Challenges of Translation


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a powerpoint presentation on the challenges of translation with focus on the issues of translation in india.

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  • Knowing how to speak two languages is not the same thing as knowing how to translate. Translation is a special skill that professionals work hard to develop. A secular icon for the art of translation is the Rosetta Stone. This trilingual (hieroglyphic-Egyptian, demotic-Egyptian, ancient-Greek) stele became the translator's key to decryption of Egyptian hieroglyphs by Thomas Young, Jean-François Champollion and others.
  • Just think of what could happen in cases of serious inadequacy in knowledge areas such as science, medicine, legal matters, or technology.
  • It will always depend on the context and the topic, but in addition and especially with adjectives and descriptive language it will also be a subjective choice of how a word should be interpreted, which can be difficult and even dangerous when speaking in another language as you never can be really sure if the word you have chosen totally fulfils and conveys the meaning, message and emotion that you want it to portray. 
  • Challenges of Translation

    1. 1. Challenges of TRANSLATIO N m n RAJU అనువాదము μετάφραση ಅನುವಾದ перевод अनुवाद Übersetzung અનુવાદ traduzione অনুবাদ översättnin भाषांतर करणे翻译 ெமாழிெபயரபப 翻訳
    2. 2. mnRAJU Challenges of Translation  What is Translation?  Why Translation?  What is Good Translation?  Skills of Translation  Kinds of Translation Challenges of Translation
    3. 3. mnRAJU What is Translation? the skilful art of re-creating an equivalent message of a work of art originally created in one language in another language. equivalent, sensitive and natural
    4. 4. mnRAJU Translating is Connecting Translation is an intimate encounter between Two creative souls Two languages Two cultures Two styles Two spaces Two generations
    5. 5. mnRAJU Why Translation?  Living languages in the world - 6,912  Languages spoken in India - about 1,600  Indian languages spoken by more than 10,000 Indians - 211  The 1948 UN Universal Declaration Of Human Rights has been translated into the most (321) languages and dialects.  Country with the most languages spoken: Papua New Guinea (841)  Language with the most words: English (approx. 250,000 distinct words)  Language with the fewest words: Taki Taki, also called Sranan (only 340 words)
    6. 6. mnRAJU Why Translation? • To ‘affect’ larger audiences • Equitable access to information • Social justice & life-saving needs • Promoting mother tongues • Reviving dead/dying languages • Historical changes in languages • Greater financial rewards
    7. 7. mnRAJU A Good Translator ₌ Bilingual, Bicultural Proficiency ₌ Transparency in grammar, syntax and idiom ₌ Thorough Perception of theText/Content ₌ Loyalty to Intention, emotion, style ₌ Artistic Correspondence ₌ Fidelity to Detail and Faithfulness toText ₌ Aesthetics Matching the Original
    8. 8. mnRAJU If a translation is beautiful, it is not faithful; and if it is faithful, it is not beautiful. - Russian axiom Ad verbum vs ad sensum Metaphrase or paraphrase?
    9. 9. mnRAJU The Ordeal of Translation Few foreign masterpieces can have suffered more than Pushkin’s Eugene Onegin from the English translator’s failure to convey anything more than– at best–the literal meaning. It is as if a sound-proof wall separated Pushkin’s poetic novel from the English-reading world.There is a whole magic which goes by default; the touching lyrical beauty, the cynical wit of the poem; the psychological insight, the devious narrative skill, the thrilling compulsive grip of the novel; the tremendous gusto and swing and panache of the whole performance. - Samuel Johnson
    10. 10. mnRAJU Translation Skills Comprehension Interpretation Re-wording (writing) − Synonymy − Transfer − Reduction − Expansion − compensation Equivalence − literal where possible − paraphrastic where necessary
    11. 11. mnRAJU Kinds of Translation Machine Translation Dictionary/Grammar approach Statistical Matching approach Crowdsourcing approach
    12. 12. mnRAJU Disasters of Machine Translation
