Theory of translation is a concept that exists in every section of mankind because of diversity and differences that results from variance in cultural values, religious beliefs language, practices and other fundamentals that defines a specific community or a group of people in relationship with the other. Translation is communication of meaning from one source language to another equivalent target language with the basis of retaining its original meaning and context (Nida, & Taber, 2003). Theory of translation is a very critical discourse in any society since time immemorial. The process of translation is crucial for a various purposes, including literature studies, traveling and law enforcements, quality translation services are also important o the business industry. With the advancing technology that makes it easy to communicate and work with people from all over the globe and a growing worldwide consciousness, more and more business organizations are going global.
According to Venuti (2004), translation is derived from the Latin 'trans'-and 'fero' which means to 'carry across' and it reaches back to the ancient Greeks after the appearance of written literature (Venuti, 2004). In the west the hallmark of translation began in the 3rd and 1st century when Septuagint, which is a collection of Jewish scriptures were translated into koine Greek in Alexandria and it arose because of the dispersed Jews who had forgotten the tenets of their ancestral language and they preferred the Greek version (translation) of their scripture. This scenario greatly concretes the significance and contribution of translation and the framework of theory of translation.
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In Asia translation has been a very paramount activity in the spreading of Buddhism which have had a great impact on communities in terms of religious beliefs and cultural practices. Arabs is also another section of mankind that has reinforced the concept of theory of translation which they undertook when they conquered the Greek world and made Arabic versions of their philosophical and scientific work. The advent of industrial revolution that began in the mid 18th century necessitated the essence of business documentation and it resulted in the development of specialties and formalized schools and professional associations for translation. Engineers in the 1940s sought to automate translation by mechanically coming up with human translator (Venuti, 2004). Theory of translation is comprised of various dimensions for instance literary, religious historic among others; literary translation is the translation of common literary works like short stories, plays, poems and others. In the religious perspective, the bible was translated to Latin by Saint Jerome who is regarded as the greatest translator in history and this initiative is highly of Christianity. The protestant reformation saw translation of the bible into European local languages, which resulted in a greatest impact on the western Christianity and beliefs because it culminated to the split of into Roman Catholicism and Protestantism.
From the historical arguments above its premise the inference that theory of translation exists and it plays a key role in the frameworks of relationships between communities, countries, races, creed and this will enable them to understand and appreciate each other for the development of mankind. It is a basic reality and common sense to everyone that we were born and accustomed into radically different social systems and cultures comprising of different and distinct languages. This diversity calls for a bridge that can connect us into one setup that understands and embraces each other. This phenomenon has triggered scholars and other Linguistic researchers to argue that theory of translation is a paramount element in the Earth whereby the inhabitants emanates from radically diverse backgrounds. The relevance of translation is multifaceted and multidimensional and its significance in the international perspective of being a socio-cultural bridge between countries and communities have grown exponentially especially in the contemporary world whereby the world has become a global village and things are fast moving ahead globally not only societies are supposed to interact with each other more closely but individuals also need to contact with members from other societies in different parts of the world.
Theory of translation and its significance caters to the needs and therefore, it has become a facility that satisfies individual, societal, and national needs. In theory and practice of translation, there are considerable variations in the types of translations produced by translators. Some translators deal with only two languages and are competent in both. Others work from their first language to their second language targeted language, and still others from their second language to their first language called back- translation. Depending on these matters of language proficiency, the procedures used will vary from one project to the other. Many scholars and literary giants have argued that the theory plays an important role in enriching the target language that a translator wish to translate from source language. This is because in some instances, the target language lacks terms that are found in source language hence resulting in borrowing of terms (Nida, & Taber, 2003). This phenomenon has enriched many languages in the world which is a very positive discourse in the lingual aspects.
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Another point that depicts and justifies the existence of theory of translation is the dynamism in the global business environment. This is because, in order to share information with your potential clients and prospects, it is good to inform them using anecdotes and terminologies that they understand and accustomed to because they will feel secure and familiar which, in the long run will results in good business relationships (Nida, & Taber, 2003). It is an initiative that most multinational companies have embraced when venturing into foreign markets. Through the auspices of translation, that global interaction has been enhanced and it has offered opportunities for people to undergo socio-cultural survey of various languages and literature. it has also given opportunity for the establishment of some kind of relevance in the literary criticism which is a very critical intellectual venture. In schools and colleges there has been an embracement of dramas and music festivals that are activities that portrays and expose other communities' cultures, traditions and languages, which involves translation and other devices that carry across information. These arts and activities create peeping into diversified lingual, cultural and literary contents of the source culture or language exuding the nature and niceties of that translated language culture.
According to Robinson (2003), information on the new development in communication and technology involves the structures of translation in keeping the science community and population abreast on the latest discoveries in various fields of knowledge (Robinson, 2003). Under theory of translation, the translator plays a pivotal role in executing and structuring of the theory. Theorists have posited that there are some fundamental attributes that a translator should posses so that the theory of translation remains relevant in the contemporary world. The translator must be having adequate knowledge of the source culture or language that he or she intends to translate; he or she must be having a profound understanding of the etymological and idiomatic correlation between the two languages or cultures that he or she is dealing with (Robinson, 2003). In the framework of this theory, the systems and individuals of translating must be able to read, understand and retain the author's ideas and deliver accurately, fully and without exclusion, an ideal translation is accurate as terms of meaning and natural as to the receptor language forms are used. An intended audience who is unfamiliar with the source text will readily understand it. The success of a translation is measured by certain parameters in determining how closely it measures up to these ideals.
The ideal translation should be:
- Accurate: reproducing as exactly as possible the meaning of the source text.
- Natural: natural forms of the receptor language must be used in a way that is appropriate to the kind of text being translated.
- Communicative: all aspects of the meaning must be expressed in a way that is readily understandable to the targeted audience.
Though the theory of translation in a very critical aspect in current human spheres there are some shortcomings that results from it in that during the process of translation there are some details that might get distorted and limit the transference of facts