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Linguistic Approaches

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1 Linguistic Approaches
(I) Micro-level (focus on linguistic system) R. Jakobson E. Nida P. Newmark J.-P. Vinay and J. Darbelnet J. C. Catford (1965) (II) Macro-level (focus on ST/TT comparison)

2 Equivalence = equal value
The basic idea is that all the theories respond to one central problem: translation can be defined by equivalence, but there are many reasons why equivalence is not a stable concept. So how can we think about translation beyond equivalence? (Pym 2010)

3 Why linguistics? Academic discipline concerned with the study of language at large  ≠ branches Linguistics and Translation  “love-hate relationship” (Fawcett 1997) Linguistics as a source of theoretical and pedagogical insights but simplistic/prescriptive in its approach Well-established, fully fledged ‘scientific’ discipline Difficulties to establish a place for itself in academia Impressive range of research methods and tools of analysis Language as raw material but need for a role model to follow

4 intralingual translation
Roman Jakobson [I] Jakobson, R. (1959/2004) ‘On linguistic aspects of translation’ in Venuti, L. (ed.) (2004) The Translation Studies Reader, London & New York: Routledge Russo-American structuralist linguist ( ) Focus on meaning and equivalence 3 types of translation intralingual translation ‘rewording’, using signs of the same language interlingual translation ‘translation proper’, verbal signs of another language intersemiotic translation ‘transmutation’, verbal to non-verbal signs There are a number of equally legitimate reasons which scholars have had for pursuing an interest in Translation Studies. For instance, some are motivated by highly practical concerns, such as the need to provide future translators (or interpreters) with training which is of the highest possible quality, with a view to raise the professional profile of this professional figure. Others, simply seek to provide an ever more accurate and comprehensive explanation for certain phenomena in the world about us. All models and perspectives on language have strengths and weaknesses. No single perspective is likely to provide optimal answers in all contexts. --- Let’s start with the first approach that we will explore, i.e. the linguistic approach. In paticular, we will introduce (early) micro-level applications of linguistics, especially Catford, and later, more macro-level applications, especially House, and assessment of their limitations. The more systematic and mostly linguistic-oriented approach to translation theory began to emerge in the 1950s-1960s (so some 50 years ago) the. It focuses on the key issues of: Equivalence Meaning [Shift] This branch of linguistics, known as structural linguistics, features the work of Roman Jakobson Eugene Nida Jean-Paul Vinay and Jean Darbelnet  Stylistique comparée du français et de l’anglais (1958) adopted a contrastive approach that categorised what they saw happening in the practice of translation between English and French Eugene Nida (1964) incorporated Chomsky’s elements from generative grammar as a theoretical underpinning of his books, which were initially designed to be practical manuals for Bible translators NAME Newmark NAME Koller NAME Catford NAME van Leuven-Zwart It wasn’t long however, before some theorists began to realize that language wasn’t just about structure – it was also about the way language is used in a given social context. This side of the linguistic approach is termed functional linguistics (Berghout lecture 7/9/05), with the work of: Katharina Reiss NAME Vermeer Justa Holz-Mänttäri NAME Nord NAME Halliday Julianne House NAME Hatim and NAME Mason Mona Baker ..we will deal with the most prominent scholars later on in the course Building on Pym’s xxx, we can say that the core problem of TS is EQUIVALENCE, i.e. how the target text can match the source text as fully as possible (explain metaterminlogy). Linguistic meaning and equivalence are the key issues for the Russo-American structuralist linguist Roman Jakobson ( ). In his seminal paper On linguistic aspects of translation (1959/2004: 139) he defines the translating process (i.e. the passage from a ST in a SL to a TT in a TL) interlingual translation. In particular, he distinguished between 3 types of translation: Intralingual TR: or rewording , i.e. “an interpretation of verbal signs by means of other signs of the same language  when rephrasing an expression or summarising or otherwise rewriting a text in the mane language (2)Interlingual TR: or translation proper, i.e. an intepretation of verbal signs by means of some other language  the traditional, although by no means exclusive, focus of translation studies. As we will see, the notion of translation proper and of the stability of the ST / TT has now been challenged and the question is what we MEAN by translation, and how it differs from adaptation, localisation, etc (3)Intersemiotic TR: or transmutation, i.e. an interpretation of vebral signs by means of signs of non-verbal sign systems  when translatinns a written text for instance into music, film or paint For Jakobson, meaning and equivalence are linked to the interlingual form of translation, which “involves two equivalent messages in two different codes” (1959/2000: p.114). He considers Saussure’s ideas of the arbitrariness of the signifier (name) for the signified (object or concept) and how this equivalence can be transferred between different languages, for example the concept of a fence may be completely different to someone living in the suburbs or a prison inmate. He expands on Saussure’s work in that he considers that concepts may be transferred by rewording, without, however, attaining full equivalence. His theory is linked to grammatical and lexical differences between languages, as well as to the field of semantics. Involves two equivalent messages in two different codes

