Introduction to the Concept of PragmaticEquivalence“The text cannot be considered as a staticspecimen of language (an idea still dominantin practical translation classes), but essentiallyas the verbalized expression of an author’sintention as understood by the translator as areader, who then recreates this whole foranother readership in another culture.”
How does a text ‘make sense’ to a givenreadership?• In considering that issue, we will be going beyondthe level of the text. “Here we will be concerned withthe way utterances are used in communicativesituations and the way we interpret them incontext. This is a highly complex but fascinating areaof language study. known as pragmatics.• Pragmatics is the study of language in use. It is thestudy of meaning, not as generated by the linguisticsystem but as conveyed and manipulated byparticipants in a communicative situation.”
Coherence & ImplicatureThey are two concepts that helpthe reader as well as thetranslator identify and explorethe process of ‘making sense’or interpret the speaker’sintentions.
CoherenceDefinition:• Like cohesion, coherence is a network of relations which organize andcreate a text.• Cohesion is the network of surface relations which link words andexpressions to other words and expressions in a text, and coherence is thenetwork of conceptual relations which underlie the surface text. Bothconcern the way stretches of language are connected to each other.• In the case of cohesion stretches of language are connected to each otherby virtue of lexical and grammatical dependencies. ln the case ofcoherence, they are connected by virtue of conceptual or meaningdependencies as perceived by language users. Hoey (l99l: 2l) sums up thedifference between cohesion and coherence as follows:We will assume that cohesion is a property of the text and thatcoherence is a facet of the readers evaluation of the text.
What Creates a Coherent Text?Generally speaking, the merepresence of cohesive markerscannot create a coherent text;cohesive markers have toreflect conceptual relationswhich make sense.
An Example of a Highly Cohesive Text Which isNevertheless Incoherent• I bought a Ford. The car in whichPresident Wilson rode down the ChampsElysees was black. Black English has beenwidely discussed. The discussionsbetween the presidents ended last week.A week has seven days. Every day l feedmy cat. Cats have four legs. The cat is onthe mat. Mat has three letters.
Continuity of SenseThe fact that we cannot normally make senseof stretches of language like the one quotedabove, in spite of the presence of a number ofcohesive markers, suggests that what actuallygives texture to a stretch of language is notthe presence of cohesive markers but ourability to recognize underlying semanticrelations which establish continuity of sense.
Coherence: a feature of text or situation?No text is inherently coherent or incoherent.In the end, it all depends on the receiver, andon his ability to interpret the indicationspresent in the discourse so that, finally, hemanages to understand it in a way whichseems coherent to him - in a way whichcorresponds with his idea of what it is thatmakes a series of actions into an integratedwhole.(Charolles, 1983: 95)
The Hearer’s or Reader’s ExpectationsThe ability to make sense of a stretch oflanguage depends on the hearer’s or reader‘sexpectations and experience of the world.Different societies, and indeed differentindividuals and groups of individuals withinthe same society have different experiencesof the world and different views on the wayevents and situations are organized or relatedto each other. A network or relations which isvalid and makes sense in one society may notbe valid in another.
Factors Affect Coherence of a TextWhether a text is judged as acceptable or notdoes not depend on how closely it correspondsto some static affairs in the world but rather onwhether the reader finds the presented versionof reality believable, homogeneous, or relevant.The coherence of a text is a result of theinteraction between knowledge presented inthe text and the reader’s own knowledge andexperience of the world, the latter beinginfluenced by a variety of factors such as age, sex,race, nationality, education, occupation, andpolitical and religious affiliations.
An Example Illustrating the Relation betweencoherence and the reader’s knowledgeConsider, for instance, the following extract from A Hero fromZero (p. i) where Tiny Rowland gives an account of how helost control of the House of Fraser:Thepurchasing power of theproposed fifteen hundred shopoutletswould havemeant excellent pricereductionstocustomersacrossBritain and theUnited States. Theflagship,Harrods, had never been integrated with therest and woulddemergeto retain itsparticular character and choice.It’soften written, asahandy journalist’stag, that Isuffered from an obsession to control thesplendidKnightsbridgestore. It would beavery static and limited aim,I think. For Lonrhospurpose, it could havebeen any well-spread storesgroup. It waschance, and also roulette, thatbrought Hugh Fraser, theseller, and Lonrho, thebuyer,together in 1977.
