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The Different Techniques A Translator Use English Language Essay

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: English Language
Wordcount: 5539 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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The purpose of the following chapter is to provide a theoretical background to support the different techniques a translator use during the translation process. Moreover, it will develop information related to the text analysis, translation methods, and translation techniques. All this information will help the reader to have a better understanding about what has been established by the experts and how this can help translators to achieve a translated text that can be understood with accuracy and effectiveness.

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Moreover, this chapter will add the information related to the glossary creation and its relevance not only to the translator by itself but to the translation process as well, creating a big difference in the quality and consistency within and across the text, minimizing the amount of time spent on the research and correction of the terms and in along with making the text content understandable, so both the reader and the translator can be at the same basis in meaning and simultaneously reduce errors while understanding the texts.

Finally, it will refer to the relationship between the theories explained and the research questions provided in Chapter 1. The intention of this final section is to explain how this information will be used to gather the required data and also to design the instruments for the data collection, which will be presented in Chapter 3.

2.1. Text analysis

It is the process of decoding the text to be translated. According to Nord (2005 ) Most writers on translation theory agree that before embarking upon any translation the translator should analyse the text comprehensively, since this appears to be the only way of ensuring that the source text has been completely and correctly understood. This is mainly because every work is different and translators need to really grasp the intention of the author as well as the meaning of the text by itself so understanding the main point in the source piece would provide a natural and accurate translation.

Newmark´s (1988) discussion regarding the analysis of a text, mention that the purpose of reading the original, is first to understand what the text is about and second to analyze the text from a translator point of view, to determine a suitable translation method, so the intention of the text can be understood. Which is complete different from a linguists or literary critics, now that to translate it is necessary to determine the intention of the writer in order to identify the correct methods of translation.

Furthermore, he mention important steps at the time of understanding the text; close and general reading are necessary to capture the essence of the text, familiarize and find additional facts. Moreover there is the close reading, where the translator need to analyses the text, required for words both in and out of context, everything that does not have a good sense needs to be looked up. Translation is compare to an iceberg, the translation is just the top, but the research and investigation of the translator is what holds the top, that can never been see.

2.1.1 Text Styles

To translate a whole text accurately it requires consideration of its context and resulting features, such as style. Newark (1988) points out Nida’s four types of literary or non-literary texts:

a) Narrative: a dynamic sequence of events, where the emphasis is on the verbs or for English “dummy” or “empty” verbs plus verb-nouns or phrasal verbs (“He made a sudden appearance”, “He burst in”)

b) Description: is static, with emphasis on linking verbs, adjectives, adjectival nouns.

c) Discussion: a treatment of ideas, with emphasis on abstracts nouns (concepts), verbs of thought, mental activity (“consider”, “argue”, etc), logical argument and connectives.

d) Dialogue: with emphasis on colloquialism and phaticisms.

2.1.2 Stylistic Scales

The stylistic scale is one of the main aspects when translators analyze the text; this is because it helps the translator to identify the type of readers the text would be addressed to, as well as the vocabulary that would be needed in the translation. Scale of formality

Based on Newmark (1988) the following are examples of the scale of formality:

Officialese – ‘The consumption of any nutriments whatsoever is categorically prohibited in this establishment.’

Official – ‘The consumption of nutriments is prohibited.’

Formal – ‘You are requested not to consume food in this establishment.’

Neutral – ‘Eating is not allowed here.’

Informal – ‘Please don’t eat here’

Colloquial – ‘You can’t feed your face here.’

Slang – ‘Lay off the nosh.’

Taboo – ‘Lay off the fucking nosh.’ Scale of generality or difficulty

Newmark (1988) also points out specific types in the scale of generality:

Simple – ‘The floor of the sea is covered with rows of big mountains and deep pits.’

Popular – ‘The floor of the oceans is covered with rows of big mountains and deep pits.’

Neutral – ‘A graveyard of animal and plant remains lies buried in the earth’s crust.’

