In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation

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Amazon: This best-selling textbook is the essential coursebook for any student studying in this field. Assuming no knowledge of foreign languages, In Other Words offers both a practical and theoretical guide to translation studies, and provides an important foundation for training professional translators.

The second edition has been fully revised to reflect recent developments in the field and new features include:

A new chapter that addresses issues of ethics and ideology, in response to increased pressures on translators and interpreters to demonstrate accountability and awareness of the social impact of their decisions.
Examples and exercises from new genres such as audiovisual translation, scientific translation, oral interpreting, website translation, and news/media translation.
New project-driven exercises designed to support MA dissertation work
Updated references and further reading.
A companion website featuring further examples and tasks

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In Other Words: A Coursebook on Translation

  1. 1. Contents First published 1992 by Routledge 2 Park Square. Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon, 0X14 4RN Simultaneously published in the USA and Canada by Routledge 270 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10016 Reprinted 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005 (twice), 2006 (twice), 2007 (twice), 2008 (twice) Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business © 1992 Mona Baker Typeset in Times by J&L Composition Ltd, Filey, North Yorkshire Printed and bound in Great Britain by MPG Books Ltd. Bodmin, Cornwall All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reprinted or reproduced or utilised in any form or by any electronic, mechanical, or other means, now known or hereafter invented, including photocopying and recording, or in any information storage or retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publishers. British Library Cataloguing in Publication Data A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library Library of Congress Cataloging in Publication Data A catalog record for this book is available from the Library of Congress ISBN 10: 041503085 -4 (hbk) ISBN 10: 041503086 -2 (pbk) ISBN 13: 978-0-415- 03085-4 (hbk) ISBN 13: 978-0415-03086-1 (pbk)
  2. 2. Preface Acknowledgements ix xi 1 Introduction 1 2 Equivalence at word level 10 2.1 The word in different languages 10 2.2 Lexical meaning 12 2.3 The problem of non-equivalence 17 Exercises for further reading 43 Suggestions 44 Notes44 3 Equivalence above word level 46 3.1 Collocation 47 3.1 Idioms and fixed expressions 63 Exercises 78 Suggestions for further reading 80 Notes 81 4 Grammatical equivalence 82 4.1 Grammatical vs lexical categories 83 4.2 The diversity of grammatical categories across languages 85 4.3 A brief note on word order 110 4.4 Introducing text 111 Exercises 114 Suggestions for further reading 116 Notes 117 5 Textual equivalence: thematic and information structures 119 5.1 A general overview based on the Hallidayan approach to information flow 121
  3. 3. viii In other words 5.2 The Prague School position on information flow: functional sentence perspective Exercises Suggestions for further reading Notes 6 Textual equivalence: cohesion 6.1 Reference 6.2 Substitution and ellipsis 6.3 Conjunction 6.4 Lexical cohesion 160 172 175 176 180 181 186 190 202 Exercises 212 Suggestions for further reading 215 Notes 215 7 Pragmatic equivalence 217 7.1 Coherence 218 7.2 Coherence and processes of interpretation: implicature 222 7.3 Coherence, implicature, and translation strategies 228 Exercises 254 Suggestions for further reading 258 Notes 259 Appendices 1: A Brief History of Time (Spanish, Greek) 2: Morgan Matroc (German) 3: China's Panda Reserves (Chinese) 4: The Patrick Collection (Japanese) 5: A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan (Japanese) 6: Palace and Politics in Prewar Japan (Japanese) 7: The Fix (Japanese) 8: Euralex conference circular (Russian) 9: Brintons - press release (Arabic) Glossary References Author index Language index Subject index 261 264 266 269 272 274 277 279 282 284 288 297 299 301 Preface The idea of this book initially grew out of discussions with a number of colleagues, in particular with Dr Kirsten Malmkjaer, formerly of the University of Birmingham and currently at the Centre of English as an International Language, Cambridge. It has been considerably refined during the course of last year through discussions with postgraduate students at the University of Birmingham and students at the Brasshouse Centre and Birmingham Polytechnic. I am exceptionally lucky to have been able to draw on the outstanding expertise of a number of colleagues, both at the University of Birmingham and at COBUILD, a lexical project run jointly by the University of Birmingham and Collins Publishers. From COBUILD, Stephen Bullon, Alex Collier, and Gwyneth Fox provided initial help with Russian, German, and Italian texts respectively. From the Shakespeare Institute, Katsuhiko Nogami helped with Japanese and Shen Lin with Chinese texts. From the School of Modern Languages, James Mullen (Russian), Bill Dodd (German), Paula Chicken (French), and Elena Tognini-Bonelli (Italian) helped me work my way through various texts and took the time to explain the structural and stylistic nuances of each language. From the School of English, Tony Dudley-Evans and Sonia Zyngier helped with Brazilian Portuguese and Wu Zu Min with Chinese. Tim Johns read and commented on Chapter 5 ("Thematic and information structures') and kindly allowed me to use much of his own data and report some of his findings on the subject. Chinese and Japanese texts required additional help to analyse; this was competently provided by Ming Xie (Chinese) and Haruko Uryu (Japanese), both at the University of Cambridge. Lanna Castellano of the Institute of Translation and Interpreting read a substantial part of the draft manuscript and her encouraging comments were timely and well appreciated.
  4. 4. x In other words I owe a special debt to three people in particular: Helen Liebeck, Philip King, and Michael Hoey. Helen Liebeck and Philip King are polyglots; both kindly spent many hours helping me with a variety of languages and both read and commented on Chapters 2, 3, and 4. Philip King also provided the Greek examples and helped with the analysis of several texts. Michael Hoey is an outstanding text linguist. In spite of his many commitments, he managed to find the time to read through the last three chapters and to provide detailed comments on each of them. His help has been invaluable. It is indeed a privilege to work with so distinguished a scholar who is also extremely generous with his time and expertise. Last but not least, I must acknowledge a personal debt to John Sinclair. John has taught me, often during informal chats, most of what I know about language, and his own work has always been a source of inspiration. But I am grateful, above all, for his friendship and continued support. Mona Baker May 1991 Do we really know how we translate or what we translate? ... Are we to accept 'naked ideas' as the means of crossing from one language to another? ... Translators know they cross over but do not know by what sort of bridge. They often re-cross by a different bridge to check up again. Sometimes they fall over the parapet into limbo. (Firth, 1957: 197) Translation quality assessment proceeds according to the lordly, but completely unexplained, whimsy of 'It doesn't sound right.' (Fawcett, 1981: 142)
  5. 5. Acknowledgements 1 Introduction The aut hor and pub lish ers wis h to tha nk the foll owi ng for per mis sion to repr odu ce the quo tati ons and illu stra tion s app eari ng in this boo k: Aut ow orld at the Patr ick Col lect ion, 180 Liff ord Lan e, Kin gs Nor ton, Bir mi ng ha m.
  6. 6. Brintons Limited, PO Box 16, Kiddermi nster, Worcs. Euralex (Euro pean Asso ciatio n for Lexic ograp hy), PO Box 1017, Cope nhag en, Den mark for extra cts from confe rence circul ar. Stephen W. Hawk ing, Banta m Press, Space Time Publi cation s and Worl d Hous e Inc. for permi ssion to repro duce extra cts from A Brief Histo ry of Time (1988 ) by Steph en W. Haw king. © (UK and Com mon wealt h) Spac e Time Publi catio ns; © (USA ) Banta m Book s, a divisi o n o f B a nt a m D o u bl e d a y, D el l P u bl is hi n g G r o u p, I n c. ; © 1 9 8 8 (J a p a n ) W o rl d H o u s e I n c . A ll ri g h ts r e s e r v e d . Moh amm ed Heik al, Andr e Deut sch Ltd and Rand om
  7. 7. House Inc. for extracts from Autumn of Fury: The Assassin ation of Sadat (1983) © 1983 Mohamm ed Heikal. Reprinted by permissio n of Random H o u s e I n c . ( C o r g i e d i t i o n 1 9 8 4 ) . John Le Carre and Hodder & Stoughto n for extracts from The Russia Hous e (1989). Lipton Export Limited , Stanbrid ge Road, Leighto n Buzzard , Beds., for the illustrati on on page 42. Lonrho Pic for extracts from A Hero from Zero. The Minorit y Rights Group, 379 Bri xto n Roa d, Lon don, for Leb ano n, M inor ity Rig hts Gro up Rep ort by Da vid Mc Do wal l, Lon don 198 3. Mo rga n Mat roc Li mit ed, Be wdl ey Roa d, Sto urp ort on Sev ern, W o r c s . W o r l d W i d e F u n d f o r N a t u r e , C H 1 1 9 6 G l a n d , S w i t z
  8. 8. erl an d. Professio nals in every walk of life form associatio ns and institutes of various kinds to provide practising members with a forum to discuss and set standards for the professio n as a whole, to set examinati ons, assess competen ce, and lay codes of conduct. The standards set by a given professio n may well be extremely high, but this does not necessaril y guara ntee recog nition by those outsid e the profe ssion. Notw ithsta nding the lengt h and bread th of one's exper ience, recog nition, in our increa singly qualif icatio nconsc ious societ y, come s mostl y with proof of some kind of form al educa tion. Ever y respe ctabl e profe ssion (or every profe ssion whic h wants to be recog nized as such) theref ore attem pts to provi de its mem bers with syste matic traini ng in the field. One of the first thing s that the
  9. 9. Institute of Translatio n and Interpreti ng of Great Britain did as soon as it was formed was to set up an Education Committe e to design and run training courses for members of the profession . There are two main types of training that a profession can provide for its members: vocational training and academic training. Vocational courses provide training in practical skills but do not include a strong theoretica l compone nt. A good example would be a course in plumbing or typing. At the end of a typing course, a student is able to type accuratel y and at speed and has a piece of paper to prove it. But that is the end of the story; what s/he acquires is a purely practical skill which is recog nized by societ y as 'skille d work' but is not gener ally elevat ed to the level of a profe ssion. Like vocati onal cours es, most acade mic cours es set out to teach stude nts how to do a partic ular job such as curin g certai n types of illnes s, buildi ng bridg es, or writi ng comp uter progr ams. But they do more than that: an acade mic cours e alwa ys inclu des a stron g theor etical comp onent . The value of this theor etical
  10. 10. componen t is that it encourage s students to reflect on what they do, how they do it, and why they do it in one
