TrIn 3001: Introduction to
Translation
Semana 2B (31/V/06)
1
Class Agenda




Turn in translation exercise #1 (3 paragraphs)
Part 1:
 Types of translations and discourse genres
Part 2:
 Class exercises pp. 25-27ABC (Larson)
 Discuss 12 questions (Nida)
 Correct punctuation exercises
 Discuss “sample” translations
Discuss exercise translation #2
2
Meet 3 professional translators…
Who’s out there?
3
Translator qualifications (as posted on the Net)
1. Peruvian with degrees in Business and
Advertising. International Advertising Association
member who taught at university level. Fields:
Legal, medical, sales, PR, technical writing,
advertising and marketing. Edition and
proofreading, tape transcription, escort, on-site
translation, simultaneous interpretation, narration
and voiceovers. Graphic design and DP
background for publications in both languages.
Large network of professionals and service
bureaus for multilingual projects. Internet
reception/delivery. Websites translated into
Spanish. Accurate and reliable translations… with
attention to style and tone.
4
Qualifications
2. Eight years translation experience: financial
prospectuses and newsletters, 401(k) plan
forms and newsletters, health and patient
education materials, academic literary
articles, educational materials and
textbooks, instructions for use and package
inserts for medical devices. Education: MA
French and Spanish (US); BA English,
French, Spanish, (US); 3 years Maritime
telecommunications (Spain); 1 year
Business and Economics (Spain). ATA
accredited English>Spanish.
5
Qualifications
3. More than 20 years experience as technical
translator and conference interpreter. More
than 10 years as certified court interpreter.
Native of Colombia. MA degree in Spanish and
Latin American Studies with joint translation
certificate from the Monterey Institute of
International Studies. Most recent translation
experience in computer applications and
telecommunications industry software,
literature for computer industry, software
localization, medical literature (in particular
veterinary medicine), marketing publications,
and legal documents. Experienced user of
TRADOS Translation Tools
6
A good translator follows principles:
Accuracy
(Precisión)
 Adaptation
(Adaptación)
 Completeness
(Totalidad)
 Style (Estilo)



Grammatical
variation
(Variación de
gramática)
Idiomatic quality
(calidad
idiomática)
7
Accuracy



True reproduction of “exact” meaning from
source language form to equivalent receptor
language form.
Ex1: A palabras locas, orejas sordas.
 To mad (crazy) words, deaf ears.
 Semi-literal, accurate, meaning maintained
Ex2: Dar en el clave
 To hit the nail on the head.
 Idiomatic, accurate, meaning maintained
8
Adaptation (or Modulation)




Adapt source language form to receptor language
form to reflect an adjustment due to the
situation/environment/culture.
Be aware of the semantic value of words, etc.
according to culture: words with the same
morphology may carry different meanings.
Ex: beef stew (US vs. Argentina)
Ex: El Canciller pidió la palabra. The Foreign
Minister asked for the floor. (not “the chancellor”; not
“the word”).
9
Matching







Up to my nose
Hand to hand combat
Within earshot
At a snail’s pace
Decision-making
Five o’clock shadow
Fat cats

A pocos pasos
Toma de decisiones
Hasta las cejas

Combate cuerpo a cuerpo

Peces gordos
A paso de tortuga
Sombra de barba




10
Completeness

The translation must reflect a complete
description and meaning of the original
language. It may be necessary to omit
words and make grammatical changes
in order to ensure an accurate,
complete translation.
11
Style



Style is the writer’s unique mode of
expressing thought.
The translator should integrate and reproduce
the style of the source language writer into
the receptor language translation.
The translator should suppress his/her own
stylistic effects upon the receptor translation.
12
Examples of Style
Generic
Casa (house)
Affective
Hogar (home)
Affective
Nido (nest)
Affective
Casita (little/cute house)
Affective
Casucha (shack)
Familiar
Cabaña (cabin)
Ironic
Mansión (mansion)
Formal
Residencia/domicilio
Formal/literary
Morada (dwelling)
Formal
Vivienda (place to live)
Literary/journalistic
Techo (roof)
13
Grammatical variation

The syntactical structure, parts of
speech, etc., must vary in form from the
source language to the receptor
language to maintain meaning.
14
Thine


A form of the possessive case of the
pronoun thou, now superseded in common
discourse by your, the possessive of you,
but maintaining a place in solemn discourse,
in poetry, and in the usual language of the
Friends, or Quakers.
Note: In the old style, thine was commonly
shortened to thi (thy) when used attributively
before words beginning with a consonant;
now, thy is used also before vowels. Thine is
often used absolutely, the thing possessed
being understood.
15
Idiomatic quality
An idiomatic translation is one that has
the same meaning as the source
language but is expressed in the natural
form of the receptor language.
 Source language: Me puse el sombrero rojo.
 Literal: Myself I placed/put/set the hat red.
 Idiomatic: I put on my red hat.