Educated – ‘The latest step in vertebrate evolution was the tool-making man. ‘

Technical – ‘Critical path analysis is an operational research technique used in management’

Opaquely technical – (comprehensible only to an expert) ‘Neuraminic acid in the form of its alkali-stable methoxy derivative was first isolated by Klenk from gangliosides.’

2.2.3 Scale of Emotional tone

Keeping on Newmark (1988) perspective, he defined three scales of emotional tone which are:

Intense: (profuse use of intensifiers): “absolutely wonderful, ideally dark bass, enormously successful, superbly controlled, gentle, soft, heart-warming melodies.”

Factual: (cool): “Significant, exceptionally well judged, personable, presentable, considerable.”

Understandable: “not…undignified” (Understatement)

On the other hand, Newmark (1988) also mentioned the importance of the attitude for evaluations and recommendation texts now that there is a thin line in the critical difference between positive or negative opinions for a translator, for this reason is necessary to establish the standards of the writer. In addition, the translator must be sure that the expressions are understood in the target text taking into consideration if they are positive, neutral, or negative.

2.1.3 Text function

The text function provides to the reader the idea of what the text is about, and also what the author is trying to transmit them. For this reason it is very important for the translator to recognize as well the source text function to reproduce the same effect for the target readers. Newmark (1988) mentioned Buhler functional theory of language where three main functions of language are explained: expressive, the informative, and finally the vocative. Informative

The main factor of the informative function of language is the fact of the topic and the explanation of the author. As Newmark (1988) states the typical informative texts are about any topic of knowledge. He explained that the format of an informative text is standard such as: a textbook, a technical report, an article in a newspaper or a periodical, a scientific paper, a thesis, minutes or agenda of a meeting.

It is important to leave the text naturally in order to understand the information, at the end, the objective of an informative text is to teach readers about a specific subject matter. He also mentions that informative text has 4 scales of language varieties:

First, a formal, non-emotive, technical style for academic papers. This scale is characterized by passives, present and present perfect tenses, literal language, Latinized vocabulary, jargon, multi-noun compounds with empty verbs and no metaphors.

Neutral or informal style with defined technical terms of textbooks characterized by first person plural, present tense, dynamic active verbs, and basic conceptual metaphors.

An informal warm style for popular science or art books characterized by simple grammatical structures, a wide range of vocabulary to accommodate definitions and numerous illustrations, and stock metaphors and a simple vocabulary.

And finally, a familiar, non-technical style for popular journalism, characterized by surprising metaphors, short sentences, Americanese, unconventional punctuation, adjectives before proper names and colloquialisms. Expressive

Newmark (1988) stated that expressive function is more related to the feelings of the author, the mind of the speaker and the writer. He categorized three different aspects of the expressive function:

1. Serious imaginative literature: Of the four principal types -lyrical poetry, short stories, novels, plays – lyrical poetry is the most intimate expression, while plays are more evidently addressed to a large audience, which, in the translation, is entitled to some assistance with cultural expressions.

2. Authoritative statements: These are texts of any nature which derive their authority from the high status or the reliability and linguistic competence of their authors. Such texts have the personal ‘stamp’ of their authors, although they are denotative, not connotative. Typical authoritative statements are political speeches, documents etc., by ministers or party leaders; statutes and legal documents; scientific, philosophical and ‘academic’ works written by acknowledged authorities.

3. Autobiography, essays, personal correspondence: These are expressive when they are personal effusions, when the readers are a remote background Also, he recommends that the translator needs to make a distinction about the personal components of the texts, for example: collocations, originals metaphors, neologisms, and so on. Vocative

The vocative function is related to calling upon the reader to react of what was written. Based on Newmark (1988) the core of this function is the readership, and has been given lots of other names such as: “conative” (denoting effort), “instrumental” (instrumental), “operating,” and “pragmatic” (in the sense of used to produce a certain effect on the readership). Examples of a vocative function of language are notices, instructions, publicity, propaganda, persuasive writing where the main objective is to sell to entertain the addressee.

