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RECENT VIEWS ON

TRANSLATION
RECENT VIEWS ON TRANSLATION
1900s - 1930s: W. Benjamin, E. Pound, Jorge Luis
Borges, Ortega y Gasset

1940s - 1950s: Vladimir Nabokov, Jean-Paul Vinay and
Jean Darbelnet, Willard van Orman Quine, R. Jakobson

1960s - 1970s: E. Nida, J.C. Catford, Jii Levy,
K. Reiss, James Holmes, G. Steiner, Itamar Even-Zohar,
Gideon Toury, Hans Vermeer, Andre Lefevere, William
Frawley, Philip Lewis, Antoine Berman, Soshana Blum-
Kulka, Lory Chamberlain

1990s: Ernst-August Gutt, Basil Hatim and Jan Mason,
Keith Harvey, Lawrence Venuti
TRANSLATION THEORY
a complete theory of translation has three
components:

specification of function and goal
description and analysis of operations
critical comment on relationships between
goal and operations

(Kelly 1979:1)
TRANSLATION THEORY
presumes a systematic theory of language with
which it overlaps completely or from which it derives
as a special case according to demonstrable rules of
deduction and application.

(Steiner 1975: 280, emphasis in the original)
TRANSLATION THEORY
always rests on particular assumptions about
language use, even if they are no more than
fragmentary hypotheses that remain implicit or
unacknowledged.

assumptions seem to have fallen into two large
categories: instrumental and hermeneutic

(Kelly 1979, in Venuti 2000: 5)
TRANSLATION THEORIES
product-oriented concerned with a "text-
focused" empirical description of translations, and
with larger corpuses of translations in a specific
period, language or discourse type.

function-oriented introduced a cultural
component which affected the reception of the TT.

process-oriented concerned with the problem
of the "black box", i.e. what was going on in the
translator's mind.

(Holmes 1972, 1975:12-14)
TRANSLATION THEORIES
product-oriented emphasis laid on the
functional aspects of the TL text in relation to the
SL text

process-oriented emphasis on the analysis of
what actually takes place during the translating
process.

TRANSLATION THEORIES: AREAS OF INTEREST
The History of Translation investigates the theories of
translation and translation criticism at different times, the
methodological development of translation, and the analysis of the
work of individual translators.

Translation in the TL Culture investigates single texts or
authors, the influence of a text, or author on the absorption of the
norms of the translated text into the TL system and on the principles
of selection which operate within that system.

Translation and Linguistics concerned with the comparative
arrangement of linguistic elements of the SL and TL texts regarding
the phonemic, morphemic, lexical, syntagmatic and syntactic levels
it includes the problems of linguistic equivalence, linguistic
untranslability, and the translation problems of non-literary texts.

Translation and Poetics the literary translation theory and
practice.
(Bassnett-McGuire 1991:7-8)
THE MISERY AND SPLENDOUR OF TRANSLATION
great translation must carry with it the most precise sense
possible of the resistant, of the barriers intact at the heart
of understanding (Steiner 1975: 378).

translation renders in the target language what the
source language tends to silence (Venuti 2000: 54, Popa
2008: 35)

the misery of translation its impossibility, because of
the linguistic and cultural differences between languages

the splendour of translation the translators ability to
manipulate these differences and force the reader to go
into the tradition and universe of the foreign language text
THE MUSTS OF A GOOD TRANSLATION
Tytler' s rules normative prescriptions deriving from the
subjective and evaluative description of a "good translation :

the 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 with that of the original;
the translation should have all the ease of the original
composition.

a "good translation" the translation in which the merit of
the original 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 1791:79, quoted by R. Bell 1991:11).
RECENT VIEWS ON TRANSLATION: 1920s - 1930s
translation recreating the values accruing to the
foreign text over time and his utopian vision of
linguistic harmony (Benjamin 1923)

the translators happy and creative infidelity
(Borges 1935)

translation a distinctive linguistic practice, as a
literary genre apart. (Ortega. Y. Gasset 1937) the
cause of the enormous difficulty of translation
all peoples silence some things in order to be able
to say others (Ortega. Y. Gasset 1937)
RECENT VIEWS ON TRANSLATION: 1950s
translation theories focused on the concept of
translatability

Willard van Orman Quines (1950) later pragmatic view of
translation centered on meaning as conventional,
socially circumscribed, the translated (foreign) text being
rewritten in accordance with the values, beliefs and expressive
means of the foreign language culture

the process of dissemination of meaning, time, people, cultural
boundaries becomes the necessity of demonstrating that any
language could always be shadowed or possessed by another
(Nabokov 1974 qtd by Bontil 2006, in Gonzales and Tolron
2006: 144).