16
Terms: Ch 2 Kinds of Translations













1. Literal translation
2. Idiomatic translation
3. Modified literal translation
4. Unduly free translation
5. Parts of speech:
noun, verb….
6. Figure of speech: metaphor
7. Passive vs. active
construction
8. Denotative (designative)
9. Connotative
(associative)
10. Phoneme
11. Morpheme
12. Ideophone
13. Dialect













1. Traducción literal
2. Traducción idiomática
3. Traducción quasi-literal
4. Traducción libre
5. Elementos de oración:
sustantivo, verbo . . . .
6. Figuras literarias: metáfora
7. Construcción pasiva vs.
activa
8. Denotativo (referencial)
9. Connotativo
(figurado/afectivo)
10. Fonema
11. Morfema
12. Ideofono
13. Dialecto
17
Key concepts in Ch. 2



I. Literal translations….
 follow the form of the source language.
 are interlinear (may be desirable in a linguistic
study of the source language).
 are nonsensical and have little communication
value.
The literal choice of lexical items makes the
translation sound foreign.
Most who translate literally actually make a modified
literal translation. The order and grammar are made
acceptable in the receptor language but the lexical
items are translated literally. No part of it is natural.
18
Key concepts


II. Idiomatic translations……
 communicate the meaning of the source
language text in the natural forms of the
receptor language, both in grammatical
construction and choice of lexical items.
 do not sound like translations.
Most translations are a mixture of a literal
transfer of the grammar units along with
some idiomatic translation of
the meaning of the text.
19
Idiomatic translations….

Unduly free translations are not usually
acceptable because…..





they add extraneous information not in the source
text.
they change the meaning of the source text.
they distort the facts of the historical and cultural
setting of the source language text.
They are sometimes done for humor or to
evoke a special response.
Making an ancient text seem contemporary is
an example of unduly free translation.
20
Translation continuum……
Contin uum
very
literal
literal
modified
literal
inconsistent near
mixture idiomatic
idiomatic
unduly
free
21
Goal of the Translator

The translator’s goal is to reproduce in the
receptor language a text which
communicates the same message as the
source language but using the natural
grammatical and lexical choices of the
receptor language…..an idiomatic
translation.The translator knows s/he is
successful if the receptor language
readers do not recognize the work as a
translation at all, but simply as a text
written in the receptor language.
22
Kinds of FORM adjustment


1. Translating Grammatical Features
 Parts of speech: noun, pronoun, verb, etc.
 Grammatical construction: order reversal,
passive vs. active construction
2. Translating Lexical Features
 Lexical items (words, phrases): idioms,
secondary meanings, figures of speechmetaphors, similes, etc.
 Some lexical combinations are ambiguous.
23
Examples of Grammar Features
Parts of speech:
I see you. = Lo/la/te/los/las/os veo.
2. Order reversal:
I give it to him. = Se lo doy.
black and white = blanco y negro
3. Passive vs. active:
How do you say? = ¿Cómo se dice?
1.
24
Examples of Lexical Features

