Explicitation

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TRANSLATION LAWS AND
UNIVERSALS AS SIGNALS OF
RISK-AVERSION
ANTHONY PYM
BEHAVIORAL TENDENCIES
• Levý, Jiří. 1963/2011. Umění překladu: “it is the
psychology inherent in the activity of translating
that is behind the tendency for translators
themselves to opt for generalisation, neutralisation
and repetition [as opposed to variation].”
SOME TENDENCIES
• Simplification: “the process and/or result of making
do with less [different] words” (Blum-Kulka and
Levenston 1983)
• Explicitation: making implicit information explicit
(Blum-Kulka 1986)
• Equalizing: avoidance of extremes of language use
(Shlesinger 1989)
• Unique items: items only found in the target
language tend not to be used (Tirkkonen-Condit
2004)
SOME LAWS
• Standardization: “conversion of textemes into
repertoremes” (Toury 1995/2012)
• Interference: “The greater the text unit (phrase,
sentence, paragraph, chapter), the greater the
interference.” (Toury 1995/2012)
PROBLEMS WITH CORPORA
• All units are presumed to have the same value.
• Few probabilistic statistics are in sight.
• No modeling can be made of translation processes
(especially effort).
• No causes can be identified.
CAUSES FOR TENDENCIES?
• Vinay and Darbelnet (1958): “prudence but also
ignorance”
• Levý (1963): “communication” vs. “aesthetic
function”
• Popovič (1975): “commercialization” vs. “quality”
• Chesterman (2004): “translators are also readers”
• Davidson (1973) “charity” or “rational
accommodation”
• Quine (1990, 1995) “empathy”
RATIONAL RISK ANALYSIS
• Manage risk of communicative failure (when there
a no mutual benefits for partners)
• Some items are high-risk, others are low-risk.
• Work hard on high-risk items (i.e. reduce risk)
• Do not work hard on low-risk items (i.e. accept risk)
• Blame someone else when high-risk items are not
worth the effort (i.e. transfer risk)
• Run high risk?
A SIMPLE TRANSLATION PROBLEM
A SIMPLE TRANSLATION PROBLEM
• Ting Ting Maggie Hui, RISK MANAGEMENT BY
TRAINEE TRANSLATORS: A STUDY OF TRANSLATION
PROCEDURES AND JUSTIFICATIONS IN PEER-GROUP
INTERACTION (2012)
“SHOP FEARLESSLY”
“SHOP FEARLESSLY”
No.
Solution
1
购物愉快!
(during the process)
享受这个旅程!
(during the process)
祝您购物愉快哦!
(during the process)
2
3
4
Literal backtranslation
Happy shopping!
Adaptation
Risk
management
R-
Enjoy your tour!
Substitution
R-
Explicitation
R-
Substitution
R-
Wish you
happiness when
you do the
shopping!
享受你在该店的“旅程” 。 Enjoy your “tour”
(in final TT)
in the shop.
Procedure
“SHOP FEARLESSLY”
C4: Hmm… hmmm… “(ST) Enjoy
your adventure” 呢?
C7: “(ST) Enjoy your adventure”, “愛
你的冒險”, haha…
C4: “冒險” 不好…… 不要 “冒險”, 但
是說……
C7: 這是說, 你來第一次你會享受……
對, 第一次來你會享受…… 只要來一次
你會想享受這裡面……
C4: 對呀對呀! 因為他有點敢著說…...
來到一個…... 一個地方, 然後你…… 你
享受可以找到很多東西…… 所以這個
要翻成…… “好好享受你的新發現吧!”
C7: Hmm, 挺好的!
C4: Hmm… hmmm… “(ST) Enjoy your
adventure”?
C7: “(ST) Enjoy your adventure”, “Love
your adventure”, haha…
C4: “Adventure” is not good… Not to
say “adventure”, how about…
C7: So it means: When you come the
first time you enjoy… right, when you
come the first time you enjoy… just
come once and you enjoy being
here…
C4: Right, right! Because it seems to
say… come to a… a place, then you…
you enjoy making many discoveries…
so it can be translated as… “Enjoy the
discoveries you make!”
C7: Hmm, sounds good!
“SHOP FEARLESSLY”
No.
Solution
1
爱你的冒险
2
Literal backProcedure
translation
Love your adventure Literalism
好好享受你的新发 Enjoy the discoveries
现
you make
Shift of
focus
Risk
management
R -> ST
R-
“GET HUNGRY, SHOP FEARLESSLY”
No.
Solution
1
感到饿,就大胆
的……
感到饿,就行动
吧!
2
Literal backtranslation
Get hungry,
audaciously…
Get hungry, act
now!
Procedure
Risk
management
Exaggeration
R+
Omission
R-
“FEARLESS”
TRANSLATOR’S RISK PROFILE
SOME TENDENCIES
• Simplification: “the process and/or result of making
do with less [different] words” (Blum-Kulka and
Levenston 1983)
• Explicitation: making implicit information explicit
(Blum-Kulka 1986)
• Equalizing: avoidance of extremes of language use
(Shlesinger 1989)
• Unique items: items only found in the target
language tend not to be used (Tirkkonen-Condit
2004)
SOME LAWS
• Standardization: “conversion of textemes into
repertoremes” (Toury 1995/2012)
• Interference: “The greater the text unit (phrase,
sentence, paragraph, chapter), the greater the
interference.” (Toury 1995/2012)
AN EXPLANATION
With no equivalence
With no fidelity
With no essentialist Skopos or purpose
With no assumption of “complete information”
(Levý)
• With no more than a subject who estimates
probable efforts and probable effects.
•
•
•
•
A UNIVERSAL REWARD
STRUCTURE?
• “Authors always get the praise for what is good in a
translation, and translators just get the blame for
what is wrong” (Leonardo Bruni 1405)
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