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Dilla University

College of Social Sciences and Humanities

Department of English Language and Literature

.Course Title: Translation and Interpretation

.Course Code: Engl 416 .Credit Hours: 3

Course Rational
As language specialists, the students are expected to get engaged in cross-linguistic activities such as translation and
interpretation. They are encountered with translating reading texts of important genre and content for public, media, and
business purposes, writing texts concerned with indigenous cultures, thoughts and concepts, and translating speeches from
and into English. This course then gives them the opportunity to get the awareness and the practice on these life and academic

Course description
The course starts with the theoretical aspect of translation and interpretation, and the discussion of procedural matters of its
practice. Then it proceeds with controlled and free practice activities where students personally come into contact with the
translation work. The coverage is limited to translating from and into English, as the students are, as a principle, expected to
work and have a greater contact with English as their major area of specialization.

Course Contents

Basic Concepts of Translation and Interpretation.
1. 1. Definition of Terms
1.2 The Essence of Translation and Interpretation
1.3 A brief history of the discipline
1.4 Qualities of an Effective Translator
1.5 Interpretation
1.6 Qualities of an Effective Interpreter
1.7 Differences between Interpretation and Translation
1. 8Types of translation
1.8.1 From the Language perspective
1.8.2 From its function/Purpose point of view
1.8.3 From the Translator’s Focus Perspective
1.8.4 Text-Based Typology of Translation
1.9 Modes of translation
1.10 Types of Interpretation
1.11 Modalities to deliver Interpretation
Unit-2 Theoretical Frameworks and Meaning
2.1 Theory of Translation
2.2 Types of Texts to be translated
2.3 Meaning and Translation
2.4 Semantic Analysis in Translation
2.5 Loss of Meaning in Translation
Unit-3 The Practical Application of Translation
3.1 Steps/Procedures of Translation
3.2 Strategies, Methods, and Approaches
3.3 Translation Equivalence:
3.4 Testing Translation

- Active lecture - Oral presentation
- Group/pair work - Self reflection
- Project - Individual work(class, home take)

Assessment Scheme
- Continuous assessment – 60% Final Exam – 40%

Bell and R. 1991 Translation and Translating: Theory and Practice. Longman
Newmark, P. Approaches to Translation. Oxford: Pergamon Press
Nida, E. Towards a Science of Translation Leiden: E.J. Brill
Nida, E. Taber, 1974. Theory and Practice of Translation Leiden: E.J. Brill
Theodore, S. 1968. The Art of Translation. Boston: The Winter Inc.

Basics of Translation and Interpretation

At the end of this unit students are expected to

 Define technical terms in the area of translation

 Distinguish the role of translation in the daily life

 Identify the difference between translation and Interpretation

1. 1. Definition of Terms

Q1. What is Translation, Translator, Interpretation, Interpreter, SL, TL, ST, TT?
Q2. Why do we need Translation and Interpretation?
Q3. What will happen if there is no translation and interpretation?

“If the human race had understood each other easily, there would have been no need for
translation and/or interpretation.”


Traanslation is the process of rendering written language that was produced in one language (the
SOURCE LANGUAGE2) into another (the TARGET LANGUAGE2), or the target language version that
results from this process.
What does Translation mean? A simple answer would be something along the lines of
“translation/translating is the transfer of a text in Language A into an equivalent text in Language B”, a type
of definition you will encounter in many dictionaries if you look up the verb “translate”:
● turn words into different language: to reproduce a written or spoken text in a different language while
retaining the original meaning (MSN Encarta)
● to turn into one's own or another language (Merriam-Webster)
● to change words into a different language (Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
● to render in another language (The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language)

Translation is an activity comprising the interpretation of the meaning of a text and the production of a
new, equivalent text in another language – called the target text, or the translation. Wikipedia

The act or process of translating, especially from one language into another. (Wikipedia)
The process of facilitating written communication from one language to another. Translation is retelling, as
exactly as possible, the meaning of the original message in a way that is natural in the language into which
the translation is being made. Bible Translation, book by Katherine Barnwell, 1986, p.8

A translation should give a complete transcript of the ideas and sentiments in the original passage,
maintain the character of the style, and have the ease and flow of the original text. Alexander Fraser
Tytler, 1790.

Translation is a written communication in a second language having the same meaning as the written
communication in a first language. Wordnet.princet.on.edu
Translation. An incredibly broad notion which can be understood in many different ways. For example, one
may talk of a translation as a process or a product, and identify such subtypes as literary translation,
technical translation, subtitling and machine translation; moreover, while more typically it just refers to the
transfer of written texts,
Translation sometimes also includes interpreting.

a) a process by which a spoken or written utterance takes place in one language which is intended or
presumed to convey the same meaning as a previously existing utterance in another language
(Rabin 1958)
b) the transfer of thoughts and ideas from one language (source) to another (target), whether the
languages are in written or oral form . . . or whether one or both languages are based on signs
(Brislin 1976)
c) a situation-related and function-oriented complex series of acts for the production of a target text,
intended for addressees in another culture/language, on the basis of a given source text (Salevsky

d) Any utterance which is presented or regarded as a ‘translation’ within a culture, on no matter what
grounds (Toury 1995).

From these all there is no single best and agreed definition of the term translation. There cannot be an
objective definition fixing, once and for all, the ‘true meaning’ or ‘essence’ of what we perceive or believe
something (in this case translation) to be like.

In general someone who translates written language from one language (SOURCE LANGUAGE) into another (the
TARGET LANGUAGE). An accredited translator (or certified translator) is someone who has received
accreditation (or certification) from a professional organization such as the Institute of Translation and
Interpreting (ITI) or the American Translators Association (ATA), issued on the basis of training, experience,
and examinations. In some countries (e.g. Germany) translators may hold titles if they have graduated from
programmes at degree level. Some translators have specialized skills necessary for specific types of
translation, for example medical translation, legal translation, or literary translation.

Interpretation is slightly different from translation. The Oxford Dictionary the
verb to interpret as
1. explains the meaning of (words, actions, etc.).  translate orally the words of a
person speaking a different language.
2. perform (a creative work) in a way that conveys one’s understanding of the
creator’s ideas.  understand as having a particular meaning or significance.

Free Translation: Translation in which more emphasis is given to overall meaning than to exact wording.
Literal Translation: A translation that approximates to a wordfor- word representation of the original.
Machine Translation: A translation that has been produced by a computer.
Translation equivalence: the degree to which linguistic units (e.g. words, syntactic structures) can
be translated into another language without loss of meaning. Two items with the same meaning in two
languages are said to be translation equivalents.

the act of rendering oral language that is spoken in one language (SOURCE LANGUAGE2) into another language
(TARGET LANGUAGE2) for the benefit of listeners who do not understand (or who understand imperfectly) the
source language. Oral translation after a speaker has finished speaking or pauses for interpretation is known as
consecutive interpretation. If the interpretation interpretation takes place as the speaker is talking, providing a
continuous translation that parallels the speaker’s speech, it is called simultaneous interpretation. Interpretation is
often required in a variety of situations, such as conferences, community settings, and the courts.
in general, someone who provides an oral translation of a speaker’s words from one language to another. An
accredited interpreter (or certified interpreter) is one who has received accreditation (or certification) from a
professional organization such as the Institute of Translation and Interpreting (ITI), issued on the basis of training,
experience, and examinations. Some interpreters have highly specialized skills and are accredited

Interpretive semantics

A theory about the place of meaning in a model of GENERATIVE GRAMMAR. It considers a meaning component,
called the semantic component, as part of the grammar. This component contains rules which interpret the meaning
of sentences. This theory differs from GENERATIVE SEMANTICS, which insists that the semantic component is the
most basic part of a grammar from which all sentences of a
language can be “generated” In generative semantics, syntactic rules operate on the meaning of a sentence to
produce its form. In interpretive semantics, semantic rules operate on the words and syntactic structure of a sentence
to reveal its meaning.

Source language (SL): The language of the original message.

Target language (TL): The language of the resulting translation or interpretation.

A- language - Native language: Most people have one A language, although someone who was raised bilingual may
have two A languages or an A and a B, depending on whether they are truly bilingual or just very fluent in the second

B- language - Fluent language: Fluent here means near-native ability - understanding virtually all vocabulary,
structure, dialects, cultural influence, etc. A certified translator or interpreter has at least one B language, unless he or
she is bilingual with two A languages.

C -language - Working language: Translators and interpreters may have one or more C- languages - those which
they understand well enough to translate or interpret from but not to.

Keywords: Allusion, culture-specific concept, proper name, SL, TL.

1.2 The Essence of Translation

The word translation is derived from the Latin translatio meaning "to carry across" or "to bring across". Thus,
translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-
language text. Translation began only after the appearance of written literature. Generally, translation is known as a
process of transferring a language to another. Newmark (1988) defines translation as a craft consisting in the attempt
to replace a written massage and statement in one language by that same message and statement in another
language. For Nida and Taber (1969), translation consists in reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural
equivalent of the source language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style. According to
them translation is a target language product which is as semantically accurate, grammatically correct, stylistically
effective and textually coherent as the source language text. In other words, the translator's main attention should not
be focused only on the accurate semantic transference of SL message into the TL, but also on the appropriate syntax
and diction in the TL, which are explicitly the translator's (not the source author's) domain of activity which displays
true competence of the translator.
Nida’s Model of Translation





Thus translation is a transfer process which aims at the transformation of a written source language text (SLT)
into an optimally equivalent target language text (TLT), and which requires the syntactic, the semantic, and the
pragmatic understanding (related to the message or implication of a sentence) and analytical processing of the
source text. In short, translation is a transfer of meaning, message, and style from one SLT to the TLT.


Fig. Translation Process


Process (translating)

Product (translation)

General subject field

1.3 A brief history of the discipline

When we talk about the history of translation, we should think of the theories and names that emerged at its different
periods. In fact, each era is characterized by specific changes in translation history, but these changes differ from one
place to another. For example, the developments of translation in the western world are not the same as those in the
Arab world, as each nation knew particular incidents that led to the birth of particular theories. So, what are the main
changes that marked translation history in both the West and the Arab world?

For centuries, people believed in the relation between translation and the story of the tower of Babel in the Book of
Genesis. According to the Bible, the descendants of Noah decided, after the great flood, to settle down in a plain in
the land of Shinar. There, they committed a great sin. Instead of setting up a society that fits God's will, they decided
to challenge His authority and build a tower that could reach Heaven. However, this plan was not completed, as God,
recognizing their wish, regained control over them through a linguistic stratagem. He caused them to speak different
languages so as not to understand each other. Then, he scattered them allover the earth. After that incident, the
number of languages increased through diversion, and people started to look for ways to communicate, hence the
birth of translation (Abdessalam Benabdelali, 2006) (1). Actually, with the birth of translation studies and the increase
of research in the domain, people started to get away from this story of Babel, and they began to look for
specific dates and figures that mark the periods of translation history.

Writings on the subject of translating go far back in recorded history. The practice of translation was discussed by, for
example, Cicero and Horace (first century BCE) and St Jerome (fourth century CE); as we shall see in chapter 2,
their writings were to exert an important influence up until the twentieth century. In St Jerome's case, his approach to

translating the Greek Septuagint Bible into Latin would affect later translations of the Scriptures. Indeed, the
translation of the Bible was to be - for well over a thousand years and especially during the Reformation in the
sixteenth century - the battleground of conflicting ideologies in western Europe.

However, although the practice of translating is long established, the study of the field developed into an academic
discipline only in the second half of the twentieth century. Before that, translation had normally been classical Latin
and Greek and then to modern foreign languages, centered on the rote study of the grammatical rules and structures
of the foreign language. These rules were both practiced and tested by the translation of a series of usually
unconnected and artificially constructed sentences exemplifying the structure(s) being studied, an approach that
persists even nowadays in certain countries and contexts. Typical of this is the following rather bizarre and de-
contextualized collection of sentences to translate into Spanish, for the practice of Spanish tense use. They appear in
K. Mason's Advanced Spanish Course, still to be found on some secondary school courses in the UK:

1 The castle stood out against the cloudless sky.

2 The peasants enjoyed their weekly visits to the market.
3 She usually dusted the bedrooms after breakfast.
4 Mrs Evans taught French at the local grammar school.

In the USA, translation - specifically literary translation - was promoted in universities in the 1960s by the translation
workshop concept. Based on I. A. Richards's reading workshops and practical criticism approach that began in the
1920s and in other later creative writing workshops, these translation workshops were first established in the
universities of Iowa and
Princeton. They were intended as a platform for the introduction of new translations into the target culture and for the
discussion of the finer principles of the translation process and of understanding a text (for further discussion of this
background, see Gentzler 1993: 7-18). Running parallel to this approach was that of comparative literature, where
literature is studied
and compared transnationally and transculturally, necessitating the reading.

Translation in the Arab world: The early translations used in Arabic are dated back to the time of Syrians (the first
half of the second century AD), who translated into Arabic a large heritage that belongs to the era of paganism
(Bloomshark 1921: 10-12, qtd by Addidaoui, 2000) (7). Syrians were influenced in their translations by the Greek
ways of translation. Syrian's translations were more literal and faithful to the original (Ayad 1993: 168, qtd by
Addidaoui, 2000) (8). According to Addidaoui, Jarjas was one of the best Syrian translators; his famous Syrian
translation of Aristotle's book In The World was very faithful and close to the original.

Additionally, the time of the prophet Mohamed (peace be upon him) is of paramount importance for translation
history. The spread of Islam and the communication with non-Arabic speaking communities as Jews, Romans and
others pushed the prophet to look for translators and to encourage the learning of foreign languages. One of the most
famous translators of the time is Zaid Ibnu Thabet, who played a crucial role in translating letters sent by the prophet
to foreign kings of Persia, Syria, Rome and Jews, and also letters sent by those kings to the prophet.

