Basic types of text translations

Extra textual factors in text. A source text as a part of a unit of higher rank. Basic functions of communication. The foundations of scientific theory of translation. The semantic divergences between the languages. The absence of emotional coloring.

Рубрика Иностранные языки и языкознание
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Язык английский
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The term paper is devoted to the translation of text. The topic has been chosen due to the increasing importance of texts in today's world.

Understanding text means how well we read the text. The concept of reading, shortly can be define as interpreting orally of the language which is written. There are several kind of text functionally used in our daily activities. The text can be for several purposes; informing, entertaining, technically directing, exposing, incrementing, debating, narrating, and other purposes. The reading material can vary from book, magazine, news paper, cooking recipes, furniture installation, gadget manual guide, or simply yellow book. There should be slightly different technique when reading such different type of the written language. Practically, the way we read any text or written language is using one.

All of the above make these issues an ideal field of study for our purpose: to shed some light on the analysis and systematization of peculiarities of text translation.

The aim of the research is to determine the peculiarities of text translation

We have put forward the following tasks:

- to analyze general characteristics of texts;

- to study types of the texts;

- to reveal the methods of translation of texts;

- to investigate the lexical peculiarities of text translation;

The term paper consists of introduction, two chapters, conclusion and references.

The introduction presents the title, aim and tasks of the given theme.

The body paragraphs comprise two chapters:

The first chapter is devoted to the peculiarities of text translation and its types.

The second chapter deals with a detailed review of the theory of translation and the peculiarities and difficulties of text translation.

After the body paragraphs a conclusion comes explaining what has been found in the research, analysis and the implications of the findings.

Throughout the paper complete documentation of all sources used is provided. At the end of the paper a complete reference listing of these sources is presented.

Practical significance of the research is in possible application of its results in practice by people who are interested in drawing up text translation. It can be also be of an interest for people studying problems of text translation.

1. Definition of text

Extra textual Factors in Translation Text.

The text has an informational macrostructure (i.e. composition and order of information units) consisting of a number of micro-structures. The text segments forming the macrostructure are marked or delimited primarily by the continuity or discontinuity of tenses.

There are several reasons why both the macro and microstructure of the text are important aspects of a translation-oriented text analysis.

If a text is made up of different text segments with different situational conditions, the segments may require different translation strategies according to their different functions.

The special part that the beginning and end of a text play in its comprehension and interpretation means that these may have to be analyzed in detail in order to find out how they guide the reception process and influence the effect of the whole text.

For certain genres, there are culture-specific conventions as to their macro or microstructure. The analysis of text composition can therefore yield valuable information about the text type (and, perhaps, the text function).

In very complex or incoherent texts, the analysis of informational microstructures may serve to find out the basic information or subject matter of the text.

A source text can be part of a unit of higher rank, which we may call a text combination or hyper-text. Thus, a short story or a scientific article might be included in an anthology or a collection, in which the other texts constitute a frame of reference, and a novel might be intended to form part of a trilogy or tetralogy. The different texts can be related and linked in various ways.

In the practice of professional translating, the parts of a text combination are sometimes translated by different translators, as is shown in the following example.

Most writers on translation theory agree that before embarking upon any translation the translator should analyze the text comprehensively, since this appears to be the only way of ensuring that the source text has been wholly and correctly understood. Various proposals have been put forward as to how such an analysis should be carried out and how particular translation problems might best be dealt with. These tend, however, to be based on models of text analysis which have been developed in other fields of study, such as that of literary studies, of text or discourse linguistics, or even in the field of theology.

But what is right for the literary scholar, the text linguist is not necessarily right for the translator: different purposes require different approaches. Translation-oriented text analysis should not only ensure full comprehension and correct interpretation of the text or explain its linguistic and textual structures and their relationship with the system and norms of the source language. It should also provide a reliable foundation for each and every decision which the translator has to make in a particular translation process. For this purpose, it must be integrated into an overall concept of translation that will serve as a permanent frame of reference for the translator.

The factors of the communicative situation in which the source text is used are of decisive importance for text analysis because they determine its communicative function. I call these factors "extra textual" or "external" factors (as opposed to the "intra textual" or "internal" factors relating to the text itself, including its non-verbal elements). Extra textual factors may, of course, be mentioned, i.e. "verbalized", in the text, and in this case we speak of "met communicative utterances". The interplay between extra textual and intra textual factors can be conveniently expressed in the following set of "WH-questions".