  11. 11. 2 In other words Introduction 3 w a y r a t h e r t h a n a n o t h e r . T h i s l a s t e x e r c i s e , e x p l o r i n g t h e a d v a n t a g e s a n d d i s a d v
  12. 12. a n t a g e s o f v a r i o u s w a y s o f d o i n g t h i n g s , i s s i t s e l f i m p o s s i b l e t o p e r f o r m u n l e s s o n e h a a t h o r o u g h a n d i n t i m a t e k n o w l e d g e o f t h e o b j e c t s a n d t o o l s o f o n e ' s w o r k . A d o c t o r c
  13. 13. a n n o t d e c i d e w h e t h e r i t i s b e t t e r r o n e c o u r s e o f t r e a t m e n t r a t h e r t o t h a n f o l l o w a n o t h e w i t h o u t u n d e r s t a n d i n g s u c h t h i n g s a s h o w t h e h u m a n b o d y w o r k s , w h a t s i d e e f f e c t s a g
  14. 14. i v e n m e d i c i n e m a y h a v e , w h a t i s a v a i l a b l e t o c o u n t e r a c t t h e s e e f f e c t s , a n d s o o n . T h e o r e t i c a l t r a i n i n g d o e s n o t n e c e s s a r i l y g u a r a n t e e s u c c e s s i n a l l i n s t a n c e s . T h i n g s s t i l l g o
  15. 15. w r o n g o c c a s i o n a l l y b e c a u s e , i n m e d i c i n e f o r e x a m p l e , t h e r e a c t i o n o f t h e h u m a n b o d y a n d t h e i n f l u e n c e r e s s w i l l n e v e r o f b e o t h e r t o t a l l y f a c t o r s s u c h a s s t p r e d i c t a b l e . B u t
  16. 16. t h e v a l u e o f a t h e o r e t i c a l u n d e r s t a n d i n g o f , s a y , t h e h u m a n a p p a r a t u s a n d s u c h t h i n g s a s i s t h e t h a t n a t u r e a n d m a k e u p o f v a r i o u s d r u g s ( a ) i t m i n i m i z e s t h e r i s k s i n v o l v e d
  17. 17. o n a n y g i v e n o c c a s i o n a n d p r e p a r e s t h e s t u d e n t f o r d e a l i n g w i t h t h e u n p r e d i c t a b l e , ( b ) i t g i v e s t h e p r a c t i s i n g d o c t o r a c e r t a i n d e g r e e o f c o n f i d e n c e w h i c h c o m e s f r o m k n o w i n
  18. 18. g t h a t h i s / h e r d e c i s i o n s a r e c a l c u l a t e d o n t h e b a s i s o f c o n c r e t e k n o w l e d g e r a t h e r t h a n ' h u n c h e s ' o r ' i n t u i t i o n ' , a n d ( c ) p r o v i d e s t h e b a s i s o n w h i c h f u r t h e r d e v e l o p m e n t s i n t h
  19. 19. e s f i e l d a m a y b e a c h i e v e d b e c a u s e i t r e p r e s e n t f o r m a l i z e d p o o l o f k n o w l e d g e h a r e d a n d c a n b e e x p l o r e d a n d h e p r o f e s s i o n a l c o m m u n i t y a s a w h i c h e x t e n d e d i s b y n o t s t j w h o l e ,
  20. 20. u s t l o c a l l y b u t a c r o s s t h e w o r l d . N e e d l e s s t o s a y , t h i s t y p e o f t h e o r e t i c a l k n o w l e d g e i s i t s e l f d e d o f p r a c t i c a l n o v a l u e u n l e s s i t i s f i r m l y g r o u n i n e x p e r i e n c e . h r o u g h o u t it s l o n g T
  21. 21. h i s t o r y , t r a n s l a t i o n h a s n e v e r r e a l l y e n j o y e d t h e k i n d o f r e c o g n i t i o n a n d r e s p e c t t h a t o t h e r p r o f e s si o n s s u c h a s m e d i c i n e a n d e n g i n e e ri n g e n j o y. T r a n s l a t o r s h a v e c o n s t a n tl y c o m p l a i n e d t h a t tr a n s l a ti o
  22. 22. n i s u n d e r e s t i m a t e d a s a p r o f e s s i o n . I n s u m m i n g u p t h e f i r s t c o n f e r e n c e h e l d b y t h e I n s t i t u t e o f T r a n sl a ti o n a n d I n t e r p r e ti n g i n B ri t a i n , P r o f e s s o r B e ll o s ( r e p o rt e d b y N i c k R o s e n t h a l) s t a t e d t h a t ' T h
  23. 23. e m a i n i m p e t u s C o n f e r e n c e w a s a n d t h e c o n c e r n u n j u s t l y o f t h i s f i r s t I T I l o w s t a t u s i n p r o f e s si o n a l t e r m s o f t h e tr a n sl a t o r. A n a p p r o p ri a t e t h e m e, s i n c e it w a s o n e o f t h e m a i n r e a s o n s f o r t h e f o r m a ti o n o f
  24. 24. t h e l o w 1 Т Г s t a t u s ( 1 9 8 7 : 1 6 3 ) . T h e r e i s n o d o u b t t h a t t h e a c c o r d e d t o t r a n s l a t i o n a s a p r o f e s si o n is 'u n j u st ', b u t o n e h a s t o a d m it t h a t t h is is n o t j u st t h e f a u lt o f t h e g e n e r a l p u b li c . T h e tr a n s l a ti o n c o m m u n it y it s
  25. 25. e l f t h e i s v a l u e g u i l t y o f u n d e r e s t i m a t i n g n o t s o m u c h a s t h e c o m p l e x i t y o f t h e t r a n s l a t i o n p r o c e s s a n d h e n c e t h e n e e d f o r f o r m a l p r o f e s si o n a l tr a i n i n g i n t h e fi e l d . T r a n s l a t o r s a r e n o t y e t s u r e ' w h e
  26. 26. t h e r t r a n s l a t i o n i s a t r a d e , a n a r t , a p r o f e s s i o n o r a b u s i n e s s ' ( i b i d . : 1 6 4 ) . T a l e n t e d t r a n s l a t o r s w h o h a v e h O ur pr of es si on is ba se d on kn o wl ed ge an d ex pe rie nc e. It ha s th e lo ng est ap pr en tic es hi p of an
  27. 27. y p r o fe ss io n. N ot u nt il th ir ty d o y o u st ar t to b e u s ef ul a s a tr a n sl at o r, n ot u nt il fi ft y d o y o u st ar t to b e in y o ur pr i m e. h e fi rs t st a g e of th e ca re er p yr T am id the ap pr ent ice shi p sta ge -is th e ti m e we de vo te to in ve sti ng in ou rs el ve s by ac qu iri ng kn ow led ge an d ex pe rie nc e of lif e. Le t m e pr op os ea lif e pa th: gr an dp ar en ts of dif fer en t na tio na liti es, a go od sc ho ol ed uc
  28. 28. at io n in w hi c h y o u le ar n to re a d, w ri te , s p el l, c o n st r u e a n d lo v e y o u r o w n la n g u a g e. T h e n ro a m th e w or ld , m a k e fr ie n ds , se e lif e. G o b ac k to e d u cat io n, bu t to tak ea tec hn ica l or co m m erc ial de gr ee, no t a lan gu ag e de gr ee. Sp en d the res t of yo ur tw ent ies an d yo ur ea rly thi rti es in th e co un tri es w ho se la ng ua ge s yo u sp ea k, w or ki ng in in du str y or co m m er ce bu t
  29. 29. n ot di re ct ly in la n g u a g e s. N e v er m ar r y in to y o u r o w n n at io n al it y. H a v e y o ur c hi ld re n. T h e n b ac k to a p os tg ra d u at e tr a ns la ti o n c o ur se . A st af f jo b as a tra nsl at or, an d the n go fre ela nc e. By wh ich ti me yo u are for ty an d rea dy to be gi n. ( L a n n a C a s t e l l a n L a n n a ' s r e c o m m e n d e d c a r e e r p a t h w o u l d n o d o
  30. 30. u b t w o r k f o r m a n y p e o p l e . H e r o w n c a s e p r o v e s t h a t i t d o e s : s h e i s a w i d e l y r e s p e c t e d f i r s t c l a s s t r a n s l a t o r . i t i s f e a s i b l e f o r T h e m o s t q u e s t i o n a s p i r i n g i s t r a n s l a t o r w h e t h e r
  31. 31. s s t o a p p r o a c h p u r s u e t h i s c a r e e r p a t h a n d w h e t h e r t h i i s r i g h t f o r t h e p r o f e s s i o n a s a w h o l e , b e a r i n g i n m i n d t h a t i t s t r e s s e s , a t l e a s t f o r t h e f i r s t t h i r t y o r f o r t y y e a r s o f
  32. 32. o n e ' s c a r e e r , l i f e e x p e r i e n c e r a t h e r t h a n f o r m a l w i t h a c a d e m i c t h i s t r a i n i n g . O n e o b v i o u s p r o b l e m c a r e e r p a t h i s t h a t i t t a k e s s o l o n g t o a c q u i r e t h e n e c e s s a r y s k i l l s y o u n e e d
  33. 33. a s a t r a n s l a t o r t h a t y o u r c a r e e r i s a l m o s t o v e r b e f o r e i t b e g i n s . L a n n a C a s t e l l a n o o p p o s e d t o f o r m a l a c a d e m i c t r a i n i n g ; i s o n n o t t h e c o n t r a r y , s h e e n c o u r a g e s i t a n d r e c o g n i z e s
  34. 34. i t s v a l u e t o t h e p r o f e s s i o n . B u t I h a v e m e t p r o f e s s i o n a l t r a n s l a t o r s w h o a c t u a l l y a r g u e s t r o n g l y a g a i n s t f o r m a l a c a d e m i c t r a i n i n g b e c a u s e , t h e y s u g g e s t , t r a n s l a t i o n i s a n a r t w h i
  35. 35. c h r e q u i r e s a p t i t u d e , p r a c t i c e , a n d g e n e r a l k n o w l e d g e a t e - a n o t h i n g g i f t , t h e y m o r e . T h e a b i l i t y t o t r a n s l i s s a y : y o u e i t h e r h a v e i t o r y o u d o n o t , a n d t h e o r y ( a l m o s t a d i r t y w o r
  36. 36. d i n s o m e t r a n s l a t i o n c i r c l e s ) i s t h e r e f o r e i r r e l e v a n t t o t h e w o r k o f a t r a n s l a t o r . T o t a k e t h e a n a l o g y w i t h m e d i c i n e a s t e p f u r t h e r : i f
  37. 37. 4 In other words Introduction w e a c c e p t t h i s l i n e o f t h i n k i n g w e w i l l n e 5 v e r b e s e e n a s a n y t h i n g b u t w i t c h d o c t o r s
  38. 38. a n d f a it h h e a l e r s. A n d w h il e it m a y w e ll s u it s o m e i n d i v i d u a ls t o t h i n k t h at t h e y c a n h e al p e o p le b e c a u s e t h e y h a v e m a g i c p o w e r s o r , r a t h e r t h a n a s p e c i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p w i t h G o d b e c a u s e t h e y h a v e a t h o r o u g h a
  39. 39. n d c o n s c i o u s u n d e r st a n d i n g o f d r u g s a n d o f t h e h u m a n b o d y, t h e f a ct r e m ai n s t h at w it c h d o ct o r y a n d f ai t h h e al i n g a r e n o t r e c o g n i z e d p r o f e s s i o n s a n d t h a t m e d i c i n e i s . M o s t t r a n s l a t o r s p r e f e r t o t h i n k o f t h e i
  40. 40. r w o r k a s a p r o f e s si o n a n d w o u l d li k e t o s e e o t h e r s tr e a t t h e m l e d a s p r o f e s si o n a ls r a t h e r t h a n a s s k il l e d o r s e m is k il w o r k e r s . B u t t o a c h i e v e t h i s , t r a n s l a t o r s n e e d t o d e v e l o p a n a b i l i t y t o s t a n d b a c k a
  41. 41. n d r e fl e c t o n w h a t t h e y d o a n d h o w t h e y d o it . L i k e d o c t o r s a n d e n g i n e e r s, t h e y h a v e t o p r o v e t o t h e m s e l v e s a s w e l l a s o t h e r s t h a t t h e y a r e i n c o n t r o l o f w h a t t h e y d o ; t h a t t h e y d o n o t j u s t t r a n s l a t e w
  42. 42. e ll b e c a u s e t h e y h a v e a 'f l a ir ' f o r tr a n sl a ti o n , b u t r a t h e r b e c a u s e , li k e o t h e r p r o f e s si o n a ls , t h e y h a v e m a d e a c o n s c i o u s e f f o r t t o u n d e r s t a n d v a r i o u s a s p e c t s o f t h e i r w o r k . U n l i k e m e d i c i n e a n d e n g i n e e r i n
  43. 43. g , tr a n sl a ti o n is a v e r y y o u n g d is c i p li n e i n a c a d e m i c t e r m s. It is o n l y j u st st a rt i n g t o f e at u r e a s a s u b je ct o f st u d y i n it s o w n r i g h t , n o t u m b e r o f a l l u n i v e r s i t i e s b u t a n d i n c o l l e g e s y e t i n a n i n c r e a s i n g n a r o u n d t h
  44. 44. e w o rl d . L i k e a n y y o u n g d is c i p li n e, it n e e d s t o d r a w o n t h e fi n d i n g s a n d t h e o ri e s o f o t h e r r el at e d d is ci p li n e s i n o r d e r t o d e v e l o p a n d f o r m a l i z e i t s o w n m e t h o d s ; b u t w h i c h d i s c i p l i n e s i t c a n n a t u r a l l y a n d f r u
  45. 45. it f u ll y b e r e l a t e d t o is st il l a m a tt e r o f s o m e c o n tr o v e r s y. A l m o st e v e r y a s p e ct o f li f e i n g e n e r al a n d o f t h e i n te r a ct i o n b e t w e e n s p e e c h b e c o n s i d e r e d c o m m u n i t i e s r e l e v a n t i n t r a n s l a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r t o a c a n d i s
