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Peter Newmark

A Textbook of Translation

Chapter 1 Introduction
Translation into our language of habitual use is the only one that can be done naturally, accurately and with maximum effectiveness. There are three main areas of translation: a) science & technology b) social, economic and or political topics and institutions c) literary & philosophical wor!s "riting means having a sense of order and pertinence # learning to construct a specific $ gezielt, purposeful) beginning, body and conclusion for your sub%ect: a beginning that defines and sets the sub%ect out& a body that gives and illustrates pros and cons of an argument& a conclusion that states your own verdict # and all without irrelevance. The dynamics of translation $the different directions towards which it can be pulled):

Translation Often, though not by any means always, it is rendering the meaning of a text into another language in the way that the author intended the text.

Chapter ' The Analysis of a Text

(nderstanding a text re)uires both general $getting the gist) & close reading $translator*s point of view: words both out of and in context). The intention of the writer and of the subse)uent translation may be different. +ida*s four types of literary and non,literary texts: 1) +arrative: a dynamic se)uence of events, where the emphasis is on the verbs or, for -nglish, *dummy* verbs plus verb,nouns or phrasal verbs. ') .escription: static, with emphasis on lin!ing verbs, ad%ectives, ad%ectival nouns. /) .iscussion: a treatment of ideas, with emphasis on abstract nouns $concepts), verbs of thought, mental activity $*consider*, *argue*, etc), logical argument and connectives. 0) .ialogue, with emphasis on collo)uialisms and phaticisms.


The average text for translation tends to be for an educated, middle,class readership in an informal, not collo)uial style. STYLISTIC SCALE $1artin 2oos & 3trevens) Officialese *The consumption of any nutriments whatsoever is categorically prohibited in this establishment* Official Formal eutral Informal !ollo"uial #lang Taboo *The consumption of nutriments is prohibited* *4ou are re)uested not to consume food in this establishment* *-ating is not allowed here* *5lease don*t eat here* *4ou can*t feed your face here* *6ay off the nosh* *6ay off the fuc!ing nosh*

7ther points to consider when deciding on a translation method: 8ttitude of the writer. 3etting of the text. 9uality of the writing. 8uthority of the text. Connotations and denotations $see below). 8 final reading of the cultural aspects of the 36 text, underlining neologisms, metaphors, cultural words and institutional names peculiar to the 36 or thirds language, proper names, technical terms and *untranslatable words* $words that have no ready one,to,one e)uivalent in the T6, they tend to be )ualities or actions # descriptive verbs or mental words). "e should read every seemingly problematic item in context, then in isolation, as if it were an encyclopaedia entry, and finally in context again. CONNOTATIONS & DENOTATIONS 8ll texts have an underlife. :rom a translators point of view, the only theoretical distinction between a literary and a non,literary text is whether its denotations precede its connotations, or viceversa.

Chapter / The $rocess of Translating

8 translation is something that has to be discussed. ;oth in its referential and its pragmatic aspect, it has an invariant factor which cannot be precisely defined since it depends on the re)uirements and constraints excercised by one original on one translation. +othing is purely ob%ective or sub%ective. There are no cast,iron rules. There are two approaches to translating: 1) you start translating sentence by sentence to get the feel and the feeling tone of the text, and then deliberately sit bac!, review the position and read the rest of the 36 text you read the whole text two or three times and find the intention, register, tone, mar! the difficult parts and then start translating. AN OPERATIONAL DESCRIPTION OF TRANSLATIN PROCED!RE <t begins with choosing a method of approach. Then, we translate with four levels more or less consciously in mind: 1) The 36 text level, the level of language, where we begin and which we continually $but not continuously) go bac! to& ') The referential level, the level of ob%ects and events, an essential part of the comprehension and reproduction process& /) The cohesive level, which traces the train of thought, the feeling tone and the presuppositions of the 36 text. 0) The level of naturalness, of common language appropriate in a certain situation. 8fterwards, there*s a revision procedure, which may be concentrated or staggered according to the situation.


;ac! to naturalness. +aturalness is both grammatical and lexical. 8pparently, this level binds translation theory to translating theory, and translating theory to practice. <n other words: the theory of translating is based, via the level of naturalness, on a theory of translation.

Translation The occu%ation in which you ha&e to be thin'ing of se&eral things at the same time T"E TE#T!AL LE$EL 4ou intuitively and automatically ma!e certain *conversions* = literal translation. This is the level of the translationese you want to eliminate, but also of paraphrase corrective and synonym paring,down. T"E REFERENTIAL LE$EL 4ou have to ma!e up your mind, summarily and continuously, what a text is about, what it is in aid of and what the writer*s peculiar slant on it is. 4ou have to gain perspective, to stand bac! from the language and have an image of the reality behind the text, a reality for which you, and not the author, are responsible and liable. (ou build u% the referential %icture in your mind when you transform the #) into the T), and, being a %rofessional, you are res%onsible for the truth of this %icture. T"E CO"ESI$E LE$EL <t follows both the structure $following the train of thought through connective words) and the moods $a dialectical factor moving between positive and negative, emotive and neutral) of the text. T"E LE$EL OF NAT!RALNESS :or the vast ma%ority of texts, you have to ensure: a) that your translation ma!es sense& and b) that it reads naturally, that it is written in ordinary language $the common grammar, idioms and words that meet that !ind of situation). >owever, a translation of serious innovative writing may not sound natural, may not be natural to you, though if it is good it is li!ely to become more so with repeated readings.There is no universal naturalness. 4ou have to pay special attention to: 1) "ord order ') +ot ma!ing common structures unnatural by silly one,to,one translation /) Cognate words 0) 8ppropriateness of gerunds, infinitives, verb,nouns ?) "ord & idiom usage $old,fashioned or elevated usage because dictionaries don*t necessarily tell you that) @) (se of articles, progressive tenses, noun,compounding, collocations, currency of idioms and metaphores, aspectual features of verbs, infinitives.