    13. 13. mnRAJU Machine Howlers “Please Don't Make MeToo Happy” To Spanish and back to English: I RequestTo Me NotTo GoToo Much Behind Lucky Person To German and back to English: PleaseTo Me Do Not Go BackToo Lucky To Italian and back to English: I PrayTo Me NotTo Go BehindToo Much Fortunate To Portuguese and back to English: I Pray Me NotTo GoToo Much Behind Fortunate To French and back to English: Please Not ReturnTo MeToo Happy
    14. 14. mnRAJU Translation – Some Challenges  Linguistic untranslatability  Cultural untranslatability  Source text  Illegible/unreadable  Misspelled  Unfinished/fragmentary  Unintelligible/incomprehensible  Language  Idioms & coinages  Acronyms & abbreviations  Slang & archaisms  Grammar, syntax, punctuation  Proper nouns  Ambiguities  Time, effort and Expenditure
    15. 15. mnRAJU Challenges of Translation ≠ Lexical ≠ Structural ≠ Cultural ≠ Ethical ≠ Political ≠ Ambiguity
    16. 16. mnRAJU Lexical Challenges Words Idioms Phrases Collocations Contextualizing lexical items ≠ Bilingual/Translating dictionaries
    17. 17. mnRAJU Astounding Alternatives Choice depends on context and topic Two trucks loaded with thousands of copies of Roget's Thesaurus collided as they left a New York publishing house last Thursday, according to the Associated Press. Witnesses were aghast, amazed, astonished, astounded, bemused, benumbed, bewildered, confounded, confused, dazed, dazzled, disconcerted, disoriented, dumbstruck, electrified, flabbergasted, horrified, immobilized, incredulous, nonplussed, overwhelmed, paralyzed, perplexed, scared, shocked, startled, stunned, stupefied, surprised, taken aback, traumatized, upset. . . .
    18. 18. mnRAJU Structural Challenges Grammatical particles like articles tenses case markers number gender etc. are not identical in every language.
    19. 19. mnRAJU Cultural Challenges  Cultural variation leads to linguistic variation  Terms deeply rooted in culture  No equivalents in target culture/language
    20. 20. mnRAJU Ethical Challenges Translator’s ethical attitudes  Personal values and beliefs  Errors in the source text  Dangers of misinterpretation
    21. 21. mnRAJU Political Challenges  Generating meanings not inherent  Using for political ends (Confucius used secular texts for philosophical purposes)
    22. 22. mnRAJU Ambiguity Challenges Linguistic Diction Structure Thematic Hazy thought Inept rendition I saw an Indian dance.
    23. 23. mnRAJU Indian Literature in Translation  multi-lingual nation  diverse social, cultural factors  wide variety of themes, genres  official language State funded agencies Sahitya Academy National Book Trust
    24. 24. mnRAJU Translation Humor In a Paris hotel elevator: Please leave your values at the front desk. In a Norwegian cocktail lounge: Ladies are requested not to have children in the bar. In an Acapulco hotel: The manager has personally passed all the water served here. In a Bucharest hotel lobby: The lift is being fixed for the next day. During that time we regret that you will be unbearable. Outside a Hong Kong tailor shop: Ladies may have a fit upstairs. In a Copenhagen airline ticket office: We take your bags and send them in all directions.
    25. 25. mnRAJU Future Focus • How are Cyberspace and electronic translation shaping up the locus of translation production? • What role should the translator play amidst the increasing emergence of computer translation software? • Should translators modify traditional theories or come up with new theories of translation to meet the new challenges? • What role do translators play in a global cultures? • What are the future prerequisites for building a career in translation? • How are shifts in technology, international politics and economics translated in a manner which preserves the cultural identity of the source and target languages? • What are the limitations of translation and interpretation activities on each nation compared to the global scenario? • What is the role of mass media in advancing proper translations?
    26. 26. mnRAJU Exercise 1 Translate this sentence into your mother tongue.
    27. 27. mnRAJU Send your comments to This slideshow is available at Thank You