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Introduction to Translation

ENGL 225
Rula Al-Jayousi

What is a Translator?
All Communicators are translators. Discuss.

Communicators (readers, listeners,

monolinguals or bilinguals) receive signals
containing messages encoded in a
communication system which is not identical
with their own. They try to analyze and
deconstruct the signals in order to reconstruct

What is a Translator?
Communicator Vs. Translator!

Translator: a bilingual mediating agent between

monolingual communication participants in
two different communities.
S/he decodes a message in one language and
re-encodes it in another.

What is a Translator?





Features of a Translator
S/he must, first of all, be a subject specialist so that the content of the

original text is communicated accurately, clearly and naturally.

A translator must be very proficient in both the source and target
A translator must be familiar with the basic principles of translation
theory and practice.
A good translator must have empathy for his or her target readers.
A translator must be committed and disciplined.
A good translator must be aware of the culture of both the source and
target language readers.
An effective translator should have all the necessary translation tools
such as monolingual, bilingual and subject dictionaries, thesauri,
terminology lists, a computer, a printer etc.
An effective translator must be aware that writing and translating
involve similar features.

Translation Theory
General Definition: The study of proper principle of

Translation theory recognizes that different languages

encode meaning in differing forms, yet guides translators

to find appropriate ways of preserving meaning, while
using the most appropriate forms of each language.
Translation theory includes principles for translating

figurative language, dealing with lexical mismatches,

rhetorical questions, inclusion of cohesion markers, and
many other topics crucial to good translation.

Translation Theory
Form Vs. Meaning

There are two competing theories:

1- The predominant purpose is to express as exactly as
possible the full force and meaning of every word and
turn of phrase in the original. This theory is called
Formal Equivalence.
2- The predominant purpose is to produce a result that
does not read like a translation at all, but rather moves
in its new dress with the same ease as in its native
rendering. This is called Dynamic Equivalence.

Dynamic Vs. Formal Equivalence

Dynamic equivalence is sometimes used when the

readability of the translation is more important than the

preservation of the original grammatical structure. Used
mostly in literature.
Formal equivalence believes that fidelity to the

grammatical structure of the language equals greater

accuracy. Used in diplomatic and business setting.
However, both equivalences should generate an effect on

the reader of the target text similar to the effect on the

source text reader. It should appear like a writing rather
than a translation.

How to have a proper translation

The translator should understand perfectly the content and intention of the

author whom he is translating.

The principal way to reach it is reading all the sentences or the text

completely so that you can givethe idea that you want to say in the target
language because the most important characteristicof this technique is
translating the message as clearly and natural as possible. The translator
should use the cultural words of the country hes translating for.
The translator should avoid the tendency to translate word byword,

because doing so is to destroy the meaning of the original and to ruin the
beauty of the expression.
The translator should employ the forms of speech in common usage. The

translator shouldbear in mind the people to whom the translation will be

addressedand use words that can be easily understood.

Next Week: Study the previous PPTs.