Extra textual factors are analyzed by enquiring about the author or sender of the text (who?), the sender's intention (what for?), the audience the text is directed at (to whom?), the medium or channel the text is communicated by (by which medium?), the place (where?) and time (when?) of text production and text reception, and the motive (why?) for communication. The sum total of information obtained about these seven extra textual factors may provide an answer to the last question, which concerns the function the text can achieve (with what function?).

Intra textual factors are analyzed by enquiring about the subject matter the text deals with (on what subject matter?), the information or content presented in the text (what?), the knowledge presuppositions made by the author (what not?), the composition or construction of the text (in what order?), the non-linguistic or paralinguistic elements accompanying the text (using which non-verbal elements?), the lexical characteristics (in which words?) and syntactic structures (in what kind of sentences?) found in the text, and the suprasegmental features of intonation and prosody (in which tone?).

The extra textual factors are analyzed before reading the text, simply by observing the situation in which the text is used. In this way, the receivers build up a certain expectation as to the intra textual characteristics of the text, but it is only when, through reading, they compare this expectation with the actual features of the text that they experience the particular effect the text has on them. The last question (to what effect?) therefore refers to a global or holistic concept, which comprises the interdependence or interplay of extra textual and intra textual factors.

Since the situation normally precedes textual communication and determines the use of intra textual procedures, it seems natural to start with the analysis of the external factors although, in view of reclusiveness and circularity, the order of the analytical steps is not a constituent of the model. In written communication, the situation is often documented in the "text environment" (i.e. title and/or bibliographical references, such as name of author, place and year of publication, number of copies, etc.). This is what is usually called a "top down" analysis. If no information on the external factors can be inferred from the text environment (for example, in the case of old texts whose original situation of production and/or reception is uncertain or unknown), the analysis of internal features, again in a recursive procedure, can yield information from which the translator is able to make fairly reliable conjectures about the situation the text was used in.14 The latter procedure is referred to as a "bottom-up" analysis.

The application of the model will show that normally both procedures have to be combined, demonstrating once more the recursive character of the model.

In classifying the situational factors as "extra textual factors" we have to make the following fundamental qualification. When referring to "situation" we mean the real situation in which the text is used as a means of communication and not any imaginary setting of a story in a fictional text). The characteristics of a person who speaks in a fictional text do not belong to the dimension of sender, but have to be regarded as an intra textual factor which is analyzed in connection with the internal dimension of "content". It is the author of the text who has to be regarded as "producer" of the fictitious utterance, whereas the fictitious speaker is a "secondary sender".

This qualification also applies to the so-called complex text types, where a text of a certain genre is embedded into a frame text belonging to another genre. Complex text types occur not only in fiction, but also in non-fiction. For example, in newspaper reports authors often cite remarks made by third persons in literal quotations in order to show that they do not share the speaker's opinion. In this case, the sender of the quoted utterance is not identical with the sender of the frame text.


After King Juan Carlos of Spain had received an honorary doctorate from New York University, the journalist who commented on the event in a Spanish newspaper quoted verbatim parts of the King's speech of thanks. For the translation of the quotation, the King has to be regarded as sender, whereas for the translation of the framing newspaper report, the journalist is the sender (and author). The formulation of the two texts has to conform to the different situations and positions of the two senders.

For both fictional and non-fictional complex texts it is advisable to analyze the constituent texts separately according to the principle of reclusiveness. The necessary information on the situational factors of the embedded text is usually given within the frame text.

If we want to encompass the whole situation of a text by means of a model that will serve for the analysis of any text with any possible translation skopos, we must ask the following fundamental question:

What information on the various factors may be relevant to translation?

Neubert regards "age, origin, social environment, education etc." as relevant information about the language user. Vermeer in a matrix relates attitude, status, role, strategy, behavior and activity of the participants of communication to the corresponding features of the type of situation in order to furnish evidence of the conformist or deviant behavior of the participants. Schmidt lists the following data: a) socio-economic conditions (role, status, economic situation),

b) socio-cultural and cognitive-intellectual conditions (text and world knowledge, education, experience, models of reality),

c) biographical-psychical conditions (individual competences and dispositions, present biographical situation, plans, intentions).

Gulich & Raible even regard "hoarseness, cheerfulness, unhappiness" and the picture that speaker and hearer have of each other as factors which may influence the communicative act.

This list is in no way complete, but it clearly shows that the situation or world of a text cannot be analyzed by a mere compilation of informational details. We have to find the categories by which we conceive the world, which will apply equally to the world of a text, i.e. to its historical situation.

