- Slides: 36
Introduction to Translation Equivalence at Word Level
What is a “word”? � The word is the smallest unit of language that can be used by itself. � Written Word: any sequence of letters with an orthographic space on either side.
Word – Meaning Relation � Is there a one-to-one relation between word and meaning? � There is no one-to-one correspondence between orthographic words and elements of meaning within or across languages. � Elements of meaning which are represented by one orthographic word may be represented by more than one on another language. E. g. rebuild, disbelieve
Lexical Meaning of Words � Lexical meaning: the specific value of a word or lexical unit in a particular system. � There are four types of lexical meaning: 1 - Propositional Meaning. 2 - Expressive Meaning. 3 - Presupposed Meaning. 4 - Evoked Meaning.
Propositional Meaning � The relation between the word and what it refers to or describes in a real or imaginative world. Through this meaning, we can decide whether the word is true or false. � E. g. Shirt: a piece of clothing worn on the upper part of the body. Not worn in foot (socks) � A translation is inaccurate because of mistakes in propositional meanings.
Expressive Meaning � It is related to the speaker’s feeling or attitude. Can’t judge (true or false) � Two or more words can have the same propositional meaning but with different expressive meaning. � E. g. don’t complain – don’t whinge - Expressive meaning: “whinge” the speaker finds the action annoying. - Famous: it means “well-known” in English and French. But in French it has a negative meaning.
Presupposed Meaning � It is related to the co-occurrence of restrictions (what to expect to see before or after a word). Two types of restrictions: 1 - Selectional: related to propositional meaning. � � E. g. Studious: we expect human subject. Geometrical: we expect an inanimate subject.
Presupposed Meaning – Cont’d 2 - Collocational: arbitrary restrictions. They don’t follow the logic of propositional meaning. � E. g. English: Laws are broken Arabic: Laws are contradicted ( )ﻳﺨﺎﻟﻒ
Evoked Meaning � It is related to language variation; dialect and register. 1 - Dialect: variety of language within a specific group of speakers or community. � E. g. Left – Elevator (American – British) Verily – really (old – new) Scent – perfume (social classes)
Evoked Meaning – Cont’d 2 - Register: variety of language that a language user considered appropriate to a specific situation. � E. g. - Field: what is going on. Football game – talking about football. - Tenor: relation between speakers. Parents and son – teacher and student. - Mode: the role of language and medium of transmission. Speech – essay, spoken – written. �
Register in Translation �A translator must ensure that his translation doesn’t get ridiculed by the receiver and that it matches their register expectations, unless, the purpose of the translation is to give a flavor of the source culture.
Problems of Non-equivalence � Choosing the suitable equivalent depends on a wide variety of factors ; some are linguistic and some are extra-linguistic. � Before choosing the suitable equivalent, we must know semantic fields and lexical sets.
Semantic Fields and Lexical Sets � Language is usually divided into semantic fields (divisions) and lexical sets (subdivisions). � Semantic fields refer to abstract concepts, while the actual expression under the field is called lexical set.
Semantic Fields and Lexical Sets – Cont’d Speech speak mumble murmur say mutter whisper
Semantic Fields and Lexical Sets – Cont’d � Among languages, there is agreement on the larger headings (semantic fields) more than the sub-fields. � E. g. Temeprature - English: cold, cool, warm, hot - Arabic: ﺩﺍﻓﺊ ، ﺳﺎﺧﻦ ، ﺣﺎﺭ ، ﺑﺎﺭﺩ
Non-equivalence and its reasons � Non-equivalence mean that the target language has no direct equivalent for a word which occurs in the source text. � There are many types of non-equivalence which can cause problems to the translator.
Problems of Non-equivalence 1. Culture-specific concepts: the source language word may express a concept which is totally unknown to the target culture. � E. g. airing cupboard.
Problems of Non-equivalence 2. The source language concept is not lexicalized in the target language: the source word may express a concept which is known in the target culture but simple not lexicalized. � E. g. savoury: attractive to the sense of taste or smell.