Idioms: a string of words whose
meaning is different than the meaning
conveyed by the individual words.
Translate the following:
 Dive into a book:
 Fall in love:
 Run into a friend:
25
Figures of speech
The names of animals are used metaphorically
in most languages. Translate the simile and
compare: cute as a kitten
Ambiguous lexical combinations:
Translate: It is too hot to eat.
Metaphors: List the connotative descriptions of
S/he is a pig. in the languages of Mexico.
In Mixteco:
In Tzeltal:
In Aztec:
In Otomí:
26
Terms for
Translation: Possible or Impossible
Denotative (designative) Dictionary definition of word
Connotative (associative) Word associated with an emotion
(positive or negative)
Phoneme
Morpheme
Ideophone
Dialect
Letter sound with meaning (r vs. rr)
Sequence of meaningful units that
form a word: pre-scrip-tion
Psst, shsh, arrrgh, tsk-tsk
Variante o modalidad idiomática
de una misma “lengua”
compartida por una comunidad
lingüística
27
Semantic classes:
Formal classes:
1. Entities or people, places,
things: man, girl, water
Nouns, pronouns,
gerunds
2. Activities or Events: walk,
work, run
Verbs
3. Inherent or state features or
Attributes: slow, good, two
Adjectives
4. Relations: in, when, because
Adverbs, conjunctions
28
5 semantic relations between words or
groups of words:
1. Particularization
(restriction)
2. Participation
3. Conjoining (coordinating)
4. Substitution
5. Relation-axis
Men old men
three old men
John gave Bill $10
dollars.
John and Bill, speak up
or keep quiet
John…my friend…he…
in the class, when sober
29
Psychological functions of language:
1. naming
Symbols for controlling objects and events
2. stating
Subject-predicate statements
3. modeling
Means of talking about experiences and of
modeling the world:
Lassie…dog….animal….mammal
4. responding Way to respond emotionally: ouch!, yikes!
Used to express feelings such as depression,
joy, hatred. Verbal doodling
5. thinking
In terms of spatial relations, series of events,
complex or abstract
30
Sociological functions of language:
1. interpersonal Maintain social status
5 levels: ritual, formal, informal, casual,
intimate, phatic (small talk)
2. informative Influence the cognitive state of other people
3. imperative
Influence the behavior of other people
4. performative Influence the status of receptors
(solemnizing, sentencing, blessing an event
or person)
5. emotive
Alters the emotive state of receptors,
depends on connotative value of words
31
How is translating “impossible”?
1.
2.
3.
Language both reveals and hides. Words
provide clues to meaning. Verbal signs are
defined by other signs. Words do not clothe
reality but are like pegs to hang ideas.
It depends on shared knowledge in that
readers are expected to “know” something
of the content.
There is an underlying parallax “distortion”
within each language. No two words in any
two languages have the same denotative or
connotative meanings.
32
Questionnaire for Translation:
Possible or Impossible
1. According to Nida, what is the popular
assumption that makes translation
impossible?
2. What does Nida say about word-forword translation? What milieu tends to
favor such a translation?
33
3. Does Nida make a distinction between
interpretation (interpreting) and translation
(translating)? If you were to make a
distinction, what would it be like?
4. According to Nida, what is most important in
translation: faithfulness to the source culture
or faithfulness to the receptor culture? Do you
agree with Nida? Why or why not? What will
be the implications of one or the other for the
product of your translation?
34
5. What are some of the genres that Nida
mentions for Bible translation? For
secular translations, what are the
genres that one is likely to encounter?
6. What are some of the characteristics of
languages that make translation
possible?
35
7. Why do you think that Nida argues that
“translating can never be discussed
apart from the cultures of the respective
languages”? What are the implications
of this statement for translators or for
the training of translators?
8. What are some of the things mentioned
by Nida that allegedly make translation
impossible?
36
9. Should translation be considered a
“science”? Or an “art”?
10. What are, according to Nida, the two
most important processes involved in
translation?
37
11. What is Nida’s reason for comparing
translation to a game?
12. Why do you think Nida concludes his
article by saying that “translating is both
challenging and discouraging”? Do you
agree with him? Have you ever felt
discouraged by your own translation?
38
Larson Ch. 30: What Kind of Writing is
This? Discourse Genres and Translation


A discourse genre is a form of writing that an
author chooses to communicate his/her
purpose; each discourse genre has its typical
style, structure and organization.
NOTE: Most texts include combinations of one
or more discourse genres. For example:
Newspaper articles are often both
NARRATIVE and EXPOSITORY. Stories and
novels often combine the NARRATIVE and
REPARTEE genres. Tourist information that
tells you how to get somewhere can be both
DESCRIPTIVE and PROCEDURAL.
39
Summary of Discourse Genres
TYPE
AUTHOR’S PURPOSE
EXAMPLE
Narrative
Recount events
story
Procedural
Prescribe how to do something
manual
Expository
Argue or explain a point
editorial
Descriptive Tell about the nature/state of
something
tour guide
Hortatory
Command, propose, suggest
lecture
Repartee
Enact or recount conversation
drama, play
40
Summary Chartcharacteristics of discourse genre
GENRE
Person
orientation
Time
(illocutionary
function)
Backbone
Primary
structure
NARRATIVE
first
third
past
(statements)
main-line events stimulusresponse
PROCEDURAL
unspecified
(commands)
procedures
steps-goal
EXPOSITORY
third
(statements)
themes
logical (causeeffect)
DESCRIPTIVE
third
(statements)
topics
topic-comments
HORTATORY
second
(commands)
injunctions
groundsexhortation
REPARTEE/
DRAMA
depends on the
discourse
within the
exchange
depends on the
discourse within
the exchange
depends on the
discourse within
the exchange
exchanges
41
ILLOCUTIONARY function