  46. 46. c i p li n e w h i c h h a s t o c o n c e r n it s e lf w it h h o w m e a n i n g is g e n e r at e d w it h i n a n d b et w e e n v a ri o u s g r o u p s o f p e o p le i n v a ri o u s c u l t u r a l s e t t i n g s . T h i s i s c l e a r l y t o o b i g a n a r e a t o i n v e s t i g a t e i n o n e g o . S o , l e t
  47. 47. u s j u st st a rt b y s a y i n g t h a t, if tr a n sl a ti o n is e v e r t o b e c o m e a p r o f e s si o n i n t h e f u ll s e n s e o f t h e w o r d , tr a n sl at o rs w il l n e e d o f s o m e t h i n g i n t u i t i o n o t h e r a n d t h a n t h e c u r r e n t m i x t u r e p r a c t i c e t o e n a b l e t h e m t o
  48. 48. r e fl e c t o n w h a t t h e y d o a n d h o w t h e y d o it . T h e y w il l n e e d , a b o v e al l, t o a c q u ir e a s o u n d k n o w le d g e o f t h e r a w m at e ri al w it h w h i c h t h e y w o r k : t o u n d e r s t a n d w h a t l a n g u a g e i s a n d h o w i t c o m e s t o f u n c t i o n f o r i t s u
  49. 49. s e r s. L i n g u i s ti c s i s a d i s c i p li n e w h i c h s t u d i e s l a n g u a g e b o t h i n it s o w n r i g h t a n d a s a t o o l f o r g e n e r a ti n g m e a n i n g s . I t t o o f f e r s h o u l d t o t h e r e f o r e b u d d i n g h a v e a g r e a t d e a l t h e d i s c i p l i n e o f t r a n s l
  50. 50. a ti o n s t u d i e s ; it c a n c e r t a i n l y o f f e r t r a n s l a t o r s v a l u a b l e i n s i g h t s i n t o t h e n a t u r e a n d f u n c ti o n o f l a n g u a g e . T h i s i s p a r t i c u l a r l y t r u e o f m o d e r n l i n g u i s t i c s , w h i c h n o l o n g e r r e s t r i c t s i t s e l f t o
  51. 51. t h e s t u d y o f l a n g u a g e p e r s e b u t e m b r a c e s s u c h s u b d i s c i p li n e s a s t e x tl i n g u i s ti c s (t h e s t u d y o f t e x t a s a c o m m u n i c a t i v e t h e r t h a n a s a s h a p e l e s s s t r i n g o f e v e n t w o r d s r a a n
  52. 52. d s tr u c t u r e s ) a n d p r a g m a ti c s (t h e s t u d y o f l a n g u a g e i n u s e r a t h e r t h a n l a n g u a g e a s a n a b s tr a c t s y s t e m ). T h i s b o o k a t t e m p t s t o e x p l o r e s o m e a r e a s i n w h i c h m o d e r n l i n g u i s t i c t h e o r y c a n p r o v i d e a b a
  53. 53. s i s f o r tr a i n i n g tr a n s l a t o r s a n d c a n i n f o r m a n d g u i d e t h e d e c i s i o n s t h e y h a v e t o m a k e i n t h e c o u r s e o f p e r f o r m i n g t h e i r w o r k . 1 . 1 A B O U T T H E O R G A N I Z A T I O N O F T H I S B O O K T h e o r g a n i z a t i o n o f t h i s b o o
  54. 54. k is l a r g e l y h i e r a r c h i c a l a n d is b a s e d o n a st r a i g h tf o r w a r d p ri n c i p l e : it st a rt s a t t h e si m p l e st p o s si b l e l e v e l a n d g r o w s a c h i n c h a p t e r . c o m p l e x i t y b y w i d e n i n g i t s f o c u s i n e C h a p t e r 2 , ' E q u i v a l e n c e a t w o r d
  55. 55. l e v e l' , i n it i a ll y a d o p ts a n a i v e b u il d i n g b l o c k a p p r o a c h a n d e x p l o r e s t h e ' m e a n i n g' o f si n g l e w o r d s a n d e x p r e s s i o n s . I n C h a p t e r 3 , ' E q u i v a l e n c e a b o v e w o r d l e v e l ' , t h e s c o p e o f r e f e r e n c e i s w i d e n e d a
  56. 56. l it tl e b y l o o k i n g a t c o m b i n a ti o n s o f w o r d s a n d p h r a s e s: w h a t h a p p e n s w h e n w o r d s st a rt c o m b i n i n g w it h o t h e r w o r d s t o f o r m c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d o r s e m i c o n v e n t i o n a l i z e d s t r e t c h e s o f l a n g u a g e . C h a p t e r 4 , ' G r a
  57. 57. m m a ti c a l e q u i v a l e n c e' , d e a ls w it h g r a m m a ti c a l c a t e g o ri e s s u c h a s n u m b e r a n d g e n d e r. C h a p t e r s 5 a n d 6 c o v e r p a rt o f w h a t m i g h t b e l o o s e l y t e r m e d t h e t e x t u a l l e v e l o f l a n g u a g e . C h a p t e r 5 d e a l s w i t h t h e r
  58. 58. o l e p l a y e d b y w o r d o r d e r i n st r u c t u ri n g m e s s a g e s a t t e x t l e v e l a n d C h a p t e r 6 d is c u s s e s c o h e si o n : g r a m m a ti c a l a n d l e x i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s w h i c h p r o v i d e l i n k s b e t w e e n v a r i o u s p a r t s o f a t e x t . C h a p t e r 7 ,
  59. 59. ' P r a g m a ti c e q u i v a l e n c e' , l o o k s a t h o w t e x ts a r e u s e d i n c o m m u n i c a ti v e si t u a ti o n s t h a t i n v o l v e v a ri a b l e s s u c h a s w r i t e r s , r e a d e r s , a n d c u l t u r a l c o n t e x t . T h e d i v i s i o n o f l a n g u a g e i n t o s e e m i n g l y s e l f c o
  60. 60. n t a i n e d a r e a s s u c h a s w o r d s, g r a m m a r, a n d t e x t is a rt if i c i a l a n d o p e n t o q u e st i o n . F o r o n e t h i n g , t h e a r e a s a r e n o t y d i s c r e t e : w h e r e i t c o n c e r n s i s v i r t u a l l y i m p o s s i b l e t o s a t h e o f o n e a r e a e n d a n d t h o
  61. 61. s e o f a n o t h e r b e g i n . M o r e o v e r, d e c is i o n s t a k e n a t, s a y , t h e l e v e l o f t h e w o r d o r g r a m m a ti c a l c a t e g o r y d u ri n g t h e h e c o u r s e p e r c e i v e d o f t r a n s l a t i o n a r e i n f l u e n c e d b y t f u n c t i o n a n d p u r p o s e o f b o t h t h
  62. 62. e o ri g i n a l t e x t a n d t h e tr a n sl a ti o n a n d h a v e i m p li c a ti o n s f o r t h e d is c o u r s e a s a w h o l e . B u t a rt if i c i a l a s it is , t h e d i v i s i o n o f l a n g u a g e i n t o d i s c r e t e a r e a s i s u s e f u l f o r t h e p u r p o s e s o f a n a l y s i s a n d , p r o v i d
  63. 63. e d w e a r e a w a r e t h a t it is a d o p t e d m e r e l y a s a m e a s u r e o f c o n v e n i e n c e , it c a n h e l p t o p i n p o i n t p o t e n ti a l a r e a s o f d i f f i c u l t y i n t r a n s l a t i o n . L i k e t h e d i v i s i o n o f l a n g u a g e i n t o d i s c r e t e a r e a s , t h e t e r m e q
  64. 64. u i v a l e n c e i s a d o p t e d i n t h i s b o o k f o r t h e s a k e o f c o n v e n i e n c e b e c a u s e
  65. 65. 6 In other words most translators are used to it rather than because it has any theoretical status. It is used here with the proviso that although equivalence can usually be obtained to some extent, it is influenced by a variety of linguistic and cultural factors and is therefore always relative. The organization followed in this book is a bottom-up rather than a topdown one: it starts with simple words and phrases rather than with the text as situated in its context of culture. This may seem somewhat at odds with current thinking in linguistic and translation studies. Snell-Hornby (1988: 69) suggests that 'textual analysis, which is an essential preliminary to translation, should proceed from the "top down", from the macro to the micro level, from text to sign', and Hatim and Mason's model of the translation process (1990) also adopts a top-down approach, taking such things as text-type and context as starting points for discussing translation problems and strategies. The top-down approach is the more valid one theoretically, but for those who are not trained linguists it can be difficult to follow: there is too much to take in all at once. Moreover, an excessive emphasis on 'text' and 'context' runs the risk of obscuring the fact that although 'a text is a semantic unit, not a grammatical one ... meanings are realized through wordings; and without a theory of wordings ... there is no way of making explicit one's interpretation of the meaning of a text' (Halliday, 1985: xvii). In other words, text is a meaning unit, not a form unit, but meaning is realized through form and without understanding the meanings of individual forms one cannot interpret the meaning of the text as a whole. Translating words and phrases out of context is certainly a futile exercise, but it is equally unhelpful to expect a student to appreciate translation decisions made at the level of text without a reasonable understanding of how the lower levels, the individual words, phrases, and grammatical structures, control and shape the overall meaning of the text. Both the top-down and the bottom-up approaches are therefore valid in their own way; I have opted for the latter for pedagogical reasons because it is much easier to follow for those who have had no previous training in linguistics. 1.2 EXAMPLES, BACK-TRANSLATIONS AND THE LANGUAGES OF ILLUSTRATION In each chapter, an attempt is made to identify potential sources of translation difficulties related to the linguistic area under discussion and possible strategies for resolving these difficulties. The strategies Introduction 7 are not preconceived, nor are they suggested as ideal solutions; they are identified by analysing authentic examples of translated texts in a variety of languages and presented as 'actual' strategies used rather than the 'correct' strategies to use. The examples are quoted and discussed, sometimes at length, to illustrate the various strategies identified and to explore the potential pros and cons of each strategy. Although the discussion is occasionally critical of certain translations, finding fault with published translations is never the object of the exercise. It is in fact virtually impossible, except in extreme cases, to draw a line between what counts as a good translation and what counts as a bad one. Every translation has points of strength and points of weakness and every translation is open to improvement. The source language of most examples is English. This is because in non-literary translation, the main concern of this book, English is probably the most widely translated language in the world. And since it also happens to be the language in which this book is written, I feel justified in assuming that all readers will have an adequate command of it. Much as I would have liked to include examples of and exercises on translation into English, I have had to accept that it is not possible to write a general coursebook on translation unless the source language is kept constant. With a few exceptions, the direction of translation is therefore assumed to be from English into a variety of target languages. However, readers particularly teachers of translation - are invited to adapt the examples and exercises to suit their individual purposes. Once a given topic is discussed and understood, alternative texts can be easily found in other languages to replace the examples and exercises in which English is treated as the source language. The target languages exemplified are by no means all European. They include major non-European languages such as Arabic, Japanese, and Chinese. The emphasis on non-European languages may seem unusual, but it is meant to counterbalance the current preoccupation with European languages in translation studies. It is high time the European translation community realized that there is life - and indeed translation - outside Europe and that professional non-European translators use a range of strategies that are at least as interesting and as useful as those used by European translators. Moreover, it is particularly instructive for translators of any linguistic background to explore difficulties of translation in nonEuropean languages because the structure of those languages and their cultural settings raise important issues that could otherwise be easily overlooked in discussions of language and translation.
