Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This
submit to reddit

A Look At Translation English Language Essay

This chapter provides background of the study, problems, purposes of the study, limitation of the study, significance of the study as well as previously related study.

Background of the study

Since we’re living in the multi-language and intercultural world, translation becomes an important thing to do in order to solve the differences. As we know, translation is a process of transferring the Source Language (SL) into the Target Language (TL). In transferring, the original message of SL must be suited to the form of the TL. Transferring the original message into the TL, one needs a serious attention and concentration in order to produce an ideal translation. Hoed (2003:94) states that it is a process of transferring a message from one language to another, translation can play a very decisive role in communication. In line with that, Larson (1991: 1) comments that:

“ The ideal translation will be accurate as to meaning and natural as to the receptor language forms used. The ideal translation should be (1) Accurate: reproducing as exactly as possible the meaning of the source text, (2) Natural: using natural forms of the receptor language in the way that is appropriate to the kind of text being translated, and (3) Communicative: expressing all aspect of the meaning in a way that is readily understandable to intended audience.”

1

In the process of translating, the translator sometimes has different approaches to acquire the ideal translation. Larson mentioned two kinds of translation that are used by translator in making adequate translation. They are Literal and Idiomatic translations (Larson: p.17). Literal translation is a translation in which a translator pays more attention on the structure of the language while idiomatic translation is focus on the meaning without pays much attention to the structure of the source language. Such types of translation have the same intention, that is to produce qualified and a good translation. This activity may complicate us, since translation is a quite frustrating activity. Newmark (1988) states that, translation is demanding and often frustrating.

However, it must be done, and any mistake needs to be corrected. Therefore, several strategies emerge to ease the problem. One of the approaches is that they occasionally needs to look up the dictionary to find the meaning of the difficult words in the SL or to choose the appropriate word in order to produce the correct and accurate translation. Yozi (2005: 21) suggested that the accuracy can be said as the closest replica of the source language, whether message, forms, structures, and style used for the TL are the same with those in the SL. In short, in the accuracy translation, the translators have to keep the original sentence structures, forms and also preserve the meaning of the original version/ SL.

Nevertheless, the initial step and the most natural way for translator, either beginner or expert, to translate is by using the Think Aloud Protocol (TAP). In this step, we are trying to translate a text or phrase spontaneously based on our knowledge and insight. As cited in Wikipedia, (think-aloud protocols, or TAP) is a method used to gather data in usability testing in product design and development, in psychology and a range of social sciences (e.g., reading, writing and translation process research) (http://en.wikipedia.org/- wiki/Think_aloud_protocol).

One such attempt, which has been steadily gaining ground in translation research, has been to ask the translators themselves to reveal their mental processes in real time while carrying out a translation task. Such a method of data collection, known as ‘thinking aloud’, is not new to scholars working in psychology and cognitive science. TAP was driven by the belief that what goes on in the translator’s head while s/he is translating (versus what scholars had claimed might go on) is at least as crucial to the understanding of translation as a comparative analysis of the final product, the translated text, in relation to the source text. (Bernardini, 1995).

It is in accord with Ericsson & Simon (1980), A think-aloud protocol is a method in which the participant verbalizes while they are completing the task. The user is asked to voice their thoughts, feelings, and opinions during the evaluation. This method in used frequently in single user performance evaluations. It was originally applied for cognitive psychologists to obtain data about the way in which humans cognitively process information.

Because Think Aloud Protocol (TAP) comes from our spontaneous resolution and it bound free within our mind, this kind of way may not always perfect and smooth. As stated by Paul Kussmaul (1995 : p.178) that from the analysis of errors one may have inferred that a translator's foreign language competence was not good enough, but when discussing matters with him, one may have found that he had problems expressing himself in his mother tongue. There are some effects that have to be handled. Each effect has its own difference characteristic namely pause, hesitation and alteration.

In accordance to our nature as a human being, when we met with certain problems in translating text, the first thing that we do is to think it aloud, and we always, inevitably, use hesitation as an initial basis. But, one thing that concerns the writer is when we need to use pauses, hesitation and alteration? Is it when we found new words? Or maybe we found the words that we have known its message but still have trouble in putting the precise equivalence or structure.

In this study, the writer analyzes the use of TAP as the research topic because it is interesting to find out the TAP protocol comprehensively and the mental process that occurs in the translator’s mind. In general, this study is to gain a better understanding of the psychological and linguistic mechanisms involved in the activity of translating.

As cited in www.translationdirectory.com, there are two pedagogical purposes in applying TAP as kind of analyses.