In the vocative text the vital for the writer is the reader now that it target directly to the reader, the use of “you” is common to develop and influence in the person. Newmark mention to facts in vocative text there are also 2 vocative texts. First, the vocative text is the connection between the writer and reader using some forms, infinitives, imperatives, subjunctives, indicatives, impersonal, passives, and tags, all those examples playing a part in asymmetrical or symmetrical relationship. The second factor is that this source of text needs to be writing in the easy comprehensible form for the reader, the translator need to take in consideration the linguistic and cultural level of the reader.

2.1.4 Type of translation

The application of the translation methods will transform the source text to an available target text for wider readers and make communication possible among the speakers of the different languages. Newmark (1988) mentioned that several scholars have been trying to identify what are the best translation methods, whether to translate literally or freely. No matter what techniques or methods are used, the translator’s job is to maintain a faithful target text. Even though, there are different translation methods, this chapter will develop only two of them: semantic translation and communicative translation. Semantic translation

According to Newmark (1988) semantic translation differs from ‘faithful translation’ only in as far as it must take more account of the aesthetic value (that is, the beautiful and natural sounds of the SL text, compromising on ‘meaning’ where appropriate so that no assonance, word-play or repetition jars in the finished version. Further, it may translate less important cultural words by culturally neutral third or functional terms but not by cultural equivalents – une nonne repassant un corporal may become ‘a nun ironing a corporal cloth’ – and it may make other small concessions to the readership. The distinction between ‘faithful’ and semantic’ translation is that the first is uncompromising and dogmatic, while the second is more flexible, admits the creative exception to 100% fidelity and allows for the translator’s intuitive empathy with the original. Communicative translation

This method is use to render the exact contextual meaning of the source language to the target language is such form that both languages and content are acceptable and comprehensible to the reader. Newmark (1988)

He comments about the last to methods (semantic and communicative), they fulfill the main aims of translation (accuracy and economy). In the cases of semantic translation the translator writes as the level of the author, but the communicative translation is base in the reader and his needs. Semantic in common use for expressive texts, in the case of communicative is usually use in informative and vocative texts. These 2 methods treat the following items similarity: stock and dead metaphors, normal collocations, technique terms, slang, colloquialism, standard notice, phaticisms, and ordinary language.

2.2 Translation techniques

The translation process is not an easy task; however, translators can count with many types of techniques in order to provide a high quality final work. It is important to mention, that translators must ensure they managed the techniques in a proper way, so the meaning of the target text will not have coherence problems. In this part of the chapter the different type of translation techniques develop by authors like Peter Newmark, Vasquez Ayora and Lopez Guix will be explain. All they points of view will by explain and compare to demonstrate the differences between each technique and the importance of each one.

2.2.1 Transposition

For Vázquez-Ayora (1977), the purpose of the transposition is to achieve expression naturalness for the target text, in all levels like lexical, structure and the context, and also can be defined as the procedure where a part of speech of the source text is replaced in the target text. Moreover, Newmark (1988) aims different types of transposition or “shift” (term used by Catford) such as:

• Change from singular to plural: “furniture” to “des muebles”

• Change in the position of the adjective: “la maison blanche” to “the white house”

• When the source text contains a grammatical structure that does not exist in the target text: “il viente de le faire” to “recently”.

