Unit One Basic Concepts
Basic Concepts • Learning Objectives • In this unit, basic concepts and ideas about language, communication and translation methodology are required with the aim of achieving specific learning objectives. Upon the completion of this unit, you will be able to: • Define language, communication, translation and interpretation, • Explain how translation is a process of communication, • List the main types of written translation, • Explain the difference between translation and interpretation, • Explain the concept of translation methodology, • List the three steps of the translation process, and • Explain other key translation terms.
What is language? • Language is a system of human communication. It consists of a special arrangements of sounds or their written forms into words, sentences, and utterances, which are used by speakers and writers to communicate ideas. Different people use different languages, and different languages have different ways for expressing ideas. Find a different definition of language. Discuss how it is different from this one. What are the basic elements of a definition of language?
What is communication? • Communication is the sharing of information with other people through different media, including speech, writing and body movements. Verbal communication involves a sender, one who conveys information, a message, information transmitted, and a receiver, one to whom information is sent. In this case language is the medium or channel of communication.
Sender Message Receiver The communication process Communication occurs through time and space and messages are communicated through different media. Man to man communication is but one mode of communication. God, however, communicates with man through His sent down Messages. We call this transcendent communication. We need to add another label along with the Message, i.e. Messenger. In this case we refer to the celestial and human types of Messengers. Furthermore, the communication process becomes horizontal rather than vertical. The Sender is not a peer human being, but the High Absolute Sender of information, God SWT.
A speaker is a sender, his utterances is a message and the audience are the receivers. The channel is sound waves transmitted through air. This is oral-aural communication. A radio news reader is a sender, the news items broadcast constitute a message, and the listeners are the receivers. The channel is the radio system. A writer of a book is a sender, the ideas written constitute the message, and the book readers are the receivers. The channel is the specific writing system. A painter is a sender, the painting is a message, and the audience of an art gallery are the receivers, and brushes and paint colours constitute the channel. People communicate using the same language. This is called intra-lingual communication. However, they can communicate using different languages, which is called interlingual communication. Intra-lingual communication occurs inside a language, whereas interlingual communication occurs between two or more different languages, using the facility of translation. A third type of communication occurs between different semiotic systems. We communicate with machines using different sign systems. Your are able to communicate with your lap- or desktop through an interface called Operation System. An OS transfers your commands from human language to machine code system. It is no wonder, therefore, that the machine responds to your instructions. Thanks to the OS which renders your ordinary commands into a machine-code language.
What is Translation? • Translation is the rendering of the meaning of a source text (ST) into the target language (TL) in the same way that the writer intended the text. The aim is to communicate the ideas of the text in the source language (SL) to readers of the TL through a target text (TT) that has the same message and effect. The degree of similarity in message and effect between ST and its translation is called translation equivalence. • Key concepts • A text is a piece of meaningful written/spoken language. A text can be an utterance, a sentence, a poem, a paragraph, a chapter, a poem, a book, an encyclopaedia, etc. full understanding of the meaning of a text depends on its context. • Contextis the situation in which a text is used, including its temporal, spatial elements as well as its author and receivers. This can be summed up with asking Who did What, When and How? • The source language (SL) is the language of the original text. • The target language (TL) is the language into which we translate the text. • The source text (ST) is the original text. • The target text (TT) is a translated version of the original text.
The translator The translator is a person who conveys the message of written texts from one language into another. The translator has four types of knowledge: Knowledge of SL and source culture (SC) Knowledge of TL and target culture (TC) Knowledge of the subject matter General knowledge The translator is characterised with three essential qualities: Sharp trained memory Concentration Patience Key concepts Culture refers to all aspects of the life of a nation or group of people who share the same space and language, customs and beliefs, traditions and history. Culture includes the ways people communicate, dress, eat, and behave in matters of, religion, customs and traditions. Most aspects of culture are expressed in its specific language, meaning that language is the melting-pot of culture.