1.3 Qualities of an Effective Translator

 A very good knok2wledge of the language, written and spoken, from which he is translating (the source
 An excellent command of the language into which he is translating (the target language);

 Familiarity with the subject matter of the text being translated;

 A profound understanding of the etymological and idiomatic correlates between the two languages; and

 A finely tuned sense of when to metaphrase ("translate literally") and when to paraphrase, so as to assure
true rather than spurious equivalents between the source- and target-language texts.

 A competent translator is not only bilingual but bicultural. A language is not merely a collection
of words and of rules of grammar and syntax for generating sentences, but also a vast
interconnecting system of connotations and cultural references whose mastery, writes linguist Mario Pei,
"comes close to being a lifetime job."

1.4 Interpretation

Interpretation is the facilitation of oral or sign-language communication, either simultaneously or consecutively,

between two, or among more, speakers who are not speaking, or signing, the same language. The process is
described by both the words interpreting and interpretation. In professional parlance, interpreting denotes the
facilitating of communication from one language form into its equivalent, or approximate equivalent, in another
language form; while interpretation denotes the actual product of this work, that is, the message thus rendered into
speech, sign language, writing, non-manual signals, or other language form. This important distinction is observed in
order to avoid confusion.

An interpreter is a person who converts a thought or expression in a source language into an expression with a
comparable meaning in a target language either simultaneously in "real time" or consecutively after one party has
finished speaking. The interpreter's function is to convey every semantic element (tone and register) and every
intention and feeling of the message that the source-language speaker is directing to target-language recipients.

1.5 Qualities of an Effective Interpreter

 Familiar with the general subject of the spoken language that is to be interpreted.
 Intimately familiar with the cultures of both the original language and the target language.
 Extensive vocabulary in the original language and the target language.
 Expresses thoughts clearly and accurately in the target language.
 Excellent note-taking skills (when consecutive interpreting).
 Quick decision making skills (generally there is no time to assess which variant is best) features and
different accents, quick wittedness and full attention,
 Knowledge of short-hand writing for consecutive interpreting and finally self-composure.

1.6 Differences between Interpretation and Translation

Translation and interpretation are often confused terms. Despite being used in a non-technical sense as
interchangeable, interpretation and translation are not synonymous. While both of them involve adapting from one
language to another, there are a number of important differences. These differences include

a. Spoken versus written: Interpretation is the transference of meaning between spoken languages, while
translation is the transference of meaning between written languages. Translation is written. It is usually done by
converting a text from one language to another, whether it is free or literal. Neither author of source texts nor
addressee of target texts is usually present so no overt interaction or direct feedback can take place. The translator
can go back to it and make necessary changes and corrections. Translators work alone, facing a white sheet of
paper and a text. They recreate the text by becoming its second author, understanding and recreating the author's
writing skills. On the other hand, interpretation is spoken. The interpreter's work is not a solitary one. The interpreter
works directly with an orator, who possibly elaborates his text as the topic unfolds, expressing his thoughts directly
without any time for re-elaboration or rewording. The interpreter also works directly with a public, who is listening
simultaneously to him and to the orator. It is usually simultaneous and consecutive between two or more people.
Both author and addressee are usually present, and interaction and feedback may occur.

b. Real time versus delayed: Interpreting occurs in real time. It happens in person, on the phone, or through a
television/ video service. Because translation involves the written word, it typically takes place long after a text is
created, which gives the translator time to access resources (dictionaries, glossaries, subject matter experts, etc.) to
produce an accurate and effective end document (or website, help file, etc.).

c . Level of accuracy: Interpretation and translation demand different levels of accuracy. While interpreters aim to be
completely accurate, it’s difficult to achieve in a live conversation. They may omit some details of the original speech
as they interpret into the target language. Conversely, translators have time to evaluate and revise each word and
sentence before delivering their product, so they can achieve a greater level of accuracy and greater fidelity to the

d . Direction and fluency: An interpreter must be fluent enough in both the original language and the target
language to be able to translate in both directions, on the spot, without any reference material. Interpreters are highly
qualified people, and the work is quite demanding! It is so demanding that interpreters work in pairs and must switch
off every 20 minutes or so to prevent mental fatigue. Typically, professional translators only work in one direction—
translating into their native language. As such, translators do not have to be as fluent in the source language as an
interpreter must be.

e. Intangibles: Both translators and interpreters are faced with the challenge of making metaphors, analogies, and
idioms understandable to the audience in the target language. However, interpreters must also capture tone,
inflection, voice quality, and the other intangible elements of the spoken word and convey those meaningfully to the
audience. In interpreting, the interpreter will take in a complex concept from one language, choose the most
appropriate vocabulary in the target language to faithfully render the message in a linguistically, emotionally, tonally,
and culturally equivalent message. Translation is the transference of meaning from text to text (written or recorded),
with the translator having time and access to resources (dictionaries, glossaries, etc.) to produce an accurate
document or verbal artifact. Lesser known is "transliteration," used within sign language interpreting, takes one form
of a language and transfer those same words into another form (ex: spoken English into a signed form of English,
Signed Exact English, not ASL).

1. 8Types of translation

1.8.1 From the Language perspective

Many scholars have devised many types of Translation. This part will present these various types of translation. The
first type is designed by Roman Jacobson (1959), according to whom there are three types of translation.

a. Intralingual translation (rewording) - translation within the same language, which can involve rewording
or paraphrase;

b. Interlingual translation (proper) - translation from one language to another, and

c. Intersemiotic translation (transmutation) - translation of the verbal sign by a non-verbal sign, for example
music or image. The first type is exemplified by synonyms in the same linguistic code or language, paraphrase or
replacing an idiom such as ‘pass away’ by ‘die’. The second type is seen in replacing certain code-units in Sl by
equivalent code-units in TL. The third refers to the use of signs or signals for the purpose of communication; the most
important semiotic system is human language in contrast to other systems such
as sign language and traffic signals. Obviously, this type lies within Jakobson’s framework in which translation is
perceived as the conversion of a sign into another alternative or equivalent sign, be it verbal or nonverbal.

Due to the continuing evolvement of the translation industry there are now certain terms used to define specialist
translations that do not fall under a general category. This part offers an explanation of some of the more common
translation terms used.

1.8.2 From its function/Purpose point of view

a. Administrative translation: Although administrative has a very broad meaning, in terms of translation it refers to
common texts used within businesses and organizations that are used in day to day management. It can also be
stretched to cover texts with similar functions in government.

b. Commercial translation: Commercial translation or business translation covers any sort of document used in the
business world such as correspondence, company accounts, tender documents, reports, etc. Commercial
translations require specialist translators with knowledge of terminology used in the business world.

c. Computer translation: Not to be confused with CAT, computer assisted translations, which refer to translations
carried out by software. Computer translation is the translation of anything to do with computers such as software,
manuals, help files, etc.

d. Economic translation : Similar to commercial or business translation, economic translation is simply a more
specific term used for the translation of documents relating to the field of economics. Such texts are usually a lot
more academic in nature.

e. Financial translation: Financial translation is the translation of texts of a financial nature. Anything from banking
to asset management to stocks and bonds could be covered.

f. General translation: A general translation is the simplest of translations. A general text means that the language
used is not high level and to a certain extent could be in layman's terms. There is no specific or technical terminology
used. Most translations carried out fall under this category.

g. Legal translation : Legal translations are one of the trickiest translations known. At its simplest level it means the
translation of legal documents such as statutes, contracts and treaties. A legal translation will always need special
attention. This is because law is culture-dependent and requires a translator with an excellent understanding of both
the source and target cultures. Most translation agencies would only ever use professional legal to undertake such

h. Sworn translation: also called "certified translation," is translation performed by someone authorized to do so by
local regulations. Some countries recognize declared competence. Others require the translator to be an official state

i. Literary translation : A literary translation is the translation of literature such as novels, poems, plays and poems.
The translation of literary works is considered by many one of the highest forms of translation as it involves so much
more than simply translating text. A literary translator must be capable of also translating feelings, cultural nuances,

humor and other subtle elements of a piece of work. Some go as far as to say that literary translations are not really
possible. In 1959 the Russian-born linguist Roman Jakobson went as far as to declare that "poetry by definition [was]
untranslatable". In 1974 the American poet James Merrill wrote a poem, "Lost in Translation," which in part explores
this subject.

j. Medical translation : A medical translation will cover anything from the medical field from the packaging of
medicine to manuals for medical equipments to medical books. Like legal translation, medical translation is
specialization where a mistranslation can have grave consequences.

k. Technical translation: A technical translation has a broad meaning. It usually refers to certain fields such as IT or
manufacturing and deals with texts such as manuals and instructions. Technical translations are usually more
expensive than general translations as they contain a high amount of terminology that only a specialist translator
could deal with.

1.8.3 From the Translator’s Focus Perspective

a. Pragmatic translation: is the translation of a message with an interest in accuracy of the information meant to be
communicated in the target language form. Belonging to such translation is the translation of technical information,
such as repairing instructions.

b. Aesthetic-poetic translation: does not only focus on the information, but also the emotion, feeling, beauty
involved in the original writing.

c. Ethnographic translation: explicate the cultural context of the source and second language versions.

d. Linguistic translation: is concerned with equivalent meanings of the constituent morphemes of the second
language and with grammatical form.

e. Dynamic translation: tries to transfer the messages or ideas into a target language and to evoke in the target
language readers the responses that are substantially equivalent to those experienced by the source text readers. A
definition of dynamic translation centers on the concept of dynamic equivalence, that is the closest natural
equivalence to the source language message. Dynamic translation contains three essential terms: i) equivalent,
which points toward the source language message, (ii) natural, which points toward the receptor language, and (iii)
closest, which binds the two orientations together on the basis of the highest +degree of approximation. Dynamic
equivalence approach can be used in the level of translating sentences or group of sentences, because the whole
message lies here. The concept of dynamic translation is suitable for translating the Bible.

f. Idiomatic translation : resembles the dynamic equivalence approach in the sense that it rejects the form-oriented
translation and emphasizes that a translation should convey the meaning of the original. A translation, according to
this approach, should be faithful to the „dynamics‟ of the original, or the SL‟s „naturalness‟ of language use and
ease of comprehension.

g. Semantic translation: emphasizes the “loyalty” to the original text. It is more semantic and syntactic oriented
and, therefore, also author-centered.

h. Literary translation: Translation of literary works (novels, short stories, plays, poems, etc.) is considered a
literary pursuit in its own right.

. Communicative translation:

emphasizes the loyalty to the “readers” and more reader-centered. The two concepts are not to be contrasted with
literal word-for-word translation which is criticized in the concept of formal translation and literal translation. Remark:
there is no pure communicative or pure semantic method of translating a text.

Features of Semantic and Communicative Translation

Semantic translation communicative translation
-Author-Centered. -Reader-centred.
-Pursues author's thought process -Pursues author's intention.
-Related to thought. -Related to speech.
-Concerned with author as individual. -Adapts and makes the thought and cultural content of original
more accessible to the reader.
-Semantic and Syntactic oriented. Length of sentences,
position and integrity of clauses, word position, preserved -Effect-oriented. Formal features or original sacrificied more
whenever possible. readily.
-Faithful, more literal. -Faithful, freer.
-Informative. -Effective.
-Usually more awkward, more detailed, more complex, but -Easy reading, more natural, smoother, simpler, clearer, more
briefer. direct, more conventional, conforming to particular register of
language, but longer.

NB. Newmark (1991) suggests that, there is no pure communicative or pure semantic method of translating a text. There are
overlapping bands of methods. A translation can be more or less semantic as well as more or less communicative. Even a part of a
sentence can be treated more communicatively or more semantically.
1.8.4 Text-Based Typology of Translation
a. Informative: ( referential function in translation )
Inform the reader about the phenomena of the real world
Typology assumed to be universal - i.e. applies both to SL and TL texts
TLR should try to give a correct and complete representation of the source text's content (guided by TL and culture as
far as stylistic choices are concerned)
b. Expressive: ( expressive function )
The informative aspect complemented or suppressed by the aesthetic component
TLR tries to produce an analogous aesthetic effect on the receiver
Stylistic choices are guided by those made in the SLT

c. Operative: (appellative and phatic function)

 In these texts both CONTENT and FORM are subordinate to the extralinguistic effect that the text is designed to achieve
 TLR should be guided by the overall aim of bringing about the same reaction to the audience - this, however, might involve
changing the CONTENT/STYLISTIC FEATURES of the original
Each type of TR may include various types of text genres BUT one text genre (e.g letters): need not necessarily correlate with one
text type only: a love letter may be expressive, a business letter may be of informative type, a letter requesting help is of the
operative type, etc.

NB: Role of conventions and norms in deciding on the typology of texts:

'Let your translation decisions be guided by the function you want to achieve by means of your translation'

1.9 Modes of translation

a. Screen translation: Translation of movies and television programs, including subtitling (where the translation is typed along the
bottom of the screen) and dubbing (where the voices of native speakers of the target language are heard in place of the original

b. Sight translation: Document in the source language is explained orally in the target language. This task is performed by
interpreters when an article in the source language is not provided with a translation (such as a memo handed out at a meeting).

c. Localization: Adaptation of software or other products to a different culture. Localization includes translation of documents, dialog
boxes, etc., as well as linguistic and cultural changes to make the product appropriate to the target country.

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d. Back-translation: A "back-translation" is a translation of a translated text back into the language of the original text, made without
reference to the original text. In the context of machine translation, a back-translation is also called a "round-trip translation."

e. Machine translation: Also known as automatic translation, this is any translation that is done without human intervention, using
software, hand-held translators, online translators such as Babelfish, etc. Machine translation is extremely limited in quality and

f. Computer-assisted translation (CAT): also called "computer-aided translation," "machine-aided human translation" (MAHT) and
"interactive translation," is a form of translation wherein a human translator creates a target text with the assistance of a computer
program. The machine supports a human translator. Computer-assisted translation can include standard dictionary and grammar
software. The term, however, normally refers to a range of specialized programs available to the translator, including translation-
memory,terminology-management, concordance, and alignment programs. For example, to translate "honey," the machine translator
might give the options le miel and chéri so that the person could decide which one makes sense in the context.

