Untranslatability in translation

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  • 1. Untranslatability inTranslation Prepared by Mohsine MAHRAJ Hassan II University, Ain Chock, Casablanca
  • 2. Untranslatability defined “The degree of difficulty of translation depends on their nature, as well as on the translators abilities.”
  • 3. Types of untranslatability Catford distinguishes two types which he terms linguistic and cultural
  • 4. Examples of untranslatability
  • 5. 1. Register Although Thai lgge has words that can be used as equivalent to English "I", "you", or "he/she/it", they are relatively formal terms; In most cases, Thai people use words which express the relation between speaker and listener according to their respective roles. for a mother to say to her child "Ill tell you a story", she would say "(mae ja bawk luuk nitaan), or "Mother will tell child a story".
  • 6. Grammar Chinese has no tenses per se, only three aspects. The English verb to be does not have a direct equivalent in Chinese. In an English sentence where to be leads to an adjective ("It is blue"), there is no to be in Chinese. (There are no adjectives in Chinese, instead there are stative verbs that dont need an extra verb.) If it states a location, the verb verb "zài" ( 在 ) is used, as in "We are in the house". And in most other cases, the verb "shì" ( 是 ) is used, as in "I am the leader." Any sentence that requires a play on those different meanings will not work in Chinese.
  • 7. Vocabulary German, as well as Dutch, has a wealth of modal particles that are particularly difficult to translate as they convey sense or tone more rather than strictly grammatical information. The most infamous example perhaps is doch (Dutch: toch), which toch roughly means "dont you realize that...?", or "in fact that it is so, though someone is denying it". What makes it translating such words difficult is their different meanings depending on intonation or the context.
  • 8. Family (Siblings) In Arabic, "brother" is often translated into ‫أخ‬ (Akh). However, while this word may describe a brother who shares either one or both parents, there is a separate word - ‫شقيق‬ (Shaqeeq) - to describe a brother with whom one shares both parents.
  • 9. Family (Grandparents) Swedish, Norwegian and Danish have the terms farmor and farfar for paternal grandparents, and mormor and morfar for maternal grandparents. The English terms great-grandfather and great-grandmother also have different terms in Swedish, depending on lineage. This distinction between paternal and maternal grandparents is also used in Bengali, Chinese, and Thai.
  • 10. Family (Aunts and Uncles) Arabic contains separate words for "mothers brother" ‫( خال‬Khal) and "fathers brother" ‫عم‬ (am). The closest translation into English is "uncle", which gives no indication as to lineage, whether maternal or paternal. Similarly, in Arabic, there are specific words for the fathers sister and the mothers sister.
  • 11. Family (Nephews, Nieces, and Cousins) Whereas English has different words for the child of ones sibling based on its gender (nephew for the son of ones sibling, niece for the daughter), the word cousin applies to both genders of children belonging to ones aunt or uncle. Many languages approach these concepts very differently: Spanish distinguishes in both cases: the son of a sibling is sobrino, whereas a daughter is sobrina, sobrino sobrina equally a male cousin is primo, while a female primo cousin is prima. prima
  • 12. Family (Nephews, Nieces, and Cousins) Though Italian distinguishes between male (cugino) and female (cugina) cousins cugino cugina where English does not, it uses “nipote” (nephew/niece) for both genders
  • 13. Family (Relations by marriage) in American English the term "my brother-in- law" covers "my spouses brother", "my law sisters husband", and "my spouses sisters husband". In British English, the last of these is not considered strictly correct.
  • 14. Puns and Wordplay Similarly, consider the Italian adage "traduttore, traditore": a literal translation is traditore "translator, traitor". The pun is lost, though the meaning persists. (A similar solution can be given, however, in Hungarian, by saying a “fordítás: ferdítés”, which roughly translates ferdítés” as "translation is distortion".)
  • 15. Procedures to compensate forthis problem The translation procedures that are available in cases of lacunae, or lexical gaps, include the following:
  • 16. Adaptation An adaptation, also known as a free translation, is a translation procedure whereby the translator replaces a social, or cultural, reality in the source text with a corresponding reality in the target text; this new reality would be more usual to the audience of the target text.
  • 17. Adaptation In the Belgian comic book “The Adventures of Tintin”, Tintins trusty canine sidekick “Milou” is translated as “Snowy” in English, “Bobbie” in Dutch, and “Struppi” in German; likewise the detectives “Dupont and Dupond” become “Thomson and Thompson” in English, “Jansen and Janssen” in Dutch, “Schultze and Schulze” in German, “Hernández and Fernández” in Spanish
  • 18. Borrowing Borrowing is a translation procedure whereby the translator uses a word or expression from the source text in the target text unmodified. In English text, borrowings not sufficiently anglicized are normally in italics.
  • 19. Calque Calque entails taking an expression, breaking it down to individual elements and translating each element into the target language word for word. the German word: "Alleinvertretungsanspruch" can be calqued to "single-representation-claim", but a proper translation would result in: "Exclusive Mandate” .
  • 20. Compensation Compensation is a translation procedure whereby the translator solves the problem of aspects of the source text that cannot take the same form in the target language by replacing these aspects with other elements or forms in the source text.
  • 21. Compensation Many languages have two forms of the second person pronoun, namely an informal form and a formal form. This is known as T-V distinction, found in French (tu vs. vous), Spanish (tú/vos vs. usted), and German (du vs. Sie), for example, but not contemporary English. the translator may have to compensate by using a first name or nickname, or by using syntactic phrasing that are viewed as informal in English (Im, youre, gonna, etc.), or by using English words of the formal and informal registers, to preserve the level of formality.
  • 22. Paraphrase Paraphrase, sometimes called periphrasis, is a translation procedure whereby the translator replaces a word in the source text by a group of words or an expression in the target text. The Portuguese word “saudade” is often translated into English as "the feeling of missing a person who is gone". gone
  • 23. Translators note A translators note is a note added by the translator to the target text to provide additional information pertaining to the limits of the translation, the cultural background, or any other explanations; Some translation exams allow or demand such notes. Some translators regard resorting to notes as a failure.
  • 24. Thank You for your Attention