“The different strategies observed in the TAPs may serve as good models for successful translating (Lorscher, 1992; Jaaskelainen, 1993; Krings, 1988; Kussmaul, 1993). 2. If translation students are used as subjects, TAPs may be used to find out where they have problems. The data collected can then form a bases for translation pedagogy (Krings, 1988; Kussmaul, 1989a+b, 1994).”

Therefore, we can also say that if the professional translators are used as subjects, TAPs may be used to find out the the good way in translating text.

It worth to conduct this study because, to the writer’s knowledge, there are still very few studies conducted in this area, especially in English Department, State University of Jakarta. Beside that, this study also try to find out about the decision making process that the translator commit.

Research Questions

1. What kind of the decision making that commonly used in process that the translators commit?

2. In what kind of event that the pauses, hesitation and the alteration do occurs?

Focus of The Study

The focus of this study evolved around the things related to translator’s mental process when translating. This leads to the idea that the study covers the discussion on the kind of decision making that the translators commit when translating particular text given and at the same time will strictly focus on the pauses, hesitation and the alteration when translating it. The text is a legal document text given to the translator by the writer. The translator is a freelance translator which works at a particular time only to be analyzed his or her mental process when translating text.

Aims of The Study

This study aimed at finding empirical studies on Think Aloud Protocol (TAP) in translation in order to create fluent production of translation. Also, aims at finding the question uttered hereinabove: 1) to find out about the decision making process that the translator commit and 2) to locate the event where the pauses, hesitation and the alteration do occurs.

Scope of the study

This study analyzed the translation text using Think Aloud Protocol (TAP).

Significance of the Study

The study helped the writer to understand more about translation and how translation works by using Think Aloud Protocol. This new insights may be beneficial for the writer in order to cope with the new challenges that will always occur in the field of translational professionalism. Besides, this study will be the basis of next research about using Think Aloud Protocol in translating English text to Indonesian and vice versa.

CHAPTER II

LITERATURE REVIEW

This chapter was aimed at finding out what linguists say about the topic-related matters and how far the topic area has been investigated by other linguists.

2.1 Review / Study on Translation

2.1.1 Definition of Translation

Translation is a message conveyor from one language to another. According to Newmark (Newmark, 1988:p.7), "translation is a craft consists of an attempt to replace a written message and/or statement in one language by the same message and/or statement into another language". It means that translation should convey exactly the same message to Target Language (TL) as implied in Source Language (SL). Newmark then added that, “A translation is normally written and intended for a target language reader- even if the source language text was written for no reader at all, for nothing but its author’s pleasure.

8

Catford states that definition of translation is the replacement of textual material in one language by equivalent textual material in another language (Suparman, 2003:139). This definition is similar to McGuire (1980), which is also cited by Suparman. McGuire defines translation as the rendering of a source language to ensure that (1) the surface meaning of the two will be approximately similar and (2) the structure of the source language will be preserved as closely as possible but not so close that the target language structure will be seriously distorted.

Peter Newmark (1988:p.6) also reckoned the important of translation activity. He works on four levels; translation is first a science, which entails the knowledge and verification of the facts and language that describe them – here, what is wrong, mistakes of truth, can be identified; secondly, it is a skill, which calls for appropriate language and acceptable usage; thirdly, an art, which distinguishes good from undistinguished writing and is the creative, the intuitive, sometimes the inspired, level of the translation; lastly, a mater of taste, where argument ceases, preferences are expressed, and the variety of meritorious translations is the reflection of individual differences.

Ian Tudor, as cited by Duff (1991:p.5), then added that "translation is a process of conveying messages across linguistic and cultural barriers." It means that the process of translation connects two languages in order to deliver the meaning from one language to another.

2.1.2 Translation Process

According to (Larson 1991: 2) translation is a process based on the theory that it is possible to abstract the meaning of a text from its forms and reproduce that meaning with the very different forms of a second language. In other words, translation process produces the meaning of the SL in the different form as in the TL.

It is supported by Munday (2001: 5) that the process of translation between two different written languages involves the translator changing an original written text (the source text or ST) in the original verbal language (the source language or SL) into a written text (the target text or TT) in a different language (the target language or TL).

Nida and Taber (1982: 12, in Choliludin 2005: 3) gave their definition about the translation process. They said that translating consists in reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalence of a source language message, firstly in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style. In addition, Wills (1982: 112 in Choliludin 2005: 3) said that translation is a procedure which leads from a written source language text to an optimally equivalent target language text and requires the syntactic, semantic, stylistic, and text pragmatic comprehension by the translator of the original text.