  66. 66. 8 In other words Introduction 9 T h e i t h m a j o r i t y a l l t h e o f r e a d e r s w i l l n o t b e f a m i l i a r w l a n g u a g e s i l l u s t r a t e d i n t h i s b
  67. 67. o o k, b ut th e y s h o ul d st ill b e a bl e to fo ll o w th e di sc u ss io n of in di vi d u al e x a m pl es b y u si n g th e b a c ktr a n sl at io n s pr o vi d e d. B a c k tr a n sl at io n, as u se d i n t h i s b o o k , i n v o l v e s t a k i n g o r t r a n s l a t e d ) w h i c h i s w r i t t e n a t e x t ( o r i g i n a l i n a l a n g u a g e
  68. 68. w it h w hi c h th e re a d er is as s u m e d to b e u nf a m ili ar a n d tr a n sl at in g it as lit er al ly as p o ss ib le 1 in to E n gl is h h o w lit er al ly d e p e n d s o n th e p oi nt b ei n g ill u st r a t e d , w h e t h e r i t i s m o r p h o l o g i c a l , s y n t a c t i c , o r l e x i c a l f o r i n s t a n c e . I u s e t h e t e r m b a c k t r a n s l
  69. 69. at io n b e c a u se , si n c e th e s o ur c e la n g u a g e is of te n E n gl is h, th is in v ol v es tr a n sl at in g th e ta rg et te xt b a c k in to th e s o ur c e la n g u a g e fr o m w hi c h it w as o r i g i n a l l y t r a n s l a t e d . A b a c k t r a n s l a t i o n c a n g i v e s o m e i n s i g h t i n t o a s p e c t s o f t h e s t r u c t u
  70. 70. re , if n ot th e m e a ni n g of th e or ig in al , b ut it is n e v er th e sa m e as th e or ig in al . T h e u se of b a c ktr a n sl at io n is a n e c es sa ry c o m pr o m is e; it is th e or et ic al ly u n s o u n d a n d f a r f r o m i d e a l , b u t t h e n w e d o n o t l i v e i n a n i d e a l w o r l d v e r y f e w o f u s s p e a k e i g h t o
  71. 71. r ni n e la n g u a g es a n d th e or et ic al cr it er ia c e as e to b e re le v a nt w h e n th e y b e c o m e a n o b st a cl e to fr ui tf ul di sc u ss io n. o t e d i n t h e T h e m aj or it y of e x a m pl es ar e q u o r i g i n a l l a n g u a g e i n t h e b o d y o f t h e t e x t . F o r i n s t a n c e , a n E n g l i s h e x a m p l e i s i m
  72. 72. m e di at el y fo ll o w e d b y it s G er m a n or A ra bi c tr a n sl at io n a n d th e n a b a c k- tr a n sl at io n of th e G er m a n or A ra bi c. T h er e ar e t w o e x c e pt io n s. T h e fi rs t e x c e p t i o n i s t h a t t e x t s w h i c h e x t e n d b e y o n d a n a v e r a g e s i z e p a r a g r a p h a r e i n c l u d e d e i t h e r i
  73. 73. n fo ot n ot es or in a se p ar at e a p p e n di x at th e e n d of th e b o o k (b ut th e b a c ktr a n sl at io n st ill fo ll o w s th e E n gl is h s o ur c e te xt ). T h e se c o n d e x c e pt io n is th a t , b e c a u s e o f d i f f i c u l t i e s o f t y p e s e t t i n g , o r i g i n a l J a p a n e s e , C h i n e s e , R u s s i a n a n d G r e e k e x a m p
  74. 74. le s ar e n ot pr o vi d e d in th e b o d y of th e te xt b ut ra th er in se p ar at e a p p e n di c es at th e e n d. R e a d er s w h o ar e fa m ili ar w it h th es e la n g u a g es ar e e n c o ur a g e d t o r e f e r t o t h e r e l e v a n t a p p e n d i x o r f o o t n o t e r a t h e r t h a n s e t t l e f o r t h e b a c k t r a n s l a t i o n p r o
  75. 75. vi d e d. F in al ly , th er e is n o s h or ta g e of di sc u ss io n s o n th e s h or tc o m in g s a n d fa il ur es of tr a n sl at io n as a to ol of la n g u a g e m e di at io n a cr o ss c ul tu re s. T h e lit e r a t u r e a b o u n d s w i t h t h e o r e t i c a l a r g u m e n t s w h i c h s u g g e s t t h a t t r a n s l a t i o n i s a n i m p o s s i b l e
  76. 76. ta s k, th at it is d o o m e d to fa il ur e b e c a u se (a ) la n g u a g es ar e n e v er s uf fi ci e nt ly si m il ar to e x pr es s th e sa m e re al iti es , a n d (b ) e v e n w or se , 'r e al it y' c a n n o t b e a s s u m e d t o e x i s t i n d e p e n d e n t l y o f l a n g u a g e . B u t i n s p i t e o f i t s m a n y l i m i t a t i o n s , t r a n s l a
  77. 77. ti o n re m ai n s a n e c es sa ry a n d v al u a bl e e x er ci se . It h as br o u g ht a n d c o nt in u es to br in g p e o pl e of di ff er e nt c ul tu ra l a n d li n g ui st ic b a c k gr o u n d s cl o s e r t o g e t h e r , i t h a s e n a b l e d t h e m t o s h a r e a m o r e h a r m o n i o u s v i e w o f t h e w o r l d , i t h a s b u i l t b r
  78. 78. id g es of u n d er st a n di n g a n d a p pr ec ia ti o n a m o n g di ff er e nt so ci et ie s. E v e n th e m os t sc e pt ic al of cr iti cs c a n n o t b u t a d m i t t h a t , i f i t w e r e s n o t f o r t r a n s l a t o r b e a n d i n t e r p r e t e r s , w e w o u l d l i v i n g i n a f
  79. 79. ar le ss fr ie n dl y a n d le ss in te re st in g e n vi ro n m e nt . T ra ns la to rs h a v e g o o d re as o n to b e pr o u d of w h at th e y d o a n d to in si st th at tr a ns la ti o n b e re c o g ni ze d as a f u l l y f l e d g e d p r o f e s s i o n a n d g i v e n t h e r e s p e c t t h a t i t d e s e r v e s . T h i s r e c o g n i t i o n i s n o w l
  80. 80. o n g o v er d u e a n d w e m us t d o w h at e v er is n ec es sa ry to e ns ur e th at it is fo rt h c o m in g. W e c o ul d st ar t b y fu lfi lli n g th e re q ui re m e nt s th at so ci et y h as se t fo r w h a t i t w i l l r e c o g n i z e I O N S F O R F U R T H E R R E A D I N G a s a ' p r o f e s s i o n ' . S U G G E S T Fr a w l e y , W . ( 1 9 8 4 ) ' P r o l e g o
  81. 81. m e n o n to a th e or y of tr a n sl at io n' , in W . F ra w le y (e d. ) T r a n sl a ti o n : L it e r a r y, L i n g u is ti c, a n d P h il o s o p h ic a l P e r s p e ct iv e s ( L o n d o n a n d T or o nt o: A ss o ci at e d U ni v e r s i t y H P r e s s ) . o l m e s , J . S . ( 1 9 8 7 ) ' T h e n a m e a n d n a t u r e o f t r a n s l a t i o n s t u d i e s ' , i n G . T o u r y ( e d . ) T r a n s l a t i
  82. 82. o n A c r o s s C u lt u r e s ( N e w D el hi : B a h ri ). N O T E 1 It is i m p o rt a nt to st re ss th at m u c h o f th e b a c k tr a n sl at io n p r o vi d e d in th is b o o k is v er y li te ra l. T h e q u al it y o f th e E n g l i s h t h a t a p p e a r s i n a g i v e n b a c k t r a n s l a t i o n i s n o t m e a n t t o r e f l e c t t h e q u a l i t y o f t h e t r a n s l a t i o n i t s e
  83. 83. lf . R e a d er s, p ar ti c ul ar ly th o s e w h o ar e n ot n at iv e s p e a k er s o f E n gl is h, s h o ul d al s o b e a w ar e th at th e E n gl is h u s e d in th e b a c k tr a n sl at io n s is n ot n e c e ss ar il y c o rr e ct a n d i s n o t t o b e c o n f u s e d w i t h n a t u r a l E n g l i s h .
  84. 84. Equivalence at word level 11 2 Equivalence at word level If language were simply a nomenclature for a set of universal concepts, it would be easy to translate from one language to another. One would simply replace the French name for a concept with the English name. If language were like this the task of learning a new language would also be much easier than it is. But anyone who has attempted either of these tasks has acquired, alas, a vast amount of direct proof that languages are not nomenclatures, that the concepts ... of one language may differ radically from those of another.... Each language articulates or organizes the world differently. Languages do not simply name existing categories, they articulate their own. (Culler, 1976: 21-2) This chapter discusses translation problems arising from lack of equivalence at word level; what does a translator do when there is no word in the target language which expresses the same meaning as the source language word? But before we look at specific types of non-equivalence and the various strategies which can be used for dealing with them, it is important to establish what a word is, whether or not it is the main unit of meaning in language, what kinds of meaning it can convey, and how languages differ in the way they choose to express certain meanings but not others. 2.1 THE WORD IN DIFFERENT LANGUAGES 2.1.1 What is a word? As translators, we are primarily concerned with communicating the overall meaning of a stretch of language. To achieve this, we need to start by decoding the units and structures which carry that meaning. The smallest unit which we would expect to possess individual meaning is the word. Defined loosely, the word is 'the smallest unit of language that can be used by itself (Bolinger and Sears, 1968: 43).' For our present purposes, we can define the written word with more precision as any sequence of letters with an orthographic space on either side. Many of us think of the word as the basic meaningful element in a language. This is not strictly accurate. Meaning can be carried by units smaller than the word (see 2.1.3 below). More often, however, it is carried by units much more complex than the single word and by various structures and linguistic devices. This will be discussed in more detail in the following chapters. For the moment, we will content ourselves with single words as a starting point before we move on to more complex linguistic units. 2.1.2 Is there a one-to-one relationship between word and meaning? If you consider a word such as rebuild, you will note that there are two distinct elements of meaning in it: re and build, i.e. 'to build again'. The same applies to disbelieve which may be paraphrased as 'not to believe'. Elements of meaning which are represented by several orthographic words in one language, say English, may be represented by one orthographic word in another, and vice versa. For instance, tennis player is written as one word in Turkish: tenisci; if it is cheap as one word in Japanese: yasukattara; but the verb type is rendered by three words in Spanish: pasar a maquina. This suggests that there is no one-to-one correspondence between orthographic words and elements of meaning within or across languages. 2.1.3. Introducing morphemes In order to isolate elements of meaning in words and deal with them more effectively, some linguists have suggested the term morpheme to describe the minimal formal element of meaning in language, as distinct from word, which may or may not contain several elements of meaning. Thus, an important difference between morphemes and words is that a morpheme cannot contain more than one element of meaning and cannot be further analysed. To take an example from English, inconceivable is written as one word but consists of three morphemes: in, meaning 'not', conceive meaning 'think of or imagine', and able meaning 'able to be, fit to be'. A suitable paraphrase for inconceivable would then be 'cannot
  85. 85. 12 In other words Equivalence at word level be conceive d/imagin ed'. Some morphe mes have grammat ical functions such as marking plurality (funds), gender (manage ress) and tense (conside red). Others change the class of the word, for instance from verb to adjective (like: likeable) , or add a specific element of meaning such as negation to it (unhapp y). Some words 13 consist of one morphem e: need, fast. Morphe mes do not always have such clearly defined boundari es, however. We can identify two distinct morphemes in girls: girl + s, but we cannot do the same with men, where the two morphem es 'man' and 'plural' are, as it were, fused together. An orthogra
  86. 86. phi c wo rd ma y the ref ore co nta in mo re tha n on e for ma l ele me nt of me ani ng, but the bo un dar ies of suc h ele me nts are not al wa ys cle arl y ma rke d on the sur fac e. T he ab ov e the ore tic al dis tin cti on bet we en wo rds an d mo rph em es att em pts , by an d lar ge, to account for elements of meaning which are expresse d on the surface. It does not, however, attempt to break down each morphe me or word into further compone nts of meaning such as, for instance, 'male' + 'adult' + 'human' for the word man. Furtherm ore, it does not offer a model for analysin g different types of meaning in words and utterance s. In the followin g section, we will be looking at ways of analysing lexical meaning which will not specifical ly draw on the distinctio n between words and morphem es. It is, neverthel ess, importan t to keep this distinctio n clearly in mind because it can be useful in translatio n, particular ly in dealing
  87. 87. wit h ne olo gis ms in the so urc e lan gu ag e (se e 2.3 .2. 1 (i)) . ( l e x i c a l u n i t ) h a s . . 2.2 LE XI C AL M EA NI N G e v e r y w o r d . s o m e t h i n g t h a t i s indivi dual, that makes it differ ent from any other word. And it is just the lexica l meani ng which is the most outsta nding indivi dual prope rty of the word. (Zgusta, 1971:67) The lexical meaning of a word or lexical unit may be thought of as the specific value it has in a particular linguistic system and the 'personali ty' it acquires through usage within that system. It is rarely possible to analyse a word, pattern, or structure into distinct components of meaning; the way in which language works is much too complex to allow that. Neverthe less, it is sometim es useful to play down the complexi ties of
  88. 88. lan gu age te mp ora rily in ord er bot h to ap pre cia te the m an d to be abl e to ha ndl e the m bet ter in the lon g run . Wi th thi s ai m in mi nd, we wil l no w bri efl y dis cus s a mo del for analysin g the compon ents of lexical meanin g. This model is largely derived from Cruse (1986), but the descript ion of register (2.2.3 below) also draws on Hallida y (1978). For alternati ve models of lexical meanin g see Zgusta (1971: Chapter 1) and Leech (1974: Chapter 2). Acco rding to Cruse, we can distingu ish four main types of meanin g in words and utteranc es (utteran ces being stretche s of written or spoken text): proposi tional meanin g, expressi ve meanin g, presupposed meanin g, and evoked meanin g. 2.2.1 Proposi tional vs expressi ve meanin g
  89. 89. T he pr o p os iti o n al m ea ni n g of a w or d or an ut te ra nc e ar is es fr o m th e re lat io n be tw ee n it an d w ha t it re fe rs to or de sc ri be s in a re al or im ag in ar y w or ld, as co nc ei ve d by th e sp ea ke rs of th e particul ar languag e to which the word or utteranc e belongs. It is this type of meanin g which provide s the basis on which we can judge an utteranc e as true or false. For instance , the proposit ional meanin g of shirt is 'a piece of clothing worn on the upper part of the body'. It would be inaccura te to use shirt, under normal circumst ances, to refer to a piece of clothing worn on the foot, such as socks. When a translati on is describe d as 'inaccur ate', it is often the proposit ional meaning that is being called into question . Expre ssive meaning cannot be judged as true or false. This is because expressi ve
  90. 90. m ea ni ng rel ate s to th e sp ea ke r's2 fe eli ng s or att itu de rat he r th an to w ha t w or ds an d utt er an ce s ref er to. Th e dif fer en ce bet we en D on 't co m pl ai n an d D on 't w hi ng e do es no t lie in the ir pr op osi tio nal me ani ng s bu t in the expressi veness of whinge, which suggests that the speaker finds the action annoyin g. Two or more words or utteranc es can therefor e have the same propositi onal meaning but differ in their expressi ve meaning s. This is true not only of words and utteranc es within the same languag e, where such words are often referred to as synonym s or nearsynonym s, but also for words and utterance s from different language s. The differenc e between famous in English and fameux in French does not lie in their respectiv e propositi onal meaning s; both items basically mean 'wellknown'. It lies in their expressi ve meaning s.