5 There is ordinarily no full equivalence between code-units
Roman Jakobson [II] Arbitrariness of the signifier for the signified (F. de Saussure) e.g. fence / cheese / nectar / ambrosia How can the equivalence in meaning be transferred between different languages? There is ordinarily no full equivalence between code-units Differences in the structures and terminology of languages systematic mismatches at different levels: gender (e.g. house / honey) his car his keys his glass his glasses la sua macchina le sue chiavi il suo bicchiere i suoi occhiali/bicchieri aspect do did has done has/had been doing fare/faccio/fai… fece/faceva… ha fatto ??? semantic fields (e.g. siblings / children)

6 Interlingual translation means
Roman Jakobson [III] Differences between languages exist, but concepts can nevertheless be rendered interlingually Interlingual translation means substitut[ing] messages in one language not for separate code-units but for entire messages in some other language The translator recodes and transmits a message received from another source. Thus translation involves two equivalent messages in two different codes. Equivalence in difference is the cardinal problem of language and the pivotal concern of linguistics

7 Eugene A. Nida [I] Nida, E.A. (1964) Towards a Science of Translating, Leiden: E.J. Brill Nida, E.A. and C.R. Taber (1969) The Theory and Practice of Translation, Leiden: E.J. Brill American, key figure in Bible translation since 1940s (born 1914) Trained as a linguist (PhD in Linguistics, Uni of Michigan), influenced by Noam Chomsky (groundbreaking in 1960s/70s) Attempts to make the study of translation more scientific (cfr title) to provide Bible translators with practical suggestions on the ways in which translators should proceed to transfer the units of a ST into another language to produce an accurate TT Chomsky, N. (1957) Syntactic Structures, Gravenhave: Mouton Chomsky, N. (1965) Aspects of Theory of Syntax, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press

8 Transformational rules
Noam Chomsky (1928) Work on syntactic structures Generative-transformational model Universal grammar (kernel sentences) Sentences characterised by two levels of representation governed by rules: Deep structure (underlying, made of core sematic relations) Surface structure (subject to phonological and morphemic rules) Transformational rules e.g. active to passive

9 Eugene A. Nida [II] Three-stage system of translation

10 Referential (denotative) Emotive (connotative)
Eugene A. Nida [III] System for the analysis of MEANING Words have no fixed pre-determined meaning, but they acquire meaning through the context in which they are found and they can produce various responses according to culture. Meaning can be broken down into: Techniques to determine the meaning of different linguistic items: HIERARCHICAL STRUCTURES (superordinates/hyponims, e.g. animal-cat/dog/horse; siblings-brother/sister) COMPONENTIAL ANALYSIS (characteristics of connected words, e.g. kinship) SEMANTIC STRUCTURE ANALYSIS (identify denotative/connotative meanings of homonyms, e.g. bat, spirit) Linguistic Referential (denotative) Emotive (connotative)

Eugene A. Nida [IV] System to classify EQUIVALENCE FORMAL EQUIVALENCE DYNAMIC (or FUNCTIONAL) EQUIVALENCE focuses attention on the message itself, in both form and content […] one is concerned that the message in the receptor language should match as closely as possible the different elements in the source language e.g. gloss translations the relationship between receptor and message should be substantially the same as that which existed between the original receptors and the message …aims at complete naturalness of expression/ seeking the closest natural equivalent to the SL message PRINCIPLE OF EQUIVALENT EFFECT

12 Eugene A. Nida [V] (+) (-)
Shift away from word-for-word/literal vs free equivalence debate Receptor/reader-based orientation to Translation theory Attempt to provide practical answers to real problems Systematic approach (e.g. to analyse meaning and transform kernels into TT surface structures) (-) Types of equivalence too concerned with the word level Equivalent effect or response impossible to achieve Inherently subjective question of equivalence  is theory really “scientific”? Is it really followed by translators in practice?