This applies to the situation of a text as well.

The basic categories of any historical situation are time and space. The category of time also comprises the historic conception a world has of itself. The first fundamental aspect of analysis will therefore be the temporal and spatial dimension of the situation.

The situation of a text is always a part of human culture. The second fundamental aspect of analysis therefore has to refer to the culture-specific features of the situation.

c) In its world, the text has a function which establishes its textuality. The third fundamental aspect therefore comprises the relationship between situation and communicative function of the text

The communicative function of a text has to be considered within the framework of the transcultural, possibly universal, communicative functions of language in general.

We find four basic functions of communication:

a) the referential (also denotative or cognitive) function, focused on the referent or context referred to by the text,

b) the expressive or emotive function, focused on the sender, the sender's emotions or attitude towards the referent

c) the operative function, focused on the orientation of the text towards the receiver,

Apart from space, time, and culture, it is the influence of these basic functions that constitutes the "world" of a text. They will therefore form the systematic framework for the range of possible questions which can be asked regarding the situational factors of our analytical model (see the standard or model questions in the "checklist" at the end of each chapter). In order to illustrate the interdependence of factors and dimensions, the last question will always refer to the expectations raised by the analysis of the factor in question.

Although in many cases these two roles are combined in one person (e.g. in the case of literary works, textbooks, or newspaper commentaries, which are normally signed by an author's name), the distinction seems to be highly relevant to a translation-oriented text analysis.

Many texts do not bear any author's name at all. These are usually non-literary texts for practical use, such as advertisements, laws or statutes, or operating instructions. Nevertheless, there has to be a sender who, even if not named explicitly, can be identified implicitly. For example, the sender of an advertisement is usually the company selling the product, and the sender of statutes is normally the legislative body of a state. The fact that no text producer is named in these cases leads to the conclusion that either they are not relevant as a person or - as is the case with certain genres - they do not wish to be known.

If a text bears the name of both sender and text producer, the latter usually plays a secondary role because s/he is not expected to introduce any communicative intention of her or his own into the text.

The sender of a text is the person (or institution, etc.) who uses the text in order to convey a certain message to somebody else and/or to produce a certain effect, whereas the text producer writes the text according to the instructions of the sender, and complies with the rules and norms of text production valid in the respective language and culture. The formal design of the text, such as the layout, may be assigned to another expert, and in some cases, the text is presented to the public by yet another person (e.g. a news reader or an actor).


The imprint on the back of a tourist information brochure of the city of Munich reads as follows: "Edited by the Tourist Information Office of Munich (...). Text: Helmut Gerstner." The Tourist Information Office, which intends to inform the visitors and to promote the beauties of the town, is the sender of the text. Mr Gerstner is the text producer, and he is the person responsible for the stylistic features of the text, but not for the sender's intention. The imprints on the English, French, and Spanish versions of the brochure contain the same information, which in this case is obviously wrong. Although the Tourist Information Office is the sender of these texts, too, it is the respective translators who have to be regarded as text producers. Their names ought to be mentioned in addition to, or instead of, that of Helmut Gerstner.

Text function is defined "externally", before the receiver has actually read the text, whereas the effect the text has on the receiver can only be judged after reception. It is, so to speak, the result of the reception and encompasses both external and internal factors.

It is true that certain genres are conventionally associated with certain intentions, but these need not necessarily be realized in the communicative situation. Some ancient genres, for example, such as magic spells or epic poems, are received today in a function which differs considerably from that intended by the original sender.

Ideally, the three factors of intention, function and effect are congruent, which means that the function intended by the sender (= intention) is also assigned to the text by the receiver, who experiences exactly the effect conventionally associated with this function. Methodologically, the three factors have to be distinguished because their separate analysis allows for a different treatment (preservation, change, adaptation) in the translation process. If the intention has to be preserved in translation, we must often be prepared for a change in function and/or effect.

The intention of (the sender is of particular importance to the translator because it determines the structuring of the text with regard to content (subject matter, choice of informative details) and form (e.g. composition, stylistic-rhetorical characteristics, quotations, use of non-verbal elements etc.). At the same time, the specific organization of a text marks the text type and is a pre-signal which tells the receivers in which function they are expected to use the text.