• When literal translation is grammatically possible but may not accord with natural usage in the target text: “Il ne tardera pas a renter” to “He will come back soon”

And he concludes that transposition is the only procedure that is related to grammar, and normally translators use this method intuitively. In order to have an integral knowledge about the varieties of transposition, here are exemplified some of the varieties which were mentioned by Vázquez-Ayora (1977): Abverb/Verb

“The application of hard work should eventually produce a heaven on earth”

“La aplicación del trabajo diligente acabaría por producir un paraíso en la tierra” Abverb/Noun

“That won’t be often enough”

“Eso sería demasiada frecuencia” Abverb/Adjective

“The genuine international body”

“El genuino cuerpo internacional” Verb or Past Participle/Noun

“We haven’t hear from him for a long time”

“No hemos tenido noticias suyas por mucho tiempo” Adverb/Adjective

“We will attempt to be brief; relying on subsequent discussion to clarify points which…”

“Trataremos de ser breves, confiados en que las discusiones subsiguientes podremos esclarecer” Verb/Adverb

“There used to be an inn there”

“Había hace mucho allí una posada” Noun/Verb or Past Participle

“During the remainder of the term”

“Hasta que expire el mandato” Adjective/Noun

“It was another busy day beginning”

“Comenzaba otro día de ajetreos” Adjective/Verb

“He pulled sharply upward into a full loop”

“Ascendió agudamente hasta completar un giro” Past Participle/Adjective

“Improved inputs”

“Insumos mejores (o de mejor calidad)”

2.2.2 Modulation

According to Newmark (1988), modulation is defined by Vinay and Darbelnet as: “a variation through a change of viewpoint, of perspective (eclairage) and very often of category of though”. Standard modulation is recorded bilingual dictionaries, Newmark mention that free modulation is been use by translators when a target language reject the literary translation, there are eleven categories of modulation lists, but Newmark focus in just one negated contrary, as positive for double negative, is a concrete translation procedure which can be applied in any action (verb, adjective or adverb).

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Newmark (1988), mention that translations are free and double negative is not a forceful as the positive, the double negative depends of the voice, for that reason this modulation must depend on its formulation and the context. There are lexical gaps, but this modulation is virtually mandatory, the procedure is potentially available, but can be use when the translation is not natural, in other cases the procedures can be used.

The second modulation procedure according to Vinay and Darbelnet’s is part of the whole, and it is explains by Newmark (1988) as: “misleadingly described; it consists of what I can familiar alternatives”.

Newmark (1988) name the other modulation procedures:

Abstract for concrete

Cause for effect

One part for another

Reversal of terms

Active for passive

Intervals and limits

Change of symbols

The active for passive procedures is considering a transposition by Newmark (1988), it is mandatory when passive do not exist. There is important to mention that Newmark consider the categorization did by Vinay and Darbelnet incorrect.

On the other hand the definition and categorization of modulation by Lopez Guix (1997), is the same definition of Newmark originated from Vinay and Darbelnet. But it is also define as a transposition in terms of the message due to the categories of thinking instead of grammar. In the procedures mention before the difficulties rising due to structure of two different linguistics systems, to all this is have to be add the linguistic and cultural specifications.

Metonymic transfer (spatial contiguity, temporal or causal relationship between the original and the translations)

Synecdoche or inclusion (this transformation is more common in English since this language is more direct, concrete)

Reversal of terms (the change became the appositive)

Negated contrary to create an affirmation (It is common in English, the use is not mandatory, the used depends of the context) Active for passive (English prefer the passive voice, opposite to Spanish which reject the passive voice) Change of symbols (this procedure let the translator to about the estrangement and desfamiliarization at the time to transform the sentences) The change from a casual for to an educated form (this is a common change from English to Spanish) Lopez Guix (1997)

Another author is Vasquez Ayora (1977) he consider modulation as way to fight the literalism. Stylistic compare notion, it is a conceptual based inside a proposition, without changing the meaning, which is a different point of view from the translator using a different metaphor. Like Guix and Newmark, Ayora (1977), base is analysis with the same explanation of Vinay and Darbelnet. Ayora also mention that a different point of view will be the linguistic analysis. To this explanation we can add the hypothesis of George Mounin (1970) which said “different point of view different analysis of text”. Ayora consider transposition and modulation the most important procedures of translation. The categorization of modulation from Ayora is:

