Learning Translation Transformation in Language

Translation is an informational process, which means that translator should render information transmitted as fully as possible. However, this can be achieved only if certain structural and semantic changes are introduced. These changes, which are caused by lexical and grammatical differences between languages (and broadly speaking – by the differences between the respective cultures), are called transformations in translation.

Grammatical transformations in translation

Most writers on the subject distinguish between the following grammatical transformations in translation:

1. Transposition is a change in the order of words in phrases and sentences, which is often caused by the structural differences in expressing the theme and the rheme in different languages.

E.g.: A girl entered the room – У кімнату увійшла дівчина.

An old man was sitting by the side of the road – Біля краю дороги сидів старий.

2. Grammatical replacement is substitution of the word belonging to one part of speech by a word belonging to another part of speech (morphological replacement) or substitution of one syntactical construction by another one (syntactical replacement).

E.g.: He is a good runner – Bin гарно бігає.

I saw her standing there – Я бачив, що вона там стояла.

The Times wrote editorially (…) – У передовій статті газета Таймс писала..

3. Addition is used to compensate for semantic or grammatical losses and often accompanies transposition and grammatical replacement.

E.g.: His wife had been beautiful – Його дружина колись (або у молодості) була красунею.

Workers of all industries – робітники усіх галузей.

4. Omission is a transformation opposite to addition and is used with the aim to avoid redundant information.

E.g.: the right to rest and leisure – право на відпочинок. equality in trade and commerce – рівні права у галузі торгівлі (…) regardless of age, education, experience or background – незалежно від віку, освіти та досвіду роботи.

Lexical and semantic transformations in translation

The transformations listed below have been labelled as lexical and semantic because lexical changes often are caused by the need to adapt the meaning to the semantic peculiarities of the target culture.

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Most of the writers on the subject single out the following transformations of this kind:

1. Generalization of meanings, which is substitution of the source language words (phrases) of a narrow meaning by the target language words (phrases) of a general (broader) meaning.

E.g. : My baby is 18 months – Моїй дитині півтора року.

This car costs seventeen hundred pounds – Ця машина коштує тисячу сімсот фунтів;

The soldiers walked in the ankle-deep dust – Солдати йшли no коліно у пилюці; wrist watch- наручний годинник.

2. Differentiation of meanings is caused by the fact that many English words with broad semantics do not have direct equivalents in Ukrainian. In such cases dictionaries give a number of meanings that only partially cover the meaning of the source language word and translators have to choose one of the variants, which suits the context best of all.

Thus affection may be rendered as щиросердя biit not obligatory as любов, прихильність, симпатія; challenge – as проблема, нагальне завдання (питання) but not only as виклик’, sustainable – as безперервний, непохитний, придатний; обгрунтований, остаточно визначений but not only as as сталий,усталений, стійкий, etc.

3. Concretization (substantiation) of meanings is substitution of thesoùrce language words (phrases) with a generic meaning by the target language words (phrases) with a more specific (narrow) meaning. Concretization is always combined with differentiation.

E.g.: Run for the presidency – Змагання за посаду президента: networking – спілкування: student – not only студент but abo учень, слухач (dependingupon the context).

4. Logical (or sense) development is the substitution in translation of thé dictionary equivalent by the contextual one, which is logically connected with the first. The Liverpool by-election was an acid test for the Labour candidate which can be hardly translated as Довибори у Ліверпулі били випробиванням на кислотність для кандидата від лейбористів.

Evidently it is necessary to substitute the process by its attribute – були лакмусовим папірцем. This logical development – substitution of the process by the object – occurs within the framework of intersection because лакмусовий папірець is only a part of випробування на кислотність. When logical development is applied to translation of verb combinations there can be established clear interrelationships between processes (actions or states), causes and effects (consequences).

Thus the theory of permutations allows singling out six possible variants of logical development [see ibid.]:

  1. substitution of the process by its cause,
  2. substitution of the process by its effect,
  3. substitution of the cause by the process,
  4. substitution of the cause by its effect,
  5. substitution of the effect be its cause,
  6. substitution of the effect by the process.

To illustrate one of these transformations Ya.I. Retsker [Рецкер 2004: 53] gives quite a straightforward example from A. Christie’s book: “I don’t think she’s living here at the moment. Her bed wasn’t slept in».

It is quite appropriate in translation to substitute the process by its effect: instead of вона не спала и своему ліжку to use її ліжко не зім’яте.

5. Antonymous translation is the substitution of the source language notion by its opposite in translation with the relevant restructuring of the utterance aimed at faithful rendering of its content Here belong such techniques as the use of an affirmative construction instead of a negative one or the use of semantic antonyms.

E.g.: Let, a sleeping dog lie – He чіпай лиха, коли воно спить:

6. Full rearrangement of the text segment.

This transformation rearranges the inner form of any segment of text: starting with a word, a phrase and ending up with a complete sentence. Such reorganization is of an integral nature so that visible structural relationships between the inner form of the source and target languages segments cannot be traced any more. However full rearrangement does not mean that logical and semantic relationships between the two segments disappear. If it were so, translation would not be faithful.

On the contrary – full rearrangement presumes that equivalence of the content is retained in translation, though it is achieved by different means. Full rearrangement is very often used in rendering colloquial set expressions and idioms. Examples are: be my guest – ласкаво прошу; bottleneck – вузьке (слабке) місце; don’t move!, freeze! – ані руш!; I’ll be damned! * провалитися мені на цьому місці, хай йому чорт!; out of the blue – несподівано, раптом, як грім серед ясного неба, як сніг на голову; shut up! * Заткни рота!; to sort things out – ставити на свої місця. 7. Compensation for losses in the course of translation.

According to A. V. Fedorov [Федоров 2002:169-170] in the practice of translation there are instances when a word or another element of the source text is not rendered at all or is substituted by a formally different one. However this omission does not contradict the principle of translatability because such elements belong to the text as a whole linguistic unit. These elements are essential forunder standing of the text as parts of system, which is formed by their interrelationships and links thus ensuring cohesion of the text. Within this coherent system there is a room for replacements and compensations.

Therefore if a separate element, which doesn’t play a key role in text organization, is lost in translation, it may be of no importance for the text as a whole because this element is dissolved in the general context or substituted by other elements, which sometimes do not exist in the source text. • The education of Mr. Jonas had been conducted on the strictest principles of the main chance. The very first word he learned to spell was gain, and the second (when he got into two syllables), money. [Ch.Dickens. Life and adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit].

Виховання пана Джонаса було саме суворе та із народження мало на увазі передусім користь. Перше слово, яке він навчився складати, було “гроші”, а друге (коли він дійшов до трискладових слів) – “нажива”. In the original Ch. Dickens writes not about the strictness of education as such but about “the strictest principles of the main chance”. i.e. about “чіткі приниипи не втратити свій шанс”ої “чіткі приншти отримати наживи”.

Unfortunately this hypocritical idiomaticity has not been rendered in translation. However, the translator tries to compensate for this loss by increasing the level of irony further on in translation. Translation of the words gain and money also illustrates the technique of compensation: in the source text the first word Jonas learned to spell is gain and the second -money. In the, Ukrainian translation гроші appears to be the first and нажива – the second due to the different number of syllables in the target language. Correspondingly the translator substitutes the phrase when he got into two syllables by коли він дійшов до трискладових слів.

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Learning Translation Transformation in Language. (2016, Sep 18). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/learning-translation-transformation-in-language-essay

Learning Translation Transformation in Language

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