1.10 Types of Interpretation

a . Simultaneous(extempore):
In simultaneous interpretation the interpreter is supposed to be able to give his translation while the speaker is uttering the original
message. This can be achieved with a special radio or telephone-type equipment. The interpreter receives the original speech
through his earphones and simultaneously talks into the microphone which transmits his translation to the listeners.

The interpreter sits in a booth, listens to the spoken content through headphones, and speaks the translated words into a
microphone. As soon as the interpreter understands the general meaning of the sentence, he or she begins the interpretation.
Although quality and accuracy are not as high as in consecutive interpretation, speed and intensity are higher. In simultaneous
interpretation (SI), the interpreter renders the message in the target-language as quickly as he or she can formulate it from the
source language, while the source-language speaker continuously speaks. The first introduction and employment of extempore
simultaneous interpretation was the Nuremberg Trials, with four official working languages. This type of translation involves a number
of psycholinguistic problems, both of theoretical and practical nature.

1. What is translation? What is interlingual communication? How can it be demonstrated that TT has an identical communicative
value with ST? In what respect do the TT users identify it with ST?
2. What is the translating process? What mental processes make up the translating process?
3. How can the translating process be studied and described? What is a model of translation? How can translation models be
4. What are the two principles of translation classification? What are the main types of translation? What is the difference between
literary and informative translations?
5. How can literary translations be subdivided? What is the main difficulty of translating a work of high literary merit? What qualities
and skills are expected of a literary translator?
6. How can informative translations be subdivided? Are there any intermediate types of translation? What type of informative
translations plays an especially important role in the modern world?

7. What is the main goal of a technical translation? What specific requirements is the technical translator expected to meet? What
problems is the theory of technical translation concerned with?
8. What are the main characteristics of translations dealing with newspaper, diplomatic and other official materials? What specific
problems emerge in translating film scripts and commercial advertisements?
9. What is the main difference between translation and interpretation? Which of them is usually made at a higher level of accuracy?
Are there any intermediate forms of translation?

b. Consecutive: The speaker stops frequently, typically every one to five minutes, to allow the interpreter to render what was said
into the target language. The speaker’s pauses come at the end of a paragraph or topic. While waiting, the interpreter sits or stands
beside the speaker, listening and taking notes as the speaker progresses through the message. This is commonly used when there
are just two languages at work; for example, if the American and French presidents were having a discussion. The consecutive
interpreter would interpret in both directions, French to English and English to French. Unlike translation and simultaneous
interpretation, consecutive interpretation is commonly done into the interpreter's A and B languages.

Consecutive interpretation is rendered as "short CI" or "long CI". In short CI, the interpreter relies on memory, each message
segment being brief enough to memorize. In long CI, the interpreter takes notes of the message to aid rendering long passages.
These informal divisions are established with the client before the interpretation is effected, depending upon the subject, its
complexity, and the purpose of the interpretation.

On occasion, document sight translation is required of the interpreter during consecutive interpretation work. Sight translation
combines interpretation and translation; the interpreter must render the source-language document to the target-language as if it
were written in the target language. Sight translation occurs usually, but not exclusively, in judicial and medical work.

Consecutively interpreted speeches, or segments of them, tend to be short. Fifty years ago, the CI interpreter would render speeches
of 20 or 30 minutes; today, 10 or 15 minutes is considered too long, particularly since audiences usually prefer not to sit through 20
minutes of speech they cannot understand.

c. Whispered (Chuchotage) : The interpreter sits or stands next to a small target-language audience and whispers a simultaneous
interpretation. This method is generally used only when a few audience members do not speak the source language. This method
requires no equipment, but may be done via a microphone and headphones if the participants prefer. It is used in circumstances
where the majority of a group speaks the source language, and a minority (ideally no more than three people) does not speak it.

d . Relay : A source-language interpreter expresses the message to a group of interpreters who have a language in common and
each speaks another language as well. In turn, these interpreters convey the message to their respective target audiences. For
example, a German speech is first interpreted in English to a group of interpreters, and is then interpreted by each into French,
Japanese, Spanish, and Italian. Relay interpreting is usually used when there are several target languages. In heavily multilingual
meetings, there may be more than one "intermediate" language, i.e. a Greek source language could be interpreted into English and
then from English to other languages, and, at the same time, it may also be directly interpreted into French, and from French into yet
more languages. This solution is most often used in the multilingual meetings of the EU institutions.

e. Liaison: An interpreter translates into and out of the source and target languages as a conversation takes place. This is typically
used for small, informal situations such as meetings. Liaison interpreting involves relaying what is spoken to one, between two, or
among many people. This can be done after a short speech, or consecutively, sentence-by-sentence, or as chuchotage (whispering);
aside from notes taken at the time, no equipment is used.

f. Conference: Conference interpreting is the interpretation of a conference, either simultaneously or consecutively, although the
advent of multi-lingual meetings has consequently reduced the consecutive interpretation in the last 20 years. Conference
interpretation is divided between two markets: the institutional and private. International institutions (EU, UN, EPO, et cetera), holding
multi-lingual meetings, often favour interpreting several foreign languages to the interpreters' mother tongues. Local private markets
tend to bi-lingual meetings (the local language plus another) and the interpreters work both into and out of their mother tongues; the
markets are not mutually exclusive. The International Association of Conference Interpreters (AIIC) is the only worldwide association
of conference interpreters. Founded in 1953, it assembles more than 2,800 professional conference interpreters in more than 90
g. Judicial: Judicial, legal, or court interpreting occurs in courts of justice, administrative tribunals, and wherever a legal proceeding
is held (i. e., a police station for an interrogation, a conference room for a deposition, or the locale for taking a sworn
statement). Legal interpreting can be the consecutive interpretation of witnesses' testimony, for example, or the
simultaneous interpretation of entire proceedings, by electronic means, for one person, or all of the people attending.

The right to a competent interpreter for anyone who does not understand the language of the court (especially for the accused in a
criminal trial) is usually considered a fundamental rule of justice. Therefore, this right is often guaranteed in national constitutions,
declarations of rights, fundamental laws establishing the justice system or by precedents set by the highest courts.

Depending upon the regulations and standards adhered to per state and venue, court interpreters usually work alone when
interpreting consecutively, or as a team, when interpreting simultaneously. In addition to practical mastery of the source and target
languages, thorough knowledge of law and legal and court procedures is required of court interpreters. They are often required to
have formal authorization from the State to work in the Courts — and then are called certified court interpreters.[4] In many
jurisdictions, the interpretation is considered an essential part of the evidence. Incompetent interpretation, or simply failure to swear
in the interpreter, can lead to a mistrial.

h. Escort: In escort interpreting, an interpreter accompanies a person or a delegation on a tour, on a visit, or to a meeting or
interview. An interpreter in this role is called an escort interpreter or an escorting interpreter. This is liaison interpreting.

i. Public sector: Also known as community interpreting, is the type of interpreting occurring in fields such as legal, health, and local
government, social, housing, environmental health, education, and welfare services. In community interpreting, factors exist which
determine and affect language and communication production, such as speech's emotional content, hostile or polarized social
surroundings, its created stress, the power relationships among participants, and the interpreter's degree of responsibility — in many
cases more than extreme; in some cases, even the life of the other person depends upon the interpreter's work.

j. Medical: Medical interpreting is a subset of public service interpreting, consisting of communication among medical personnel and
the patient and his or her family or among medical personnel speaking different languages, facilitated by an interpreter, usually
formally educated and qualified to provide such interpretation services. In some situations medical employees who are multilingual
may participate part-time as members of internal language banks. The medical interpreter must have a strong knowledge of
medicine, common medical procedures, the patient interview, the medical examination processes, ethics, and the daily workings of
the hospital clinic where he or she works, in order to effectively serve both the patient and the medical personnel. Moreover, and very
important, medical interpreters often are cultural liaisons for people (regardless of language) who are unfamiliar with or
uncomfortable in hospital, clinical, or medical settings.

k. Sign language: An interpreter must accurately convey messages between two different languages. An interpreter is there for
both the Deaf, which refers to the culture and being of an individual who is legally deaf, and a hearing individual. The act of
interpreting is when a hearing person speaks, an interpreter will render the speaker's meaning into the sign language, or other forms
used by the Deaf party. The other end of interpreting is when a Deaf person signs, an interpreter will render the meaning expressed
in the signs into the oral language for the hearing party, which is sometimes referred to as voice interpreting or voicing. This may be
performed either as simultaneous or consecutive interpreting. Skilled sign language interpreters will position themselves in a room or
space that allows them to be seen by the deaf participants and heard clearly by hearing participants. As well as be in a position to
hear and/or see the speaker or speakers clearly. In some circumstances, an interpreter may interpret from one language to another
whether that is English to English Sign Language, English to American Sign Language, Spanish to English to American Sign
Language and so on.

Deaf individuals also have the opportunity to work as interpreters. The Deaf individual will team with a hearing counterpart to provide
interpretation for deaf individuals who may not know the same sign language used in that country, who have minimal language skills,
are developmentally delayed or have other mental and/or physical disabilities which make communication a unique challenge. In
other cases the hearing interpreter may interpret in the sign language, whichever kind of sign language the team knows and the Deaf
team will then interpret into the language in which the individual can understand. They also interpret information from one medium of
language into another — for example, when a person is signing visually, the deaf interpreter could be hired to copy those signs into a
deaf-blind person's hand and add visual information.

l. Media: By its very nature, media interpreting has to be conducted in the simultaneous mode. It is provided particularly for live
television coverages such as press conferences, live or taped interviews with political figures, musicians, artists, sportsmen
or people from the business circle. In this type of interpreting, the interpreter has to sit in a sound-proof booth where ideally
he/she can see the speakers on a monitor and the set. All equipment should be checked before recording begins. In
particular, satellite connections have to be double-checked to ensure that the interpreter's voice is not sent back and the
interpreter gets to hear only one channel at a time. In the case of interviews recorded outside the studio and some current
affairs program, the interpreter interprets what he or she hears on a TV monitor. Background noise can be a serious
problem. The interpreter working for the media has to sound as slick and confident as a television presenter.

Media interpreting has gained more visibility and presence especially after the Gulf War. Television channels have begun to hire staff
simultaneous interpreters. The interpreter renders the press conferences, telephone beepers, interviews and similar live coverage for
the viewers. It is more stressful than other types of interpreting as the interpreter has to deal with a wide range of technical problems
coupled with the control room's hassle and wrangling during live coverage.

1.11 Modalities to Deliver Interpretation

Interpreting services can be delivered in multiple modalities. The commonest modalities through which interpreting services are
provided are listed below.

a. On-site: also called "in-person interpreting," this delivery method requires the interpreter to be physically present in order for the
interpretation to take place. This is by far the most common modality used for most public and social service settings.

b. Telephone interpreting and Over the phone interpreting: telephone interpreting enables the interpreter to deliver
interpretation via telephone.

c. Video interpretation: services via Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) or a Video Relay Service (VRS) are useful where one of
the parties is deaf, hard-of-hearing or speech-impaired (mute). In such cases the interpretation flow is normally within
the same principal language, such as French Sign Language (FSL) to spoken French

Unit Two
Theoretical Frameworks and Meaning
2.1 Theory of Translation
2.2 Types of Texts to be translated
2.3 Meaning and Translation
2.4 Semantic Analysis in Translation
2.5 Loss of Meaning in Translation

2.1 Theory of Translation:

Theory basically is a statement of a general principle or set of propositions, based upon reasoned argument
and supported by evidence, that is intended to explain a particular fact, event, or phenomenon. In other words
the part of a science or art that deals with general principles and methods as opposed to practice: a set of rules
or principles of the study of a subject. Hence, the theory of translation provides the translator with the
appropriate tools of analysis and synthesis, makes him aware of what he is to look for in the original text,
what type of information he must convey in TT and how he should act to achieve his goal. In the history of
translation different translation theories were proposed in different times.

This was because, the most reliable general idea of the problems translators face can be obtained by outlining
a theoretical framework of the process by which an original work is created and of the subsequent procedure
involved in the creation of a translation of that work. Translation is communication. More precisely,
translators decode the message contained in the text of the original author and reformulate (encode) it into
their own language. The message contained in the translated text is then decoded by the reader of the
1. What Issues to consider in Translation theories:
A. New mark (1981: 19), translation theory is concerned mainly with determining appropriate translation
methods for the widest possible range of texts or text-categories. It also provides a frame work of principles,
restricted rules and hints for translating texts and criticizing translations, a background for problem solving.
Any theory should also be concerned with translation strategies adopted to address difficulties and problems
in certain complicated texts.
B. Graham(in Ross, 1981: 23-24 and 26) asserts that any substantial theory of translation assumes some
formal inquiry concerning the general principles of accomplishment, the very principles which define an
object and specify a method of study. A rigorous theory of translation would also include something like a
practical evaluation procedure with specific criteria. A good survey of the theories of translation is perhaps
best furnished by
C. E. Nida(1976:66-79) who avers that due to the fact that translation is an activity involving language there is
a sense in which any and all theories of translation are linguistic (ibid:66).

He classifies these theories into three:

philological theories, linguistic theories and socio-linguistic theories, the sequel of three diverse perspectives
and different approaches to principles and procedures of translation.

1. philological: If the emphasis is on the literary texts, the underlying theories of translation are best deemed
2. If it is on structural differences between SL and TL, the theories may be considered linguistic;
3. And finally if it is on a part of communication process, the theories are best described a socio- linguistic.

The true basis for the elaboration of detailed and specialised theories of translation is the ranking order for the
preservation of individual aspects of the text to be translated, and this depends on the structure of the written
or spoken text, not on the purpose the translation has to serve.4 In translation, a message consists of:
(a) elements which remain, or should remain, invariable (i) and (b) variable elements (v), which are subject to
substitution by a target language equivalent.

Other modern theoreticians concur that the main problem with the writings on translation in this period was
that the criteria for judgements were vague and subjective (Bassnett 1991: 134) and the judgements
themselves were highly normative (Wilss 1996: 128). As a reaction against such vagueness and
contradictions, translation theory in the second half of the twentieth century made various attempts to redefine
the concepts 'literal' and 'free' in operational terms, to describe 'meaning' in scientific terms, and to put
together systematic taxonomies of translation phenomena.