A set of operating instructions is meant to inform the user about a certain piece of equipment, e.g. a hairdryer, and to explain its correct use. Therefore, the text producer chooses the conventional forms of text organization (composition, sentence structures, lexical clichйs, etc.). Taking the text out of the box with the hairdryer, the receiver recognizes the particular forms of text organization and immediately knows that the sender wants to inform about the hairdryer and the way it has to be used. Therefore receivers will normally utilize the text in this particular function. In this case, the text type is linked with a particular intention on the part of the sender, which leads to the corresponding text function on the part of the receiver. The effect will be that of "conventionality".

The sender's intention is also important in connection with the principle of loyalty. Even if the text function is changed in translation, the translator must not act contrary to the sender's intention (if it can be elicited).

The information on the dimension of intention can throw some light on other external factors (e.g., what effect on the receiver might be intended, which medium may be most appropriate or conventionally used to realize the intention in question, or whether there is a link between intention and genre), and, to a large extent, on the intra textual features (e.g. composition, use of rhetorical devices or non-verbal elements, tone, etc.).

What different types of intention can be associated with a text? There may be forms of "communication", where the sender is his or her own addressee: somebody may write something down either to ease the burden of their memory or to sort out their ideas and thoughts, or they may just scribble something on a piece of paper while making a phone call ("zero-intention"). These forms would not appear to be relevant to translation. In normal communication with two or more participants, the possible intentions correspond with the four basic functions of communication described above in connection with the systematic framework. We may ask, for example, whether the sender wants to inform the receiver about a certain issue (referential intention) or intends to express her/his feelings or attitude towards things (expressive intention), whether s/he plans to persuade the receiver to adopt a particular opinion or perform a certain activity (appellative intention), or whether s/he just wants to establish or maintain contact with the receiver.

Of course, a sender may well have more than just the one intention. Several intentions can be combined in a kind of hierarchy of relevance. For pragmatic reasons, this hierarchy may have to be changed in translation.

Types of texts.

There are 5 major texts types: Narrative, Descriptive, Directive, Expository, and Argumentative. Text types are general semantic-functional concepts and are not to be confused with text forms (advertisements, editorials, sermons, shopping lists, poems, telephone books, novels, etc.) Narrative texts. Narrative texts have to do with real-world events and time. They may be fictional (fairy tales, novels) or nonfictional (newspaper report). They are characterized by a sequencing of events expressed by dynamic verbs and by adverbials such as “and then”, “first”, “second”, “third” Descriptive texts. Descriptive texts are concerned with the location of persons and things in space. They will tell us what lies to the right or left, in the background or foreground, or they will provide background information which, perhaps, sets the stage for narration. It is immaterial whether a description is more technical-objective or more impressionistic subjective. Directive texts. Directive texts are concerned with concrete future activity. Central to these texts are imperatives or forms which substitute for them, such as polite questions or suggestive remarks. Narrative, descriptive and directive texts have grammatical forms associated with them which may be expanded to form sequences of a textual nature. They are all centered on real-world events and things. In contrast, expository and argumentative texts are cognitively oriented, as they are concerned with explanation and persuasion, which are both mental processes. Expository texts. Expository texts identify and characterize phenomena. They include text forms such as definitions, explications, summaries and many types of essay. Expository texts may be subjective (essay) or objective (summary, explication, definition) may be analytical (starting from a concept and then characterizing its parts; e.g. definitions) or synthetic (recounting characteristics and ending with an appropriate concept or conclusion; e.g. summaries) are characterized by state verbs and epistemic modals (Pop music has a strong rhythmic beat. Texts may consist of one or more sentences) or by verbs indicating typical activities or qualities. Argumentative texts. Argumentative texts depart from the assumption that the receiver's beliefs must be changed. They often start with the negation of a statement which attributes a quality or characteristic activity to something or someone (esp. scholarly texts). They also include advertising texts, which try to persuade their readers that a product is somehow better, at least implicitly, than others. Few texts are pure realizations of a single type: Advertisements may be argumentative, persuasive and directive. Expository texts can be neutral or contain evaluative elements (reviews, references, and letters to the editor). Laws regulate some aspects of society, directing the behavior of its members, but also inform on these aspects (they are both directive and expository).

The suprasegmental features of a text are all those features of text organization which overlap the boundaries of any lexical or syntactical segments, sentences, and paragraphs, framing the phonological "gestalt" or specific "tone" of the text.

The particular framing of a text depends, first and foremost, on the medium by which the text is transmitted. In written texts, the suprasegmental features are signalled by optical means, such as italics, spaced or bold type, quotation marks, dashes and parentheses, etc.

