Translation solutions for many languages

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Translation solutions for
many languages
Anthony Pym
Stellenbosch University, 11 March 2104
Please translate:
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
McDonalds
Oleksandr Turchynov
He had three brothers: John, aged 6, and Mary, aged 5.
before you could say Jack Robinson
I had second thoughts about the deal.
I was not a little suspicious of the deal.
He is an Etonian
On se tutoie… [we can use the intimate second person]
"The public service is carrying out ongoing adjustments to its
tax review policy."
10. We arrived safe and sound.
© Intercultural Studies Group
Taxonomies differ
© Intercultural Studies Group
Copying

Taking words straight into another language, e.g.
"software,“ "punk."
 The target language has no (generally used)
equivalent: "sputniks.“
 The source-language word sounds more
prestigious.
 To retain some "feel" of the source language:
"Madrileños are surprisingly unworldly."
© Intercultural Studies Group
Copying

Sub-categories according to what you copy:
 Phonemes: fútbol, Žaks Širaks (Latvian)

Graphemes/morphemes: Макдоналдс,
Олександр Турчинов




Syntax: Governor General
Unknown items (planta noctis)
Irresolvable ambiguities
Linguistic analysis
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Perspective change

Non-obligatory changes that see the same object
from a different position:




Negation of negation: I was not a little suspicious of the
deal, No Vacancies
Passive/active: I got the job from a friend / Mi amigo me
cedió el trabajo.
Verb/noun: Depuis la revalorisation du bois / As timber
becomes more expensive
Direction: From: / Expéditeur:, Te lo dejo (I leave it to you]
/ You can have it.
© Intercultural Studies Group
Zooming

Giving more or less information (zooming in or out)
in the same part of the text:
 Generalization/specification of referents: verónica
/ bullfighter’s flourish / lance
 Explicitation / implicitation: Green Party federal
election money / an old Etonian
 (Non)repetition: We arrived safe and sound
© Intercultural Studies Group
Regeneration

You go from form to components/function and then
to a new form (and there is no change in the overall
context):
 Componential neologisms (balompié, rascacielos)
 Functional idioms (before you can say Jack
Robinson)
 Functional metaphors (baseball replaces cricket as
a referent, but without relocating the text)
© Intercultural Studies Group
Compensation for context

Changes in different parts or levels of the text, to
account for a new cultural context or type of
receiver:
 Changes in text complexity (register, sentence
length, density of technical terms)
 Politeness conventions: on se tutoie
 Translator’s paratexts referring to the ST context.
© Intercultural Studies Group
Recontextualized content

Changes in text content to account for a new
context, without reference to the ST context:
 Corrections (without note of the fact)
 Updating (deadlines, legal contexts)
 Functional referents (baseball, cricket) that
relocate the text
 Editing, summary translation
 Added explanatory material not referring to the ST
context
© Intercultural Studies Group
Translation solution types






Copying (phonemes, graphemes, syntax, text structure)
Perspective change (negation, passives, deverbalization,
directionality)
Zooming: generalization, explicitation, repetition
Regeneration: idioms, recomposition of terms, corresponding
referents
Compensation for context: text complexity, politeness
conventions, paratexts on ST context
Recontextualized content: corrections, updating, editing,
paratexts not on the ST context
© Intercultural Studies Group
In principle…






No solution type is obligatory.
All solution types can be applied to all problems.
All solution types can be combined.
Some solutions require more effort than others.
Some solutions incur a higher risk of failure than do
others.
So you choose solutions according to how much you
like working and how risk-averse you are.
© Intercultural Studies Group
An application…


Vertalings vir wolfneusgewel, rûens, droëland, drif.
Dink dit uit. Altyd ‘n gelag by die werk […] (Agaat
(2004: 8): Marlene van Niekerk)
Translations for wolfneusgewels, rûens, droëland,
drif: jerkin-raised gables, ridges, dry farming-land,
crossing. Prosaic. Devise something: wolfnosed
gables, humpbacked hills, dryland, drift. Always the
laughter at the office […] Agaat (2006: 6):
Translated by Michiel Heyns and Marlene van
Niekerk.
© Intercultural Studies Group
So, which solution types?
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
7.
8.
9.
McDonalds
Oleksandr Turchynov
He had three brothers: John, aged 6, and Mary, aged 5.
before you could say Jack Robinson
I had second thoughts about the deal.
I was not a little suspicious of the deal.
He is an Etonian
On se tutoie… [we can use the intimate second person]
"The public service is carrying out ongoing adjustments to its
tax review policy."
10. We arrived safe and sound.
© Intercultural Studies Group
Applying the theory
Working in pairs (as far as possible), analyze each
other’s translation of the Turkish Bath text.
Which solution types did your partner use the most?
Now check your partner’s analysis of your translation.
Would you agree?
Do the solution types depend on the language pair, or
on the type of translator you are?

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Final questions


Is it easy to distinguish between the solution types?
If not, why not?
Do you think the categories could be improved? If so,
how?
© Intercultural Studies Group
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