2. Skopos theory
Skopos is the Greek word for 'aim' or 'purpose' and was introduced into translation theory in the 1970s by
Hans J. Vermeer as a technical term for the purpose of a translation and of the action of translating. The
major work on skopos theory is Cjrundlegung einer allgemeine Translationstheorie ('Groundwork for a
General Theory of Translation'), a book Vermeer co-authored with Katharina Reiss (Reiss and Vermeer 1984).
Although skopos theory predates Holz-hlanttari's theory of translational action, it can be considered to be part
of that same theory, as it deals with a translational action which is ST-based, which has to be negotiated and
performed, and which has a purpose and a result (Vermeer 198912000: 221). Skopos theory focuses above all
on the purpose of the translation, which determines the translation methods and strategies that are to be
employed in order to produce a functionally adequate result.
This result is the TT, which Vermeer calls the translatum. Therefore, in skopos theory, knowing why an ST is
to be translated and what the function of the TT will be are crucial for the translator As the title of their 1984
book suggests, Reiss and Vermeer aim at a general translation theory for all texts. The first part sets out a
detailed explanation of Vermeer's skopos theory; the second part, 'special theories', adapts Reiss's functional
text-type model to the general theory. In this chapter, for reasons of space, we concentrate on the basic
underlying 'rules' of the theory (Reiss and Vermeer 1984: 119). These are:
1 A trunslatum (or TT) is determined by its skopos.
2 A TT is an offer of information (Informutionsungebot) in a target culture and TL concerning an offer
of information in a source culture and SL.
3 A TT does not initiate an offer of information in a clearly reversible way.
4 A TT must be internally coherent.
5 A TT must be coherent with the ST.
6 The five rules above stand in hierarchical order, with the skopos rule predominating.

2.2 Types of Texts to be translated

There are different kinds of written materials we use to translate. These can be books, magazines,
newspapers, and so on. These 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.

Informative: (referential function in translation)

- inform the reader about the phenomena of the real world
- typology assumed to be universal - i.e. applies both to SL and TL texts
- TLR should try to give a correct and complete representation of the source text's
content (guided by TL and culture as far as stylistic choices are concerned)
e.g 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).

Expressive: (expressive function)

- the informative aspect complemented or suppressed by the aesthetic component
- TLR tries to produce an analogous aesthetic effect on the receiver
- stylistic choices are guided by those made in the SLT
e. g. Typically these refer to 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.
Operative: (appellative and phatic function)
- in these texts both CONTENT and FORM are subordinate to the extralinguistic
effect that the text is designed to achieve
- TLR should be guided by the overall aim of bringing about the same reaction to the
audience - this, however, might involve changing the CONTENT/STYLISTIC
FEATURES of the original
Each type of TR may include various types of text genres BUT one text genre (e.g letters): need not
necessarily correlate with one text type only:

- a love letter may be expressive

- a business letter may be of informative type
- a letter requesting help is of the operative type, etc.
NB. The above classifications further can have a number of sub divisions

2.3 Meaning and Translation

What is meaning? According to Jack C. Richards and Richard Schmidt (2002) (in linguistics)
Meaning is what a language expresses about the world we live in or any possible or imaginary world. The
study of meaning is called SEMANTICS. Semantics is usually concerned with the analysis of the meaning of
words, phrases, or sentences and sometimes with the meaning of utterances in discourse or the meaning of a
whole text. Meanings can be of different types.

Types of Meanings in Translation

The question of meaning, its nature and problems etc., are always one of the central concerns of translation
theory. The literature available on this subject in the fields of philosophy, linguistics and translation shows
diverse approaches, conceptions and theories of meaning. Introduction to the nature of meaning and to its
problems is out of our purview. You may get a brief introduction to the theories of meaning in the following
units of this course.

A. Nida and Taber:

In the translation process, the first thing to do is understand the total meaning of the source text. There are
three types of ‘meaning’ that can be determined in the analysis of meaning of the source text (Nida and Taber,
1982: 34).
1. Grammatical meaning
When one thinks of meaning, it is almost inevitably in terms of words or idioms. Generally grammar is taken
for granted since it seems to be merely a set of arbitrary rules about arrangements, rules that must be followed
if one wants to understand, but no rules themselves that seem to have any meaning. A comparison of ‘John hit
Bill’ and ‘Bill hit john’ should convince us that grammar has meaning. It is the first word which performs the
action of the second word, and the third word identifies the goal of the action specified by the second word.
‘Did you go’ and ‘You did go’ can be altered with the same pattern of intonation, but the grammatical
difference of order provides quite a different meaning.

2. Referential meaning
This refers to words as symbols which refer to objects, event, abstract, and relations. For example:
1. He bought a hammer
2. they will hammer the nail
3.He will chair the meeting
4.He was condemned to the chair
The distinct meaning of the terms ‘hammer’ and ‘chair’ are very closely marked by the occurrence of these
terms in quite a different contrast with verbs.

3. Connotation meaning

Connotative meaning refers to how the users of the language react, whether positively or negatively, to the
words and their combination. Sometimes, the associations surrounding some words become so strong that
people avoid using them at all. This is what is called verbal taboos. There are positive and negative taboos.
Negative taboos associate feelings of revulsion, disgust, against words such as those which refer to a certain
organ of a body and functions. Horn by (1996:12-14) defines taboo words as ‘words that are often considered
offensive, shocking or rude, e.g. because they refer to sex, an organ of body race’. The fact that taboo is
against the word and not referent, can be from the fact that there are quite innocent terms which refer to the
same things and which are perfectly acceptable. However, the feeling against the words is such that even
though everyone knows them, they are not used in polite society, and even many dictionaries refuse to print
them. Such words are thought to defile the users. On the other hand, there are positive taboos associated with
feeling of fear: certain words (often names of the powerful beings) are also regarded as powerful, and misuse
of such words may bring destruction upon the hapless users.
Translation has been performed as a process which begins with the source text, and then the meaning of text is
analyzed, discovered, transferred, and re-expressed in the receptor language. In actual practice, however, the
translator moves back and forward from the source text to the receptor text. Sometimes he will analyze the
source text in order to find the meaning, and then restructure this meaning in the receptor language, and move
back once again to look at the source text.

B. Peter New mark

New Mark had also tried to classify meaning into the forthcoming categories. Since our concern in this
section is to classify meaning from a practicing translator's point of view, we follow once again Peter New
mark's classification as exemplified in his 1981,1988 works.

a) Linguistic Meaning: It is possible to state the linguistic meaning of the above sentence in another
language by way of direct translation. If we have to reward it or state the same in the same language
then we have to have explained each word of original sentence using some other words in the same
language. For example, we would then say: 'A person who is an expert in science ended his life by

jumping from the 5th floor of a building for he was very depressed….'

b) Referential: Referential meaning is similar to that of dictionary meaning. This meaning derives from the
expression's relationship to reality or to the referent. According to referential theory, a sentence or a
word has a meaning for it refers to something other than itself. Ex: a 45-year old Scientist Mr. X jumped
from the fifth floor of the building at 3 p.m. on 5th January 1994.

c) Intention: We understand that the person who jumped to death was frustrated either by the academic
situation in the country or by his personal failures either in life or in academics. This may be considered
as the intentional meaning of the above sentence.

d) Per formative: Perhaps Mr. X was making a statement about our society and social conditions in the
above-cited example. The particular act of Mr. X has an ability to make certain effect on the society.
This meaning may be called per formative meaning.

e) Inferential: This is related to various inferences one can draw from the text.
Ex: it is a 'scientist', and not a 'linguist' who jumped off 'in frustration', or he did not jump 'with joy' , etc.

f) Cultural: Any text is produced and made meaningful only in a cultural context in the above text extract
'jump' acquires a special meaning in the context of English. Construction like the one we are dealing
with may not be possible in certain other language/ cultures. For example, kannada doesn't allow such
constructions. In this sense all expressions are culture-specific and have cultural meanings.

h) Connotative: connotative meaning is a kind of special meaning or extended meaning. In the example
cited two types of connotations are possible. First, we use the word 'jump' in an extended sense of the
word. Secondly, the sentence as a whole connotes the scientist's mental agony, weakness of his
personality, etc. connotative meaning is more or less potential rather than obvious. But in a descriptive
sentence such as 'He is a lion', the connotative meaning of the word 'lion' is more or less obvious.

i) Subjective: This derives from the addressee/reader/translators' relationship to the text or experience
depicted in the text.

j) Semiotic: The semiotic meaning involves all other varieties of meaning. Hence, Newmark considers it as
a complete contextual meaning of the text. It also considers the pragmatic meaning of a text. A particular
component a text may be peculiarly significant to a group of readers due to their social, political,
regional, affiliations. This meaning may be characterized as pragmatic meaning. Semiotic meaning also
involves this pragmatic meaning.

1. Charles Morris’ three types of meanings

According to Charles Morris, there are three types of meanings: referential meaning (the relationship
between signs and entities in the world), pragmatic meaning (the relationship between signs and their
users; it includes identificational meaning, expressive meaning, associative meaning, social meaning,
and imperative meaning), and intralingual meaning (the relationship between different signs; it includes
phonological meaning, graphemic meaning, morphological or lexemic meaning, syntactic meaning, and
discoursal or textual meaning).

2. G. Leech’s seven types of meanings

Leech identified seven types of meanings. They are: conceptual meaning (logical, cognitive, or
denotative content), connotative meaning (what is communicated by virtue of what language refers to),
social meaning (what is communicated of the social circumstances of language use), affective meaning
(what is communicated of the feeling and attitudes of the speaker/writer), reflected meaning (what is
communicated through association with another sense of the same expression), collocative meaning
(what is communicated through association with words which tend to occur in the environment of
another word), thematic meaning(what is communicated by the way in which the message is organized
in terms of order and emphasis). Types 2-6 are also categorized as associative meaning.

4 Roman Jakobson’s model of meaning

Jakobson classified meanings into 6 types: expressive meaning, informative meaning, vocative meaning,
aesthetic meaning, phatic meaning, and meta-linguistic meaning.

Since semiotic meaning involves all other meanings a translator has to ultimately reach or ascertain it through
other varieties. Moreover, all the meanings may not help a translator in all cases. But he/she is always expected
to know at least the referential and linguistic meaning or encyclopedic and dictionary meanings of the text.

In Conclusion, these different types of meaning are not classified according to the same criteria, and
different linguists have different opinions for classifying meanings. Thus some types of meaning are
overlapping, which causes much confusion. All these meanings can be stratified into lexical,
phraseological (idiomatic), sentential (prepositional), and discourse meaning. Lexical meaning includes
denotational, connotational, affective, collocational, metaphorical, and cultural meaning, and discourse
meaning includes literary (hermeneutically construed) and epistemic (analytically construed) meaning.
Translation is the transfer of meaning, and semantic analysis is an important way of defining meaning,
which can help us to have a better understanding of the source text. We should combine the translation
studies with linguistics, and try to use the discoveries of the linguistics to help the study of translation.

2.4 Semantic Analysis in Translation
The analysis of the meaning of a literary work can be approached from a dual perspective:
(a) communicative, discovering the processes involved in the communication of an utterance by the author
to the recipient;
(b) representative, concerned with what the work embodies and with the relationship between its content
and its author, as well as with the relationship between the content and the interplay of its contextual factors.
Our knowledge of the first of these perspectives is now more precise, thanks mainly to information theory,
which regards language as code (i.e. as a system of units and their combinatory rules), but also by the
conception of a work of literature as an encoded message. Information theory enables us to determine which
element should remain unaltered in translation (i.e. the message) and which should be replaced (i.e. the
linguistic code).

Table: The communication chain in translation

Author Translator Reader
Reality selectio stylization Text in Reading Translation Text in Reading cncretiisation
n foreign translated
language language

In summary, the crux of the issues regarding the process by which a translation is created lies in the
interrelationships between three entities representing structural wholes: (a) the objective content of the work
and its twofold concretization as performed by (b) the reader of the original and (c) the reader of the
ranslation respectively. The three structures will differ from one another somewhat, depending in particular
on the extent of involvement of two differentiating factors in their constitution (i.e. the languages and the
social consciousnesses of the two readerships). The minimisation of these differences is the translator’s
cardinal preoccupation, and the main theoretical issues arise out of the quest to analyse or even define in
normative terms the interrelationships between the three entities. Such segmentation of the translation
process brings out the roles of various disciplines involved in thinking on translation. The main theoretical
concerns are the following relationships between:
1. The language of the original and that of the translation – here the findings of contrastive linguistics are
2. The content and form in the source (estimated aesthetic function of its form) and in the translation (search
for the target language form in terms of equivalent stylisation) – here methods of literary analysis,
comparative stylistics and poetics are applied;
3. The resultant value of the original work and its translation – here methods of literary criticism are applied.

Usually we may consider the process of translation as consisting of two stages: accurate comprehension and
adequate representation. The former is the precondition of the latter. If we compare this process with that of
building a house, accurate comprehension is laying the foundations. To have an accurate comprehension of
the source text is of vital importance. However, when we translate, we may suddenly find that understanding
is not really something we can take for granted. A sound understanding of the source language does not take
place naturally, and usually it takes a great deal of effort. Generally speaking, there are three ways for
analyzing the meaning: semantic analysis, contextual analysis, and pragmatic analysis. The term meaning
requires definition and view of analysis. Let’s take the following into account to understand the meaning of
“meaning” through semantic analysis.

A. Meaning is complicated

A word’s meaning cannot be simply gained by consulting the dictionary, because the dictionary definitions of
a word are “context-free”, e.g.:

(1)Out in the west where men are men. 25

(2)Do you mean funny, peculiar, or funny, ha ha?