In spoken texts, the suprasegmental features are signaled by acoustic means, such as tonicity, modulation, variations in pitch and loudness, etc.. This applies both to spoken texts which are produced spontaneously (e.g. a contributions to a discussion, a statement by the witness of an accident) and to written texts which are presented orally (e.g. lectures, radio and television news, etc.).

It is important to distinguish suprasegmental features, in their function as features of verbal text organization, from the non-verbal or para-verbal elements accompanying the text, such as facial expressions, gestures, etc. On the other hand, habitual psycho-physical and physical features of speech (such as quality of voice or excitement) as well as features resulting from biographical factors (such as origin, age, status, e.g. social or regional dialect) must be distinguished from "controllable" functional features, i.e. features depending on the sender's intention or on other situational factors such as the relationship between sender and receiver etc.

2. Difficulties of text translation

Equivalence of translation.

Among multiple problems that modern linguistics studies an important role is played by studying of linguistic aspects of cross-language speaking activity that is called translation or translating activity. Translation is an ancient human's activity. Due to groups of people appeared in the history of mankind had different languages the bilinguals became urgent as they helped communication between groups with different languages. Then writing appeared and along with oral interpreters written translators became urgent as well. They translated different texts of official, religious and business issues. From its very beginning translation played a significant social function allowing people of different languages communicate. Spreading of written translations gave people access to cultural achievements of other people and it made interacting and intersaturation of literatures and cultures feasible. Knowledge of foreign languages allows reading books originally written in those languages.

The first theoretical of translation were the translators themselves who tried to generalize their own experience. Translators of ancient world discussed the issue of proximity degree to the source text. In early Bible translations or translations of other materials that were considered to be sacral and exemplary we can find word for word approach of the source text interpretation that sometimes lead to partly or even full misunderstanding of translations. That is why later translators tried theoretically approve the right of translator for reasonable variety in subject to the source text that meant the interpretation of meaning and the impression of the source text instead of word for word coping.

The foundations of scientific theory of translation started to be developed in the middle of XXth century when the problem of translating appeared to be urgent amongst linguists. Before that period it was thought that translation is not the issue of linguistic range. Translators themselves considered linguistic aspects to be non-significant but totally technical role. The translator was supposed to be fluent both in source and target languages but knowledge of the language was just a preliminary condition and did not cover its meaning.

By the middle of XXth century the attitude to translation activity had changed and its systematic studying commenced. During this period the translation of political, commercial, scientific-technical and other texts was of great priority. In those types of translation the features of individual writer's style were not important. Due to this fact more and more attention was paid to the main difficulties of translation related to different structures and functioning of languages in this process.

The meaning of language units was emphasized by more precise requirements for the translation. During the translation of such materials it was not enough to get “general” translation as the translation was supposed to provide information transmission in all details up to the meaning of single words. It was required to identify linguistic meaning of this process and what factors identified it and what range they have for information transmitting.

So, there are always two texts during translation, and one of them is initial and is created independently on the second one, and the second text is created on the basis of the first one with the help of some certain operations - the inter language transformations. The first text is called “the text of original"; the second text is called “the text of translation". The language of the text of original is called “the source language”. The language of the text of translation is called “the target language”. We need to define the most important thing: why do we consider that the text of translation is equivalent to the text of original? For example, why do we speak that the Russian sentence “Мой брат живет в Лондоне" is the translation of the English sentence “My brother lives in London", while the Russian sentence “Я учусь в университете” is not the translation of the English sentence given above - to say in other words - is not equivalent to it? Obviously, the replacement of the text in one language by the text in the other language is not always the translation. The same idea can be expressed in the other way: the process of translation or the inter language transformation is realized not arbitrary, but with the help of some certain rules, in some strict frameworks. And if we do not observe these rules we have already no rights to speak about translation. To have the rights to be called the translation, the text on TL should contain in it something that the text on SL contains. Or else, while replacing the text on SL by the text on TL it is necessary to keep some certain invariant; the measure of keeping of this invariant defines by itself the measure of the equivalence of the text of translation to the text of original. So, first of all, it is necessary to define what is the invariant in the process of translation that is in the process of transformation of the text on SL in the text on TL.

