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Translation Procedures: The technical Component of the Translation Process Dr. Gladys González Matthews and Dr. Dagoberto Orrantia May 19, 2007 NAJIT 28th.

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Presentation on theme: "Translation Procedures: The technical Component of the Translation Process Dr. Gladys González Matthews and Dr. Dagoberto Orrantia May 19, 2007 NAJIT 28th."— Presentation transcript:

1 Translation Procedures: The technical Component of the Translation Process Dr. Gladys González Matthews and Dr. Dagoberto Orrantia May 19, 2007 NAJIT 28th National Conference Portland, Oregon Conference Presentation

2 The process of translating Translation, as perceived in this workshop, is a process during which the translator: a)makes a number of decisions on how to interpret the source text (ST); b)uses resources and apply technical skills to render the text in the target language; and c) re-expresses that meaning in the target text (TT); i.e. the translation. Therefore, translation is perceived as a problem-solving process.

3 Skills needed in translation In popular belief, to translate, a person only needs: Reasonable knowledge of a foreign language And a few good dictionaries For some, translating is an intuitive process that is based on the translators creative capability. On the opposite extreme, there are those who believe that only specialists like lawyers or scientists can translate. Those who make these assertions fail to make a distinction between factual knowledge and procedural knowledge.

4 Distinguishing Factual Knowledge and Procedural Knowledge Factual knowledge is the knowledge of special fields Special terminology Resources available Foreign languages Factual knowledge is essential but not enough. Translators also need procedural knowledge. Procedural knowledge relates to some kind of method or procedure to help the translator in seizing the meaning of the ST and re-expressing that meaning in the TT.

5 Procedural Knowledge: Options for translation Basically, a translator has two options for translating: 1.Direct or literal translation 1.Oblique translation There are several translation techniques available under each option.

6 Procedural Knowledge: Options for translation 1.Direct or literal translation 2.Oblique translation Are these approaches applicable to the translation of legal texts?

7 Direct translation Possible because of parallel categories 1. Structural parallelism grammatical categories Are you there? ¿Está usted ahí? Etes-vous là? 2. Meta-linguistic parallelism parallel concepts The book el libro le livre The judge el juez/la jueza le juge / la juge

8 Oblique translation There comes a time when direct translation techniques would not work because: 1.They are structurally impossible 2.The target language does not have a corresponding expression And the generated text would have: 1.a different meaning meaning 3.a foreign structure

9 Oblique translation Compare: He looked at the map. Miró el mapa He looked the picture of health. Era la imagen misma de la salud. (Back-translation: He was the image of health itself.) Il paraissait l´image de la santé. Il avait l´air en pleine forme (Back-translation: He was the image of health itself. He seemed in good shape.) I have a headache Me duele la cabeza I me Have duele (verb) Cabeza head Both English and Spanish have the corresponding elements for me, dolor and cabeza. But the structure of the statement is different in the two languages. A direct translation is no longer possible. The translator needs to use oblique translation techniques.

10 1. Borrowing It is used: To overcome a gap or lacuna (a new technical process, a new concept) Dumping (trade law). There is no equivalent in Spanish or French Create stylistic effect chic, déjà vu To recreate the flavor of the source language (SL) Margaritas, tortillas, Pisco sour, sushi, sauerkraut, spaghetti, In the legal field, Latin expressions* are an excellent example of borrowing that have been made through time. Prima facie, nolo contendere, pro se. Generally, borrowings enter a language through translation, and just as with false friends (false cognates) the translator should strive to look for the equivalents in the SL that convey the meaning of the SL more advantageously. *A great number of Latin expressions have evolved differently in the various languages. Beware of spelling, among other things. DIRECT TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

11 2. Calque (From the French verb "calquer") Calques are special kind of borrowing where a language borrows a word or an expression from another language and translates literally each of its elements. Lexical calque Football Fútbol Balompié 4 X 4 cuatro por cuatro (4 X 4) Structural calque Your are intelligent enough to realize that… Usted es suficientemente inteligente como para darse cuenta de que… Usted es inteligente y puede darse de cuenta de que… (Back-translation Your are intelligent and can realize that…) DIRECT TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