The Practice of Translation

3.1 Steps/Procedures of Translation
3.2 Strategies, Methods, and Approaches
3.3 Translation Equivalence:
3.4 Translating/Interpreting Constraints
3.5 Testing Translation

Translation typically has been used to transfer written or spoken SL texts to equivalent written or spoken TL
texts. In general, the purpose of translation is to reproduce various kinds of texts—including religious, literary,
scientific, and philosophical texts—in another language and thus making them available to wider readers.

3.1 Steps/Procedures of Translation

Translation as a kind of task that requires skilled translators, must be dealt carefully. Translators in addition to
their skills need to go procedurally. Different scholars might have suggested different kinds of routes to go
through. Nida (1964) has depicted the s following categories of procedures:
I. Technical procedures:
A. analysis of the source and target languages;
B. a thorough study of the source language text before making attempts translate it;
C. Making judgments of the semantic and syntactic approximations. (pp. 241-45)
II. Organizational procedures:
Constant re-evaluation of the attempt made contrasting it with the existing available translations of the same
text done by other translators, and checking the text's communicative effectiveness by asking the target
language readers to evaluate its accuracy and effectiveness and studying their reactions. Krings (1986:18)
defines translation strategy as "translator's potentially conscious plans for solving concrete translation
problems in the framework of a concrete translation task," and Seguinot (1989) believes that there are at least
three global strategies employed by the translators:
(i) translating without interruption for as long as possible;
(ii) correcting surface errors immediately;
(iii) leaving the monitoring for qualitative or stylistic errors in the text to the revision

Newmark (1988b) mentions the difference between translation methods and translation procedures. He writes
that, "[w]hile translation methods relate to whole texts, translation procedures are used for sentences and the
smaller units of language" (p.81). He goes on to refer to the following methods of translation:
· Word-for-word translation: in which the SL word order is preserved and the words translated singly by
their most common meanings, out of context.
· Literal translation: in which the SL grammatical constructions are converted to their nearest TL
equivalents, but the lexical words are again translated singly, out of context.
· Faithful translation: it attempts to produce the precise contextual meaning of the original within the
constraints of the TL grammatical structures.
· Semantic translation: which differs from 'faithful translation' only in as far as it must take more account of
the aesthetic value of the SL text.
· Adaptation: which is the freest form of translation, and is used mainly for plays (comedies) and poetry; the
themes, characters, plots are usually preserved, the SL culture is converted to the TL culture and the text is
· Free translation: it produces the TL text without the style, form, or content of the original.
· Idiomatic translation: it reproduces the 'message' of the original but tends to distort nuances of meaning by
preferring colloquialisms and idioms where these do not exist in the original.
· Communicative translation: it attempts to render the exact contextual meaning of the original in such a
way that both content and language are readily acceptable and comprehensible to the readership (1988b: 45-47).

3.2 The three stages of the translator’s work

Having described the process by which a translation comes into being, we can attempt to formulate some of
the demands imposed on the translator’s work. If we adopt as our premise the thesis that the source represents
the material that the translator has to process artistically, it is possible to summarize the requirements under
the three following headings:
1. Apprehension of the source;
2. Interpretation of the source;
3. Re-stylisation of the source.
A. Apprehension
Original artists are expected to be able to apprehend the reality they depict, and translators are expected to
apprehend the works they are rendering. A good translator must be above all a good reader. It follows from
what has been said about the perception process that the translator seeks to arrive at the sense of the work in
three dimensions, which is not to say that this is bound to occur consciously and in separate stages.
Apprehension does not require any specific gift here; it is a matter of specialised training and experience in
the craft. Errors can occur as a result of lexical polysemy and various false associations arising from the
verbal material. It is not unknown for translators to confuse words which look or sound similar.

B. Interpretation
A further reason why apprehension of artistic reality is a pre-condition for an artistically valid translation
outcome is that unless the verbal material of one language is commensurable with that of the other there
cannot be a complete semantic correspondence between the source and the translation; consequently, a
linguistically correct translation is inadequate and an interpretation is required. It is frequently the case that
the target language does not have at its disposal an expression that is as semantically broad or ambivalent as
an expression found in the original. The translator must then specify the meaning, selecting a narrower
concept, and this demands knowledge of the reality behind the text. Of the original artist we demand an
appropriate interpretation of reality. In connection with this we must note three aspects:

1. The search for the objective idea of the work;

2. The translator’s interpretative position;
3. The interpretation of the objective values of the work according to this position
– the translation conception and possibilities for ‘re-assessment of values’.

C. Re-stylisation

From the original author we expect an artistic stylisation of reality, and from the translator we expect an
artistic re-stylisation of the source. Translators can most readily apply their talent to linguistic stylisation, so
the gift of style is what they need above all. Linguistic issues in translation relate principally to the following:
1. The inter-relationship between the two language systems;
2. Traces of the language of the original in the stylisation of the translation;
3. Tensions in the style of the translation arising out of the rendering of ideas in a language other than that in
which they were conceived.

3.3 Translation Equivalence:

Translation equivalence as it was stated earlier is the degree to which linguistic units (e.g. words,
syntactic structures) can be translated into another language without loss of meaning. Two items
with the same meaning in two languages are said to be translation equivalents.
The Russian-born American structuralist Roman Jakobson describes three kinds of translation:
intralingual, interlingual and intersemiotic, with interlingual referring to translation between two
different written languages. Jakobson goes on to examine key issues of this type of translation,
notably linguistic meaning and equivalence.
In reality the words of a language and their real representation do not have any natural link.
Hence, a word in certain language may not exist in another language due to the possible absence
of the being represented. For example, Enjera in Amharic may not have equivalent meaning in
English as the real matter enjera is nonexistent in the English speaking people. Because of this,
Jakobson then moves on to consider the thorny poblem of equivalence in meaning between
words in different languages. He points out (195912000: 114) that 'there is ordinarily no full
equivalence between code-units'.

Translation Procedures, Strategies and Methods

Translating culture-specific concepts (CSCs) in general and allusions in particular seem to be one of the most
challenging tasks to be performed by a translator; in other words, allusions are potential problems of the
translation process due to the fact that allusions have particular connotations and implications in the source
language (SL) and the foreign culture (FC) but not necessarily in the TL and the domestic culture. There are
some procedures and strategies for rendering CSCs and allusions respectively.
The present paper aims at scrutinizing whether there exists any point of similarity between these procedures
and strategies and to identify which of these procedures and strategies seem to be more effective than the
3.1.2.Techniques of Translation

That is why I decided to outline a widely-accepted list of translation techniques in the hope that the reader
may become interested in knowing a little bit more about translation and its nuances.
I-Direct Translation Techniques
Direct Translation Techniques are used when structural and conceptual elements of the source language can be
transposed into the target language. Direct translation techniques include:
 Borrowing
 Calque
 Literal Translation

Borrowing is the taking of words directly from one language into another without translation. Many English
words are "borrowed" into other languages; for example software in the field of technology and funk in
culture. English also borrows numerous words from other languages; abbatoire, café, passé and résumé from
French; hamburger and kindergarten from German; bandana, musk and sugar from Sanskrit.
Borrowed words are often printed in italics when they are considered to be "foreign".
A calque or loan translation (itself a calque of German Lehnübersetzung) is a phrase borrowed from another
language and translated literally word-for-word. You often see them in specialized or internationalized fields
such as quality assurance (aseguramiento de calidad, assurance qualité taken from English). Examples that
have been absorbed into English include standpoint and beer garden from German Standpunkt and
Biergarten; breakfast from French déjeuner (which now means lunch in Europe, but maintains the same
meaning of breakfast in Québec). Some calques can become widely accepted in the target language (such as
standpoint, beer garden and breakfast and Spanish peso mosca and Casa Blanca from English flyweight and
White House). The meaning other calques can be rather obscure for most people, especially when they relate
to specific vocations or subjects such as science and law. Solución de compromiso is a Spanish legal term
taken from the English compromise solution and although Spanish attorneys understand it, the meaning is not
readily understood by the layman. An unsuccessful calque can be extremely unnatural, and can cause
unwanted humor, often interpreted as indicating the lack of expertise of the translator in the target language.
Literal Translation
A word-for-word translation can be used in some languages and not others dependent on the sentence
structure: El equipoestátrabajandoparaterminar el informe would translate into English as The team is
working to finish the report. Sometimes it works and sometimes it does not. For example, the Spanish
sentence above could not be translated into French or German using this technique because the French and
German sentence structures are different. And because one sentence can be translated literally across
languages does not mean that all sentences can be translated literally. El
equipoexperimentadoestátrabajandoparaterminar el informe translates into English as The experienced team
is working to finish the report ("experienced" and "team" are reversed).
II.Oblique Translation Techniques
Oblique Translation Techniques are used when the structural or conceptual elements of the source language
cannot be directly translated without altering meaning or upsetting the grammatical and stylistics elements of
the target language.
Oblique translation techniques include:
 Transposition
 Modulation
 Reformulation or Equivalence
 Adaptation
 Compensation
This is the process where parts of speech change their sequence when they are translated (blue ball becomes
boule bleue in French). It is in a sense a shift of word class. Grammatical structures are often different in
different languages. He likes swimming translates as Erschwimmtgern in German. Transposition is often used
between English and Spanish because of the preferred position of the verb in the sentence: English often has
the verb near the beginning of a sentence; Spanish can have it closer to the end. This requires that the
translator knows that it is possible to replace a word category in the target language without altering the

meaning of the source text, for example: English Hand knitted (noun + participle) becomes Spanish Tejido a
mano (participle + adverbial phrase).
Modulation consists of using a phrase that is different in the source and target languages to convey the same
idea: Te lo dejo means literally I leave it to you but translates better as You can have it. It changes the
semantics and shifts the point of view of the source language. Through modulation, the translator generates a
change in the point of view of the message without altering meaning and without generating a sense of
awkwardness in the reader of the target text. It is often used within the same language. The expressions esfácil
de entender (it is easy to understand) and no escomplicado de entender (it is not complicated to understand)
are examples of modulation. Although both convey the same meaning, it is easy to understand simply
conveys "easiness" whereas it is not complicated to understand implies a previous assumption of difficulty
that we are denying by asserting it is not complicated to understand. This type of change of point of view in a
message is what makes a reader say: "Yes, this is exactly how we say it in our language".
Reformulation or Equivalence
Here you have to express something in a completely different way, for example when translating idioms or
advertising slogans. The process is creative, but not always easy. Would you have translated the movie The
Sound of Music into Spanish as La noviciarebelde (The Rebellious Novice in Latin America) or Sonrisas y
lágrimas (Smiles and Tears in Spain)?
Adaptation occurs when something specific to one language culture is expressed in a totally different way that
is familiar or appropriate to another language culture. It is a shift in cultural environment. Should pincho (a
Spanish restaurant menu dish) be translated as kebab in English? It involves changing the cultural reference
when a situation in the source culture does not exist in the target culture (for example France has Belgian
jokes and England has Irish jokes).
In general terms compensation can be used when something cannot be translated, and the meaning that is lost
is expressed somewhere else in the translated text. Peter Fawcett defines it as: "...making good in one part of
the text something that could not be translated in another". One example given by Fawcett is the problem of
translating nuances of formality from languages that use forms such as Spanish informal tú and formal usted,
French tu and vous, and German du and sie into English which only has 'you', and expresses degrees of
formality in different ways.

As Louise M. Haywood from the University of Cambridge puts it, "we have to remember that translation is
not just a movement between two languages but also between two cultures. Cultural transposition is present in
all translation as degrees of free textual adaptation departing from maximally literal translation, and involves
replacing items whose roots are in the source language culture with elements that are indigenous to the target
language. The translator exercises a degree of choice in his or her use of indigenous features, and, as a
consequence, successful translation may depend on the translator's command of cultural assumptions in each
language in which he or she works".
1.3 Linguistic methodology
The crux of the matter from a linguistic standpoint is undoubtedly what elements the two languages involved
in the translation process have in common, and what elements distinguish them. This comparative
investigation has been raised to a higher level by a twofold tendency in modern linguistics. On the one hand
linguistic universals have been identified, i.e. elements common to all languages; on the other hand research
has been undertaken to investigate what specific features of given language systems form the ‘world view’ of
the speakers of these languages (Benjamin L. Whorf ’s hypothesis).

John catford (1965)
A formal stratification of the language system was the basis on which John Catford built his attempt to
differentiate the respective translation procedures in. He distinguishes restricted translation and total
translation. By restricted translation he means translation within the scope of a single linguistic level,
e.g. phonological translation (imitation of foreign pronunciation), graphological translation (imitation of
foreign graphics), or lexical and grammatical translation. Total translation is not restricted to linear transfer on
a single grammatical level; very often, grammatical means of the source language may correspond to lexical
means of the target language, for example, so that functional shifts occur between one language and another.

1.4 Literary methodology

Just as contrastive linguistics, identifying characteristics of language pairs, and general communication theory
create a basis for a linguistic theory of translation, so comparative historical poetics and the analysis of the
translator’s contribution to the work to be translated are a basis for a literary theory of translation.
Comparative historical poetics is a starting point for translation analysis, but on the other hand it in fact also
derives part of its material and its findings from concrete translation analysis and criticism.

Because a translation is always in some way related to its source, the translation method can be defined
through that relationship in a somewhat ‘unidirectional’ way, that is according to its position on a linear scale
between two poles: i.e. the ‘faithful’ and the ‘free’, the ‘retrospective’ and the ‘prospective’, or the ‘receptive’
and the ‘adaptive’ and so on. The principles of translation can now be specified as decisions to be made
between contradictory statements (Savory 1957: 49):
1. A translation must give the words of the original.
2. A translation must give the ideas of the original.
3. A translation should read like an original work.
4. A translation should read like a translation.
5. A translation should reflect the style of the original.
6. A translation should possess the style of the translator.
7. A translation should read as a contemporary of the original.
8. A translation should read as a contemporary of the translator.
9. A translation may add to or omit from the original.
10. A translation may never add to or omit from the original.
11. A translation of verse should be in prose.
12. A translation of verse should be in verse.