Nida (1969) suggest that there are two different systems of translation process. The first system is based on the application of rules to what linguists call the ‘surface structure’ of language, that is, the level of structure which is overtly spoken and heard, written and read (p.3). The second system of translating covers three stages which may be diagrammed as in figure 1

A (SOURCE) B (SOURCE)

(ANALYSIS) (RECONSTRUCTURING)

X ------------------------- (TRANSFER) --------------------- Y

Figure 1 The Process of Translation (Nida, 1969:p.33).

1) Analysis, in which the surface structure (i.e. the message as given in language A) is analyzed in terms of (a) grammatical relationship and (b) the meanings of the words and the combination of the words. 2) Transfer, in which the analyzed material is transferred in the mind of translator from language A to language B. After having completed the process of analysis, which involves both grammatical and semantic aspects of the texts, it is then essential that the results of the analysis be transferred from language A to language B, which is the transferred material is restructured in order to make the final message fully acceptable in the receptor language.

In short, translation is a process which can produce the closest meaning of SL message either meaning or style and also it can lead the translator in getting the TL text with the syntactic, semantic, stylistic text from the SL text.

2.1.3 Principles of Translation

Some scholars have different definition or theory of translation, especially about the principles of translation. Duff (1990: 10-11) stated the general principles for translating process which are essential for translator. The principles are:

Meaning. The translation should reflect accurately the meaning of original text. Nothing should be arbitrarily added or removed, though occasionally part of the meaning can be ‘transposed’

Form. The ordering of words and ideas in the translation should match the original as closely as possible. But differences in language structure often require changes in the form and order of words.

Register. Languages often differ greatly in their levels of formality in a given context.

Source Language influence. One of the most frequent criticisms of translation is that ‘it doesn’t sound natural’. This is because the translators’ thoughts and choice of words are too strongly mounded by the original text.

Style and Clarity. The translator should not change the style of the original. But if the text is sloppily written, or full of tedious repetitions, the translator may, for the readers’ sake, correct the defects.

Idiom. Idiomatic expressions are notoriously untranslatable. The include smiles, metaphors, proverbs, and sayings (as good as gold), jargon, slang, and colloquialisms (user-friendly, the Big Apple, yuppie, etc) and (in English) phrasal verb. The golden rules is: if the idiom does not work in the L1, do not force it into the translation.

By the definitions, there are some analysis of text when translator transferring message from SL into TL. In transferring, translators have to use the principle of translation in order to get a good translation. Furthermore, the translators have to know a little bit about the background (culture) of the TL in order not to change the style of the original.

2.2 Accuracy in Translation

In every production of translation, accuracy become one of the most important factor. The more accurate a translation text, the more fluent the message conveyed. Suryawinata (2003: 44) gave his idea about accuracy translation. According to him, an accuracy of translation is judged based on how the meaning of the Source Language is conveyed in the target Language, instead of the equivalent of every words of the SL translated in the TL. By definition, the accurate translation is not need to translate word by word from the SL into the TL. The important thing is the meaning of the SL is suited in the TL in order to produce the accurate translation.

2.2.1 Characterization of Accurate Translation

There are some characterizations of accurate translation, based on Newmark’s semantic and communicative translation, and also adopted from the two approaches, as well as from the concept of accuracy and fluency in language learning:

Loyal to the writer of the source language.

Conserve the source language’s semantic and syntactical structure, as a well as the length of the sentence and the position of the clauses and words.

Accuracy in translation of words and style is a preferred. Therefore it is recommended that the translator should not fix or change the style of the original version.

Does not allow the adaptation of foreign element, and therefore only provide connotation or added explanation for every unfamiliar word.

Translation in the level of word, phrase and clause.

Over translated (to be more specific than the original, using more meaning and explanation about certain term)

(Yozi, 2005: 24-25)

We can conclude that, to achieve proper accurateness we can’t change the SL structure semantically and syntactically. Every word/phrase in one language has different meaning that depends on their context. This process should be kept in mind in order to produce adequate or fluent translation. The translators are also not allowed to adapt other foreign elements in the translated version of a text, therefore the accurate translated text only provide connotation or added explanation for every unfamiliar word. Last, according to characterizations above, the accurate translated text is more specific than the original and uses more meaning and explanation of certain term.

2.3 Characteristics of Translator

Translator is a key individual in translation. He/she must be able to convey or deliver the closest meaning from Source Language to Target Language. Wide knowledge or insight of Target Language’s structure and culture is the fundamental requirement to achieve the goal of translation. Presas (2000:22) states that translator is someone who has capability to transfer written ideas from one language to another language. Nevertheless they are still some obstacles or dilemma faced by the translator due to the different demand between the writer and the reader.

