Types of Translation
Types of translation. Types of translation classification. Administrative translation The translation of administrative texts. Although administrative has a very broad meaning, in terms of translation it refers to common texts used within businesses and organisations that are used in day to day management. It can also be stretched to cover texts with similar functions in government. Commercial translation Commercial translation or business translation covers any sort of document used in the business world such as correspondence, company accounts, tender documents, reports, etc.
Commercial translations require specialiast translators with knowledge of terminology used in the business world. Computer translation Not to be confused with CAT, computer assisted translations, which refer to translations carried out by software. Computer translation is the translation of anything to do with computers such as software, manuals, help files, etc. Economic translation Similar to commercial or business translation, economic translation is simply a more specific term used for the translation of documents relating to the field of economics.
Such texts are usually a lot more academic in nature. Financial translation Financial translation is the translation of texts of a financial nature. Anything from banking to asset management to stocks and bonds could be covered. General translation A general translation is the simplest of translations. A general text means that the language used is not high level and to a certain extent could be in layman’s terms. There is no specific or technical terminology used. Most translations carried out fall under this category.
Legal translation Legal translations are one of the trickiest translations known. At its simplest level it means the translation of legal documents such as statutes, contracts and treaties. A legal translation will always need specialist attention. This is because law is culture-dependent and requires a translator with an excellent understanding of both the source and target cultures. Most translation agencies would only ever use professional legal to undertake such work.
This is because there is no real margin for error; the mistranslation of a passage in a contract could, for example, have disastrous consequences. When translating a text within the field of law, the translator should keep the following in mind. The legal system of the source text is structured in a way that suits that culture and this is reflected in the legal language; similarly, the target text is to be read by someone who is familiar with another legal system and its language. Literary translation
A literary translation is the translation of literature such as novels, poems, plays and poems. The translation of literary works is considered by many one of the highest forms of translation as it involves so much more than simply translating text. A literary translator must be capable of also translating feelings, cultural nuances, humour and other subtle elements of a piece of work. Some go as far as to say that literary translations are not really possible. In 1959 the Russian-born linguist Roman Jakobson went as far as to declare that “poetry by definition [was] untranslatable”.
In 1974 the American poet James Merrill wrote a poem, “Lost in Translation,” which in part explores this subject. Medical translation A medical translation will cover anything from the medical field from the packaging of medicine to manuals for medical equipments to medical books. Like legal translation, medical translation is specialisation where a mistranslation can have grave consequences. Technical translation A technical translation has a broad meaning. It usually refers to certain fields such as IT or manufacturing and deals with texts such as manuals and instructions.
Technical translations are usually more expensive than general translations as they contain a high amount of terminology that only a specialist translator could deal with. According to Brislin (1976: 1) translation is a general term referring to the transfer of thoughts and ideas from one language to another, whether the language is in written or oral form, whether the languages have established orthographies or not; or whether one or both languages is based on signs, as with signs of the deaf.
Another expert, Wilss (1982: 3), states that translation is a transfer process which aims at the transformation of a written source language text (SLT) into an optimally equivalent target language text (TLT), and which requires the syntactic, the semantic, and the pragmatic understanding and analytical processing of the source text. Syntactic understanding is related to style and meaning. Understanding of semantics is meaning related activity. Finally, pragmatic understanding is related to the message or implication of a sentence. This definition does not states what is transferred. Rather, it states the requirement of the process.
Nida and Taber (1982: 12) see translating as a process of reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style. In other words, translation is a transfer of meaning, message, and style from one SLT to the TLT. In the order of priority, style is put the last. Here the things to reproduce (transfer) is stated, message. Newmark (1991: 27) defines the act of translating very briefly. It is the act of transferring meaning of a stretch or a unit of language, the whole or a part, from one language to another. The discussion on meaning can be seen at sub-point F. Meaning, Message, and Style. ) According to the purpose, translation can be divided into four types: (a) pragmatic, (b) aesthetic-poetic, (c) ethnographic, and (d) linguistic translation (Brislin, 1976: 3-4). Pragmatic translation is the translation of a message with an interest in accuracy of the information meant to be communicated in the target language form. Belonging to such translation is the translation of technical information, such as repairing instructions.
The second type is aesthetic-poetic translation that does not only focus on the information, but also the emotion, feeling, beauty involved in the original writing. The third is ethnographic translation that explicates the cultural context of the source and second language versions. The last type is linguistic translation, the one that is concerned with equivalent meanings of the constituent morphemes of the second language and with grammatical form. Seen from this classification, the translation of literary work should be the aesthetic-poetic one.
The other kinds of translation or translation approach important to review are the ones related to the concept of dynamic translation, semantic translation, communicative translation, and artistic translation. Dynamic translation tries to transfer the messages or ideas into a target language and to evoke in the target language readers the responses that are substantially equivalent to those experienced by the source text readers (Nida and Taber, 1982 :28). A definition of dynamic translation centers on the concept of dynamic equivalence, that is the closest natural equivalence to the source language message.
Hohulin (1982: 15) notices that the definition of dynamic translation contains three essential terms: (a) equivalent, which points toward the source language message, (b) natural, which points toward the receptor language, and (3) closest, which binds the two orientations together on the basis of the highest degree of approximation. Dynamic equivalence approach can be used in the level of translating sentences or group of sentences, because the whole message lies here. Similar to the above concept is the idiomatic translation developed by Beekman and Callow (in Gutt, 1991: 68).
It resembles the dynamic equivalence approach in the sense that it rejects the form-oriented translation and emphasizes that a translation should convey the meaning of the original. A translation, according to this approach, should be faithful to the ‘dynamics’ of the original, or the SL’s ‘naturalness’ of language use and ease of comprehension. The idea of dynamic translation was first proposed by Nida and Taber and the semantic and communicative translation was by Newmark. He even states that the concepts represent his main contribution to general theory of translation (Newmark, 1991: 10).