3.4 Translating/Interpreting Constraints

Poor translation does not result only from a superficial approach; on the contrary, a deeper scholarly approach
seeking to identify exact equivalents for words and establish the same semantic relationships as in the original
may actually disrupt the artistic whole because the overall value of the passage, crucial from the reader’s
perspective, has been overlooked. This may explain the familiar experience of some translators that their first
improvised version of the translation was on the whole better than any subsequent revisions, which were
actually to its detriment. According to psycholinguistic research findings (Osgood and Sebeok 1954:144–145):

1. Translators working only from language A into language B tend to lose their active command of A, as
associations between linguistic items of A and B become stronger than associations between items within the
respective languages themselves.

2. Translators working alternately in both directions, i.e. from A to B and from B to A, are prone to become
insensitive to differences between the two language structures, consequently using awkward expressions more
3. Years of routine practice establish in translators’ minds direct associations between items of A and B –
stereotypes which may militate against stylistic differentiation in the target text. The nature of the talent
demanded by the art of translation is further defined by the challenges the translator faces in his work; it
involves above all the gift of imagination and of stylistic creativity, as well as ability for objectivation.

The constraints imposed on the interpreters are more and greater than those on the translator. They also vary
in type and degree of intensity as regards the direction of translating or interpreting, i.e., whether from L1 into
L2 or the other way round. Below are the main constraints.

a. Syntactic Constraints: The different word order in SL and TL puts a heavy burden on the interpreter. A case
in point is when interpreting a verbal sentence from Arabic into English. The verb may introduce a long
nominal phrase. The interpreter has to store the verb and wait for the whole subject before he could retrieve
and start the English rendition. Deprived of the sufficient time for manipulation, structural asymmetry often
obliges the interpreter to commit pauses and delays among other things.

b. Semantic Constraints: These constraints compel the interpreter to exert a far more laborious effort than
those originated by syntactic constraints. Once one understands the meaning, the syntax follows naturally and
automatically. Lexical incompatibility between SL and TL gives rise to slips, hesitations and even pauses, due
to the interpreter’s struggle with a difficult jargon term, a neologism or a blended word as in interpreting
words like Macdonalization or the 1980s Reagonomics. To mitigate semantic constraints, the interpreter
should be fully familiar with the speaker's topic and/or register.

c. Phonological and Prosodic Constraints: They include features that are non-existent in either SL or TL
pertaining to segmental phonemes (vowels, consonants, consonant clusters, and diphthongs), supra-
segmentals and prosodic features such as stress, intonation, pitch, rhythm and tempo. Many scholars rightly
maintain that translating/interpreting is an intercultural communication act that requires bicultural

d. Cultural Constraints: This includes coping with culture specificities whether religious, political or social in
addition to institutional nomenclatures. Examples of culture specificities are the modes of address such as Mr.
Miss. Mrs. Lord, and expressions of courtesy and salutation such as the opening and closing greeting: Tena
yistilign: whose natural equivalent in English could be no more than ‘good morning / evening’.

e. Paralinguistic and Psychological Constraints: These constraints include the speaker’s tone and loudness
of voice, the tempo of delivery and gestures as well as the psychological state of the interpreter and/or speaker
as regards nervousness instead of self – composure. The laborious task of simultaneous decoding and
encoding and his/her concern over accuracy of rendition puts him/her in a very stressful situation. The act of
interpreting is inversely proportional to the above constraints and to such psychological factors as fatigue,
timidity or stage fright for interpreters who have to directly address the audience. The constraints often trigger
omissions, hesitations and even time lag.

3.5 Asthetics in translation

A. Translation as an art form: ( Translation should reserve the original art)
The search for linguistic equivalents is certainly the translator’s main preoccupation, but there is more to it
than that; notably, the artistic dimension of his activity goes beyond the mere practical application of
contrastive grammar or stylistics. For example, critical assessment of the potential impact of the values of the
source work in respect of issues of life in the recipient culture, the adoption of a specific interpretative
position, the transposition of the artistic realities represented in the work and the transposition of its stylistic
levels to the target culture and its language system, and so on. It is with this interrelationship between the
concretisations of the work in the original and in the translation, the hybrid structure of the translated work
and its function in the target culture, inter alia, that literary analysis is concerned.

In order to establish a sounder theoretical position for the analysis of artistic issues in translation than can be
derived from a purely practical approach, it will be necessary to define the relationship between translation
and other arts. The translator’s goal is to preserve, capture and convey the original work, and not to create a
new work having no precedent in the source.
Therefore the goal of translation is reproduction. In practice, the procedure involves substituting one set of
verbal material for another – this entails autonomous creativity involving all the artistic means of the target
language. Translation is therefore an original creative process taking place in a given linguistic environment.

A translation as a work of art is artistic reproduction, translation as a process is original creation and
translation as an art form is a borderline case at the interface between reproductive art and original creative
art. In this respect, acting is the closest parallel to translation amongst all the arts, even if the original creative
aspect is more prominent in acting than in translation, because the actor creates a work of a quite different
category, transposing a literary text materialised in language into a stage performance materialised by a human
being, the actor. The translator, on the other hand, merely transposes a work from one type of verbal material
to another within the same category.

B. Duality of norm: Translation infolves norms and values of of both SL and TL

A second task of aesthetic analysis in any art is the establishment of basic criteria for evaluation. The basis of
translation aesthetics and critique – just as in other arts – is the category of value. Value is determined by the
relationship of the work to the norm of the given art. Naturally, norms must be apprehended from a historical
perspective; their precise content and hierarchy change and evolve over time. Two norms apply in the
evolution of reproductive art – the reproduction norm (i.e. the requirement to capture the original faithfully)
and the ‘artistic’ norm (i.e. the requirement of beauty). Technically speaking, in translation practice2 this
basic aesthetic antinomy is manifested as the contradiction between so-called translation fidelity and freedom.
The term ‘faithful’ (or rather ‘literal’) referring to translation method denotes the procedure adopted by
translators who consider their chief objective to be a precise reproduction of the source. On the other hand,
the ‘free’ (or rather ‘adaptive’) method characterises an approach seeking to achieve above all beauty, in other
words the closest possible aesthetic and cognitive rapport with the reader, in order to create an original work
of art in the target language.

C. The hybrid nature of translation: (The final product of translation is the result of a combined effect).
A translated work is a composite, hybrid configuration. It is not a monolithic work but an interpermeation, a
conglomerate of two structures. On the one hand there is the semantic content and the formal characteristics
of the source; on the other hand there is the entire system of artistic features specific to the target language,
contributed by the translator. There is some tension between the two mutually interwoven layers, or rather
attributes, which are integral components of the translated work as a whole, and this may manifest itself in
contradictions between them. The content of the translated work is derived from the source culture, but it is
written in the target language. The reader is not aware of this contradiction until there is a clear conflict
between the setting of the action and a specific target language expression. There are situations in which even
the best possible translation solution is a compromise which cannot fully conceal the contradictory nature of
the translated work in this respect.

D. The ambivalent relationship with the original literature

What remains to be discussed is the function of translation in the receiving culture. A translated work becomes
part of the literature written in the target language; its cultural function is similar to that of an original work
of domestic literature. Additionally, however, a translation carries its own specific cognitive value, informing
us about the original work and its culture. Some types of domestic literature, e.g. travel writing or historical
novels, have a similar though not identical informative function; they are based on interesting facts, unfamiliar
to their domestic readers. In some cases readers may wish to be aware that they are reading a translation; in
such circumstances this awareness should be maintained by the preservation of local or historical colour,
because translativity6 may become one of the translation’s aesthetic values.

3.5 Testing Translation


TEXT-BASED TYPOLOGY OF TRANSLATION (Reiss, Vermeer 1984, Neubert 1985, Nord 1996)

Role of text: (Reiss 1968-1969 / Buehler 1934):

 The Illusion of Transparency

"A translated text, whether prose or poetry, fiction or nonfiction, is judged acceptable by
most publishers, reviewers, and readers when it reads fluently, when the absence of any
linguistic or stylistic peculiarities makes it seem transparent, giving the appearance that it
reflects the foreign writer's personality or intention or the essential meaning of the
foreign text--the appearance, in other words, that the translation is not in fact a
translation, but the 'original.' The illusion of transparency is an effect of fluent discourse,
of the translator's effort to insure easy readability by adhering to current usage,
maintaining continuous syntax, fixing a precise meaning. What is so remarkable here is
that this illusory effect conceals the numerous conditions under which the translation is
made . . .."
(Lawrence Venuti, The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation. Routledge, 1995)

- the precise definition of EQUIVALENCE in mathematics is a serious

obstacle to its use in TR theory



 focuses on the message itself in both  based on the principle of EQUIVALENT

FORM and CONTENT EFFECT : i.e. the relationship between
 based on formal CORRESPONDENCES: the RECEIVER/MESSAGE should aim to
- sentence-to-sentence be the SAME as that between the
- word-for-word
- concept-to-concept  - the communicative model of TR
 aims to allow the reader to understand
as much of the SL context as possible

e.g. Translating from Ancient Greece into modern European languages:

Homer's epic poems into English prose

(dyn. effect applied to formal properties of a text)

e.g. (the Bible - Romans 16:16):

(ORIG) greeting with a holy kiss ≡ 'give one a hearty handshake all
round' (dyn.effect in E):

- BUT: translation inadequate in E language, poor taste in E social context

EQUIVALENT EFFECT: - a popular concept in the theory of TR - esp.

literary TR and the Bible:

BUT: - What is it? How to achieve it?

Popovič (1976) : Four types of Equivalence

1. linguistic
- if there is homogeneity on the linguistic level (e.g. word-for-word TR)

2. paradigmatic
- if there is equivalence on the paradigmatic axis (grammatical level)

3. stylistic
- if there is function equivalence of elements in both original and translation
- aiming at an expressive identity with the invariant of identical meaning

4. textual (syntagmatic)
- if there is equivalence of the syntagmatic structuring of a text, i.e.
equivalence of both form and shape

e.g. idioms in SL substituted by idioms in TL


What is the exact level of equivalence aimed?

Any TR (i.e. each of its many possible versions) should aim at:
(a)preserving the INVARIANT CORE of the original
(basic semantic elements)
(b)TRANSFORMATIONS - to add the expressive
form (e.g. poems)
BUT: invariant - an indefinable quality that TLRs rarely achieve.
E. Translation equivalence and the theory of texts

TE = a semiotic category comprising:

a) semantic - (primary)
b) syntactic - component (secondary)
c) pragmatic - conditions & modifies a) & b)

The OVERALL EQUIVALENCE is the result of:

- the relationship between signs themselves

- the relationship between signs and what they stand for, and
- the relationship between those who use them

e.g. blasphemous expressions in Italian / H

- the shocking effect in E can be rendered pragmatically by substituting

expressions with
sexual overtones: porca Madonna - fucking hell

e.g. letter writing - formal greetings between friends (concluding the letter)

with love; in sisterhood (today and in 1812), cultures!?

- variations from language to language / period to period / sex / age etc.

F. Defining the object of TE in TR studies - two lines of development:

emphasis laid on: explores the question of TE in:


TRANSFER of semantic content - Russian Formalists

from SL to TL - Prague Linguists
- discourse analysis


- Reiss, Vermeer, Nord, (Toury)


1. SLT = an offer of information which the ST author takes into account the
presumed interests, expectations, knowledge an situational constraints of
the source-culture addressees

2. TRANSLATOR in the process of translations =

a) the receiver of the source text
b) has the task of informing another audience (ST), located
in a situation under target-culture conditions about
c) the offer (of information) made in the source text
d) the translator has his own assumptions about the needs,
expectations, previous knowledge of the TL
audience/receivers/addressees (obviously different
from those for SL receivers!)
THEREFORE: The translator CANNOT offer the same amount and kind of
information to the TL audience/receivers as the source-text producer!!!!!

What does he offer?: another kind of information in another form, in another

SKOPOSTHEORIE directly challenges the traditional concept of TE as a

constitutive feature of TR


- An adequate TR is a translation which realizes in the TL the textual

relationship of a ST with no breach of its own linguistic system (adequate
to the TR brief) - a dynamic concept of EQ
- EQ in Nida's sense (communicative approach) - a static concept of EQ -
i.e. equal communicative value between two texts

EQUIVALENCE: - when between the TLT and the SLT there exists a relationship
which can be designated as a TRANSLATIONAL EQUIVALENCE or equivalence
relation (Koller 1995)

FUNCTIONAL EQUIVALENCE - a kind of adequacy in which:

- the TLT serves the same communicative function as the SLT (a functional
e.g. SLT: Is life worth living? - It depends upon the liver!

F: La vie, vaut-elle la peine? - C'est une question de foi(e)!

G: Ist das Leben lebenswert? - Das haengt von den

Lebenwerten ab?

H: Isplati li se živjeti? - To ovisi o …?

F & G TR - functional TR - fulfil the same communicative function (a play on

E 'liver' (homonymy)

F 'foi'(homophony: foi/faith and foie/liver)

G similarity (worth living - lebenswert); (liver count -



EQ in TR should NOT be approached as a search for sameness,

- since sameness cannot even exist between two TL versions of the

same text

- let alone between the SLT and the TLT

- Popovič's four types of EQ - a useful starting point

and Neubert's three semiotic categories :

point the way towards an approach that perceives EQ as a dialectic

relationship between the signs and the structures within and
surrounding the SLT and the TLT.

