Covers all activities that follow the delivery of the translated material.
These include possible integration of the translated material (as in simulation of subtitles, layout, integration in a website etc.), but also the administrative bussiness of getting paid, setting up an archive of the project, consolidating the terminology for future uses and much more.
4. CATEGORIES OF TRANSLATION The basic dividing line along which categories of translation are established runs between general translation and specialised translation.
General translation refers to the translation of documents and materials that do not refer to a specific field.
Specialised translation refers to translations which: o Refer to a highly specialised field or domain, e.g. law, finance, computer science etc.
o And/or are of a particular type o And/or are targeted at a particular audience or public through specific dissemination channels and/or are used by specialists in specific circumstances o And/or are embedded in a particular medium, e.g. multimedia technology, film, video etc. Therefore calling for the use of special procedures, tools and protocols and leading to the emergence of new specialisms.
Categories of translation (Gouadec, 2007) 5. THE UNIT OF TRANSLATION The translation unit is the smallest segment that can be translated in isolation. It may be a individual word, group, clause, sentence or even the whole text.
The famous Swiss linguist Saussure invented the linguistic term sign, that unifies signifier (sound, image or word) and signified (concept).
Saussure made a difference between the concepts langue and parole. Translation is parole-oriented, as translators are mainly concerned with the communicative process in all its aspects.
"Meaningful mouthfuls of language" (Eugene Nida, 1964) Vinay and Darbelnet reject the word as a unit of translation since translators focus on the semantic field, rather than on the formal properties of the individual signifier.
For them, the unit is the smallest segment of the utterance whose signs are linked in such a way that they should not be translated individually. This is what they call the lexicological unit and the unit of thought.
The unit of translation is, then, the linguistic unit which the translator uses when translating. Translation theorists have proposed various units, but Newmark makes the crucial point.
"All lengths of language can, at different moments and also simultaneously, be used as units of translation in the course of the translation activity." (Newmark, 1988) E.g.: the word, the phrase, the clause, the sentence, the paragraph, the text.
The unit of translation is determined by: context, function of the text, culture and text type.
From a process-oriented point of view, "the unit of translation is the stretch of source text on which the translator focuses attention in order to represent it as a whole in the target language" (Lörscher, 1993) From a product-oriented point of view, "the unit of translation is the target-text unit that can be mapped onto a source-text unit" (Baker's encyclopaedia, 2001) This means that, from the process-oriented point of view, the unit of translation is the structural/semantic unit which the translator uses, while from the product-oriented point of view, the units are pairs of source and target text segments.
6. THE STUDY OF TRANSLATION James Holmes (1988): "The name and future of translation studies" Holmes's explanations of this framework, the objectives of the 'pure' areas of research are: o The description of the phenomena of translation (descriptive translation theory); o The establishment of general principles to explain and predict such phenomena (translation theory) The 'theoretical' branch is divided into general and partial theories. By general, Holmes is referring to those writings that seek to describe or are relevant for translations as a whole.
Partial theoretical studies are restricted according to the parameters discussed below.
The other branch of pure research in Holmes map is descriptive. Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS) has three possible foci: examination of the product, the function and the process.
1. Product-oriented DTS examines existing translations. This can involve the description or analysis of a single ST-TT pair or a comparative analysis of several TTs of the same ST (into one or more TLs). These smaller-scale studies can build up into a larger body of translation analysis looking at a specific period, language or text/discourse type. Larger-scale studies can be either diachronic or synchronic, and, as Holmes foresees, on of the eventual goals of product-oriented DTS might possibly be a general history of translations.
2. By function-oriented DTS, Holmes means the description of the function of translation in the recipient sociocultural situation: it is a study of contexts rather than texts. Issues that may be researched include which books were translated when and where, and the influences they exerted. This area, which Holmes terms 'socio-translation studies' was less researched at the time of Holmes paper but is more popular in current work on translation studies.
3. Process-oriented DTS in Holmes framework is concerned with the psychology of translation, i.e. it is concerned with trying to find out what happens in the mind of a translator. Despite some later work on think-aloud protocols (where recordings are made of translator's verbalization of the translation process as they translate), this is an area of research which has still not yet been systematically analyzed.
The results of DTS research can be fed into the theoretical branch to evolve either a general theory of translation or, more likely, partial theories of translation restricted according to the subdivisions of the map.
1. Medium-restricted theories subdivide according to translation by machine and humans, with further subdivisions according to whether the machine or computer is working alone or as an aid to the human translator; to whether the human translation is written or spoken and to whether spoken translation is consecutive or simultaneous.
2. Area-restricted theories are restricted to specific languages or groups of languages and or cultures.
3. Rank-restricted theories are linguistic theories that have been restricted to a specific level of the word or sentence. At the time Holmes was writing, there was already a trend towards text linguistics, i.e. text-rank analysis, which has since become far more popular.
4. Text-type restricted theories look at specific discourse types or genres, e.g. literary, bussiness and technical translation. Text-type approaches came to prominence with the work of Reiss and Vermeer in the 1970s.
5. The term time-restricted is self-explanatory, referring to theories and translations limited according to specific time frames and periods.
6. Problem-restricted theories can refer to specific problems such as equivalence - a key issue of the 1960s and 1970s - or to a wider question of whether universals of translated language exist.
Despite this categorization, Holmes himself is at pains to point out that several different restrictions can apply at any one time.
The applied branch of Holmes' framework concerns: 1. Translator training, teaching methods, testing techniques, curriculum design.
2. Translation aids, such as dictionaries, grammars and information technology.
a. Translation criticism: the evaluation of translations, including the marking of student translations and the reviews of published translations.
Hatim & Munday (2004): Interdisciplinarity of Translation Studies o Although references are still to be found to the new or 'emerging' discipline since Holmes' paper, translations studies have evolved to such an extent that it is really a perfect interdiscipline, interfacing with a whole host of other fields.
o The aim may still be to describe translation phenomena, and in some cases to establish general principles, but the methods of analysis are more varied and the cultural and ideological features of translation have become as prominent as linguistics.
The richness of the field is also illustrated by areas of research suggested by Williams and Chesterman, which include: 1. Text analysis and translation 2. Translation quality assessment 3. Translation of literary and other genres 4. Multi-media translation 5. Translation and technology 6. Translation history 7. Translation ethics 8. Terminology and glossaries 9. The translation process 10. Translator training 11. The characteristics of the translation profession ...