Translation as a process of communication Conveying messages from one language to another, translation is considered a process of communication between the pair of languages involved. This type of communication adds other elements into the simple figure of usual verbal communication. Translator as a communication process SL Receiver Translator SL Sender SL Message TL Sender TL Message TL Receiver
Types of Translation • Translation refers to rendering different types of written messages. Because different subjects use different styles and formats, translation employers somewhat different ways in rendering different text types. In this regard, translator responds to different translation problems encountered in these different areas of knowledge. As a result, we may refer to different translation types based on the subject areas being translated: • Translation of literary texts • Translation of scientific texts • Translation of legal texts • Translation of media texts • Translation of business texts • Translation of political texts • Interpretation (translation of verbal messages) • Interpreting refers to the translation of verbal messages from one language to another. Interpreting is the spoken communication of the ideas of a speaker of one language to a hearer who does not understand the same spoken language. The mediator who undertakes the job is called an interpreter. Interpreting is used in places where people of different languages come together in conferences, meetings, courts and clinics.
Interpretation can be simultaneous or consecutive. In simultaneous interpretation, the interpreter sits in a special room ( booth), listens to the speaker through headphones and simultaneously renders the speaker’s speech into a microphone. In consecutive interpretation, the interpreter sits next to the speaker. The speaker talks for some time and then stops. The interpreter then renders that part of speech and stops. And the process goes on consecutively. Sight translation Sight translation is the spoken rendering of a written text message. In sight translation, the translator reads a written message in one language and says its meaning aloud in another language. Sight translation is made when written translation is not needed or there is no time to do it. Machine translation (MT) or Automatic translation Machine translation is done by a computer instead of a human being. An automated translation will not be as accurate as a translation conducted by a minded being. Machines lack the thinking capacity endowed to man by God. Machines do not think or make choices when options are available. Machines do not make mistake and so they will never have the ability to improve by learning from their faults. Machine translation may work with simple, direct and standardised texts. Beyond that MT will always require human editing. With higher level texts, MT requires more editing time than being done in the first place by a professional translator.
Translation Studies Translation Studies is the discipline which studies issues related to translation such as translation theories, translation methods, translation strategies, translation problems, translation types, translation history and translation teaching. What is translation methodology? Translation methodology is the systematic approach professional translators follow in the process of translating texts from one language into another. This process consists of three main steps: Source text comprehension (understanding the meaning of the text) ST rendering and TT production (transferring the meaning into the TL and producing the TT) Target text revision (revising and editing the translation) These steps are interrelated as we can see from the following diagram: Translation process Source text rendering and Target text production Source text comprehension Translation revision
The steps are explained in the following units with examples from different texts. Each step is explained in a separate unit as follows: Source text comprehension in Unit Two. Source text rendering and target text production in Unit Three. Target text revision in Unit Four. Quiz What is translation? Explain how interpreting is different from translation. What is communication? Explain how translation is a process of communication. What are the main types of written translation? List the types of knowledge necessary for the translator. Complete: Sight translation is ……………………………………. The interpreter is a person who ……………….. Language is a system of ……………………………. Machine translation is ………………………………. Culture is …………………………………………………..
Choose the right answer: a. The language to which the text is translated is called - source language - target text - target language - target culture b. the person who conveys the meaning of a written text from one language into another is called - interpreter - writer - translator - listener c. The translation of a text in another language is called - source text - target language - SL culture - target text
d. The rendering of written texts is • - language • - oral translation • - legal translation • - written translation • 9- What is translation methodology? • 10- Name the three main steps in the process of translation.
A general dictionary definition of translation: trans·la·tion n. 1. a. The act or process of translating, especially from one language into another. b. The state of being translated. A translated version of a text. WordWeb= A written communication in a second language having the same meaning as the written communication in a first language
Extra Reading from Wiki: Translation From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. Whereas interpreting undoubtedly antedates writing, translation began only after the appearance of written literature; there exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh (ca. 2000 BCE) into Southwest Asian languages of the second millennium BCE. Translators always risk inappropriate spill-over of source-language idiom and usage into the target-language translation. On the other hand, spill-overs have imported useful source-language calques and loanwords that have enriched the target languages. Indeed, translators have helped substantially to shape the languages into which they have translated.
Due to the demands of business documentation consequent to the Industrial Revolution that began in the mid-18th century, some translation specialties have become formalized, with dedicated schools and professional associations. Because of the laboriousness of translation, since the 1940s engineers have sought to automate translation (machine translation) or to mechanically aid the human translator (computer-assisted translation). The rise of the Internet has fostered a world-wide market for translation services and has facilitated language localization. Translation studies deal with the systematic study of the theory, the description and the application of translation.