  91. 91. F a m ou s is ne utr al in En gli sh: it ha s no in he re nt ev al ua tiv e m ea ni ng or co nn ot ati on . F a m eu x, on th e ot he r ha nd , is po ten tia lly ev alu ati ve an d ca n be rea dil y us ed in so me co nte xts in a de ro gat or y wa y (fo r ex am ple, une femme fameuse means, roughly, 'a woman of ill repute'). It is worth noting that differe nces betwe en words in the area of
  92. 92. 14 In other words Equivalence at word level 15 expressi degrees ve of force meanin fulness. g are Both not unkind simply and a matter cruel, of for whether instance an , are expressi inherent on of a ly certain expressi attitude ve, or showin evaluati g the on is speaker' inherent s ly disappr present oval of or someon absent e's in the attitude. words Howeve in r, the questio element n. The of same disappr attitude oval in or cruel is evaluati stronger on may than it be is in express unkind. ed in The two meanin words g of a or word or utteranc lexical es in unit can widely be both differin proposi g tional
  93. 93. an d ex pr es si ve , e. g. w hi n ge , pr op os iti on al on ly, e. g. b o ok , or ex pr es si ve on ly, e. g. bl o o dy an d va rio us ot he r s w ea r w or ds an d e m ph as iz er s. W or ds w hi ch co nt ri bu te so lel y to ex pr es si ve m eaning can be remove d from an utteranc e without affectin g its informa tion content. Conside r, for instance , the word simply in the followi ng text: Whil st it stimu lates your love of actio n, the MG also cares for your comf ort. Hugg ing you on the bend s with sport s seats. Spoil ing you with luxur ies such as electr ic door mirro rs, tinte d glass and centr al locki ng. And enter taini ng you with a great musi c syste m as well as a simp ly mast erful
  94. 94. p ct, e bu r t f th o e r w m or a d n si c m e pl . y (Today's in Cars, Austin th Rover e brochure; my la emphasis) st se T nt he en re ce ar ha e sa m tot an all y y hi ex gh pr ly es ex si pr ve es fu si nc ve tio ite n. m R s e in m th ov e in ab g ov it e w ex ou tra ld not alter the informa tion content of the messag e but would, of course, tone its forceful ness down conside rably. 2.2.2 Presup posed meanin g Presupp osed meanin g arises from cooccurre nce restricti ons, i.e. restricti ons on what other words or express ions we expect to see before or after a particul ar lexical unit. These restricti ons are of two types: 1 Selec tional restri ction s: these are a functi on of the propo sition al meani ng of a word. We expec t a huma n subje ct for the adject ive studi ous
  95. 95. a n d a n i n a n i m a t e t i o n a l o n e r e s t r i c t i o n s f o r a r e g e o m e t r i c a l . d e l i b e r a t e l y S e l e c v i o l a ted in the case of figura tive langu age but are other wise strictl y obser ved. 2 Collo catio nal restri ctions : these are sema nticall y arbitr ary restri ctions which do not follo w logica lly from the propo sition al meani ng of a word. For instan ce, laws are broke n in Engli sh, but in Arabi c they are 'contr adicte d'. In Engli sh, teeth are brush ed, but in
  96. 96. G e r m a n a n d I t a l i a n t h e y a r e ' p o l i s h e d ' , i n P o l i s h t h e y a r e ' w a s h e d ' , a n d i n R u s s i a n t h e y are 'clea ned'. Beca use they are arbitr ary, collo catio nal restri ction s tend to show more variat ion acros s languag es than do select ional restri ction s. They are discu ssed in more detail in Chap ter 3, secti on 3.1. The differen ce betwee n selectio nal and collocat ional restricti ons is not always as clear cut as the exampl es given above might imply. For exampl e, in the followi ng English translat ion of a Germa n leaflet which accomp anies Baumle r product s (men's suits), it
  97. 97. is di ffi cu lt to de ci de w he th er th e a w k w ar d ne ss of th e w or di n g is a re su lt of vi ol at in g se le cti on al or co ll oc ati on al re str ict io ns : D e a r S i r I a m v e r y p l e a s e d t hat you have selec ted one of our garm ents. You have mad e a wise choi ce, as suits, jacke ts and trous ers emin ating from our Com pany are amo ngst the fines t prod ucts Euro pe has to offer . Ideas, qualitie s, and feelings typicall y emanat e (misspe lt as eminate in the above text) from a source, but objects such as trouser s and jackets do not, at least not in English . The awkwar dness of the wordin g can be explain ed in terms of selectio nal or collocat ional restricti ons, dependi ng on
  98. 98. w he th er or no t on e se es th e re str ict io n in vo lv ed as a fu nc tio n of th e pr op os iti on al m ea ni ng of e m a n at e. 2. 2. 3 E vo ke d m ea ni ng E v o ke d m ea ni n g ar is es fr o m di al ec t an d re gi st er va riation. A dialect is a variety of languag e which has currenc y within a specific community or group of speaker s. It may be classifi ed on one of the followi ng bases: 1 Geog raphi cal (e.g. a Scott ish diale ct, or Ame rican as oppo sed to Britis h Engli sh: cf. the differ ence betw een lift and eleva tor); 2 Temp oral (e.g. word s and struct ures used by mem bers of differ ent age grou ps withi n a com muni ty, or word s used at differ ent perio ds in
  99. 99. t h e h i s t o r y o f a l a n g u a g e : c f . v e r i l y a n d r e a l l y ) ; 3S o c i a l ( w o r d s a n d s t r u c t u r e s u s e d b y m embe rs of differ ent socia l class es: cf. scent and perfu me, napk in and servi ette). Registe r is a variety of languag e that a languag e user conside rs appropr iate to a specific situatio n. Registe r variatio n arises from variatio ns in the followi ng:
  100. 100. 16 In other words Equivalence at word level 17 1 Field of discou rse: This is an abstrac t term for 'what is going on' that is releva nt to the speake r's choice of linguis tic items. Differe nt linguis tic choice s are made by differe nt speake rs depend ing on what kind of action other than the immed iate action of speaki ng they see themse lves as partici pating in. For exampl e, linguis tic choice s will vary accordi ng to whethe r the speake r is taking part in a footbal l match or discuss ing footbal l; makin g love or discuss ing
  101. 101. l o v e ; m a k i n g a p o l i t i c a l s p e e c h o r d i s c u s s i n g p o l i t i c s ; p e r f o r m i n g a n o p e r a ti o n o r d i s c u s s i n g m e d i c i n e . 2 Tenor of discou rse: An abstrac t term for the relation ships betwee n the people taking part in the discour se. Again, the langua ge people use varies depend ing on such interpe rsonal relation ships as mother /child, doctor/ patient, or superio r/inferi or in status. A patient is unlikel y to use swear words in address ing a doctor and a mother is unlikel y to start a request to her child with / wonder if you could .. . Getting the tenor of discour se right in translat ion can be quite difficul t. It depend s on whethe r one sees a certain level of
  102. 102. f o r m a li t y a s 'r i g h t' f r o m t h e p e r s p e c ti v e o f t h e s o u r c e c u lt u r e o r t h e t a r g e t c u lt u r e . F o r e x a m p l e , a n A m e ri c a n t eenage r may adopt a highly inform al tenor with his/her parents by, among other things, using their first names instead of Mum/ Mother and Dad/F ather. This level of inform ality would be highly inappro priate in most other culture s. A translat or has to choose betwee n changi ng the tenor to suit the expecta tions of the target reader and transfer ring the inform al tenor to give a flavour of the type of relation ship that teenage rs have with their parents in Americ an society. What the translat or opts for on any given occasio n will of course depend on what
  103. 103. s / h e p e r c e i v e s t o b e t h e o v e r a ll p u r p o s e o f t h e tr a n s l a 3 ti o n . M o d e o f d i s c o u r s e : A n a b s tr a c t t e r m f o r t h e r o l e t hat the langua ge is playing (speec h, essay, lecture, instruct ions) and for its mediu m of transmi ssion (spoke n, written ).3 Lingui stic choices are influence d by these dimens ions. For exampl e, a word such as re is perfect ly approp riate in a busines s letter but is rarely, if ever, used in spoken English . Different groups within each culture have different expectati ons about what kind of language is appropria te to particular situations . The amuseme nt and embarras sment often engender ed by children's remarks to perfect strangers testifies to this; more seriously, people unused to highly ritualized
  104. 104. sit uat ion s lik e co m mit tee me eti ngs an d job int erv ie ws ma y fin d it diff icu lt to ma ke the ir poi nts, an d ma y eve n be rid icu led be ca us e the ir lan gu ag e ap pe ars ina pp ro pri ate to ot he r pa rti cip ant s. A tra nsl ato r m ust en sur e tha t his /her product does not meet with a similar reaction. S/he must ensure that the translati on matches the register expectati ons of its prospect ive receiver s, unless, of course, the purpose of the translati on is to give a flavour of the source culture. Of all the types of lexical meaning explaine d above, the only one which relates to the truth or falsehoo d of an utterance and which can conseque ntly be challeng ed by a reader or hearer is propositi onal meaning. All other types of lexical meaning contribut e to the overall meaning of an utterance or a text in subtle and complex ways and are often much more difficult to analyse. To reiterate, it is
  105. 105. rar ely po ssi ble in pra cti ce to sep ara te the var iou s typ es of me ani ng in a wo rd or utt era nc e. Li ke wi se, it is rar ely po ssi ble to def ine ev en the bas ic pro po siti on al me ani ng of a wo rd or utt era nc e wit h abs olu te cer tai nty . Th is is be ca use the nat ure of lan guage is such that, in the majority of cases, words have 'blurred edges'; their meaning s are, to a large extent, negotiabl e and are only realized in specific contexts. The very notion of 'types of meaning' is theoretic ally suspect. Yet, I believe that the distinctio ns drawn above can be useful for the translato r since one of the most difficult tasks that a translator is constantl y faced with is that, notwithst anding the 'fuzzines s' inherent in language , s/he must attempt to perceive the meaning s of words and utterance s very precisely in order to render them into another language . This forces us as translator s to go far beyond what the average