At the decision of this problem it is necessary to take in account the following. The process of translation directly depends on bilateral character of a mark, as it is called in a mark systems science - semiotics - It means that any mark can be characterized from two sides, or plans the plan of expression or form and the plan of contents or meaning. It is known that the language is a specific mark system that is why the units of language are also characterized by the presence of two plans, both forms and meaning. Thus the main role for translation is played by that fact that different languages contain different units and these units differ from each other in the way of expression that is by the form but they are similar in the way of the contents that are by the meaning. For example, the English word "brother" differs from Russian word “брат" in the way of the expression, but coincides with it in the way of the contents, that is has the same meaning.

The English word "brother" has not only the meaning “брат" but also some meanings expressed in Russian language by the words “собрат", “земляк", “коллега”, “приятель" etc. And the Russian word “брат" in the combination “двоюродный брат” corresponds not to the English word "brother", but to the word "cousin", who means not only “двоюродный брат” but also “двоюродная сестра". This phenomenon, namely, the incomplete concurrence of systems of meanings of units in different languages, complicates the process translation. Taking in account this fact we can say, that if we replace the English word "brother" by the Russian word “брат", the process of translation takes place here, as these words, differing in the way of expression that is by the form coincide or are equivalent in the way of the contents, that is by the meaning. Actually, however, as the minimal text is the sentence, the process of translation is always realized in the limits of minimum one sentence. And in the sentence, as a rule, the discrepancy between the units of different languages in the way of the contents is eliminated. Proceeding from this, we can give now the following definition of the translation: The translation is the process of transformation of the speech product in one language into the speech product in the other language by keeping the constant plan of the contents that is the meanings. About “the keeping of the constant plan of the contents” it is possible to speak only in the relative, but not in the absolute sense. During the inter language transformation some losses are inevitable, that is the incomplete transference of meanings, expressed by the text of the original, is taking place. So, the text of translation can never be complete and absolute equivalent of the text of original; the task of the interpreter is to make this equivalence as complete as it is possible, that is to achieve the minimum of losses. It means that one of the tasks of the theory of translation is the establishment of the order of transference of meanings. Taking into account that there are various types of meanings, it is necessary to establish which of them have the advantages during the transference in the process of translation, and which of them it is possible “to endow" so that the semantic losses would be minimal while translating.

To finish the consideration of the question about the essence of translation, it is necessary to answer one question yet. This question arises from the definition of translation equivalence based on the keeping of the constant plan of the contents that is the meaning, given above. It was already marked that the opportunity of keeping of plan of the contents, that is the invariance of meanings while translating, assumes that in the different languages there are some units that are similar in the way of meaning. The divergence in the semantic systems of different languages is a certainty fact and it is the source of numerous difficulties arising before the interpreter in the process of translation.

That is why; many researchers consider that the equivalence of the original and the translation is not based on the identity of expressed meanings. From the numerous statements on this theme we shall quote only one, belonging to the English theorist of translation J. Ketford: “The opinion that the text on SL and the text on TL “have the same meaning" or that there is “a carry of meaning" while translating, have no bases. From our point of view, the meaning is the property of the certain language. The text on SL have the meaning peculiar to TL; for example, the Russian text has Russian meaning, and the English text, that is the equivalent of it, has the English meaning.

For the benefit of translation it is possible to state the following arguments:

In the system of meanings of any language the results of human experience are embodied, that is the knowledge that the man receives about the objectively existing reality.

In any language, the system of language meanings reflects the whole external world of the man, and his own internal world too, that is the whole practical experience of the collective, speaking the given language, is fixed. As the reality, environmental different language collectives, has much more than common features, than distinguishes, so the meanings of different languages coincide in a much more degree, than they miss. The greatest difficulties during translation arise when the situation described in the text on SL is absent in the experience of language collective - the carrier of TL, otherwise, when in the initial text the so-called “realities” are described, that is different subjects and phenomena specific to the given people or the given country.

The ability to describe new unfamiliar situations is the integral property of any language; and this property makes what we speak about to be possible.

The translation was determined above as the process of transformation of speech product in one language into the speech product in the other language. Thus, the interpreter deals not with the languages as the systems, but with the speech products, that is with the texts. Those semantic divergences, that is in the meanings, which we are talking about, concern, first of all, to systems of different languages; in the speech these divergences very often are neutralized, erased, brought to nothing.