The speech act of doing something
else-offering advice or taking a vow, for
example - in the process of uttering
meaningful language. Thus, for
example, in saying "I will repay you this
money next week," one typically
performs the illocutionary act of making
a promise.
42
In-class practice
Exercises pp. 25-27 Larson text
 Practice 1: Identify and discuss types of
discourse genre
 Practice 2: Translation of false cognates
 Practice 3: Correct punctuation
exercises (manual pp. 94+ and 99+)
 Optional activity: post a question to

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sptranslators/
43
Practice 1
Identify and write down the discourse
genres (include the title in English of each
document) represented by the translated
materials found in the manual on pages
139-223.
2. Identify three discourse genres of the
translated documents distributed by the
instructor (write the title of each document in
1.
English).
3. Please turn in your list at the end of class.
44
Practice 2



Groups of 3: After consulting the Glossary on
manual p. 111, write down at least one “literal”
false cognate of the listed problem word (p.
108) in one column and the appropriate
“idiomatic” translation in a second column.
Ex: assist a patient --- asistir (false cognate) ----ayudar (idiomatic translation of “assist”)
Ex: attend a class --- atender (false cognate) ---asistir (idiomatic translation of “attend”)
45
Homework for June-5-06
Read Chapter 3 (Larson)
 Translation exercise #2: birth
certificate (Spanish to English)

46
Translation exercise #2
1) Make a list of key terms and concepts that need to be defined
and explained in order to understand the Spanish text
completely.
2) Make a list of English terms and phrases that you will use
CONSISTENTLY as equivalents for the terms in step (1).
Please consult manual p. 56+ for vocabulary support.
3) Type your translation on a computer (using Microsoft Word, if
possible). Please use Times font in 14-point size. DOUBLESPACE your English text so that you and your classmates can
easily make comments on your work.
4) After you have finished your translation, proofread it to make
sure it is complete. In the process of proofreading, CHECK
SPELLING and PUNCTUATION. Bring two printed copies to
class, one for your group analysis and the other for the
instructor. Make sure that your name and date are at the top
of your printed copies.
47
Partial birth certificate


Acta de nacimiento de la niña Herminia Vargas González, Zapoteca
Huauchinango, Pue.
--- Al centro en Zapoteca del municipio de Huauchinango del Estado de
Puebla, siendo las 9:00 nueve horas del día 12 doce de Noviembre del
año de 1979 mil novecientos setenta y nueve, ante mí C. Humberto
Gómez Martínez, Presidente Auxiliar Municipal y por Ministerio de Ley
Juez encargado del Registro Civil de este lugar, compareció el señor
Porfirio Vargas Delgado, casado por el Civil y de 27 veintisiete años de
edad, católico, alfabeta, campesino, originario y vecino de este lugar,
manifestó que el día 20 veinte de septiembre del año de 1979 mil
novecientos setenta y nueve, siendo las 3:00 tres horas en su casa
habitación, nació viva sin defectos físicos una niña, la que presentan
para su inscripción con el nombre de Herminia Vargas González, que
ocupa 2o. segundo lugar en la familia, siendo hija legítima del
declarante y de su esposa María González Castro, casada por el Civil
y de 17 diez y siete años de edad, católica, alfabeta, doméstica
originaria de Topatla Municipio de Huauchinango, Puebla, y vecina de
este lugar, --------------------------48
Partial birth certificate

Es copia tomada fiel y exactamente del original a que me remito y se expide a
solicitud de parte interesada para los usos legales y convenientes: - En
Zapoteca Huauchinango Puebla, a los 5 cinco días del mes de Abril del año de
1986 mil novecientos ochenta y seis.
“Sufragio Efectivo No Reelección” (please see next 2 slides!)
El Presidente Auxiliar Municipal y Juez Encargado del Registro Civil.
_________________________
Vicente Gómez Martínez.
49
Slogans/Lemas

In government correspondence official
slogans (“lemas”) are sometimes used either
in the letterhead, or more commonly just
before the signature block. These usually
reflect an event or saying of some historical
significance, and should be translated
between quotation marks. The Englishspeaking businessperson may find this
unusual and the translator may wish to add a
brief footnote explaining the significance.
50
Example: Slogans/Lemas

“Sufragio Efectivo, No Reelección” =
“Effective Suffrage, No Reelection”
(Mexico: a slogan of the Mexican
Revolution of 1910 against the dictator
Porfirio Díaz, who stayed in power
through a long series of rigged
elections)
51
52
Descargar

TrIn 3001: Introduction to Translation