- Communicative (Nida) and functional approach (Vermeer, Toury)

The non-equivalence problem

- rare or no one-to-one relationship between word and meaning

- LEXICAL MEANING (Cruse 1986): types:
1. Propositional
- Referential - relation between the word/form and what it refers to or
describes in a real or imaginary world, as conceived by the speakers of
the particular language
- Used in judging whether an utterance is true or false (socks, shirt, cap)
2. Expressive
- Cannot be judged as true or false
- Relates to speaker’s feeling or attitude (e.g. Don’t complain, Don’t):
difference not in the propositional meaning but in the expressiveness
of growl - to utter (words) in a gruff or angry manner)
E.g. notorious (well-known; publicly discussed) – notoran (widely
but unfavorably known or talked about)
famous - famozan
3. Presupposed
- Arises from co-occurrence of restrictions (i.e. what other words or
expressions we expect to see before and after a particular
lexical unit)

a) Selectional restrictions : depend on the propositional meaning (adj.

clever – invokes a human subject; triangular – an inanimate
b) Collocational restrictions: semantically arbitrary restr. – do not
logically from the propositional meaning;

e.g. laws are broken in English but violated (CRO), contradicted in


e.g. brush the teeth – prati/wash in Croatian/Polish/German/Italian

e.g. donijeti zakon – pass the law; položiti ispit – pass /
It. superare

4. Evoked
- Arises from variations such as :
- dialect (geographical, temporal, social) and register:
- field :– what is going on, subject-matter of speech),
- tenor: relationship between the speakers / roles: Father /Dad; Tell
me… / Would you mind …
- mode: the role that the language is playing and the medium of
transmission (spoken, written)



- a set o words belonging to a conceptual fiel
- divisions & subdivisions of words ‘imposed’ by a given linguistic
community on the continuum of experience
- verbs of speech (say, tell, mumble, mutter)
- verbs of motion,
- lexical taxonomies, hierarchies, etc


a) common problems of non-eq
b) SL concept not lexicalized in TL
c) SL word is semantically complex

d) SL and TL make different distinctions in meaning
e) TL lacks a superordinate
f) TL lacks a specific term (hyponym)
g) Differences in physical and interpersonal perspective
h) Differences in expressive meanings
i) Difference in form
j) Difference in frequency and purpose of using specific terms
k) The use of loan in the SLT – false friends


Translation Equivalence
E quivalence is a key concept in the translation process in general and in the linguistic theories in
Ideally, equivalence is a bilingual synonymy or sameness
based on lexical universals and cultural overlaps (As-Safi,
1996:11). Linking equivalence to substitution, Steiner
(1998:460) believes that equivalence is sought by means of
substitution of ‘equal’ verbal signs for those in the original.
Baker (2005:77) rightly maintains that equivalence is a
central concept in translation theory, albeit certain miner
controversies about this concept. Proponents define
equivalence as relationships between ST and TT that
allows the TT to be considered as a translation of the ST in
the first place.
E q u ivalence relationships are also believed to hold
between parts of STs and parts of TTs. Many theorists
think that translation is based on some kind of equivalence
depending on the rank (word, sentence or text level). It
must be acknowledged here that this equivalence in Arabic
and English is in many cases unattainable on all levels.
5.1. Typologies of Equivalence
In surveying the typologies of equivalence, Baker
(2005:77) cites on the word level referential or denotative
equivalence between the SL and TL words which refer to
the same thing in the real world, in addition to connotative
equivalence where the SL and the TL words are expected
to trigger the same or similar associations in the minds of
th e native speakers of the two languages. She bases
typologies on Koller (1989:187-191) who presents what he
calls text-normative equivalence in which the SL and TL
words have the same effect on the SL and TL readers,
which he also calls pragmatic equivalence (ibid). She
refers to Nida‘s (1964) dynamic equivalence which
aspires at creating similar response on the TL
readers, so as to make translation communicative as
contrary to formal equivalence which underlies literal
translation. Based on Nida’s classification of equivalence
into formal vs. dynamic, As-Safi (1994) propounds two
types of translation: static or literal and dynamic which is
non-literal and even creative translation, especially in
rendering literary texts ( as elaborated in literary theories of
translation above).
F ou r types of translation equivalence are also
distinguished by Popovic (in Bassnett, 1988: 32):
(1) linguistic equivalence: where there is homogeneity on
the linguistic level in both the original and text;
(2) paradigmatic equivalence, where there is equivalence
of the elements of a paradigmatic expressive axis, the
elements of grammar, which Popovic sees as being a
higher category than lexical equivalence;
(3) stylistic equivalence, where there is 'functional
equivalence of elements in both original and translation
aiming at an expressive identity with an invariant of
identical meaning; and
(4) textual (syntagmatic) equivalence, where there is
equivalence of the syntagmatic structuring of a text; i.e.
'equivalence' of form and shape.
Pertinently, however, three things of great import are to
be considered:
(1) equivalence is achieved when items in the original and
translation have some common features in their contexts;
(2) the degree of contextual meaning is proportionate to
the number of common features: equivalence increases
as the number of common features increases; and
(3) translation may be ranged on a general scale of
evaluation of accurate to inaccurate according to the
degree of equivalence of the lexical items in both texts.
On the word level too, Hann (1992, in Baker, 2005:78)
categorizes equivalence relationships into four, to which
we may propound a fifth one.
One-to-one equivalence where there is a single
expression for the TL for a single SL expression;
One-to-part-of-one equivalence wherein a TL expression
covers part of the concept designated by a single SL
expression as in the equivalence of the concept zakat into
English as alms or charity which reveals part, but not the
whole concept which denotes a regular , obligatory charity
or more elaborately a certain fixed proportion of the

wealth(2.5%) of every Muslim to be paid yearly for the
benefit of the needy in the Muslim community;
One-to-many equivalence wherein more than one TL
expression for a single SL expression as in the English
words of kinship, i.e. uncle which denotes paternal or
maternal uncle, spouse for either husband or wife , cousin
for the son or daughter of the uncle or aunt; in addition to
the semantic level, this kind of equivalence can be seen on
the syntactic level wherein, for example the Arabic
diminutive nouns may have more than one lexical item, e.g.
nuhayr 􀎮􀎮􀎮􀎮 small river or rivulet.
Many-to-one wherein more than one TL lexical item
for a single SL expression or lexical item, which reverses the
above type.
N iL or zero equivalence wherein there is no TL
expression for an SL expression, such as the word ijtihat or
mujtahid and qiyas and many other Islamic concepts which
have no equivalence in English. This kind of nonequivalence
has let to the phenomenon of borrowing among
languages as is found in many words in English and Arabic,
such as Television, Vedio in Arabic and Algebra in English
among many examples.
Before concluding equivalence, it is worth referring to
Baker’s In Other Words which is devoted in six chapters to
six types of equivalence, namely:
1. Equivalence at word level which has just been
discussed above;
2. Equivalence above the word level exemplified in
collocation, idioms and fixed expressions;
-3. Grammatical equivalence which deals with the
diversity of grammatical categories across languages
and word order;
4. Textual equivalence which deals with thematic and
information structures;
5. Textual equivalence which focuses on cohesion
externalized by substitution and ellipsis, and merging
syntactic structures by conjunctions and finally;
6. Pragmatic equivalence which deals with coherence,
implicature or the process of interpretation and
translation strategies. .
The common types of equivalence propounded by Baker that
are pertinent to the process of transference between English
and Arabic are pragmatic, lexical and grammatical, the last
of which requires further elaboration. In Arabic, the nominal
(verbless) sentences correspond to verbal sentences. For
example, the following nominal sentences expressing
jurisprudential maxims must rendered into verbal
counterparts in English:
Matters are judged by intentions.
Yield is guaranteed.
The beast’s injury is squander.
In contracts, intentions and meanings, not words and
structures,shall be taken into consideration.
5.1.1. Collocational/Idiomatic Equivalence
5..1.1.1. Collocational Equivalence
Collocation refers to a sequence of co-occurring words or
simply as, Firth puts it, “the company words keep together”,
in a combination in which a word tends to occur in relatively
predictable ways with other words, often with restrictions on
t h e manner of their co-occurrence, as explicitly seen in
restricting certain verbs or adjectives to certain nouns or
certain prepositions. Collocational restrictions are described
by Baker (1992: 285) as ‘semantically arbitrary’ because
they do not logically follow from the propositional meaning
the word outside the collocational combination. It is the
collocates, Larson (1984: 155) contends, that determine
which sense is indicated in a given phrase. Larson (ibid) cites
the example of the word ‘dress’ which has two drastically
different meanings in the phrase ‘dress the chicken’ and
‘ dress the child’. To ‘dress a chicken’ involves ‘taking the
feathers off’ whereas ‘dressing a child’ is ‘putting clothes
on’. Likewise, the adjective ‘good’ denotes two divergent
meanings in the phrases: ‘good time’ and ‘good Friday’. As-
Safi (1994: 69-70) cites fifty different meanings of the
adjective ‘good’ before fifty nouns.
It is widely accepted that to produce an acceptable,
accurate or appropriate TL equivalent for a SL counterpart
poses a challenge even to the most competent and
experienced translator. Achieving appropriate collocations in
the TT, Basil and Mason rightly assert, has always been seen
as one of the major problems a translator faces, because SL
interference may escape unnoticed, and by corollary, an
unnatural collocation will flaw the TT . The translator’s
arduous task is due to the semantic arbitrariness of
collocations as explicated by the following examples. We
normally say in English “make a visit”, but not “perform a
visit”. Baker (1992:47ff) points out that synonyms and quasior
near-synonyms often have quite different sets of

collocates: “break rules” but not “break regulations”, or
“wasting time” but not “squandering time, “strong tea” but
not “powerful tea”. Baker (ibid) also gives the example of
the verb “drink” in English which collocates naturally with
liquids like “juice and milk”, but not with “soup”. In Arabic,
on the other hand, the verb “drink” collocates with almost all
sorts of liquid, hence it collocates with “soup”, e.g.,
All the above examples and others below display that
collocations cannot be literally transferred from SL into TL.
Consider the verb “catch” in the following collocations:
catch a fish
catch flue catch the train
catch the meaning
catch attention
catch one’s breath ()
D r . Reem Salah of Ptera University has asked her MA
students to render 24 collocations of the adjective “executive”
plus noun, as a test of translation competence:
An executive appearance
Executive bathroom
Executive corporate
Executive decider
Executive decision
Executive delay
Executive disease
Executive Friday
Executive house
Executive inn
Executive investor
Executive lunch
Executive manager
Executive Monday
Executive order
Executive parking
Executive project
Executive raincoat
Sale executive
Executive session
Executive summary
The company executive
Executive white trash
Executive workout
T he above collocations obviously poses a difficult
problem to a translator. There is another category of

collocations that are almost literally rendered into Arabic
which seems to have accommodated them as ‘borrowed
collocations. Here are some of them.
A black market 􀎮􀎮􀎮
Adopt a plan/projec t/
Anarchy prevailed
At a stone throw
Blind confidence
Blind imitation
By sheer coincidence
Devote time
Draw a policy
Fire lines
tExert an effort 􀎮􀎮􀎮􀎮􀎮􀎮􀎮􀎮
Hard currency
Honourable defeat
Kill time
On equal footing
Point of view
tPolicy of rapproachemen t
Political tension
Raise the level
Safety valve
Save a situation
Starting point
Show interest
Striking force
Teach sb a lesson ()
Turning point
War of nerves
The following collocations assume the form of simile:
as+adj+as+ noun or like + noun :
As brave as a lion
As clear as day
As cunning as a fox
As fast as an arrow
As innocent as a child
As obstinate as a mule
As old as the hills
As slow as a tortoise
As strong as a lion
As strong as a horse
As strong as a an ox
As/ sweet as sugar/honey /
To talk like a child
nTo behave like children

To run like the wind
To chatter like monkeys

Hatim and Munday (2004, p.3) said that “translation is a phenomenon that has a huge
effect on everyday life.” The first of these two senses relates to translation as a process,
the second to the product. The first sense focuses on the role of the translator in taking
the original or source text (ST) and turning it into a text in another language (the target
text, TT). The second sense centers on the concrete translation the product produced by
the translator. Machali (2000, p. 60) noted that “translation as an operation performed
on languages: a process of substituting a text in one language for a text in
another”.Larson (1998, p. 3) stated that “translation is basically a change of form. In
translation, the form of the source language is replaced by the form of receptor (target)
language”. It can be concluded that translation is a process of transferring the meaning
of the source language into the target language.
Kinds of Translation
Larson (1998, p. 15) divided translation into two types, they are:
1. Literal translation is a form-based translation attempting to follow the form of the
source language.
2. Idiomatic translation is a meaning-based translation that makes every effort to
communicate the meaning of the source language text in the natural form of the
receptor language.
Newmark (1991, p. 39) wrote types of translation:
1. Communicative translation, attempts to produce on its readers an affect as close as
possible to that obtained on the readers of the original.
2. Semantic translation attempts to render, as closely as the semantic and syntactic
structures of the second language allow, the exact contextual meaning of the
Vinay and Darbelnet (as cited in Munday, 2001, p. 58) stated that “equivalence refers to
cases where languages describe the same situation by different stylistic or structural
means”. Catford (as cited in Hatim and Munday, 2004, p. 40) wrote texts in different
languages can be equivalent in different degrees (fully or partially equivalent), in
respect of different levels of presentation (equivalent in respect of context, of semantics,
of grammar, of lexis, etc), and at different ranks (word-for-word, phrase-for-phrase,
sentence-for-sentence).Baker (1998, p. 77) used the notion of equivalence for the sake
of convenience because most translators use it rather than because it has any theoretical
statements. Thus equivalence is variously regarded as a necessary condition for
translations, an obstacle to a progress in translation studies, or a useful category for
describing translation. She also added that proponent of equivalence as the relationship
between a source text (ST) and a target text (TT). That’s allowed the TT to be
considered as a translation of the ST in the first place.
Types of Equivalence
Catford’s model of equivalence (as cited in Munday, 2001, p. 60) said:
1. Formal correspondence is any TL category (unit, class, element of structure, etc)
which can be said to occupy as nearly as possible the “same” place in the “economy
of the TL as the given SL category occupies in the SL. For example: translating an