Abstract for concrete

Cause for effect

One part the whole

One part for another

Inversion de terminus

Negated contrary

Form, aspect and used

Change of symbols

Symbols, in this case Ayora (1977) subdivide this procedure in:

Passive to active

Complement and configuration phrases

Hypotactic and paratactic order

Question and affirmation marks

Director indirect speech

Exocentric and endocentric expressions

Figurate and direct vision

Figurate vision to another

Direct vision to figure

Animism to inanimismo

2.2.3 Omision and amplificación

Some of the translation methods are mainly used to resolve some reciprocation issues in order to convey the meaning and fit into the target language. A non-expert translator is more oriented to literal translation because of his/her fear or lack of knowledge about the different types of methods; however, in translation the objective is to respect the ideas in order to convey the meaning and not to be focused only on the words. One of the procedures that help translator to be more natural is omission, since as Vázquez-Ayora (1977) says it is often ignored or underused. He also adds that omission obeys to the linguistic principle of “saving” and the requirement of naturalness of equivalence in the target language. Furthermore, Vázquez-Ayora presents different types of omission, some examples below: Omission of Abusive Redundancies

“In many cases companies profit from the research grants”

“Muchas compañías sacan provecho de las donaciones para la investigación” Omission of Repletion

“Georgette smiled that wonderful smile, and we shook hand all round


“Georgette tuvo una maravillosa sonrisa y todos nos dimos la mano” Omission of Auxiliary “can”

“I can hear music in the next room”

“Oigo música en la otra oficina” Different Examples of Omission:

“The implications of increasing interdependence among nations”

“Las implicaciones de la creciente interdependencia de las naciones (o de la

dependencia entre naciones”

“The only other nomination made so far is that of the Argentinian


“La única candidatura propuesta hasta ahora es la del Embajador de


In contrast, the addition method is opposed to “saving,” without neglecting the natural tone of the target text, where more lexemes and morphemes (words or symbols) are used in the final text to express the same idea. There are also several types of addition, according to Vázquez-Ayora (1977); however, only some of them will be mentioned: Adverb Addition

“I told her that life here is not interesting”

“Le dije que la vida en esta ciudad carece de interés” Verb Addition

“I don’t know what you mean”

“No sé lo que quieres decir” Adjective Addition

“I intent to discuss the economy of your programs”

“Deseo discutir la economía de las propagandas que ustedes dirigen”

2.2.4 Explicitacion

Explicitation is used by translators to express what is implicit from the source text to the target text. According to Vázquez-Ayora (1977), the English language owns high levels of semantic and meta-linguistic aspects that need to be explicit in Spanish, meaning that English has linguistic concentration of thought advantages over Spanish, so if these elements are not clear, the target text can be vague. Moreover, Vázquez-Ayora adds that the main objective of this method is “explain” and “be specific;” however, he emphasizes that this procedure cannot be used overused, since if the message from the source text is “hidden,” it should be translated as the original paper in order to not loss the accuracy. Below some examples:

“He shook his head” can be translated as “Movió la cabeza afirmativamente”

“A need for specific skills” can be translated as “Necesidad de personal especializado en ramos especificos”

“Their long journey halfway across the world” can be translated as “El largo viaje que habia de conducirles a travez del mundo”

2.2.5 Traduccion literal

For this term Newmark consider literal translation as a technique and best option to translating text where the form is important as the content of great speeches, autobiographies and literary works. Guix (1977) explain the literary translation with the words of Vinay and Darbelnet, is the transfer word by word respecting the linguistic bonded of the target language. Guix (1977) also mention that literal translation is interlineal. In the case of Ayora (1997) he explains that literal translation is a procedure in which the translator need to involved a parallel structure and concept, this is not word for word translation.