12 Both borrowing and calque may become lexicalized (fixed) in the TL over time. Science fiction ciencia ficción; Carburator carburador Menu menú In the legal field, structural calque oftentimes arises from oversight of the morpho-syntactic structure of both SL and TL. As used in this section, "serious violent felon" means a person who has been convicted of: attempting to commit or conspiring to commit a serious violent felony tratar de cometer un delito mayor de carácter extremadamente violento o confabular para ello (Back translation Attempting to commit a serious violent felony or conspiring to do do.) DIRECT TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

13 3. Literal translation Literal translation refers to a translation technique that can be used when the languages involved share parallel structures and concepts; NOT to a translation made word for word: Literal translation carries the imprint of the original. This technique is used when it is possible to transpose the source language (SL) message element by element into the target language (TL) and obtain a text that is idiomatic. The girl is sick La niña está enferma La fille est malade How are you? ¿Cómo está usted? Comment allez-vous? Good morning Buenos días Bonjour Spanish syntax requires that we add ¨s¨ to both words, but this continues to be literal translation. It is just a case of syntax normalization. DIRECT TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

14 4. Transposition Transposition is the first technique or step towards oblique translation. Operates at the grammatical level Consists of the replacement of a word class by another word class without changing the meaning Within the same language: Reconstruction of the city is very important Reconstructing the city is very important To reconstruct the city is very important Tu enojo me tiene sin cuidado Que te enojes me tiene sin cuidado (Back-translation: I dont care about your anger. I dont care about your getting angry.) Enojo (noun) enojes (verb) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

15 Public servants should be held accountable for their management of public goods. Debe responsabilizarse a los funcionarios públicos por el manejo de los bienes públicos. The use of the pronominal passive allows a rendition that does not indicate the subject of the sentence, like in the ST. From a stylistic view point the transposed expression does not have the same value, but the meaning is the same. Transposed expressions are generally more literary in character. It is important to choose the form that best fits the context. OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

16 Transposition can be: Free: When the transposition used depends mostly on context and desired effect. The course is of interest to all of us. El curso nos interesa a todos (nosotros). (Back-translation: The course interests all of us) Compulsory: When only a transposition is acceptable. I will never forget the time when I got lost in the market. Nunca olvidaré la vez que me perdí en el mercado. (Back-translation: I will never forget the time that I got lost in the market.) When (adverb) que (relative pronoun) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

17 Types of transposition Adverb verb I only defended myself. No hice sino defenderme (Back-translation I did nothing but defend myself.) Adverb noun I wrote to you early this year. Le escribí a principios de año. (Back-translation I wrote to you at the beginning of the year) Adverb adjective He lives precariously Lleva una vida precaria. (Back-translation He leads a precarious life) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

18 Types of transposition Adjective noun He found it difficult to arrange for the trip Tuvo dificultad en hacer los arreglos para el viaje (Back-translation I had difficulty to make the arrangemets for the trip) Possessive adjective definite article Your hair is too long Tienes el cabello muy largo (Back-translation Your have the hair too long) Verb or past participle noun I intended to tell you the whole truth. Mi intención fue (era) decirle toda la verdad. (Back-translation My intention was to tell you the whole truth.) Adverb noun I wrote to you early this year. Le escribí a principios de año. (Back-translation wrote to you at the beginnig of the year.) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

19 5. Modulation A variation of the form of the message obtained by a change in the point of view. Although the main characteristic of modulation is a change of point of view, it may involve also a change of grammatical categories. It is used when the other techniques would generate a text that is grammatically correct, but unsuitable, not idiomatic, or awkward. OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

20 Modulation can be: Free It is not difficult to show Es fácil demostrar (Back-translation it is easy to show) Remember Recuerda, or No olvides (if it fits the context better) (Back-translation Remember; do not forget) Lexicalized (fixed by use, listed in dictionaries) or Compulsory Dress rehearsal Ensayo general (Back-translation General rehearsal) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

