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Tag Archive 'translator'

The Nature of Translation

January 30, 2008

Many people think that any educated person who knows more than one language can translate and interpret. It is far from the truth. Only translators with good background knowledge, subject knowledge, social and cultural competence and, of course, advanced language skills will be always needed.

Translation is a process of conveying information with the help of linguistic and cultural knowledge. “The fact that we are able to produce equivalent in English for every word does not mean that we can give an adequate translation of the text. Translation implies that we have capacity to enter into the mind, the world, and the culture of the speakers or writers and we can express their thought in a manner that is not only parallel to the original, but also acceptable to the target language”. (A. Duff). While translating we need to be faithful to the original and try to fit into the context in the target language. It is not right to focus on the surface meaning only. Words, sounds and grammar are important, but the attention should also be paid to the ideas and concepts, so called deep meaning.
Trying to translate as well as possible, transformation shouldn’t be forgotten. The structure of the sentence is different in different languages, so the goal is to find the equivalent surface structure in two languages which correspond to the common deep meaning. Translation involves changing the form of the message from one language to the appropriate form in the second language without changing the deeper meaning (M.Larson)….

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