RECENT VIEWS ON TRANSLATION: 1960s -1970s
translating a process of communicating the foreign text by
establishing a relationship of identity or analogy with it
(Venuti 2000: 121).
based on the concept of equivalence provided standards
to evaluate translations: faithful vs. bad translations
beautiful vs. ugly translations

G. Mounin (1963) the concept of equivalence is based on
universals of language and culture.
equivalence submitted to lexical, grammatical and stylistic
analysis.
text typology and text function essential in establishing
the degree of equivalence between the ST and TT
RECENT VIEWS ON TRANSLATION: 1960s -1970s
Kller (1979: 186-191, 1989: 99-104) main concern was
equivalence typology

TYPES OF EQUIVALENCE
denotative: depending on an invariance of content
connotative: depending on similarities of register, dialect and style
text-normative: based on usage norms specific to the text type
pragmatic: related to the degree of comprehensibility in the TC

PRAGMATIC EQUIVALENCE made the TT
easily comprehensible in the TC
FORMAL EQUIVALENCE caused linguistic and
cultural approximations
RECENT VIEWS ON TRANSLATION: 1960s -1970s
J. C. Catford (1965) gave a thorough description of the
grammatical and lexical shifts in translation, which were
departures from formal correspondence.

J. Levy (1965) considers that pragmatic translation involves
a gradual semantic shifting due to the fact that translators
have to choose from many possible solutions. In his opinion,
shifts work to generalize and clarify meaning, changing the
style of a literary work into a dry and uninspiring description
of things and actions (Levy 1965: 78-80, qtd. in Venuti
2000: 122).

A. Popovi (1970) shifts in translation do not occur
because the translator wishes to change a work, but
because he strives to reproduce it as faithfully as possible,
the kind of faithfulness he has in mind being functional, with
the translator using suitable equivalents in the milieu of his
time and society (Popovi 1970: 80,82, qtd. in Venuti 2000:
122).
RECENT VIEWS ON TRANSLATION: 1970s -1980s
K. Reiss (1971) the functionally equivalent translation
needs to be based on a detailed semantic, syntactic and
pragmatic analysis of the foreign text (Venuti 2000: 122).

Venuti argues, the pragmatic translator doesnt simply
analyse the linguistic and cultural features of the foreign
text, but reverbalizes them according to the values of a
different language and culture, often applying what House
calls a filter to aid the receptors comprehension of the
difference (Venuti 2000: 122).

I. Even-Zohar and G. Toury considered literature as a
polysystem of interrelated forms and cannons that
represented norms constraining the translators choices and
the translation strategies.

Even Zohar argued that translation may adhere to norms
rejected by the source language.
RECENT VIEWS ON TRANSLATION: 1980s
translation is not a sealed, "nomological" science but a
"cognitive/hermeneutic/associative" one (Wills 1982: 16).
A translation theory is based upon:
a) the concept of a universal language;
b) a belief that deep-structure transfer is possible by
a hermeneutic process;
c) a qualitative ranking of texts, from a high level
incorporating art and science texts to a low level
including business and pragmatic texts.

translation research must develop a frame of reference
to view a text as a communication-oriented configuration
with a thematic, functional and text-pragmatic
dimension.
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
intralingual translation/ rewording an
interpretation of verbal signs by means of other
signs in the same language;

interlingual translation/ translation proper
an interpretation of verbal signs by means of some
other language, which describes the process of
transfer from SL to TL;

intersemiotic translation/transmutation an
interpretation of verbal signs by means of signs of
nonverbal sign systems.