21 Modulation is a technique that experienced translators use to produce an accurate and idiomatic text. It requires an excellent knowledge of both languages involved in the translation. This includes knowing the mechanics of the language. For example: 1.The manner in which negative and positive formulations are used in the two languages. Do not enter. Se prohibe entrar. Défense dentrer. 2.The general register of the language. For example French and Spanish tend to use more intellectual terms than English. Eye doctor oftamólogo; bird watching ornitología; dog show exposición canina 3.Use of the passive voice. 4.The greater the structural difference between the two languages the greater the challenges for the translator OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

22 Types of modulation Most of the types are based on metonymy: e.g. referring to a concept by an attribute of it. For example; the crown referring to a monarch or Washington to refer to the United States government. 1. Abstract Concrete or General Particular I havent heard a word from him No he tenido noticias suyas (Back-translation: I have not had news from him.) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

23 2. Explanatory modulation: cause effect Like a deer in the headlights. Quedarse paralizado (Back-translation: remain paralyzed) Blind flying vuelo sin visibilidad (Back-translation: flight without visibility) means result, or viceversa Ill drive you home Te llevaré a casa en [mi] auto (Back-translation: Ill take you to your house in [my] car) substance object Brain drain éxodo de especialistas (double modulation) (Back-translation: the exodus of experts) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

24 2. Explanatory modulation (continued): A part the whole The cathedrals ceiling draws the eye as soon as one enters. El techo de la catedral atrae la vista al entrar. (Back-translation: The cathedrals ceiling draws the view.) A part another part I know the city like the back of my hand. Conozco la ciudad como la palma de la mano. (Back-translation: I know the city like the palm of my hand.) Hand to hand combat Combate cuerpo a cuerpo (Back-translation: body to body combat.) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

25 2. Explanatory modulation (continued): Term reversal This cage cannot hold an animal this size. Un animal de ese tamaño no cabrá en esta jaula. (Back-translation: An animal this size will not fit in this cage.) Negative contrast Make sure you call us every week. No olvides llamarnos todas las semanas. (Back-translation: Dont forget to call us all of the weeks.) Active voice passive voice (and vice-versa) The votes (in an election) were counted. Se contaron los votos. (impersonal form) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

26 2. Explanatory modulation (continued): Space Time In grammar school I was very shy. Cuando asistía a la primaria era muy tímido. (Back-translation: When I was attending elementary school.) Intervals and boundaries (in time and space) A. In time: See you in a week Nos vemos de hoy en ocho. (Back- translation: Well see each other in eight days from today.) B. In space: No parking between signs Límite del estacionamiento (Back-translation: Limit of parking.) Change of symbol He earns an honest dollar. Se gana la vida honradamente. (Back- translation: He earns an honest living.)

27 OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES Sensory modulation A heavy coat un abrigo grueso (Back-translation: A thick coat) A goldfish un pececito (rojo) (Back translation: a little red fish) In short, modulation is the technique that leads to a solution that makes the reader - or the translator – exclaim, Yes, thats exactly what you would say.

28 6. Equivalence Used to render expressions using different stylistic and structural methods. Most equivalences are fixed, and include idioms, clichés, proverbs, nominal or adjectival phrases, onomatopoeia, etc. Stop splitting hairs Deja de buscarle cinco patas al gato (Back-translation: Stop looking for five legs in a cat) Challenge: To recognize that the expression to be translated is an idiom / proverb; to know the equivalent expression in the T.L. Equivalence also refers to fixed (lexicalized) terms, such as terminology of a field of knowledge. OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

29 7. Adaptation Used when the limit to translation is been reached, i.e. when a simple translation would not work or it would produce a result that is shocking in the target language and culture. Titles of books, movies, and characters often fit into this category Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Dos hombres y un destino. (Back-translation: Two men and a destiny) The Sound of Music Sonrisas y lágrimas (Back-translation: Smiles and tears) C3PO and R2D2 [androids in Star Wars] C3PO y Arturito (phonetic adaptation) (Back-translation of Arturito = Little Arthur) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION TECHNIQUES