  106. 106. rea der has to do in ord er to rea ch an ad eq uat e un der sta ndi ng of a tex t. 2.3 TH E PR OB LE M OF N O NEQ UI VA LE NC E Ba se d on the ab ov e dis cu ssi on , we ca n no w be gi n to ou tli ne so me of the m or e co m m on ty pe s of no neq ui valence which often pose difficulti es for the translato r and some attested strategie s for dealing with them. First, a word of warning. The choice of a suitable equivale nt in a given context depends on a wide variety of factors. Some of these factors may be strictly linguisti c (see, for instance, the discussi on of collocati ons and idioms in Chapter 3). Other factors may be extralinguisti c (see Chapter 7). It is virtually impossib le to offer absolute guidelin es for dealing with the various types of nonequivale nce which exist among language s. The most that can be done in this and the followin g chapters is to suggest strategie
  107. 107. s w hi ch ma y
  108. 108. 18 In other words Equivalence at word level 19 be used to deal with nonequivale nce 'in some contexts'. The choice of a suitable equivale nt will always depend not only on the linguistic system or systems being handled by the translator , but also on the way both the writer of the source text and the producer of the target text, i.e. the translator , choose to manipula te the linguistic systems in question. 2.3.1 Semantic fields and lexical sets - the segmenta tion of experien ce The words of a langua ge often reflect not so much the reality of the world, but the interes ts of the people who speak it. (Palmer, 1976: 21) It is sometime s useful
  109. 109. to vie w the voc abu lar y of a lan gua ge as a set of wo rds ref erri ng to a seri es of con cep tual fiel ds. Th ese fiel ds refl ect the div isio ns and sub - div isio ns 'im pos ed' by a giv en lin gui stic co mmu nit y on the con tin uu m of exp erie nce .4 In lin gui stic s, the div isio ns are call ed se ma nti c fields. Fields are abstract concepts. An example of a semantic field would be the field of SPEECH, or PLANTS, or VEHICLES . A large number of semantic fields are common to all or most language s. Most, if not all, language s will have fields of DISTANC E, SIZE, SHAPE, TIME, EMOTIO N, BELIEFS, ACADE MIC SUBJECTS, and NATURAL PHENOME NA. The actual words and expressio ns under each field are sometime s called lexical sets.5 Each semantic field will normally have several subdivisions or lexical sets under it, and each subdivision will have further subdivisions and lexical sets. So, the field of SPEECH in English has a subdivision of VERBS OF
  110. 110. SPE EC H whi ch incl ude s gen eral ver bs suc h as spe ak and say and mo re spe cifi c one s suc h as mu mb le, mu rm ur, mu tter , and wh isp er. It see ms rea son abl e to sug ges t that the mo re det aile d a se ma ntic fiel d is in a giv en lan gua ge, the mo re diff ere nt it is like ly to be fro m rela ted se ma ntic fiel ds in other language s. There generally tends to be more agreemen t among language s on the larger headings of semantic fields and less agreemen t as the subfields become more finely differentiated. Most language s are likely to have equivalen ts for the more general verbs of speech such as say and speak, but many may not have equivalen ts for the more specific ones. Language s understan dably tend to make only those distinctio ns in meaning which are relevant to their particular environm ent, be it physical, historical , political, religious, cultural, economic , legal, technolog ical, social, or otherwise . Before we discuss how an understan ding of the nature and organization of semantic
  111. 111. fiel ds mi ght be use ful in tra nsl ati on, let me firs t spe ll out the lim itat ion s of se ma nti c fiel ds as a co nc ept . Th e ide a of se ma nti c fiel ds is, in ma ny cas es, ina ppl ica ble an d is an oversimplific ation of the way language actually works. A large number of words in any language defy being classifie d under any heading (Carter and McCarth y, 1988; Lehrer, 1974). Words like just, nevertheless, and only, to name but a few, cannot be easily filed under any particula r semantic field. The idea of semantic fields works well enough for words and expressio ns which have fairly welldefined propositi onal meaning s, but not for all, or even most of the words and expressio ns in a language . Limita tions aside, there are two main areas in which an understa nding of semantic fields and lexical sets can be useful
  112. 112. to a tra nsl ato r: (a) ap pre cia tin g the 'va lue ' tha ta wo rd has in a giv en sys te m; an d (b ) de vel opi ng str ate gie s for de ali ng wit h no neq uiv ale nc e. (a) Un der sta ndi ng the dif fer en ce in the str uct ure of se ma nti c fiel ds in the so urc e an d tar get lan gu ages allows a translato r to assess the value of a given item in a lexical set. If you know what other items are available in a lexical set and how they contrast with the item chosen by a writer or speaker, you can appreciat e the significa nce of the writer's or speaker's choice. You can understa nd not only what somethin g is, but also what it is not. This is best illustrate d by an example. In the field of TEMPERA TURE, English has four main divisions : cold, cool, hot and warm. This contrasts with Modern Arabic, which has four different divisions : baarid ('cold/co ol'), haar ('hot: of the weather') , saakhin ('hot: of objects'), and daa.fi' ('warm'). Note that, in
  113. 113. co ntr ast wit h En gli sh, Ar abi c (a) do es not dis tin gui sh bet we en co ld an d co ol, an d (b) dis tin gui sh es bet we en the hot ne ss of the we ath er an d the hot ne ss of oth er thi ng s. Th e fac t tha t En gli sh do es not ma ke the latt er dis tin cti on do es not me an tha t you can always use hot to describe the temperat ure of somethin g, even metapho rically (cf. hot temper, but not *hot feelings) . There are restrictio ns on the cooccurren ce of words in any language (see discussio n of collocati on: Chapter 3, section 3.1). Now consider the followin g example s from the COBUIL D corpus of English:6 (1) Th e air was cold and the wind was like a flat blade of ice. (2) O utside the air was still cool. Bearing in mind the differenc es in the structure of the English and Arabic fields, one can appreciat e, on the one hand, the differenc e in meaning between cold and
  114. 114. co ol in the ab ov e ex am ple s an d, on the
  115. 115. Equivalence at word level 21 20 In other words other, the potential difficulty in making such a distinction clear when translating into Arabic. (b) Semantic fields are arranged hierarchically, going from the more general to the more specific. The general word is usually referred to as superordinate and the specific word as hyponym. In the field of VEHICLES, vehicle is a superordinate and bus, car, truck, coach, etc. are all hyponyms of vehicle. It stands to reason that any propositional meaning carried by a superordinate or general word is, by necessity, part of the meaning of each of its hyponyms, but not vice versa. If something is a bus, then it must be a vehicle, but not the other way round. We can sometimes manipulate this feature of semantic fields when we are faced with semantic gaps in the target language. Translators often deal with semantic gaps by modifying a superordinate word or by means of circumlocutions based on modifying superordinates. More on this in the following section. To sum up, while not always straightforward or applicable, the notion of semantic fields can provide the translator with useful strategies for dealing with non-equivalence in some contexts. It is also useful in heightening our awareness of similarities and differences between any two languages and of the significance of any choice made by a speaker in a given context. One important thing to bear in mind when dealing with semantic fields is that they are not fixed. Semantic fields are always changing, with new words and expressions being introduced into the language and others being dropped as they become less relevant to the needs of a linguistic community. For a more extensive discussion of semantic fields, see Lehrer (1974). 2.3.2 Non-equivalence at word level and some common strategies for dealing with it Non-equivalence at word level means that the target language has no direct equivalent for a word which occurs in the source text. The type and level of difficulty posed can vary tremendously depending on the nature of non-equivalence. Different kinds of non-equivalence require different strategies, some very straightforward, others more involved and difficult to handle. Since, in addition to the nature of non-equivalence, the context and purpose of translation will often rule out some strategies and favour others, I will keep the discussion of types of non-equivalence separate from the discussion of strategies used by professional translators. It is neither possible nor helpful to attempt to relate specific types of non-equivalence to specific strategies, but I will comment on the advantages or disadvantages of certain strategies wherever possible. 2.3-2.1 Common problems of non-equivalence The following are some common types of non-equivalence at word level, with examples from various languages: (a) Culture-specific concepts The source-language word may express a concept which is totally unknown in the target culture. The concept in question may be abstract or concrete; it may relate to a religious belief, a social custom, or even a type of food. Such concepts are often referred to as 'culture-specific'. An example of an abstract English concept which is notoriously difficult to translate into other languages is that expressed by the word privacy. This is a very 'English' concept which is rarely understood by people from other cultures. Speaker (of the House of Commons) has no equivalent in many languages, such as Russian, Chinese, and Arabic among others. It is often translated into Russian as 'Chairman', which does not reflect the role of the Speaker of the House of Commons as an independent person who maintains authority and order in Parliament. An example of a concrete concept is airing cupboard in English which, again, is unknown to speakers of most languages. (b) The source-language concept is not lexicalized in the target language The source-language word may express a concept which is known in the target culture but simply not lexicalized, that is not 'allocated' a targetlanguage word to express it. The word savoury has no equivalent in many languages, although it expresses a concept which is easy to understand. The adjective standard (meaning 'ordinary, not extra , as in standard range of products) also expresses a concept which is very accessible and readily understood by most people, yet Arabic has no equivalent for it. Landslide has no ready equivalent in many languages, although it simply means 'overwhelming majority'.