(Jakobson 1959:232-9)
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
rank-bound translations the selection of TL equivalents
is deliberately confined to one rank, used in machine
translation, usually at word or morpheme rank;

Rank-bound translations set up word-to-word or morpheme-
to-morpheme equivalences, but not equivalences between
high-rank units such as the group, clause, or sentence; such
translations are often "bad" in that they involve using TL
equivalents which are not appropriate to their location in the
TL text, and which are not justified by the interchangeability
of SL and TL texts in one and the same situation (Catford
1965:25)

unbounded translations, i.e. normal, total translations in
which equivalences shift freely up and down the rank scale.
(Catford 1965:24-5)
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
full vs. partial translations, referring to the extent in a
syntagmatic sense;
full vs. restricted translations related to the levels of
language involved in the translation process.

TOTAL TRANSLATION the replacement of SL grammar
and lexis by equivalent TL grammar and lexis with
consequential replacement of SL phonology / graphology by
(non-equivalent) TL phonology / graphology.

RESTRICTED TRANSLATION the replacement of SL textual
material by equivalent TL textual material at only one level
(either phonological or graphic), or only at one of the two
levels of grammar and lexis. (Catford 1965)
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
free translation
is always unbounded, as equivalences shunt up and down the
rank scale, but tend to be at the higher ranks, sometimes
between larger units than the sentence.
characterised by lexical adaptation to TL collocational or
"idiomatic" requirements

word-for-word translation is rank - bound at word rank

literal translation
may start from a word-for-word translation but may make
changes in keeping with the TL grammar (e.g. inserting
additional words, changing structures at any rank, etc)
may also be a group-group, or a clause-clause translation.
tends to remain lexically word-for-word, i.e. to use the highest
probability lexical equivalent for each lexical item.
(Catford 1965)
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
dynamic /functional (Nida and Taber 1969) vs. formal
equivalence (Nida 1964)

DYNAMIC EQUIVALENCE equated with the readers
shadowy presence in the mind of the translator
FORMAL EQUIVALENCE equivalence of both form and
content between the two texts.
the equivalent effect the desirable result rather than
the aim of the translation (Newmark 1981)
achieving the equivalent effect is unlikely if:
the purpose of the SL text is to affect and the
purpose of the TL text is to inform;
there is a clear cultural gap between SL text and TL
text (in fact, translation merely fills a gap between
two cultures if, felicitously, there is no insuperable
cultural clash).
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
covert vs.overt translations (House 1977)

House insisted on how much the foreign text
depends on its own culture for intelligibility.

if the significance of a foreign text is peculiarly
indigenous, it requires a translation that is overt or
noticeable through its reliance on supplementary
information, whether in the form of expansions,
insertions or annotations (House 1977: 24).
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
communicative translation
reader-oriented
pragmatic-oriented
functionally-oriented

semantic translation
the translator may translate less important
words by culturally neutral third of functional terms
but not by cultural equivalents (Newmark 1988:46)
the translator is faithful to the ST ignoring the
real world of the target culture
(Newmark 1977/1981/1988)
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
paraphrastic offering a free version of the original,
with omissions and additions prompted by the exigencies
of form, the conventions attributed to the consumer, and
the translators ignorance;

lexical rendering the basic meaning of words and
their order;

literal rendering, as closely as the associative and
syntactical capacities of another language allow, the
exact contextual meaning of the original.

(Nabokov 1974,1,vii-viii,qtd. in Bontil 2006: 145)
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
general translation the translation or interpretation of
non-specific language that does not require any specialized
vocabulary or knowledge.

specialized translation specific to different domains of
activity:
financial translation
literary translation
medical translation
scientific translation
technical translation
legal translation
TYPES OF TRANSLATION
literary translation translation of literary texts
(poetry, drama, novels, memoires, etc.)
non-literary translation translation of non-literary,
or pragmatic texts
(Ionescu 2000:37)

The difference between literary and non-literary translation
is that the latter translates what is in the text, whereas the
former must translate what the text implies.
(Ionescu 2000:38)