Problems of Non-equivalence 3. The source language word is semantically complex: a single word which consists of a single word can sometimes express a more complex set of meanings than a whole sentence. � E. g. arruacao: a word in Brazilian: clearing the ground under coffee trees of rubbish and piling it in the middle of the row to aid in the recovery of beans dropped during harvesting.
Problems of Non-equivalence 4. The source and target languages make different distinctions: the target language has an equivalent but with different distinctions than the source language. E. g. Indonesian: - Kehujana: going out in the rain with the knowledge that it is raining. - Hujanhujanan: going out in the rain without the knowledge that it is raining. �
Problems of Non-equivalence 5. The target language lacks a superordinate: the target language may have specific words but no general word to head the semantic field. � E. g. Russian: it doesn’t include an general equivalent for facilities, it has only types of facilities.
Problems of Non-equivalence 6. The target language lacks a specific term: the target language has a superordinate but not a specific word. � E. g. English: Superordinate: House Specific words: bungalow, cottage, chalet, hut, lodge, mansion, manor, villa, croft and hall.
Problems of Non-equivalence 7. Difference in form: there is often no equivalence in the target language for a particular form in the source text. � E. g. English uses affixes to produce words, while Arabic does not have this mechanism, so we paraphrase. - drinkable, conceivable, retrievable.
Problems of Non-equivalence 8. The use of loan words in the source text: using loan words in the source text creates a special problem in translation, because they are used for prestige value and sophistication. � This is often lost in translation, because we cannot always find loan words in the target language with the same meaning. � E. g. Dilettante – loan word in English. Only propositional meaning can be rendered in Arabic.
Strategies to solve nonequivalence 1. Translation by a more general word (superordinate): one of the commonest strategies. It is used to overcome the lack of specificity in the TL compared to the SL. � E. g. (ST) The rich and creamy Kolestral-Super is easy to apply and has a pleasant fragrance. (TT) ﻛﻮﻟﺴﺘﺮﺍﻝ ﺳﻮﺑﺮ ﻏﻨﻲ ﻭﻣﻜﺜﻒ ﻓﻲ ﺗﺮﻛﻴﺒﺘﻪ ﺍﻟﺘﻲ ﺗﻤﻨﺢ ﻣﻤﺎ ﻳﺠﻌﻠﻪ ﻓﻲ ﻣﻨﺘﻬﻰ ﺍﻟﺴﻬﻮﻟﺔ ، ﻣﺴﺘﺤﻀﺮﺍ ﻳﺸﺒﻪ ﺍﻟﻜﺮﻳﻤﺎ . . . ﻟﻮﺿﻌﻪ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺍﻟﺸﻌﺮ
Strategies to solve nonequivalence (ST) Shampoo the hair with a mild Wella Shampoo and lightly towel dry. (TT) ﻳﻐﺴﻞ ﺍﻟﺸﻌﺮ ﺑﺸﺎﻣﺒﻮ ﻣﻦ ”ﻭﻳﻠﻼ“ ﻋﻠﻰ ﺃﻦ . . . ﻳﻜﻮﻥ ﻣﻦ ﻧﻮﻉ ﻣﻠﻄﻒ
Strategies to solve nonequivalence 2. Translation by more neutral/less expressive word. � E. g. (ST) The panda is something of a zoological mystery. (TT) (Back translated from Chinese) The panda may be called a riddle in zoology.
Strategies to solve nonequivalence 3. Translation by Cultural Substitution: replacing a culture-specific item or expression with a TL item which doesn’t have the same propositional meaning but has a similar impact on the target reader.
Strategies to solve nonequivalence � E. g. (ST) The Patrick Collection has restaurant facilities to suit every taste – from the discerning gourmet, to the Cream Tea expert. (TT) (back-translated from Italian) …to satisfy all tastes: from those of the demanding gastronomist to those of the expert in pastry.
