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Unit A4 Translation shifts

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1 Unit A4 Translation shifts
the best known taxonomy of translation shifts, devised by Vinay and Darbelnet E.g. Keep right = az samt rast beranid

The small linguistic changes that occur between ST and TT are known as translation shifts. John Catford was the first scholar to use the term in his A Linguistic Theory of Translation (1965, see Section B Text B4.1).His definition of shifts is ‘departures from formal correspondence in the process of going from the SL to the TL’ .

3 Formal correspondence
A formal correspondent is defined by Catford as ‘any TL category (unit, class, structure, element of structure, etc.) which can be said to occupy, as nearly as possible, the “same” place in the “economy” of the TL as the given SL category occupies in the SL’ (Catford 1965:27). In simplified terms, this means a TL piece of language which plays the same role in the TL system as an SL piece of language plays in the SL system.

4 Catford: Two Kinds of Translation Shifts
level shifts (between the levels of grammar and lexis) By a shift of level we mean that a SL item at one linguistic level has a TL translation equivalent at a different level. translation between the levels of phonology and graphology—or between either of these levels and the levels of grammar and lexis—is impossible.

5 category shifts: referred to unbounded and rank-bound translation
unbounded: being approximately “normal” or “free” translation in which SL-TL equivalences are set up at whatever rank is appropriate. Usually there is sentence-sentence equivalence, but in the course of a text, equivalences may shift up and down the rank-scale, often being established at ranks lower than the sentence. In normal, unbounded, translation, then, translation equivalences may occur between sentences, clauses, groups, words and (though rarely) morphemes.

6 (unbounded and rank-bounded)
(unbounded and rank-bounded). Changes of rank (unit-shifts) are by no means the only changes of this type which occur in translation; there are also changes of structure, changes of class, changes of term in systems, etc. Some of these – particularly structure-changes – are even more frequent than rank-changes. It is changes of these types which we refer to as category-shifts

7 the term “rank-bound” translation only to refer to those special cases where equivalence is deliberately limited to ranks below the sentence, thus leading to “bad translation”=i.e. translation in which the TL text is either not a normal TL form at all, or is not relatable to the same situational substance as the SL text. Changes of rank (unit-shifts) are by no means the only changes of this type which occur in translation; there are also changes of structure, changes of class, changes of term in systems, etc.

8 It is changes of these types which we refer to as category-shifts
It is changes of these types which we refer to as category-shifts. Category-shifts are departures from formal correspondence in translation. In order they are: structure-shifts, class-shifts, unit-shifts (rank-changes), intra-system-shifts

9 category-shift, in the order structure-shifts, class-shifts, nit-shifts (rank-changes), intra-system-shifts Structure-shifts. These are amongst the most frequent category shifts at all ranks in translation; they occur in phonological and graphological translation as well as in total translation. Class-shifts. Following Halliday, we define a class as ‘that grouping of members of a given unit which is defined by operation in the structure of the unit next above’. occurs when the translation equivalent of a SL item is a member of a different class from the original item.

10 Intra-system shift: the shift occurs internally, within a system; that is, for those cases where SL and TL possess systems which approximately correspond formally as to their constitution, but when translation involves selection of a non-corresponding term in the TL system (singular / plural)

11 Unit-shift. By unit-shift we mean changes of rank – that is, departures from formal correspondence in which the translation equivalent of a unit at one rank in the SL is a unit at a different rank in the TL. Unit-shift (rank-changes): departures from formal correspondence in which the translation equivalent of a unit at one rank in the SL is a unit at a different rank in the TL

12 Textual equivalence A shift is said to occur if, in a given TT, a translation equivalent other than the formal correspondent occurs for a specific SL element.

13 The first step involves
identification and numbering of the ST units and the units of translation (see Section A, Unit 3). This is followed by a matching of the two using the back-translation to help you, note any ‘mismatches’, denoting shifts.

14 two ‘methods’ covering seven procedures:
Classification based on Vinay and Darbelnet’s categorization of translation two ‘methods’ covering seven procedures: 1. direct translation, which covers borrowing, calque and literal translation, and 2. oblique translation, which is transposition, modulation, equivalence and adaptation.

15 Borrowing To overcome a lacuna, usually a metalinguistic one (e.g. a new technical process, an unknown concept), borrowing is the simplest of all translation methods. in order to introduce the flavour of the SL culture into a translation, foreign terms may be used,

16 Calque A calque is a special kind of borrowing whereby a language borrows an expression form of another, but then translates literally each of its elements. The result is either: i. a lexical calque, as in the first example below, i.e. a calque which respects the syntactic structure of the TL, whilst introducing a new mode of expression; or ii. a structural calque, as in the second example, below, which introduces a new construction into the language,

17 Literal translation Literal, or word for word, translation is the direct transfer of a SL text into a grammatically and idiomatically appropriate TL text in which the translators’ task is limited to observing the adherence to the linguistic servitudes of the TL.

18 Transposition The method called Transposition involves replacing one word class with another without changing the meaning of the message.

19 Modulation Modulation is a variation of the form of the message, obtained by a change in the point of view. This change can be justified when, although a literal, or even transposed, translation results in a grammatically correct utterance, it is considered unsuitable, unidiomatic or awkward in the TL.

20 Equivalence We have repeatedly stressed that one and the same situation can be rendered by two texts using completely different stylistic and structural methods. In such cases we are dealing with the method which produces equivalent texts.

21 Adaptation With this seventh method we reach the extreme limit of translation: it is used in those cases where the type of situation being referred to by the SL message is unknown in the TL culture. In such cases translators have to create a new situation that can be considered as being equivalent. Adaptation can, therefore, be described as a special kind of equivalence, a situational equivalence. [They] are particularly frequent in the translation of book and film titles,

22 These procedures are applied on three levels of language:
i. the lexicon ii. the grammatical structures and iii. the ‘message’, which is used to refer to the situational utterance and some of the higher text elements such as sentence and paragraphs. At the level of message, Vinay and Darbelnet discuss such strategies as compensation, an important term in translation which is linked to the notion of loss and gain.

23 Compensation, loss and gain
A translation technique used to compensate for translation loss. The translator offsets an inevitable loss at one point in the text by adding a suitable element at another point, achieving a compensatory translation gain. Compensation in an interpretive sense, restoring life to the TT, is the fourth ‘movement’ of Steiner’s hermeneutic process (Steiner 1998:39, see Part A, Unit 13).

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