HANDOUT 2. TRANSLATION METHODS

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Theories of TranslationW3HANDOUT 2. TRANSLATION METHODS(Peter Newmark 1988)SL-oriented vs. TL-oriented?1. WORD-FOR-WORD TRANSLATIONThis is often demonstrated as interlinear translation, with the TL immediately below the SLwords. The SL word-order is preserved and the words translated singly by their mostcommon out of context. SL word-order is preserved Non-grammatical Words are translated by their most common meanings, out of contextUsed for General information about SL Pre-translation process of difficult text in order to gain sense of meaningExample (fun alert):A Vietnamese woman called Police Station and said that her husband physically abusedher. A police officer came to her apartment and wrote the report. She does not speak muchEnglish therefore, word by word, the policeman carefully wrote down every single thing1 Page

Theories of TranslationW3the Vietnamese woman told him: “My husband threat hit die my mother so many times. Andtoday he out hand hit me true. He hit me hurt die mother.”2. LITERAL TRANSLATIONThe SL grammatical constructions are converted to their nearest TL equivalents but thelexical words are again translated singly, out of context. As a pre-translation process, thisindicates the problems to be solved. SL grammatical structures are converted to their nearest equivalent in the TL BUT words are still translated singly, out of context.Used for Pre-translation process to identify problemsExamples:-He is a big liar.-He looked up at the Milky Way.-PetroVietnam, the state-owned oil and gas giant, has also found itself in hot water.-She has a sweet tooth.-Carry coals to Newcastle.3. FAITHFUL TRANSLATIONA faithful translation attempts to reproduce the precise contextual meaning of the originalwithin the constraints of the TL grammatical structures. It ‘transfers’ cultural words andpreserves the degree of grammatical and lexical ‘abnormality’ (deviation from SL norms)in the translation. Words are translated in context Transfer cultural words Does not naturalizeUsed for Literary translation Authoritative texts Drafts2 Page

Theories of TranslationW34. SEMANTIC TRANSLATIONSemantic translation differs ‘faithful translation’ only in as far as it must take more accountof the aesthetic value (that is, the beautiful and natural sound) of the SL text,compromising on ‘meaning’ where appropriate so that no assonance, word-play orrepetition jars in the finished version. Further, it may translate less important cultural wordsby culturally neutral third or functional terms but not by cultural equivalents. The distinctionbetween ‘faithful’ and ‘semantic’ translation is that the first is uncompromising anddogmatic, while the second is more flexible, admits the creative exception to 100% fidelityand allows for the translator’s intuitive empathy with the original. It is more flexible than faithful translation Naturalizes in order to achieve aesthetic effect(may translate cultural words with neutral or functional terms) Great focus on aesthetic features of ST(Close rendering of metaphors, collocations, technical terms, slang, colloquialisms, unusualsyntactic structures and collocations, peculiarly used words, neologism.Used for-Expressive texts: e.g., literatureExamples:-Right in the heart of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is an enchanting body of water, a peacefuloasis away from all the hustle and bustle of the city.-She has a sunny smile on her face.-All men are created equal. They are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienablerights, among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness" (the Declaration ofIndependence of the United States of America in 1776)5. COMMUNICATIVE TRANSLATIONCommunicative translation attempts to render the exact contextual meaning of the originalin such a way that both content and language are readily acceptable and comprehensibleto the readership. freer than semantic translation gives priority to the effectiveness of the message to be communicated.3 Page

Theories of TranslationW3 focuses on factors such as readability and naturalnessUsed for informative textsExamples:Right in the heart of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is an enchanting body of water, a peaceful-oasis away from all the hustle and bustle of the city.-Nhà có chó dữ.-Keep off the grass.-Her face is all her fortune. Semantic Translation vs. Communicative TranslationSEMANTIC TRANSLATIONCOMMUNICATIVE TRANSLATION written at author’s linguistic level written at readership’s linguistic level used for expressive texts used for informative texts expressive components rendered normalized or toned down, neutralclosely/literallyterms personal and individual social tends to over-translate tends to under-translate pursues nuances of meaning pursues message inferior to its original better than its original has to interpret has to explain less freedom more freedomNote: There is no one communicative nor one semantic method of translating a text- these are in fact widely overlapping bands of methods. A translation can be more, or less,semantic - more, or less, communicative - even a particular section or sentence can be treatedmore communicatively or less semantically. (Newmark)4 Page

Theories of TranslationW36. IDIOMATIC TRANSLATIONIdiomatic translation reproduces the ‘message’ of the original but tends to distort nuancesof meaning by preferring colloquialisms and idioms where these do not exist in the original. Reproduce the ‘message’ of the original Prefers colloquialisms and idioms which do not exist in the original Outcome: lively, ‘natural’ translationExamples:-Không ai nghe lời khuyên của cô ấy cả-Nó rất bướng bỉnh-Chở củi về rừng-Việc hôm nay chớ để ngày mai.7. FREE TRANSLATIONFree translation reproduces the matter without the manner, or the content without theform of the original. Usually it is a paraphrase much longer than the original, a so-called‘intralingual translation’. Reproduce the matter without the manner; the content without the form of the original Paraphrases much larger than the originalUsed forInformative translationIn-house publicationExamples:-Business is business-Heartease (pansy) is used again for healing the heart. It is for disappointment in love,and in separation.8. ADAPTATIONThis is the ‘freest’ form of translation. It is used mainly for plays (comedies) and poetry:the themes, characters, plots are usually preserved, the SL culture converted to the TLculture and the text rewritten by an established dramatist or poet. The freest form of translation5 Page

Theories of Translation Preserves the theme, plots, characters only The SL culture is converted to the TL culture A kind of rewriting the text in translationUsed forPlays, poems, songs, advertising, tourismExamples:-IT-Chicken run-The thorn bird-“On a wagon, bound for market,There’s a calf with a mournful eye.High above him, there’s a swallow,Winging swiftly through the sky.How the winds are laughing,They laugh with all their might.Love and laugh the whole day throughAnd, half a summer’s night.”6 PageW3

Note: There is no one communicative nor one semantic method of translating a text - these are in fact widely overlapping bands of methods. A translation can be more, or less, semantic - more, or less, communicative - even a particular section or sentence can be treated more communi

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