  116. 116. 22 In other words Equivalence at word level 23 (c) The sourcelanguage word is semantica lly complex The sourcelanguage word may be semantica lly complex. This is a fairly common problem in translatio n. Words do not have to be morpholo gically complex to be semantica lly complex (Bolinger and Sears, 1968). In other words, a single word which consists of a single morphem e can sometime s express a more complex set of meanings than a whole sentence. Language s automatic ally develop very concise forms for referring to complex concepts if the concepts become important enough to be talked about often. Bolinger and Sears suggest that 'If we should ever need to talk regularly and
  117. 117. freq uent ly abo ut inde pen dent ly ope rate d saw mill s fro m whi ch stri kin g wor kers are lock ed out on Thu rsda y whe n the tem pera ture is bet wee n 500 ° and 600 °F, we wou ld find a con cise way to do it' (ibi d.: 114 ). We do not usu ally real ize how sem anti call y com plex a wor d is unti l we hav e to tran slat e it into a language which does not have an equivalen t for it. An example of such a semantica lly complex word is arruagao , a Brazilian word which means 'clearing the ground under coffee trees of rubbish and piling it in the middle of the row in order to aid in the recovery of beans dropped during harvestin g' (/77 News, 1988: 57).7 (d) The source and target languages make different distinctio ns in meaning The target language may make more or fewer distinctio ns in meaning than the source language. What one language regards as an important distinctio n in meaning another language may not perceive as relevant. For example, Indonesia n makes a distinctio n between going out in the rain
  118. 118. wit hou t the kno wle dge that it is rain ing (ke huj ana n) and goi ng out in the rain wit h the kno wle dge that it is rain ing (hu jan huj ana n). Eng lish doe s not ma ke this dist inct ion, wit h the resu lt that if an Eng lish text refe rred to goi ng out in the rain , the Ind one sian tran slat or ma y find it diff icul t to cho ose the righ t equivalen t, unless the context makes it clear whether or not the person in question knew that it was raining. (e) The target language lacks a superordi nate The target language may have specific words (hypony ms) but no general word (superord inate) to head the semantic field. Russian has no ready equivalen t for facilities, meaning 'any equipmen t, building, services, etc. that are provided for a particular activity or purpose'.8 It does, however, have several specific words and expressio ns
  119. 119. whi ch can be tho ugh t of as typ es of faci litie s, for exa mpl e sre dst va per edv izh eni ya ('m ean s of tran spo rt'), nae m ('lo an') , neo bkh odi my e po me sch che niy a ('es sent ial acc om mo dati on') , and neo bkh odi mo e obo rud ova nie ('es sent ial equ ipm ent' ). (f) The targ et lan gua ge lac ks a spe cifi c term (hypony m) More commonl y, languages tend to have general words (superord in-ates) but lack specific ones (hypony ms), since each language makes only those distinctio ns in meaning which seem relevant to its particular environm ent. There are endless examples of this type of nonequivalen ce. English has many hyponym s under article for which it is difficult to find precise equivalen ts in other languages , for example feature, survey, report, critique, comment ary, review, and many more. Under house, English again has a variety of hyponym s which have no equivalen ts in many languages , for example bungalow , cottage, croft, chalet, lodge, hut, mansion,
  120. 120. ma nor, vill a, and hall . Un der jum p we find mor e spe cifi c ver bs suc h as lea p, vau lt, spri ng, bou nce , div e, cle ar, plu nge , and plu mm et. (g) Diff ere nce s in phy sica l or inte rper son al per spe ctiv e Phy sica l per spe ctiv e ma y be of mor e imp orta nce in one lan gua ge tha n it is in ano ther . Physical perspecti ve has to do with where things or people are in relation to one another or to a place, as expressed in pairs of words such as come/go, take/brin g, arrive/de part, and so on. Perspecti ve may also include the relationsh ip between participa nts in the discourse (tenor). For example, Japanese has six equivalen ts for give, dependin g on who gives to whom: yaru, ageru, morau, kureru, itadaku, and kudasaru (McCrear y, 1986). (h) Differenc es in expressiv e meaning There may be a targetlanguage word which has the same prepositional meaning as the sourcelanguage word, but it may have a different expressiv e meaning. The differenc e may be considera
  121. 121. ble or it ma y be sub tle but imp orta nt eno ugh to pos e a tran slat ion pro ble m in a giv en con text . It is usu ally easi er to add exp ress ive me ani ng tha n о sub trac t it. In oth er wor ds, if the targ etlan gua ge equ ival ent is neu tral co mp are d to the sou rcelan gua ge ite m, the tran slat or can so met ime s add the evaluativ e element by means of a modifier or adverb if necessary , or by building it in somewhe re else in the text.
  122. 122. 24 In other words Equivalence at word level 25 So, it may emotionall be y loaded possible, than the for sourceinstance, language in some item. This contexts to is often the render the case with English items verb which batter (as relate to in sensitive child/wife issues battering) such as by the religion, more politics, neutral and sex. Japanese Words like verb homosexu tataku, ality and meaning homosexu 'to beat', al provide plus an good equivalent examples. modifier Homosexu such as ality is not 'savagely' an or inherently 'ruthlessly' pejorative . word in Difference English, s in although it expressive is often meaning used in are usually this way. more On the difficult to other handle hand, the when the equivalent targetexpression language in Arabic, equivalent shithuth is more jinsi
  123. 123. (liter ally: 'sexu al perv ersio n'), is inhe rentl y mor e pejo rativ e and woul d be quite diffi cult to use in a neut ral cont ext with out sugg estin g stron g disa ppro val. (i) Diff eren ces in form Ther e is ofte n no equi vale nt in the targe t lang uage for a parti cular form in the sour ce text. Cert ain suffi xes and prefi xes whic h conv ey prop ositi onal and othe r type s of mea ning in English often have no direct equivalent s in other languages. English has many couplets such as employer/ employee, trainer/tra inee, and payer/pay ee. It also makes frequent use of suffixes such as -ish (e.g. boyish, hellish, greenish) and -able (e.g. conceivab le, retrievabl e, drinkable) . Arabic, for instance, has no ready mechanis m for producing such forms and so they are often replaced by an appropriat e paraphrase , depending on the meaning they convey (e.g. retrievabl e as 'can be retrieved' and drinkable as 'suitable for drinking'). Affixes which contribute to evoked meaning, for instance by creating buzz words such as washateria, carpeteria , and groceteria (Bolinger and Sears, 1968), and those which convey expressive meaning,
  124. 124. such as jour nale se, tran slation ese, and lega lese (the -ese suffi x usua lly sugg ests disa ppro val of a mud dled or stilte d form of writi ng) are mor e diffi cult to trans late by mea ns of a para phra se. It is relati vely easy to para phra se prop ositi onal mea ning, but othe r type s of mea ning cann ot alwa ys be spelt out in a trans latio n. Thei r subtl e cont ribut ion to the over all meaning of the text is either lost altogether or recovered elsewhere by means of compensat ory techniques . It is most important for translators to understan d the contributi on that affixes make to the meaning of words and expression s, especially since such affixes are often used creatively in English to coin new words for various reasons, such as filling temporary semantic gaps
  125. 125. in the lan gua ge and crea ting hu mo ur. The ir con trib utio n is also imp orta nt in the area of ter min olo gy and stan dar diza tion . (j) Diff ere nce s in freq uen cy and pur pos e of usin g spe cifi c for ms Eve n whe n a part icul ar for m doe s hav e a read y equi vale nt in the targ et lang uag e, ther e may be a diff eren ce in the frequency with which it is used or the purpose for which it is used. English, for instance, uses the continuou s -ing form for binding clauses much more frequently than other languages which have equivalen ts for it, for example German and the Scandina vian languages . Conseque ntly, rendering every -ing form in an English source text with an equivalent -ing form in a German, Danish, or Swedish target text would result in stilted, unnatural style. (k) The use of loan words in the source text The use of loan words in the source text poses a special problem in translatio n. Quite apart from their respective propositio nal meaning, loan words such as aufait, chic, and alfresco in English are often used for
  126. 126. thei r pres tige val ue, bec aus e the y can add an air of sop hist icat ion to the text or its subj ect mat ter. Thi s is ofte n lost in tran slati on bec aus e it is not alw ays pos sibl e to find a loa n wor d wit h the sam e mea nin g in the targ et lan gua ge. Dil etta nte is a loa n wor d in Eng lish, Rus sian , and Jap ane se; but Ara bic has no equivalen t loan word. This means that only the propositio nal meaning of dilettante can be rendered into Arabic; its stylistic effect would almost certainly have to be sacrificed . Loan words also pose another problem for the unwary translator, namely the problem of false friends, or faux amis as they are often called. False friends are words or expressio ns which have the same form in two or more languages but convey different meanings. They are often associate d with historicall y or culturally related languages such as English, French, and German, but in fact false friends also abound among totally unrelated languages such as English, Japanese, and Russian. Once a word or
  127. 127. exp ress ion is borr owe d into a lan gua ge, we can not pre dict or con trol its dev elo pm ent or the add itio nal mea nin gs it mig ht or mig ht not tak e on. So me fals e frie nds are eas y to spot bec aus e the iiter enc e in thei r mea nin gs is so gre at that onl ya ver y ine xpe rien ced tran slat or is like ly to be una war e of it. The average Japanese ranslator is not likely to confuse an English feminist with a Japanese
  128. 128. 26 In other words Equivalence at word level 27 feminist (feminis t in Japanes e is usually used to describe a man who is excessiv ely soft with women) . An inexperi enced French or German translato r may, however , confuse English sensible with German sensibel (meanin g 'sensitiv e'), or English sympath etic with French sympath ique (meanin g 'nice/li keable') . The above are some of the more commo n exampl es of nonequival ence among languag es and the proble ms they pose for translators. In dealing with any kind of nonequival ence, it is importa nt first of all to assess its signific
  129. 129. an ce an d im pli cat io ns in a gi ve n co nte xt. No t ev er y ins tan ce of no neq ui val en ce yo u en co un ter is go in g to be si gn ifi ca nt. It is ne it he r po ss ib le no r de sir ab le to re pr od uc e ev er y as pe ct of m ea ni ng fo r ev er y word in a source text. We have to try, as much as possible , to convey the meaning of key words which are focal to the understa nding and develop ment of a text, but we cannot and should not distract the reader by looking at every word in isolation and attempti ng to present him/her with a full linguisti c account of its meanin g. 2.3.2.2 Strategi es used by professi onal translat ors With the above proviso in mind, we can now look at exampl es of strategi es used by professi onal translat ors for dealing with various types of nonequival ence. In each exampl e, the source-
  130. 130. lan gu ag e wo rd wh ich re pr es ent sa tra nsl ati on pr ob le m is un de rli ne d. Th e str ate gy us ed by the tra nsl ato r is hi gh lig ht ed in bo ld in bo th th e or ig in al tr an sl ati on an d th e ba ck tr an sl at ed ve rsi on . O nl y th e str at eg ie s used for dealing with nonequivale nce at word level will be commen ted on. Other strategie s and differen ces between the source and target texts are dealt with in subsequ ent chapters . (a) Translat ion by a more general word (superor dinate) strategi es for dealing with many types of nonequival ence, particul arly in the area of proposi tional meanin g. It works equally well in most, if not all, langua ges, since the hierarc hical structur e of semanti c fields is not langua gespecific . This is one of the commo nest Exa mpl eA Sour ce
  131. 131. t e x t i n g KO a ( K o l e s t r a l S u p e r l e a f l e t a c c o m p a n y a m y LE ST h a i r c o n d i t i o n i n g p r o d u c t ) : Th e ric h an d cre Target text (Arab ic): RA LSU PE R is ea sy to ap pl y an d ha sa pl ea sa nt fra gr an ce. *>->■ *~-~*> <JX-J I j»*-l-. ^ <*■■*»* U—. ,l_*c^JCJ I * ■ A. .... j.A) ( Kol estr al sup er is rich and con cen trat ed in its ma keup whi ch giv es a pro duc t that rese mbl es cre am, ma kin
  132. 132. g i t e x t r e m e l y e a s y t o p u t o n t h e h a i r. E x a m p l e В S o u r c e t e x t ( K o l e s t r a l S u p e r ) : S h a m p o o t h e h a ir w it h a m il d W E L L A - and light ly tow el dry. mp oo and rub ligh tly wit h a tow el. Target text 1 (Spanis h): Target text 2 (Arabi c): SHA MPO O Lav ar el cabe llo con un cha mpu suav e de WEL LA у frota r liger ame nte con una toall a. Was h hair with a mild WEL LA sha . . . The hair is was hed wit h 'wel la' sha mp oo, pro vid ed that it is a mil d sha mp oo . .. Examp le С Source text (A .tU— mj I j ■ -■ А, Г I
  133. 133. B ri ef H is to ry of Ti m e H a w ki n g, 1 9 8 8; se e A p pe n di x 1) : A w e l l k n o w n s c i e n t i s t ( s o m e s a y i t w a s B e r t r a n d R u s s e l l ) once gave a publ ic lect ure on astr ono my. He desc ribe d how the eart h orbit s arou nd the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbit s arou nd the cent er of a vast coll ecti on of star s call ed our gal axy. Target text (Spanis h): Un con oci do cien tific o (alg uno s dice n que fue Ber tran d Rus sell ) dab a una vez una con fere ncia sob re astr ono
  134. 134. m i a . E n e l l a d e s c r i b f a c 6 m o l a T i e r r a g i r a b a a l r e d e d o r d e l S o l у c o m o e s t e , a s u v e z , g i rab a alre dedo r del cent ro de una vast a cole ccio n de estr ella s con cida co mo nue stra gala xia.