Strategies to solve nonequivalence 4. Translation using a loan word or loan word/explanation: E. g. (ST) For maximum effect, cover the hair with a plastic cap or towel. � (TT) ﻳﻐﻄﻰ ﺍﻟﺸﻌﺮ ، ﻟﻠﺤﺼﻮﻝ ﻋﻠﻰ ﻓﻌﺎﻟﻴﺔ ﻣﻄﻠﻘﺔ ﺑﻮﺍﺳﻄﺔ ”ﻛﺎﺏ“ ﺃﻲ ﻗﺒﻌﺔ ﺑﻼﺳﺘﻴﻜﻴﺔ ﺗﻐﻄﻲ . ﺍﻟﺸﻌﺮ ﺃﻮ ﺑﻮﺍﺳﻄﺔ ﻣﻨﺸﻔﺔ
Strategies to solve nonequivalence 5. Translation by paraphrase using a related word: the concept is lexicalized in the TL but in a different form. � E. g. (ST) The rich and creamy Kolestral-Super is easy to apply and has a pleasant fragrance. (TT) ﺳﻮﺑﺮ ﻏﻨﻲ ﻭﻛﺜﻴﻒ ﻓﻲ ﺗﺮﻛﻴﺒﺘﻪ ﺍﻟﺘﻲ - ﻛﻮﻟﻴﺴﺘﺮﺍﻝ . ﺗﻤﻨﺢ ﻣﺴﺘﺤﻀﺮﺍ ﻳﺸﺒﻪ ﺍﻟﻜﺮﻳﻤﺎ
Strategies to solve nonequivalence 6. Translation by paraphrase using unrelated words: the concept is not lexicalized in the TL. We paraphrase using modifiers. � E. g. (ST) In the words of a Lonrho affidavit dated 2 November 1988, the allegations … (TT) ﻭﺣﺴﺐ ﺍﻟﻨﺺ ﺍﻟﻮﺍﺭﺩ ﻓﻲ ﺇﻓﺎﺩﺓ ﻛﺘﺎﺑﻴﺔ 2 ﻣﺸﻔﻮﻋﺔ ﺑﻴﻤﻴﻦ ﻗﺪﻣﺘﻬﺎ ﻣﺆﺴﺴﺔ ﻟﻮﻧﺮﻭ ﺑﺘﺎﺭﻳﺦ . . . ﻓﺈﻥ ﺍﻻﺩﻋﺎﺀﺍﺕ ،19888 ﻧﻮﻓﻤﺒﺮ
Strategies to solve nonequivalence 7. Translation by Omission: if the meaning expressed in the ST is not vital, it can be omitted from the TT and spare the lengthy explanations. (LAST RESORT) � E. g. (ST) The recently introduced New Tradition Axminster range is already creating great interest and will be on display at the Exhibition. (TT) ﺃﺜﺎﺭﺕ ﻣﺠﻤﻮﻋﺔ ”ﻧﻴﻮ ﺗﺮﺍﺩﻳﺸﻦ ﺃﻜﻤﻨﺴﺘﺮ“ ﺩﺭﺟﺔ ﻋﺎﻟﻴﺔ ﻣﻦ ﻭﻫﻲ ﻣﻦ ﺿﻤﻦ ، ﺍﻻﻫﺘﻤﺎﻡ ﻣﻨﺬ ﺃﻦ ﻗﺎﻣﺖ ﺍﻟﺸﺮﻛﺔ ﺑﺘﻘﺪﻳﻤﻬﺎ ﺣﺪﻳﺜﺎ . ﺃﻨﻮﺍﻉ ﺍﻟﺴﺠﺎﺩ ﺍﻟﺘﻲ ﺳﻴﺘﻢ ﻋﺮﺿﻬﺎ ﻓﻲ ﺍﻟﻤﻌﺮﺽ
Strategies to solve nonequivalence 8. Translation by Illustration: this is a useful option if the TL lacks an equivalent refers to a physical entity, especially if there are restrictions on space and if the text must remain short and consice.
Strategies to solve nonequivalence � E. g. Lipton Yellow Label tea packet. (ST) Tagged Teabags. (It needs a lengthy explanation and there is no space. )
Assignment 1 � Choose two translation strategies and find two examples on them. � Deadline: Next Lecture.