Last give an example to prove the fact given above. In the story of the known English writer S. Moem “A Casual Affair " we can see the following sentence: " He'd always been so spruce and smart; he was shabby and unwashed and wild-eyed ". This is the Russian variant of this sentence: "Прежде он был таким щеголем, таким элегантным, а теперь бродил по улицам Сингапура грязный, в лохмотьях, с одичалым взглядом. (Translation of Litvinova M) On the first sight the Russian text do not seems to be the equivalent to the English one: there are such words as "прежде, а теперь, бродил по улицам Сингапура" in it, which have not the direct conformities in the text of original. But really, the semantic equivalence is available here, though here are no verbal equivalence, of course. The thing is that the Russian words “прежде" and “а теперь” transfer the meanings, which are expressed not by the words, but by the grammatical forms in the English text: the opposition of the forms of the verb "to be" -“had been” and “was” expresses that the first event is taking place before the second one, which has the logical expression through adverbs of time in Russian language.

Words “бродил по улицам Сингапура" transfer the semantic information, which the initial English text contains too, but in one of the previous sentences, not in the given sentence (He didn't been the job in Sumatra long and he was back again in Singapore). So, the semantic equivalence is provided not between the separate words and even not between the separate sentences here, but between the whole text on SL and the whole text on TL as a whole.

So, the semantic divergences between the languages cannot serve as the insuperable obstacle for the translation, by virtue of that circumstance, that the translation deals with the languages not as the abstract systems, but with the concrete speech products (texts). And in their limits there is the complex interlacing and interaction of qualitatively diverse language means being the expressions of meanings - of words, grammatical forms, and "super assignments" means, transmitting this or that semantic information together. That semantic equivalence of the texts of the original and the text of translation, which we regard as the necessary condition of the process of translation, exists not between the separate elements of these texts, but between the texts as a whole. And inside the given text the numerous regroupings, rearrangement and redistribution of separate elements are not only allowed, but frequently they are simply inevitable, ("translation transformations"). So, while translating, there is a strict rule - the principle of submission of elements to the whole, of the lowest units to the highest.

Types of translation.

Though the basic characteristics of translation can be observed in all translation events, different types of translation can be singled out depending on the predominant communicative function of the source text or the form of speech involved in the translation process. Thus we can distinguish between literary and informative translation, on the one hand, and between written and oral translation (or interpretation), on the other hand.

Literary translation deals with literary texts, i. e. works of fiction or poetry whose main function is to make an emotional or aesthetic impression upon the reader. Their communicative value depends, first and foremost, on their artistic quality and the translator's primary task is to reproduce this quality in translation.

Informative translation is rendering into the target language non-literary texts, the main purpose of which is to convey a certain amount of ideas, to inform the reader. However, if the source text is of some length, its translation can be listed as literary or informative only as an approximation. A literary text may, in fact, include some parts of purely informative character. Contrariwise, informative translation may comprise some elements aimed at achieving an aesthetic effect. Within each group further gradations can be made to bring out more specific problems in literary or informative translation.

Literary works are known to fall into a number of genres. Literary translations may be subdivided in the same way, as each genre calls for a specific arrangement and makes use of specific artistic means to impress the reader. Translators of prose, poetry or plays have their own problems. Each of these forms of literary activities comprises a number of subgenres and the translator may specialize in one or some of them in accordance with his talents and experience. The particular tasks inherent in the translation of literary works of each genre are more literary than linguistic. The great challenge to the translator is to combine the maximum equivalence and the high literary merit. The translator of a belles-lettres text is expected to make a careful study of the literary trend the text belongs to, the other works of the same author, the peculiarities of his individual style and manner and sn on. This involves both linguistic considerations and skill in literary criticism. A good literary translator must be a versatile scholar and a talented writer or poet. A number of subdivisions can be also suggested for informative translations, though the principles of classification here are somewhat different. Here we may single out translations of scientific and technical texts, of newspaper materials, of official papers and some other types of texts such as public speeches, political and propaganda materials, advertisements, etc., which are, so to speak, intermediate, in that there is a certain balance between the expressive and referential functions, between reasoning and emotional appeal. Translation of scientific and technical materials has a most important role to play in our age of the revolutionary technical progress. There is hardly a translator or an interpreter today who has not to deal with technical matters. Even the "purely" literary translator often comes across highly technical stuff in works of fiction or even in poetry. An in-depth theoretical study of the specific features of technical translation is an urgent task of translation linguistics while training of technical translators is a major practical problem.

In technical translation the main goal is to identify the situation described in the original. The predominance of the referential function is a great challenge to the translator who must have a good command of the technical terms and a sufficient understanding of the subject matter to be able to give an adequate description of the situation even if this is not fully achieved in the original. The technical translator is also expected to observe the stylistic requirements of scientific and technical materials to make text acceptable to the specialist.