Peter Newmark [I] Newmark, P. (1981) Approaches to Translation,Oxford & New York: Pergamon Newmark, P. (1988) A Textbook of Translation, New York & London: Prentice Hall PRINCIPLE OF EQUIVALENT EFFECT Total equivalence virtually impossible to achieve. Equivalent effect is illusory. SEMANTIC TRANSLATION COMMUNICATIVE TRANSLATION …attempts to render, as closely as the semantic and syntactic structures of the second language allow, the exact contextual meaning of the original. // Nida’s formal equivalence ≠ literal translation (context) …attempts to produce on its readers an effect as close as possible to that obtained on the readers of the original. // Nida’s dynamic equivalence Newmark distances himself from principle of equivalent effect (inoperant if text is out of space and time, e.g. Homer)

14 Literal approach = best approach
Peter Newmark [II] Literal approach = best approach However, should semantic translation result in abnormal TT, then communicative translation wins out e.g. chien méchant  beware the dog (bad dog) In communicative as in semantic translation, provided that equivalent effect is secured, the literal word-for-word translation is not only the best, it is also the only valid method of translation

15 Peter Newmark [III] (+) (-) Very practical approach
Focus on pedagogy (translator training courses) (-) Criticism of Nida’s principle of equivalent effect, but similar points ultimately raised about the translation process and the importance of the TT reader Common problem across TS, i.e. overabundance of terminology to refer to similar/overlapping concepts

16 Vinay and Darbelnet [I]
Vinay, J.-P- and J. Darbelnet (1958/1977) Stylistique Comparée du Français et de l’Anglais: Méthode de Traduction, Paris: Didier, translated and edited by Sager, J.C. and M.-J. Hamel (1995) as Comparative Stylistics of French and English: a Methodology for Translation, Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Canadians, carried out a comparative stylistic analysis of French and English – but wider impact… Different translation strategies and procedures identified (cfr literal vs free methods)

17 Vinay and Darbelnet [II]
2 general translation strategies and 7 procedures DIRECT TRANSLATION (literal/word-for-word) OBLIQUE TRANSLATION (free) Borrowing Calque Literal translation Transposition Modulation Equivalence Adaptation

18 Vinay and Darbelnet [III]
DIRECT TRANSLATION (literal/word-for-word) Borrowing: SL word transferred directly to the TT to fill a semantic gap (e.g. kamikaze, computer, film, marketing // trattoria, parmigiano (cheese), etc.) Calque: SL expression/structure is literally transferred to the TL, with minimum adaptation (e.g. Snow White/Blanche Neige // luna di miele, mucca pazza, etc.) Literal translation: word-for-word translation, described as the most common procedure between related/close languages and cultures (e.g. Yesterday I went to the cinema with Jenny and we watched a film). * Best approach for a good translation

19 Vinay and Darbelnet [IV]
Literalness should only be sacrificed because of structural and metalinguistic requirements and only after checking that the meaning is fully preserved A literal translation is considered unacceptable in the following cases: it gives a different meaning it has no meaning it is impossible for structural reasons it does not have a correponding expression in the TL it corresponds to something at a different level of language

20 Vinay and Darbelnet [IV]
OBLIQUE TRANSLATION (free) Transposition: interchange of part of speech without altering the meaning - obligatory: I’m on my way - Sto arrivando - optional: We’re nearly there - Ci siamo quasi / Manca poco Modulation: reversal of the semantics and point of view expressed in the SL - obligatory: She can’t wait to go home - Non vede l’ora di rincasare; the time when - le moment où… - optional: Nathan failed his exam - Nathan è stato bocciato

21 Vinay and Darbelnet [V]
Equivalence: different stylistic or structural means used by SL and TL (useful in translating idioms, proverbs) * restricted meaning!!! e.g. to be barking up the wrong tree  “…” Adaptation: changing and/or explaining cultural references between SL and TL e.g. NHS, Ferragosto, game of cricket These seven procedures operate at three levels: lexis syntax message

22 Vinay and Darbelnet [VI]
Two other parameters… (note centrality given to the role of the translator) SERVITUDE: obligatory transposition or modulation because of SL/TL differences OPTION: non-obligatory changes resulting from translator’s choices and style * important element in translation, allows for possible subjective interpretation of the text (esp. literary) * should be the translator’s main concern; the role of the translator requires him/her to choose from among the available options to express the nuances of the message

23 Vinay and Darbelnet [VII]
5 steps to move from ST  TT Identify units of translation Examine SL text Reconstruct the context of the message Evaluate the stylistic effect Produce and revise the TT UNITS OF TRANSLATION LEXICOLOGICAL UNIT + UNIT of THOUGHT Def: the smallest segment of the utterance whose signs are linked in such a way that they should not be translated individually * Attempt to move beyond word level by looking at word order, thematic structure and connectors (cohesive links, discourse markers, deixis, punctuation)

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