30 1. Concretization or differentiation generalization (Fawcett) Abstract Concrete or General Particular modulation Hermanos brothers and sister, siblings (depending on context and desired effect) 2. Paraphrasing Used when there is no equivalent in the target language Paraphrasing is a type of explanatory modulation To perform hazing [a crime] efectuar o someter a actos iniciáticos ilícitos (hazing) (Back-translation: to subject to unlawful initiation acts) Other taxonomies (categorizations) of translation techniques

31 2. Paraphrasing Translation does not mean explaining or commenting on a text, or writing it in our own way. Paraphrasing, according to Vásquez-Ayora, ´cannot be a translation method because using it the text loses its characteristics. Too many explanations destroys the conciseness of the work and makes it subject to the same distortions of its counterpart – literal translation.´ Other taxonomies (categorizations) of translation techniques

32 3. Logical derivation Cause effect modulation (logical modulation, according to Fawcett) Shorter [fewer] working hours (hours have become fewer as a result of some action taken) Disminución / reducción de las horas / semana de trabajo (Result of the action taken) (Back-translation: reduction in working time / working week) Other taxonomies (categorizations) of translation techniques

33 Direct or literal translation techniques: Borrowings: borrowing from the source language a term or concept to overcome a lacuna in the target language or to create a stylistic effect. SUSHI, SAUERKRAUT, PIZZA Calque: a special type of borrowing, consisting of borrowing an expression from the source language and translating literally each element. Calque can be either lexical. CARBURATOR CARBURADOR CARBURATEUR or structural MAYO 5, INSTEAD OF 5 DE MAYO Literal translation: the direct transfer of the source text into the target language in a grammatically and idiomatically proper way. GOOD MORNING BUENOS DIAS

34 Oblique translation techniques: Transposition: replacing words from one grammatical word class with another without changing the meaning of the message. RECONSTRUCTION OF THE CITY IS VERY IMPORTANT RECONSTRUCTING THE CITY IS VERY IMPORTANT, TO RECONSTRUCT THE CITY IS VERY IMPORTANT Modulation: changing the point of view without changing the meaning of the message. (Vinay and Darbelnet identified 10 different types of modulation. IT IS NOT DIFFICULT IT IS EASY Equivalence: generally refers to the commonly accepted and used equivalents of idioms, proverbs, idiomatic expression and lexicalized terms, i.e. terms commonly accepted as equivalents of a source language term. STOP SPLITTING HAIRS DEJA DE BUSCARLE CINCO PATAS AL GATO. BACK TRANSLATION: STOP LOOKING FOR FIVE LEGS IN A CAT. Adaptation: adapting a source language situation when it does not exist in the target language or would be considered inappropriate in the target culture. THE SOUND OF MUSIC SONRISAS Y LÁGRIMAS BACK-TRANSLATION: SMILES AND TEARS

35 REFERENCES FAWCETT, Peter (1997). Translation and Language, Manchester, UK: St Jerome. MOLINA, Lucía and HURTADO ALVIR, Amparo. Translation Techniques Revisited: A Functional and Dynamic Approach. Méta, XLVII, 4, 2004, pp.498-512. Meta : Journal des traducteurs, deals with all aspects of translation and interpretation: translation studies (theories of translation), teaching translation, interpretation research, stylistics, comparative terminological studies, computer- assisted translation (machine translation), documentation. Full-text articles, free of charge in many cases, are featuread in the following link: Sager, Juan C and M.-J. Hamel (tranls) (2000). Jean-Paul Vinay and Jean Darbelnet. A Method for Translation, in Lawrence Venuti (ed.) The Translation Studies Reader, London: Routledge: 85-93. Vazquez-Ayora Gerardo (1977). Introducción a la traductología, Washington, D.C.: Georgetown University. VINAY, J. P. et J. Darbelnet (1958). Stylistique comparée du français et de langlais, Montréal: Beauchemin

36 Thank you! Dr. Gladys González Matthews Dr. Dagoberto Orrantia John Jay College of Criminal Justice

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