  135. 135. Equivalence at word level 29 28 In other words A well-known scientist (some say that it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a lecture on astronomy. In it he described how the Earth revolved around the Sun and how the latter in its turn revolved around the centre of a vast collection of stars known as our galaxy. Example D Source text {China's Panda Reserves; see Appendix 3, no. 3): Today there may be no more than 1000 giant pandas left in the wild, restricted to a few mountain strongholds in the Chinese provinces of Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu. Target text (back-translated from Chinese): Today there may be only 1000 big pandas which still remain in the wild state, restricted to certain mountain areas in China's Sichuan, Shaanxi and Gansu. The above examples illustrate the use of a general word (superordin-ate) to overcome a relative lack of specificity in the target language compared to the source language. 'Shampooing' can be seen as a type of 'washing' since it is more restricted in its use: you can wash lots of things but you can only shampoo hair. Similarly, 'orbiting' is a type of 'revolving' because, unlike 'revolving', it only applies to a smaller object revolving around a larger one in space. What the translators of the above extracts have done is to go up a level in a given semantic field to find a more general word that covers the core propositional meaning of the missing hyponym in the target language. Target text: (Italian): Qualcuno suggerisce: 'i nostri concorrenti lo fanno.' Someone suggests: 'Our competitors do it.' There is a noticeable difference in the expressive meaning of mumble and its nearest Italian equivalent, mugugnare. The English verb mumble suggests confusion or embarrassment, as can be seen in the following examples:9 Simon mumbled confusedly: 'I don't believe in the beast.' I looked at the ground, shuffled my feet and mumbled something defensive. 'I know it wasn't very successful,' he mumbled. 'But give me another chance.' The Italian near equivalent, mugugnare, on the other hand, tends to suggest dissatisfaction rather than embarrassment or confusion. Possibly to avoid conveying the wrong expressive meaning, the Italian translator opted for a more general word, suggerisce ('suggest'). Example В Source text {A Study of Shamanistic Practices in Japan - Blacker, 1975; see Appendix 5): The shamanic practices we have investigated are rightly seen as an archaic mysticism. Target text (back-translated from Japanese): (b) Translation by a more neutral/less expressive word Example A Source text: {Morgan Matroc - ceramics company brochure; see Appendix 2): Today people are aware that modern ceramic materials offer unrivalled properties for many of our most demanding industrial applications. So is this brochure necessary; isn't the ceramic market already over-bombarded with technical literature; why should Matroc add more? Because someone mumbles, 'Our competitors do it.' But why should we imitate our competitors when Matroc probably supplies a greater range of ceramic materials for more applications than any other manufacturer. The shamanic behaviour which we have been researching should rightly be considered as ancient mysticism. The translator could have used a Japanese phrase which means, roughly, 'behind the times' and which would have been closer to both the propositional and expressive meanings of archaic. This, however, would have been too direct, that is too openly disapproving by Japanese standards (Haruko Uryu, personal communication). The expressive meaning of archaic is lost in the translation. Example С Source text {China's Panda Reserves; see Appendix 3, no. 47): Many of the species growing wild here are familiar to us as plants cultivated in European gardens - species like this exotic lily.
  136. 136. 30 In other words Target text (back-translated from Chinese): We are very familiar with many varieties of the wild life here, they are the kind grown in European gardens - varieties like this strange unique lily flower. Exotic has no equivalent in Chinese and other oriental languages. It is a word used by westerners to refer to unusual, interesting things which come from a distant country such as China. The orient does not have a concept of what is exotic in this sense and the expressive meaning of the word is therefore lost in translation. Example D Source text (China's Panda Reserves; see Appendix 3, no. 5): The panda is something of a zoological mystery. Target text (back-translated from Chinese): The panda may be called a riddle in zoology. There is an equivalent for mystery in Chinese, but it is mostly associated with religion. The translator felt that it would be wrong to use it in a zoological context.10 Example E Source text (China's Panda Reserves; see Appendix 3, nos 8 & 10): (i) The panda's mountain home is wet and lush, (ii) The panda's mountain home is rich in plant life ... Target text (back-translated from Chinese): (i) The mountain habitat of the panda is wet and lush, (ii) The mountain settlements of the panda have rich varieties of plants. Home has no direct equivalent in Chinese; in fact, it is difficult to translate into most languages. In the examples above, it is replaced by Chinese nearequivalents which are both less expressive and more formal. It is sometimes possible to retain expressive meaning by adding a modifier, as in the following example. Example F Source text (Soldati, 'I passi sulla neve'):11 Ma gia, oltre i tetti carichi di neve, a non piu di duecento metri dalla parte di Torino, si vedevano altissimi, geometrici, tutti Equivalence at word level 31 quadrettati in mille finestre luminose e balconcini, i primi palazzi condominiali, case a riscatto, falansteri di operai e di impiegati. Target text (English: 'Footsteps in the snow'): But already, beyond the snow-laden roofs, and no more than two hundred metres in the direction of Turin, there were to be seen towering, geometrical, chequered by a thousand lighted windows and balconies, the first joint-owned buildings, houses under mortgage, workers' and clerks' ugly blocks of flats. The adjective 'ugly' does not actually appear in the source text. The following translator's footnote explains why ugly was added in the target text: Falansteri: communal dwellings which formed part of an ideal cooperative life preached by the French philosopher and socialist writer Charles Fourier (1772-1837). In Italian the word has a pejorative connotation. (c) Translation by cultural substitution This strategy involves replacing a culture-specific item or expression with a target-language item which does not have the same proposi-tional meaning but is likely to have a similar impact on the target reader. The main advantage of using this strategy is that it gives the reader a concept with which s/he can identify, something familiar and appealing. On an individual level, the translator's decision to use this strategy will largely depend on (a) how much licence is given to him/ her by those who commission the translation and (b) the purpose of the translation. On a more general level, the decision will also reflect, to some extent, the norms of translation prevailing in a given community. Linguistic communities vary in the extent to which they tolerate strategies that involve significant departure from the propositional meaning of the text. Example A Source text (A Brief History of Time - Hawking, 1988; see Appendix 1): A well-known scientist (some say it was Bertrand Russell) once gave a public lecture on astronomy. He described how the earth orbits around the sun and how the sun, in turn, orbits around the center of a vast collection of stars called our galaxy. At the
  137. 137. 32 In other words Equivalence at word level 33 e n d o f t h e l e c t u r e , a l i t t l e o l d l a d y a t t h e b a c k o f t h e r o o m g o t u p a n d s a i d : ' W h a t y o u
  138. 138. have told us is rubb ish. The worl d is reall y a flat plate supp orte d on the back of a giant torto ise,' The scie ntist gave a supe rior smil e befo re repl ying , 'Wh at is the torto ise stan ding on?' 'You' re very clev er, you ng man, very clev er,' said the old lady. 'But it's turtl es all the way dow n!' T ar ge t te xt (b ac ktr an sl at ed fr o m G re ek) : A l i c e i n W o n d e r l a n d w a s o n c e g i v i n g a l e c t u r e a b o u t a s t r o n o m y . S h e s a i d t h a t t h e e a r t h i s
  139. 139. a sphe rical plan et in the solar syst em whic h orbit s arou nd its centr e the sun, and that the sun is a star whic h in turn orbit s arou nd the centr e of the star syst em whic h we call the Gala xy. At the end of the lectu re the Que en look ed at her angr ily and disa ppro ving ly. 'Wh at you say is nons ense . The eart h is just a gian t play ing card , so it's flat like all p l a y i n g c a r d s , ' s h e s a i d , a n d t u r n e d t r i u m p h a n t l y t o t h e m e m b e r s o f h e r r e t i n u e , w h o s e e m e d c l
  140. 140. earl y satis fied by her expl anati on. Alic e smil ed a supe rior smil e, 'And what is this play ing card support ed on?' she aske d with iron y. The Que en did not see m put out, 'You are clev er, very clev er,' she repli ed, 'so let me tell you, you ng lady , that this play ing card is supp orte d on anot her, and the othe r on anot her othe r, and the othe r othe r on anot h e r o t h e r o t h e r . . . ' S h e e s t o p p e d , o u t o f b r e a t h , ' T h b u t a U n i v e r s e i s n o t h i n g g r e a t b i g p a c k o f c a
  141. 141. rds,' she shrie ked. T h e a b o v e e x a m p l e i l l u s t r a t e s a v e r y i n t e r e s t i n g u s e o f t h e s t r a t e g y o f c u l t u r a l s u b s t itutio n. It is the openi ng passa ge in Steph en Hawk ing's popul ar book about Time and the Big Bang Theor y (1988 ). Like Hawk ing in the origin al text, the Greek transl ator sets out to captur e the undivi ded attenti on of the reader imme diatel y. S/he decid es that this is best achie ved by introd ucing the reader to chara cters which are famili ar and intere sting rather than to foreig n chara cters and stereo types with which the reader may not
  142. 142. i d e n t i f y . A l i c e i n W o n d e r l a n d i s a p p a r e n t l y w e l l k n o w n i n G r e e c e ; t h e a v e r a g e e d u c a t e d G r e ek is clearl y expec ted to know the story and to be famili ar with the chara cters of Alice and the Quee n, as well as the playin g-card chara cters. For anyon e who has read the story, the associ ation with Alice recall s an image of a topsyturvy parad oxical world , which is partic ularly appos ite in this conte xt. A little old lady at the back of the room is an Englis h stereo type of some one who is endea ring but tends to get the wrong end of the stick,
  143. 143. t h a t i s , t o m i s u n d e r s t a n d w h a t i s b e i n g s a i d . T h i s s t e r e o t y p e i m a g e i s n o t l i k e l y to be acces sible to peopl e from other cultur es. It is replac ed by 'the Quee n', and this is then follo wed by a series of intere sting substi tution s, such as 'giant playi ng card' for flat plate and 'a great big pack of cards' for turtle s all the way down . Ex a m pl e В So urc e tex t (T he Pa tri ck Co lle cti on -a lea fle t pr od uc ed by a pri vat ely ow ne
  144. 144. d m us eu m of cl as si c ca rs; se e A pp en di x 4) : The Patri ck Coll ectio n has resta uran t facil ities to suit ever y taste from the disc erni ng gour met, to the Crea m Tea expe rt. Ta rg et te xt (It ali an ): ... di sodd isfar e tutti i gusti : da quell i del gastr ono mo esig ente a quell i dell' espe rto di past icce r i a . . . . t o s a t i s f y a l l t a s t e s : f r o m t h o s e o f t h e d e m a n d i n g g a s t r o n o m i s t t o t h o s e o f t h
  145. 145. e expe rt in past ry. I n B r i t a i n , c r e a m t e a i s ' a n a f t e r n o o n m e a l c o n s i s t i n g o f t e a t o d r i n k a n d s c o n e s with jam and clotte d crea m to eat. It can also inclu de sand wiche s and cakes .'12 Crea m tea has no equiv alent in other cultur es. The Italia n transl ator repla ced it with 'pastr y', whic h does not have the same mean ing (for one thing, crea m tea is a meal in Britai n, wher eas 'pastr y' is only a type of food). Howe ver, 'pastr y' is famili ar to the Italia n reade r and theref ore provi des a good cultur al substi tute. Ex am ple
  146. 146. С S o u r c e t e x t ( I t a l i a n G a d d a , ' L a e l l e i d u e b a t t a g l i e ' ) : p i a n i s o t t o 1 l a 3 P o i , s i c c o m e l a c e n e r e s e r v a d d s f r i n g u e l l a v a a l t e l e f o n o c o l l ' i n n a m o r a t o , a s s e n t i i p a d r o n i , s i i m b i z z i :
  147. 147. p r e s e a p e s t a r e a , p o r c a , p o r c a , i p i e d i s a c r i p a n t a n d o « p o r c p o r c a . . . » : f i n c h e l a n o n i s m i s e , c h e n o n f u m o l t o p r e s t o . Tar get tex t (E ngl ish : 'Th e ash of bat tles pas t'): T h e n , b e c a u s e t h e s e r v a n t g i r l t w o f l o o r s

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