“However the quality of the message, the channels through which the message is conveyed and other situational factors may lead to a distortion of the message in the minds of the readers/hearers. The problem is more complicated when applied on translation in which a reader (translator) is asked to read and understand the message of a writer, and at the same time, or afterwards, transmits what s/he understood of this message to another audience who may be totally different from the readership the original writer had in mind”(Abdellah, 2002).

Nida (1964: 13) sees the role of translator as facilitator in transferring message, meaning, and cultural elements from one language into another and create an equivalent response from the receivers. Furthermore, Nida (1964: 153) summarizes the ideal role of the translator calls for a person who has complete knowledge of both source and receptor languages, intimate acquaintance with the subject matter, effective empathy with the original author and content and stylistic facility in the receptor language.

Blennes (1990) in the article “Some Thoughts on the Process of Translating the Urantia Book” mentions that a translator should re-create the text in his own native language in such a way that the reader of the translation reacts to it as an English reader reacts to an English text.

Bell (1991: 7) defines translator as a communicator who is involved in written communication. Thus, in terms of attributes of a professional translator, Newmark (1991: 46) made his own descriptions:

“A translator must be a member of an autonomous and nationally accepted professional body consisting only translators –not language teachers, interpreters, or Sprachmittler, i.e. people working partly in translation or other language activities.”

2.4 Definition of Protocol

Protocol analysis is a rigorous methodology for eliciting verbal reports of thought sequences as a valid source of data on thinking (Ericsson, 2002). This protocol is often used in mental translation where we try to verbalize the concept (experience or insight) within our mind. In Protocol Analysis the verbalized thoughts are compared to intermediate results generated by different strategies that are specified in a task analysis (Ericsson and Simon 1993).

2.4.1 Think Aloud Protocol

In the early of 1980’s, Think Aloud Protocol (TAP) has begun its influence in the world of translation. It is a method used to gather data in usability testing in product design and development, in psychology and a range of social sciences (e.g., reading, writing and translation process research) (http://en.wikipedia.org/- wiki/Think_aloud_protocol). But when comparing the target text with the source text or when looking at errors, one could at best speculate in retrospect about what had happened in the mind of the translator during the translation process. In cases such as interferences these speculations may have had a high degree of probability, but other types of diagnoses were hard to arrive at.

It is in accord with Ericsson & Simon (1980), A think-aloud protocol is a method in which the participant verbalizes while they are completing the task. The user is asked to voice their thoughts, feelings, and opinions during the evaluation. This method in used frequently in single user performance evaluations. It was originally applied for cognitive psychologists to obtain data about the way in which humans cognitively process information.

One such attempt, which has been steadily gaining ground in translation research, has been to ask the translators themselves to reveal their mental processes in real time while carrying out a translation task. Such a method of data collection, known as ‘thinking aloud’, is not new to scholars working in psychology and cognitive science. As stated in Paul Kussmaul (2005) that the analysis of think-aloud protocols (TAPs) in translation studies began in Europe in the late 1980s. It was felt that in order to complement the hitherto predominantly deductive and often also normative models of the translation process, empirical and inductive methods should be developed.

TAP was driven by the belief that what goes on in the translator’s head while s/he is translating (versus what scholars had claimed might go on) is at least as crucial to the understanding of translation as a comparative analysis of the final product, the translated text, in relation to the source text. (Bernardini, 1995).

2.4.2 Pause, alteration and hesitation in applying TAP

2.4.2.1 Pause in TAP

According to Webster Dictionary, Pause is (in speaking or reading aloud) a brief arrest or suspension of voice, to indicate the limits and relations of sentences and their parts. In line to that, pause in translation is used to provide time for our mind to process and search within our memory. As cited by Paul Kussmaul (1995) that pause in text production are commonly interpreted as indicators of mental organization, problem solving or the beginning of a cognitive unit.

This state of action requires adequate analysis and wide range of knowledge concerning the target subject. The more you put some time and effort to gain closest meaning in translation the more length you had in pause. With increasing cognitive load, that is, when the subjects are deep in thought "they tend to stop verbalizing or they provide less complete verbalizations". On the other hand, subjects seem to stop verbalizing when they have to do little thinking, i.e. with decreasing cognitive load. (Ericsson and Simon, 1980, p. 242).

2.4.2.2 Hesitation

The act of hesitating; suspension of opinion or action; doubt; vacillation.

A faltering in speech; stammering.