It seems to be a reaction to the concepts of formal and dynamic equivalence, literal and free translation. In the above dichotomy, the first “pole” of the dichotomy (formal equivalence and literal translation) seems to be condemned for being not be able to transfer the message. Semantic and communicative translation seem to be in the middle of the two poles formal and dynamic translation. (Here formal translation is understood as translation that pursues the formal equivalence and dynamic translation is the one that seeks for the dynamic equivalence.
Discussion on the issue of equivalence can be seen in the next sub-point. ) Semantic translation emphasizes the “loyalty” to the original text. It is more semantic and syntactic oriented and, therefore, also author-centered. On the other hand, communicative translation emphasizes the loyalty to the “readers” and more reader-centered. The two concepts are not to be contrasted with literal word-for-word translation which is criticized in the concept of formal translation and literal translation. He sees it as a translation procedure.
He states that literal word-for-word translation is not only the best in both communicative and semantic translation, but it is the only valid method of translation if equivalent effect is secured (Newmark, 1991: 10-11). He further maintains that, in fact, there is no pure communicative or pure semantic method of translating a text. There are overlapping bands of methods. A translation can be more or less semantic as well as more or less communicative. Even a part of a sentence can be treated more communicatively or more semantically.
Anyhow he maintains that the more important the language of the text or units of text, e. g. in the sacred texts, the more closely it should be translated. Finally he points out that meaning is complicated, many-leveled, a ‘network of relation’. The more generalization and simplification is done, the less meaning is gotten. From this discussion, it can be argued that the choice between semantic and communicative approach is done in the level of translating sentences or even parts of sentence (Newmark, 1991: 10). In the area of literary translation, Chukovsky (1984) offers the concept of artistic translation.
Like the other types of translation, meaning is a very important point to consider. Yet, style is taken as importantly as the other aspects for style is the portrait of the author; so when a translator distorts his style he also distorts ‘his face’ (Chukovsky, 1984: 20). Besides the meaning, impression on the readers should also be kept the same. This translation expert states that it is essential that the readers of the translation should be carried into the very same sphere as the readers of the original, and the translation must act in the very same nerves (Chukovsky, 1984: 80).
To compare, formal and dynamic translation center on the message of the original, the semantic and communicative translation on whether author-centered or reader-centered, and artistic translation does on the consideration of literary aspects: ideas and style. The concepts are based on different ground. It is clear that the concept of dynamic translation is suitable for translating the Bible. It is so because the concept of dynamic equivalence itself was developed from the practice of Bible translation. As it is known, there are many kinds of text some of which are with the characteristics different from the Bible.
The semantic and communicative ones, on the other hand, can be applied at any kinds of text. The case of style is also discussed by Newmark in his hint that “the more important the language of the text or units of text, the more closely it should be translated. ” Finally, artistic translation is probably most appropriate for translating certain literary works, like poetry. Maintaining the author’ style accurately is very difficult in certain novels as the translator is confronted with the syntactic system as well as literary convention of the target language. 1) Communicative classification of translation ) Genre classification of translation 3) Psycho-linguistic classification of translation 1) Communicative classification of translation is based on the predominant communicative function of the source text or the form of speech involved in the translation process. Translation can be literary and informative. Literary translation is the translation of literary texts. The main function of literary translation is to produce an emotional or aesthetic impression upon the reader. The informative translation deals with rendering into target language the non-literary texts.
The main purpose of the informative translation is to convey a certain amount of ideas. 2) Literary works fall into genres. The technical translation the main goal is to identify the situation described in the original. In official documents every word must be carefully chosen. Publicistic texts include the translations of newspapers, magazines, ect. To other genres belong the translations of film scripts, where the main problem is to fit pronunciation and the choice of words. The translations of commercials are those, the main goal of which is to attract the attention of the audience. ) The psycho-linguistic classification of translation falls into written and oral translation, consecutive and simultaneous translation, compression and text development. In written translation the original text is in written form as well as in target language. Written translation is continuous, oral translation is commentary (one time action). There are two main types of oral translation. In consecutive translation the translating starts after the original speech of some part of it has been completed. In simultaneous interpretation the interpreter is supposed to be able to give his translation while the speaker is uttering his message.
The difference between consecutive and simultaneous interpretation – in simultaneous interpretation the interpreter is much more limited in time. The length of the text translated is much shorter than in consecutive translation. Unlike consecutive interpretation, were the interpreter may correct mistakes and slips of the tongue, simultaneous has no time for corrections and redoing. Text compression is aimed at saving interpretation time and removing source text redundancy, which allows the interpreter to keep in pace with the source text, not sacrificing the context. It is more often used in simultaneous interpretation.
Basic comprehension devices in the Ua-En translation are: 1) Transformation of the nominative structures into the verbal ones 2) Conversion of prepositional constructions into noun clusters 3) Omission of transformation of words and word combinations typical to Ukrainian style and considered redundant according to English speech standards. Compression is more often used in translations from Ukrainian into English because the English way of expression is more concise. And often English text contains no redundant words, which is explained by the analytical structure of the language.
Text development is more often used in consecutive translation. It is reflected in the note-taking procedure. Text development in the course of interpretation is the restoration of the full composition of the source sentence, starting from its syntactic and semantic core, accompanied by compliance with syntactic and semantic standards of the target language. The note-taking procedure includes main ideas (skeleton outline, subject-predicate-object), links and separations, viewpoints of the speaker, tenses and modalities, proper and geographical names, dates and numbers.