Some types of texts can be identified not so much by their positive distinctive features as by the difference in their functional characteristics in the two languages. English newspaper reports differ greatly from their Russian counterparts due to the frequent use of colloquial, slang and vulgar elements, various paraphrases, eye-catching headlines, etc. When the translator finds in a newspaper text the headline "Minister bares his teeth on fluoridation" which just means that this minister has taken a resolute stand on the matter, he will think twice before referring to the minister's teeth in the Russian translation. He would rather use a less expressive way of putting it to avoid infringement upon the accepted norms of the Russian newspaper style.

Apart from technical and newspaper materials it may be expedient to single out translation of official diplomatic papers as a separate type of informative translation. These texts make a category of their own because of the specific requirements to the quality of their translations. Such translations are often accepted as authentic official texts on a par with the originals. They are important documents every word of which must be carefully chosen as a matter of principle. That makes the translator very particular about every little meaningful element of the original which he scrupulously reproduces in his translation. This scrupulous imitation of the original results sometimes in the translator more readily erring in literality than risking to leave out even an insignificant element of the original contents. Journalistic (or publicistic) texts dealing with social or political matters are sometimes singled out among other informative materials because they may feature elements more commonly used in literary text (metaphors, similes and other stylistic devices) which cannot but influence the translator's strategy. More often, however, they are regarded as a kind of newspaper materials (periodicals).

There are also some minor groups of texts that can be considered separately because of the specific problems their translation poses to the translator. They are film scripts, comic strips, commercial advertisements and the like. In dubbing a film the translator is limited in his choice of variants by the necessity to fit the pronunciation of the translated words to the movement of the actor's lips.

Translating the captions in a comic strip, the translator will have to consider the numerous allusions to the facts well-known to the regular readers of comics but less familiar to the Russian readers. And in dealing with commercial advertisements he must bear in mind that their sole purpose is to win over the prospective customers. Since the text of translation will deal with quite a different kind of people than the original advertisement was meant for, there is the problem of achieving the same pragmatic effect by introducing the necessary changes in the message. Though the present manual is concerned with the problems of written translation from English into Russian, some remarks should be made about the obvious classification of translations as written or oral. As the names suggest, in written translation the source text is in written form, as is the target text. In oral translation or interpretation the interpreter listens to the oral presentation of the original and translates it as an oral message in TL. As a result, in the first case the Receptor of the translation can read it while in the second case he hears it.

There are also some intermediate types. The interpreter rendering his translation by word of mouth may have the text of the original in front of him and translate it “at sight". A written translation can be made of the original recorded on the magnetic tape that can be replayed as many times as is necessary for the translator to grasp the original meaning. The translator can dictate his “at sight" translation of a written text to the typist or a short-hand writer with TR getting the translation in written form.

These are all, however, modifications of the two main types of translation. The line of demarcation between written and oral translation is drawn not only because of their forms but also because of the sets of conditions in which the process takes place. The first is continuous, the other momentary. In written translation the original can be read and re-read as many times as the translator may need or like. The same goes for the final product. The translator can re-read his translation, compare it to the original, make the necessary corrections or start his work all over again. He can come back to the preceding part of the original or get the information he needs from the subsequent messages. These are most favorable conditions and here we can expect the best performance and the highest level of equivalence. That is why in theoretical discussions we have usually examples from written translations where the translating process can be observed in all its aspects.

The conditions of oral translation impose a number of important restrictions on the translator's performance. Here the interpreter receives a fragment of the original only once and for a short period of time. His translation is also a one-time act with no possibility of any return to the original or any subsequent corrections. This creates additional problems and the users have sometimes; to be content with a lower level of equivalence.

There are two main kinds of oral translation - consecutive and simultaneous. In consecutive translation the translating starts after the original speech or some part of it has been completed. Here the interpreter's strategy and the final results depend, to a great extent, on the length of the segment to be translated. If the segment is just a sentence or two the interpreter closely follows the original speech. As often as not, however, the interpreter is expected to translate a long speech which has lasted for scores of minutes or even longer. In this case he has to remember a great number of messages and keep them in mind until he begins his translation. To make this possible the interpreter has to take notes of the original messages, various systems of notation having been suggested for the purpose. The study of, and practice in, such notation is the integral part of the interpreter's training as are special exercises to develop his memory.


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