Levels of Translating, by Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar


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Levels of Translating,
Introduction to translation,
LANE 350

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Levels of Translating, by Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar

  1. 1. Levels of Translating By: http://www.kau.edu.sa/SBANJAR Dr. Shadia Y. Banjar http://wwwdrshadiabanjar.blogspot.com Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 1
  2. 2. Newmark states that translating a source text into a target text operates in four levels : 1. Textual Level, 2. Referential Level, 3. Cohesive Level, and 4. Naturalness Level. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 2
  3. 3. THE FOUR LEVELS OF TRANSLATING Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 3
  4. 4. THE TEXTUAL LEVEL It involves the source text. At this level, you decode or render the syntactic structures of the source text into their correspondent structures in the target text. Sometimes you have to change these structures into something quite different in order to achieve the target language naturalness. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 4
  5. 5. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 5
  6. 6. The referential level operates on the content of the ST. It deals with the message or the meaning of the text. On this level you decode the meaning of the source text and build the conceptual representation. This is where you simplify polysemous words and phrases. On it you decode idioms and figurative expressions. This is where you figure out the pragmatic function of the source text. Once you have decoded the ST, you encode it into an appropriate target language expressions. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 6
  7. 7. The referential level and the textual level are closely related because the language of the source text conveys the message, and you use language to encode the message into the target text. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 7
  8. 8. The cohesive level The cohesive level links the textual and the referential levels . It deals with the form and the meaning of the text . Newmark identifies it as the mood of the text while others call it the tone of the text. In fact, tone is the author's attitude towards the text and the mood is the reader's attitude toward the text. tone words can be negative, neutral, and positive. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 8
  9. 9. TONE is simply the author’s attitude toward the subject. You can recognize the tone/attitude by the language/word choices the author uses. His language will reveal his perspective/opinion (that is, whether it is positive/negative) about the subject. Tone must be inferred through the use of descriptive words. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 9
  10. 10. MOOD MOOD is the overall feelings or emotions that are created IN THE READER. Authors “move” their readers’ moods through their choice of words and level of detail. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 10
  11. 11. Cohesive devices are typically single words or phrases that basically make the text hang together. By analogy, they are much like the seams in our clothing which keep items like jackets and trousers together. Three elementary examples of cohesive devices are word repetition, synonyms and pronouns. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 11
  12. 12. Cohesion is the network of lexical, grammatical, and other relations which link various parts of a text. These relations or ties organize and, to some extent, create a text, for instance, by requiring the reader to interpret words and expressions by reference to other words and expressions in the surrounding sentences and paragraphs. Cohesion is a surface relation and it connects together the actual words and expressions that we can see or hear. Halliday and Hasan identify five main cohesive devices in English: reference, substitution, ellipsis, conjunction, and lexical cohesion. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 12
  13. 13. At the structural sublevel, you investigate how various connectors, such as conjunctions, enumerations, repetitions or reiterations, definite articles and determiners, general category labels, synonyms, punctuation marks, simple or complex conjuncts, link sentences and structure the text and what Newmark calls its train of thought – which is basically its underlying information structure. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 13
  14. 14. You establish the tone by finding the so-called value-laden and value-free passages, such as subjective and objective bits, euphemisms, and other framing devices, framing being the strategy of linguistically presenting something in the perspective of one's own values and worldview, in a way promoting these. An author will frequently use emotional language that is value- ladened to affect our opinions. These words reflect the bias of the author and can express positive or negative opinions or biases toward the subject. Sometimes these words are referred to as loaded words. All of this will have to be somehow transferred into the target text so you achieve maximal equivalence at this level to. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 14
  16. 16. The level of naturalness This level is target text oriented, focusing exclusively on the construction of the target text. It is important that: 1. the target text makes sense. 2. the target text reads naturally like any other text composed in the target language. This is apparently more difficult than one might expect, because one tends to reproduce a lot of grammatical structures, phrases and wordings which are natural in the source language but, while possible in the target language, which do not feel natural as such in the target language. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 16
  17. 17. What makes things more complicated is that naturalness often depends on the situation, such that something might seem natural in one context but unnatural in another. The best, perhaps only way, to ensure naturalness is to read through your translation and spot unnaturally sounding parts and change them into something that sounds more natural. This is something that most people skip when they do translations. Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 17
  18. 18. Reference: A textbook of translation. Newmark, Peter,1988, Prentice-Hall International (New York). Dr. Shadia Yousef Banjar 18