2.4.2.3 Alteration

Based on Webster Dictionary, alteration is the act of revising or altering (involving reconsideration and shifting). In line with that, as cited in http://www.answers.com/topic/alteration alteration defined as an act or procedure of altering or the condition resulting from altering; modification

“An alteration is a variation made in the language or terms of a legal document that affects the rights and obligations of the parties to it. When this occurs, the alteration is material and the party who did not consent to the change can be released from his or her duties under the document by a court.”

2.4.3 Mental Process

As cited in Wikipedia, Mental process is term often used interchangeably. the term cognitive tends to have specific implications to mean such functions or processes as perception, introspection, memory, creativity, imagination, conception, belief, reasoning, volition, and emotion. In other words, all the different things that we can do with our minds or thoughts.

2.4.3.1 Mental Event

A more specific instance of engaging in a cognitive process or mental processes is a mental event. A mental event is a particular occurrence of something going on in the mind or mind substitute. It can be a thought, a dream, a feeling, a realization, or any other mental activity. Mental events are not limited to human thought but can be associated with animal and artificial intelligence as well (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_event).

2.4.4 Decision Making

As stated in Wikipedia, the explanation about Decision making is that it can be regarded as an outcome of mental processes (cognitive process) leading to the selection of a course of action among several alternatives. Every decision making process produces a final. The output can be an action or an opinion of choice. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Decision_making)

Furthermore, the definition about decision making in translation determined as an information processing in terms of an interaction between the translator's cognitive system; his linguistic, referential, sociocultural and situational knowledge bases; the task specification; and the text type specific problem space.

“All four factors together enable the translator to build up an internal problem representation which, once constructed, will profoundly influence the translator's subsequent decision-making performance. taking account of probability ratings which are an important element in many translational decision-making settings.” (Wilss, Wolfram. 1994).

CHAPTER III

THEORETICAL FRAMEWORK AND RESEARCH METHODOLOGY

This chapter is intended to develop the theoretical framework for data collection and analysis and discuss research methodology used to carry on this study.

3. 1. Theoretical Framework

Based on the previous literature review, it can be concluded that in translating a text, there are many theories that a translator could go through for it. But the think aloud protocol is the first thing applied by the translator because Think Aloud Protocol (TAP) comes from our spontaneous resolution or we naturally doing it in translating text. TAP was driven by the belief that what goes on in the translator’s head while s/he is translating (versus what scholars had claimed might go on) is at least as crucial to the understanding of translation as a comparative analysis of the final product, the translated text, in relation to the source text. (Bernardini, 1995). Next, the idea of the study is to covers the discussion on the kind of decision making that the translators commit when translating particular text and at the same time will focus on the pauses, hesitation and the alteration when translating.

21

3. 2. Research Methodology

The writer used descriptive analytical study as the research methodology in this research by analyzing. L. R. Gay (1978) assumes, “A descriptive study determines and reports the way things are, further more typical descriptive studies are concerned with the assessment of attitude, opinions, demographic information, conditions and procedures (p.10-11).”

There are two features of descriptive study as stated by Surakhmad in his book (1990) (p.140) namely; (1) Focusing on the problem solving that the translator faces today, especially in an actual problem, (2) The collected data at first is complied and clarified, and also analyzed by the translator (therefore, this method is frequently named the analytical method).

The writer used descriptive analytical study as the research methodology by analyzing the translated text by a professional and certified translator using the Think Aloud Protocol method.

3.3 Source of the Data

The source of the data used in this research is legal document and science text that translated and gathered from the translator who applied the Think Aloud Protocol method (verbalized thoughts).

3.4 Time

This research was held within the time of three months from November to January 2010.

3.5 Objects of the Study

The object of the study that analyzed is the particular original text and its translated version, and the procedure applied in translating them by using the Think Aloud Protocol.

3.6 Data Collecting Technique

One professional and certified translator asked to translate a brief text, and verbalizing his thought while the writer records it. After having the translated version by using the think aloud protocol, the writer will identify the verbalized thoughts concerning the decision making that the translator’s commit, pause, hesitation, and alteration when translating the text.

3.7 technique of Data Analysis

Classifying the data into two groups (terms in ST and terms in TT)

putting the data into table analysis

Analyzing all the data by using relevant theories

4. Interpreting the result of the study and

5. Making a conclusion based on the findings.

Print Email Download Reference This Send to Kindle Reddit This

Share This Essay

To share this essay on Reddit, Facebook, Twitter, or Google+ just click on the buttons below:

Request Removal

If you are the original writer of this essay and no longer wish to have the essay published on the UK Essays website then please click on the link below to request removal:

Request the removal of this essay.


More from UK Essays

Doing your resits? We can help!