2.2.6 Falsas análogas

Both languages, Spanish and English, have thousands of words that are the same or alike in form and also have the same meaning, this group is known as “cognates.” On the other hand, there are another group of words that are deceiving and look similar, but the meaning is quite different, these are known as “false cognates” or “false friends.” These false cognates can cause translation problems, so the translator needs to be very careful when encountering words that seem to be the same in both languages; therefore, it is better to not assume the meaning of the words and also recommends reviewing the words in a monolingual dictionary first.

2.3 Glossaries

The Merriam Webster dictionary define glossary as “a collection of textual glosses or of specialized terms with their respective meanings” “a list that gives definitions of the hard or unusual words found in a book”. But glossaries are much more, they are exceptional tools for translators, as they help in the selection of appropriate terms during the translation process, now that are customized dictionaries with a list of terms in a special subject or field with its definitions , uses, and associated notes in the target language .

Glossaries are used by translators working on difficult text with specific terminology; these lists of terms could also include any company or product specific content ranging from standard abbreviations, names, technical terms and phrases; software strings; legal terms; ingredient lists; catalogue items; and more depending on the field of the translation. Plus other identifying information such as context or reference that may also be included.

In this section specific aspects of the glossary would be explained such as its relevance not only for the translator but as for the translation process, in addition to the procedures for translators to create a glossary.

2.3.1 Relevance for the translator

According to Gapper (2008) Translators are not required to know the precise meaning of all existing words; especially when working with specialized text such as: institutional translations, papers from the area of politics, commerce, finance, and medicine; so even the best translator may find difficult translating specific concepts or catch phrases if he is not acquainted to that particular topic or field. That is why, translators should have at hand the necessary tools to develop an accurate translation and the glossary is the ideal tool, now that it helps translators to make sure that each time a defined key term appears, in any language, it is used consistently and correctly in addition it ensures that those difficult terms that will be needed by the reader are write down in an easy way helping to better understand the document topic and concepts.

2.3.2 Relevance for the translation process:

In the field of translation, the use of a glossary to maintain consistency is really important and can make a big difference in the quality and coherence of the translated document.

Access to reliable and accurate terminology is fundamental to minimize the spent of time on researching and correcting the terms that can be so time consuming, in that way the glossary is useful by saving time and effort to the translators, in addition to ensure consistency within and across the text documents. And all this is to produce an understandable content to readers, helping the text to communicate effectively its message to the audience.

2.3.3 How to create a glossary?

For the purpose of explaining in a clear and specific way the creation of the glossary, some important recommendations made by Gapper (2008) would be mentioned

The first step proposed by Gapper (2008) consists on determining what is needed in order to create a preliminary design; this will help to define the project scope and an efficient time management, especially if the project will be delivered for a specific organization. In this way, the translator can ensure a high quality work. According to Gapper (2008), the gathering information process will allow the person or translator to have a vast knowledge of what is required. Once all this information is compiled, it is also necessary to have the data documented and systematically archived. At this point, the translator can go over with the glossary creation based on the requirements and the users that were defined during the first stage.

Below, the specific steps to generate a glossary based on Gapper (2008) recommendation:

• Determine the purpose of the glossary (users, used, where and under what circumstances will be used? what institution will be benefit? and so on)

• Define the content (terms, information regarding the terms)

• Additional information, if required (singular/plural, dramatics, usage, and so on)

• Format Definition

In addition, according to Gapper (2008) another important decision will be to delineate what type of information will be included for each term. The inclusion of equivalences can result should enrich the glossaries, due to there are some words vary in different countries with the same spoken language; she also suggests that a glossary can include examples on how to use a specific term, this can help as a comparison with other terms, and also idiomatic expressions can be included to guide the user.

On the other hand, aspects about the format need to be analyzed, here, is important to consider aspects like: the use of caps, parenthesis, and alphabetic order.

The last step based on Gapper (2008) recommendation is the verification stage, so before delivering the final version it is needed a meticulous review of the work performed, in the first reading the content should be review to ensure the information is truthful and accurate, and then it guarantees that was offered in a clear and consistent way, the second reading is basically focused on the usage of language and the format aspects.



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