Comments on the TextThere is no explicit cohesive relation in the previousextract which tells us that Harrods and the splendidKnightsbridge store refer to the same thing, exceptperhaps the use of the definite article in the splendidKnightsbridge store and the synonymy between shopoutlets and store (but even that depends for itsinterpretation on recognizing that Harrods is a shop orstore of some sort). There is no pronominal reference,for instance, or direct repetition. The relation betweenthe two, and therefore the continuity of sensebetween the two paragraphs, is, of course, perfectlyaccessible to any British reader as well as to anyonewho is familiar with the famous Harrods store andknows that it is in Knightsbridge.
Coherence and the TranslatorLike any writer, a translator has to take account of therange of knowledge available to his/her target readersand of the expectations they are likely to have aboutsuch things such as;1. the organization of the world,2. the organization of language in general,3. the organization and conventions of particular types,4. the structure of social relations,5. the appropriateness or inappropriateness of certainkinds of linguistic and non-linguistic behaviour , and6. our own knowledge, beliefs, and previous experienceof both linguistic and non-linguistic events.
How to translate the Previous Extract?In translating a document like this, however, onecannot take it for granted that the target readerwill have the necessary background knowledge tointerpret the co-reference successfully, unless, ofcourse, the translation is aimed at expatriate orimmigrant communities in Britain. The Arabictranslation provides an explicit link throughrepetition of ‘store’. This makes it clear thatHarrods is a store and also establishes continuityof sense in the mind of the target reader bylinking Harrods in the first paragraph and thesplendid Knightsbridge store in the second:
Some Words to Help You inTranslating(a) outlet: a. A commercial market for goods or services. b. A storethat sells the goods of a particular manufacturer or wholesaler.(b) flagship: The chief one of a related group: the flagship of anewspaper chain; the flagship of a line of reference books.(c) demerge: (tr) (Business / Industrial Relations & HR Terms) toseparate a company from another with which it was previouslymerged(d) handy: practical, witty, masterful, skillful(e) obsession: a persistent idea or impulse that continually forces itsway into consciousness, often associated with anxiety and mentalillness(f) roulette: a game of chance, played with a ball on a revolving wheel.
When is a text Coherent?We could perhaps say that texts are neithercoherent nor incoherent by themselves, thatwhether a text coheres or not depends on theability of the reader to make sense of it byrelating it to what s/he already knows or to afamiliar world, whether this world is real orfictional. A text which coheres for one readermay therefore not cohere for another.one cannot deny that a readers culturaland intellectual background determine howmuch sense s/he gets of a text.
A Text to Translate• He Knew he would be regarded as an outsideramong the yuppies of the city; he had toabsolve himself, and the way to an executivejob lay through the heart of Fiona, the DG’sspecial PA. If he could win her over, he wouldbe assured of a posting abroad, away from theyuppies’ internecine fight for theastronomically salaried job of senior assistantmanager.
Some Points on the Text1. The word, “yuppies” is an abbreviation forthe phrase, “Young Urban ProfessionalPersons”. It can be translated into نوينهملالمهنيونيتقاضون نوينهملالذين بهم نوينهملالمقصودو )نوينهملالمدينة سكان من نوينهملالشباننوينهملاقوأس في جهد من يبذلونه ما مع تتناسب ل كبيرة مرتباتأصلها نوينهملان ويقال .(نوينهملالتجارةو نوينهملالمال Young UpwardlyMobile Professional Persons نوينهملالمهنيون نوينهملالشبان أيخارقة بسرعة نوينهملالجتماعي نوينهملالسلم يتسلقون نوينهملالذين.
Translation of Abbreviations and Difficult Words• DG : Director General PA : Personal Assistant• ”Yummies“ is a new English Word added by the British press.It is an abbreviation for “ Young Upwardly Mobile Maraxists”which means نوينهملالصاعدون نوينهملالماركسيون نوينهملالشبان• “Dinkies” is another difficult word which means “DoubleIncome-No Kids! which means لهم أطفال ل ممن نوينهملالعاملين نوينهملاجونوينهملالوز• absolve: 1. To pronounce clear of guilt or blame.2. To relieve of a requirement or obligation.3. a. To grant a remission of sin to. b. To pardon or remit (a sin).internecine:• 1. Of or relating to struggle within a nation, organization, or group.• 2. Mutually destructive; ruinous or fatal to both sides.• 3. Characterized by bloodshed or carnage.
The Assignment• The students are asked to translate theprevious text.