Textual equivalence

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  • 1. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEAuthorAuthor: Haralambie Alina: Haralambie AlinaScientific coordinatorScientific coordinator: PhD. Croitoru Elena: PhD. Croitoru ElenaLower Danube UniversityLower Danube UniversityMaster’s in Translation and InterpretationMaster’s in Translation and InterpretationGalaGalaţiţi20112011
  • 2. MOTTOMOTTODo we really know how we translate or what weDo we really know how we translate or what wetranslate?...Are we to accept “naked ideas” as thetranslate?...Are we to accept “naked ideas” as themeans of crossing from one language tomeans of crossing from one language toanother?...Translators know they cross over butanother?...Translators know they cross over butdo not know by what sort of bridge. They oftendo not know by what sort of bridge. They oftenre-cross by a different bridge to check up again.re-cross by a different bridge to check up again.Sometimes they fall over the parapet into limbo.Sometimes they fall over the parapet into limbo.(Firth, 1957:197)(Firth, 1957:197)
  • 3. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE translation studies: the contemporary theory of“partial communication”: communication does nottransfer the total message the translating processdoes not transfer the totality of what is in the original “the ideal of total equivalence is a chimera. Languagesare different from each other; they are different in formhaving distinct codes and rules regulating theconstruction of grammatical stretches of language andthese forms have different meanings.[...]There is noabsolute synonymy between words in the samelanguage, so why should anyone be surprised todiscover a lack of synonymy between languages?”(Bell, 1991:6)
  • 4. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE J.C. Catford (1965): equivalenceequivalence = textual interchangeability in agiven situation- criticized by K. Reiss andVermeer (1984): a translation is notinterchangeable with its source text in a givensituation; source texts and translations operatein different language communities. “The information they convey may be felt andjudged to be equivalent, and the situations theycommunicate in may be felt to be interculturallycomparable (or equivalent), but they are not thesame.” (A.L. Jakobsen)
  • 5. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) S. Bassnett-McGuire (1991): the interpretation of translation should be basedon the comparison of the text’s “function” asoriginal and as a translation. DisadvantageDisadvantage: her use of the term function is so broad thatalmost any deviation, addition, deletion could belabelled a “functional equivalent.” it allows the replacement of much of the text,with all its particular resonance andassociations, with something new and completelydifferent, but which theoretically affects thereader the same way. (E. Gentzler, 1993:101)
  • 6. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Holmes (1974:78): equivalenceequivalence= preservation of the sound, thesense, the rhythm, the textual “material” andrecreation of those specific sensation-sound,sense and association- despite inherentlimitations in the TL (opposed to S. Bassnett-McGuire’s theory)
  • 7. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Van den Broeck (1978) : redefines and recuperates “equivalence” for his ownconcept of “true understanding” of how one shouldregard literary translation. (Broeck, 1978:29) In agreement with Lefevere (1975), Broeck (1978)considers that the original author’s intention and thefunction of the original text can be determined andtranslated so that the TT will be equivalent to the STand function accordingly. A translation can only becomplete if and when both the communicative valueand the time-place-tradition elements if the ST havebeen replaced by their nearest possible equivalents inthe TT (Lefevere, 1975:102; Broeck, 1978:39).
  • 8. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Neubert (1986): the text has a kind of a “mosaic” quality, anelasticity that allows it to be translated into avariety of “relative” TTs. introduces the term “translational relativity” inthe reconstruction process, allowing for a“creative” process of transfer from the ST to theTT. This relativity derives from an inherentmultiplicity of structural possibilities in theoriginal (Neubert, 1986:97).
  • 9. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Toury (1980): considers translation from the point of view of the targetculture (TC) sets forth a TT theory for translation, focussing not on anotion of equivalence as postulated requirements, but onthe “actual relationships” between the ST and its “factualreplacement” (Toury, 1980:39). The following aspects of Toury’s theory have contributed tothe development of translation theory:1. The abandonment of one-to-one notions of correspondenceand the possibility of literary/ linguistic equivalence2. The involvement of the literary tendencies within the TCin the production of any translated text3. The destabilization of the notion of an original messagewith a fixed identity4. The integration of both ST and TT in the semiotic web ofintersecting cultural systems.
  • 10. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Translation studies: there are as manyTranslation studies: there are as manyvariants of a translation as there arevariants of a translation as there aretranslators.translators. Yet, among those many versions, there will bewhat Popovic (1976) calls the “invariant core” ofthe original. The invariant= what exists incommon between all existing translations of asingle work. Instead of prescribing a technique which caneliminate losses and smooths over changes,Popovic accepts that losses, gains and changesare a necessary part of the translation processbecause of the inherent differences of intellectualand aesthetic values in the two cultures.
  • 11. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) E. Nida’s (1969) two types of equivalence: formal equivalenceformal equivalence (focuses attention on the messageitself, in both form and content); dynamic equivalencedynamic equivalence (based on the principle ofequivalent effect, i.e. that the relationship betweenreceiver and message should aim at being the same as thatbetween the original receivers and the SL language). The equivalent effect is based on the “four basicrequirements of a translation”:1. making sense;2. conveying the spirit and manner of the original;3. having a natural and easy form of expression;4. producing a similar response.