adjective by an adjective.
2. Textual Equivalence is any TL text or portion of text which is observed on a
particular occasion to be the equivalent of a given SL text or portion of text. For
example: translating adjective by an adverbial phrase.
Popovic (as cited in Susan Basnett, 1998, p. 32) distinguishes four types:
1). Linguistic equivalence, where there is homogeneity on the linguistic level of both
SL and TL texts, i.e. word for word translation.
2). Paradigmatic equivalence, where there is equivalence of ‘the elements of a
paradigmatic expressive axis’, i.e. elements of grammar, which Popovic sees as
being a higher category than lexical equivalence.
3). Stylistic (translational) equivalence, where there is ‘functional equivalence of
elements in both original and translation aiming at an expressive identity with an
invariant of identical meaning’.
4). Textual (syntagmatic) equivalence, where there is equivalence of the syntagmatic
structuring of a text, i.e. equivalence of form and shape.
Types of equivalence according to Nida which are stated in (Munday, 2001, p. 41)
which are: (1) formal equivalence and (2) Dynamic equivalence.
Nida defined these as follows:
1. Formal equivalence focuses attention on the message itself, in both form and content
… one is concerned that the message in the receptor language should match as closely
as possible the different elements in the source language.
2. Dynamic equivalence is based on what Nida calls ‘the principle of equivalent effect’,
where ‘the relation between receptor and message should be substantially the same as
that which existed between the original receptors and the message’.
Gentzler (1993, p. 86) wrote Popovic’s opinion about shift (1970, p. 78) that each
individual method of translation is determined by the presence or absence of shifts in
the various layers of the translation. All that appears as new with respect to the original
or fails to appear where it might have been expected may be interpreted as a shift. So,
when the form in source language has a new form or different form from target
language, it is called shift. According to Baker (1992, p. 20), non-equivalence at word
level means that the target language has no direst equivalent for a word which occurs in
the source text. The type and level of difficulty posed can vary tremendously depending
on the nature of non-equivalence. Different kinds of non-equivalence require different
strategies, some very straightforward, others more involved and difficulty to handle.
Since, in addition to the nature of non-equivalence, the context and purpose of
translation will often rule out some strategies and favour others.
Types of Shift
Catford (as cited in Hatim and Munday, 2004, p. 26) said that ‘shifts’, is departures
from formal correspondence in the process of going from the SL to the TL. There are
two major types of ‘shift’: level shifts and category shifts:
1) Level shift is SL item at one linguistic level has a TL translation equivalent at a
different level.
2) Category shift is a departure from formal correspondence in translation. Category
shift occurs if the source language (SL) has different forms from the target language
(TL). So category shifts are:
2.1) Structure shift is to be the most common form of shift and involve mostly a
shift in grammatical structure.
2.2) Class shift occurs when the translation equivalent of SL item is a member of a
different class from the original item.
2.3) Unit-shift means change of rank – that is, departures from formal
correspondence in which the translation equivalent of a unit at one rank in the
SL, is a unit at a different rank in the TL”.
2.4) Intra-system shift is a departure from formal correspondence in which (a
term operating in) one system in the SL has as its translation equivalent (a term
operating in) a different – non-corresponding-system in the TL.
A phrase is a group of words which has no subject (Tallerman, 1998, p. 90). It means
that every group of words or combination of words, which are grammatically similar to
word and do not have its own subject is called phrase. There are some phrases, which
are Noun Phrase (NP) for example, very bright sunflowers is headed by a noun; Verb
Phrase (VP) for example, overflowed quite quickly is headed by a verb; very bright is an
Adjective Phrase (AP); quite quickly is an Adverb Phrase (AdvP); and inside the house
is a preposition Phrase (PP) headed by the preposition inside. But in this research, the
writer focuses on the noun phrase. A noun phrase can act as a subject in a sentence
function (e.g. The child read the book), as the object of a verb (e.g. The child read the
book), as the object complement of a verb (e.g. John buy a cake), or as the object of a
preposition (e.g. Jill is swimming in the pool).
The Comparison between the Indonesian and the English Noun Phrases
The similarity between the Indonesian and English noun phrases is they have their
markers. For example in Indonesian and English noun phrase, they have the markers to
identify the noun phrase. Both morphological and syntactic categories are the markers
of the noun phrase. The difference between the Indonesian and English noun phrases is
the position of head word in the word order. In fact, the position of head word in
Indonesian noun phrase is head-initial. While, the position of head word in English
noun phrase is head-final. Tata Bahasa Baku Bahasa Indonesia (1998, p. 203) stated that
the Indonesian noun phrase is a group of words with a noun or pronoun as the main part
or the head. Whereas, the English noun phrase is a group of words that ends with a
noun. It can contain determiners (the, a, this, etc.), adjective, adverbs, and nouns. It
cannot begin with a preposition. Both subjects and complements are generally noun
phrases. (Pyle and Munoz, 1995, p. 42). For example: The diamond gave off a bluish
light, the diamond as a subject in a sentence function. Then, One day, Sakarya placed a
stone; a stone is the object of a verb or object complement. Tallerman (1998, p. 92)
stated that “in many languages, certain heads require their Noun Phrase dependents to
occur in a particular grammatical case. Within the English noun phrase (NP), nouns
often co-occur with a closed class of words known as DETERMINERS (Tallerman,
1998, p. 37). For instance, a transitive verb has two arguments, therefore two dependent
NPs: the subject and the object are the markers of the English noun phrases. For
example: The child read the book”.
Subject-NP object-NP (object of a verb)
here are, unambiguously, numerous types of meaning.

Why is this important? When we talk about teaching and learning, we are often talking about meaning. Consider the
classic constructivist activity of 'making meaning', for example. Or event he concept of 'content', which is (ostensibly)
the 'meaning' of whatever it is that a student is being taught.

What are we to make of such theorizing in the light of the numerous ways that words, sentences, ideas and
constructs can have meaning? What does 'making meaning' mean we we consider the range between logical,
semantical, and functional meaning?

The idea - often so central to transmission and transactional theorists of learning, that a word or sentence can have a
single meaning, or a 'shared meaning', is tested to the extreme by an examination of the nature and constitution of
that putative meaning.

In any case, it is always better to show than to argue. Herewith, a bit of an account of some of the many different
types of meaning:

Literal meaning - the sentence means what it says. Also known as 'utterance' meaning (Griffiths).

Logical meaning - the meaning of the sentence is determined by (is a part of) a set of logical inferences, such as
composition, subordination, etc. Also called 'taxis'. (Kies)

Denotative meaning - the sentence means what it is about. The 'reference' of a sentence, as opposed to its 'sense'.

Sematical meaning - meaning is truth (Tarski - 'snow is white' is true iff snow is white)

Positivist meaning - the sentence means what it says that can be empirically confirmed or falsified (Ayer, Carnap,

Pragmatic meaning - the relationship between signs and their users. (Morris) Includes "identificational meaning,
expressive meaning, associative meaning, social meaning, and imperative meaning." (Lunwen)

Intentional meaning - the sentence means what the author intended it to say. Also known as "sender's meaning"
(Griffiths). - John Searle, often includes conversational implicatures

Connotative meaning - the sentence means what readers think about when they read it. Sometimes known as 'sense'
(Frege). Also sometimes thought of as 'associative' meaning. (Morris) Includes 'reflected' meaning (what is
communicated through association with another sense of the same expression, Leech) and collocative meaning

Social meaning - "what is communicated of the social circumstances of language use" (from Leech; Lunwen)

Metaphorical meaning - the meaning is determined by metaphor, and not actual reference

Emotive meaning - related to connotative - the type of emotion the sentence invokes

Functional meaning - the sentence means what it is used for, what it does (Wittgenstein, meaning is use; Austin,
speech acts). The 'mode' of a sentence is the function it plays in channeling communication - what degree of
feedback it elicits, for example, of what degree of abstraction it considers. (Cope and Kalantzis)

Type meaning - the sentence's meaning is related to what it doesn't say, to the range of possible words or sentences
that could be said instead (Derrida). Gillett writes, "Part of the meaning of a word is its 'register'. Which types of
language is the word used in: letters or reports, spoken or written, biology or business etc?"

Deictic meaning - meaning is determined with reference to the situation or context in which the word is used.
Griffiths writes, "Deixis is pervasive in languages." Common deixic frames include common understandings related to
people )'the boss'), time ('tomorrow'), place ('nearby'), participants ('his'), even discourse itself ('this' article).

Relevance, significance or value - "what is the meaning of life?"

Accent - the manner in which the word is pronounced or emphasized can cnage its meaning.

Intralingual meaning - (Morris) intralingual meaning (the relationship between different signs; it includes
phonological meaning, graphemic meaning, morphological or lexemic meaning, syntactic meaning, and discoursal or
textual meaning).
Thematic meaning - "what is communicated by the way in which the message is organized in terms of order and
emphasis" (Leech; Lunwen)

Nida and Taber (1982: 56) classifies meaning into two classes, referential meaning and connotative
meaning. Magdy M. Zaky in ‘Translation and Meaning’ also differentiates meaning into two categories, referential
meaning and associated meaning (which includes connotative meaning) (http://accurapid.com/
journal/14theory.htm, updated at 02/26/2005). Zaky states, “there is a distinction between conceptual meaning,
on the hand, and connotative, stylistic, affective, reflected, and collocative types of meaning on the other hand.
Thus, we classify the last five types of meaning under one general category of associated meaning”. We will
concern with referential meaning and connotative meaning in this paper.

1. Referential Meaning

Referential meaning is word as symbol which refers to an object, process, abstract thing, and relation.
Zaky (2005) mentions that referential meaning is also

Meaning and translation 4

known as ‘the meaning of reference, is often referred to as the "referential" meaning, the "lexical"
meaning, the "conceptual" meaning, or the "denotative" meaning’. Giving the meaning of a word referentially, a
translator must be aware of any markers appear in the text. There are two markers that can be used to give
meaning of words, syntactic marking and semotac marking.

a. Syntactic marking

In some cases, the meaning of a word is governed by their grammatical structure. Here are the examples.


1 He picked up a stone. 1 They will stone him.

2 He saw a cloud. 2 The quarrel will cloud the issue.

3 She has a beautiful face. 3 He will face the audience.

4 He fell in the water. 4 Please, water the garden.

Translation Equivalence
January 7, 2007 — transubstantiation

A key concept in translation is equivalence and this helps establish our approach to translation.
Equivalence centres around the processes interacting between the original source text and
translated text.

We can talk of six types of equivalence: (1) Referential equivalence is established when the words
in the source language (SL) refer to the same objects in the world as the words in the target
language (TL). (2)Connotative equivalence is established when the words in both languages and
texts trigger the same associations and connotations. (3) Pragmatic equivalence refers to words in
both languages having the same effect on the readers in both languages.
(4) Contextual equivalence is established when words in both languages are used in the same or
similar contexts. (5) Formal equivalence refers to words in both languages having similar
phonological or orthographic features. (6) Textual equivalence refers to aspects of cohesion and
coherence which are similar in both texts and languages.

An equivalent text is therefore more than just one isolated feature and is rather a whole host of
inter-related aspects.
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The equivalence relation
How can we best understand the relation between translations and their source texts?
Basic problem: translations are assumed to be somehow “the same” as the original, but they 
are obviously different. What does “equivalence” mean?
• Six steps in the debate:
(1)     Early Bible translation: equivalence must be understood as sameness. Translation must 
be possible.
         Modern semiotics: translation is always possible (depending on what you mean by 
(2)     The  problem of untranslatability. Can meaning be separated from form? Absolutely the
“same” meaning is (usually / often / sometimes ) impossible. The claim that there are no stable
meanings (cf. deconstruction, postmodernism).
(3)     Equivalence is better understood as similarity, relevant similarity, not sameness or 
identity. Two texts can be “similar” in very many ways.
(4)     There are several basic types of equivalence: concerning form, meaning, style, desired 
(5)     Each translation task requires its own hierarchy of equivalence: what are the priorities 
for this particular translation? Depends on aim and context.
(6)     Conclusion: equivalence is produced by the translator, it is claimed. This claim may or 
may not be accepted by the client, by readers.

n almost every definition of translation there is an emphasis on finding equivalence, but what if
there is no equivalence in the target language? For instance, most languages use ‘taxi’ or there are
several kinds of species and animals that exist in West but cannot survive or live in East and vice
versa. Here, the types of equivalence vary in the receptor language, forcing the translator to
lengthen or shorten lots of words.

Translators often resort to adapting both texts because direct translation might run a risk of losing
meaning. Translation “is the expression in another language (or target language) of what has been
expressed in another, source language, preserving semantic and stylistic equivalences”. (2)
Language changes over time and place, thence, translation is sometimes recreating out of
necessity to find a sort of compromise even within a language. Therefore, something will always
be lost. This simplification of a text by rewording or what is called Intra-lingual translation: for
example, Old English into Modern English involves different style and meaning levels.

Language is problematic or not static. As a result, if one language has such complicated features,
how about compromising two different languages? In advertising and marketing there are words
for products which, when they are translated, can be offensive and ridiculous, such as, chavy,
hotdog, etc… this happens because of lack of awareness.

Subsequently, translators and interpreters are highly required to have formal training,
certification, and license; because, with these, they will gain credentials and fitness. Cultural
exchange, background information, nature of societies as well as skill and talent are the bedrocks
for the act of translation and interpretation.

There has been a plethora of classifications of types of translation albeit the basically overlapping and
polarized dichotomy in a binary oppositions starting with the oldest ‘literal’ vs (versus) ‘free’. Others
subsume ‘literary’ vs ‘non-literary’, semantic vs communicative, static vs dynamic, among others. The
first type of the aforementioned pairs concerns the closeness , sometimes referred to as fidelity or
faithfulness to the ST (source text). This type tends to emphasize the inseparability of form from
content. The second type deems the source message conveyable in a different form. The above pairs are
classified according to the criterion of method or approach. Two criteria of classification will be
elaborated below, namely: code and mode.

b. Translation Types according to Mode: Written vs.

Oral: Translating/Interpreting: General Remarks Nida and Taber’s above definition, may best
accommodate interpreting as the reproduction of “ the closest natural equivalent” of the SL message in
the TL serves as a common ground or interface of translating and interpreting”, the former is not mainly
or exclusively concerned with the accurate, semantic transference. The translated text should, at least
ideally and theoretically, be as semantically accurate, grammatically correct, stylistically effective and
textually coherent as the source text.
On the other hand, we may analogously postulate the following workable definition for interpreting:
Interpreting consists in conveying to the target language the most accurate, natural equivalent of the
source language oral message.