  • 12. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Peter Newmark’s two types of translation: communicative translation-communicative translation- attempts toproduce on its readers an effect as close aspossible to that obtained on the readers of theoriginal ~ Nida’s dynamic equivalence; semantic translation-semantic translation- attempts to render, asclosely as the semantic and syntactic structuresof the second language allow, the exactcontextual meaning of the original ~ Nida’s formalequivalence.
  • 13. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Werner Koller (1979) introduces the concept ofcorrespondencecorrespondence, linked with the concept of equivalenceequivalence:Field Contrastive Linguistics Science ofTranslationResearch area Correspondence phenomenaand conditions, describingcorresponding structures andsentences in the TL and SLsystemsEquivalencephenomena, describinghierarchy of utterancesand texts in SL and TLaccording to theequivalence criterionKnowledge Langue ParoleCompetence Foreign language competence Translation competence
  • 14. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Werner Koller’s (1979) five types of equivalence: Denotative equivalence-Denotative equivalence- related to theextralinguistic content of a text (“contentinvariance”); Connotative equivalence-Connotative equivalence- related to the lexicalchoices, especially between near-synonyms (“stylisticequivalence”); Text-normative equivalence-Text-normative equivalence- related to text types; Pragmatic/ communicative equivalence-Pragmatic/ communicative equivalence- orientedtowards the receiver of the text or message; Formal equivalence-Formal equivalence- related to the form andaesthetics of the text, includes word plays and theindividual stylistic features of the ST (“expressiveequivalence”).
  • 15. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Cay Dollerup’s (2006: 64) main concepts: Translations as approximationsTranslations as approximations-- there is noperfect translation or ideal translator; we canonly discuss tangible approximations of theseelusive ideals; AdequacyAdequacy-- a translation is adequate when itconveys the meaning of the source text to thetarget language in a given situation; the users,clients, recipients can determine the fulfillmentof this criterion.
  • 16. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Most theories to date can be characterized astheories of (what is allegedly) the only legitimateor genuine kind of translation (D. Delabastita,1991:143). The genuine concept of translation can be defined- in positive terms, i.e. “to render the SL messagewith the closest TL equivalent...is, we believe,the only possible way leading to fidelity” (Shen,1989:234).- in negative terms, i.e. “literalism has indeed littleclaim to theoretical validity as an approach to“total translation” (Shen, 1989:224).
  • 17. VIEWS ON EQUIVALENCEVIEWS ON EQUIVALENCE(CONTINUED)(CONTINUED) Recent theories: translation= an act of communication across culturaltranslation= an act of communication across culturalboundariesboundaries, the main criteria being determined by therecipient of the translation and its specific function(Snell-Hornby, 1988:47) The traditional relationships between the ST and TTare replaced by networks of relationships andconcepts of intertextuality (Toury, 1986; Lambert,1989; E. Gentzler 1993) cultural studies modelcultural studies model. The translator’s task is to strive for the highestpossible degree of “matching” or “equivalence”between the SL and the TL text, i.e. the TL text mustthe TL text musttry to achieve a similar effect on the foreign reader astry to achieve a similar effect on the foreign reader asthe SL text does on the native readerthe SL text does on the native reader (Wekker andWekker, 1991:221, apud Gentzler, 1993). The TL textThe TL textmust be equivalent to the SL text on both a linguisticmust be equivalent to the SL text on both a linguisticand a socio-cultural level.and a socio-cultural level.
  • 18. EQUIVALENCE AND ADEQUACY INEQUIVALENCE AND ADEQUACY INTRANSLATIONTRANSLATION K. Reiss and H. Vermeer (1984:133): in a number oftranslations, e.g. translations for teaching purposes andphilological translations, the function of the TLT is differentfrom that of the SLT. In this case, the principle governing thetranslation process is adequacyadequacy. AdequacyAdequacy= the appropriate selection of linguistic signs in theTL in view of the dimensions selected in the ST. (Reiss) An adequate TTAn adequate TT= one in which the TT matches a relevantdimension of the ST, because the translator does not aim atproducing a full textual equivalent of the ST but focuses on acertain dimension of the ST. Adequacy is a more general concept than equivalence.Equivalence involves matching not just one dimension, but alldimensions of the ST. E. Nida (1976:64) considered that the relative adequacy ofdifferent translations of the same text “can only be determinedcan only be determinedin terms of the extent to which each translation successfullyin terms of the extent to which each translation successfullyfulfils the purpose for which it was intendedfulfils the purpose for which it was intended” (Nida, 1976:64).
  • 19. CONCLUSIONSCONCLUSIONS Translation must take into consideration: the linguistic context; the semantic context; the pragmatic context. Translation also involves cultural translation, ascultures shape concepts and texts differently.
  • 20. REFERENCES:REFERENCES: Croitoru, Elena. 1996. Interpretation andTranslation. Galati: Editura Porto-Franco. Dollerup, Cay. 2006. Basics of TranslationStudies. Iasi: Institutul European. Munday, Jeremy. 2001. IntroducingTranslation Studies. Theories andapplications. London: Routledge Group.