TRANSLATION AS PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS PDF
CEE. Professor Hasan Ghazala. TRANSLATION. AS PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS. A Textbook for University Students and Trainee Translators. Special Edition. Request PDF on ResearchGate | Translation as Problems and Solutions: A Textbook for University Students and Trainee Translators ( pages) | This textbook. PDF | The ability to choose the correct translation technique is an indispensable skill; therefore it is essential for translation students to be aware of why a.
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Translation as Problems and Solutions - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. translation. (PDF) Translation: Some Lexical and Syntactic Problems SDL FreeTranslation. com is the world's number one provider of free and professional translation. Translation as problems and solutions book. Read 21 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. الناشر:كُتب هذا الكتاب من أجل الطلاب العرب أ.
For instance, according the Maya Indians who lives in the tropical countries, there is no place without vegetation unless it has been cleared for Maize-field. However, a cleared field is not the appropriate equivalent of the desert of Palestine.
For that reason, E. Nida 91 argued that "words are fundamentally symbols for features of the cultures". Since as said before by Ivir 56 that languages are equipped and lexicalized differently.
The interpretations may be completely different as they may just slightly different, subtle overlaps. The differences between cultures and life perceptions from a society into another may cause a lot of problems to translators. They create a lot of gaps which lead to plenty of overlaps between language pairs. Hence the translation task is going to be too complicated. Telya et al.
One can notice that the Russians perception of such a term "conscience" is roughly the same as the Arab Muslims perception; both languages consider it as religious concept. For Arab Muslims; good and evil are all related to religion. God is only the one truth; to do well is to obey god, to do evil is to disobey god. For them; the conscience is feeling the presence of God all the times and everywhere. So, the translator who ignores such cultural specifities would not be able to recognize the different ways of perception which do exist between people, languages, and cultures.
So in such diversion like in the example above, the translator would misunderstand, mistranslate the concept of conscience wrongly because he may take for granted that it means the same thing in all languages, for all people of different regions. Cultures cause a lot of problems that is why translators are required to be competent not just at the linguistic level, rather at the cultural level. The Russians used to translate as "chairman" which Obviously is appropriate equivalent; it does not reflect the role of the speaker not its expression has no equivalent in the Russian, Arabic, Chinese languages.
The cultural translation problems are the results of the differences between languages as a set of lexemes, and meanings, as between cultures as ways of expressing oneself identity, living style. In , Mona Baker stated that S. Difficulties caused by language structure There are about living languages currently listed in the world, not to mention the number of dialects existing within these languages.
Every single one of them is unique, with own origins, roots and structure. In a way, each language is a prism and has its own complex way of functioning Idioms, expressions, compound words, false friends, even onomatopoeic expressions; all of them make the richness and uniqueness of a language, but also represent an obstacle for communication.
This, especially within the business and marketing environments, can be potentially dangerous. Literal translation can be very tricky. Take, for example, Arabic. Not only is reads from right to left unlike English, but the subject pronouns are actually included in conjugated verbs. It shows just how complex the way of functioning of each language is, and how difficult it can be for someone whose native language is completely different to learn and even translate Arabic.
These differences often create ambiguity, as words, expressions or sentences can have other meanings when used in a different context, which can cause misunderstandings and wrong interpretations: translators must be very careful with that. Well, this expression would make literally no sense if translated in another language such as French.
There are also many words in each language with no literal equivalent in another language, which can make them extremely hard to transcribe without altering their exact meaning. Another factor which complicates the understanding of languages even more is the existence of dialects. Dialects are specific forms of languages spoken in particular regions or social groups. The interesting aspect of these subsets is that within the same language, different populations can speak in a completely different way, with words that have diverse uses and sounds which are pronounced completely differently.
Again, the Arabic language, which is the fifth most spoken language in the world and the official language in 22 countries, is a good example. Almost each of those countries has its very own dialect, with different variations even within the country.
The complexity of such languages makes them very difficult to learn, but, at the same time, it is also exactly what makes them very rich and fascinating. Dialectal languages are therefore a major obstacle the professional translators must deal with and overcome in order to transmit the intended message accurately, requiring a considerable knowledge and interpreting skills.
However, the guidelines have differed between the studies in that in some studies e. In other studies, again e.
Instructions have been given, for example, on the layout of the translations, on how to maintain the difficulty level of the vocabulary and the syntax of the text unchanged, and on how to translate the question items [ 34 , 35 ]. In some studies e. Verifiers have been trained in the International Centre. Among the most significant of these are the following: the purpose of the translation task and the translation guidelines, qualifications of the translators, the amount of time available, and the amount and quality of revision and the use of parallel, or comparable, texts.
These are discussed in more depth in the following. For each factor, the paper first lays out what Translation Studies has to say about its impact on translation, then discusses how international achievement tests have fared with respect to it, and, finally, suggests what improvements can be made in it in order to ensure idiomatic translations.
Purpose of the Translation Task and Translation Guidelines The first two factors that have an impact on how the translator translates are the purpose of the translation task and the written guidelines, or instructions, by means of which translators are typically informed about the purpose [ 13 , 36 ].
The purpose is the function or goal of the translation task , which governs the entire translation work and determines how the text is to be translated [ 36 , 37 ]. For example, when translating a fairy tale, the purpose is usually to produce a fictional text for children, which, in turn, requires that emphasis be put on naturalness and ease of reading.
The guidelines, for their part, provide information, not only on the purpose of the translation task but often also on how e. Purpose of the Translation Task The purpose of the translation may foster literal rendering basically in two ways. First, making a literal translation may be the purpose of the translation task, as, for example, when the translator is to provide a word-for-word rendering for an exotic linguistic expression.
In cases such as these, the purpose and the need to translate literally are usually also phrased clearly and unequivocally in the guidelines. Literal translations such as these are intentional or wanted and do not need to be avoided.
Second, the purpose may be vague, elusive, and difficult to grasp, or it may be new and strange to the translator or the guidelines may not state clearly and unequivocally how literally or freely the translator is to translate, or they may be missing altogether. When this is the case, the translator is left uncertain as to how to translate.
Therefore, uncertainty easily results in literal translations [ 39 , page ] [ 40 , page 42] [ 41 ]. Literal translations resulting from uncertainty are often unwanted and need to be avoided. Consequently, for it to be possible to avoid unwanted literal translations in international achievement tests, it is important, first, to see to it that the purpose of the translation is clear and straightforward and that it is familiar to the translators and second, to provide translators with translation guidelines and to see to it that the guidelines state clearly and unequivocally that the translator is to avoid unwanted literal translation and to aim for idiomatic renderings.
However, especially the requirement for a clear and straightforward purpose is extremely difficult, if not impossible, to accomplish. This is because the purpose when translating international achievement tests is to make all translations and different-language versions equally difficult to answer, and, yet, especially at the time of translating, there are no ways of accurately assessing the difficulty of the source and target versions.
The translator therefore has no way of knowing—being certain—how difficult the source and target texts really are. Translating international achievement tests thus seems to be a task where uncertainty is necessarily present and where, accordingly, the risk of unwanted literal translations is especially high. The uncertainty has often been further aggravated by the fact that translators have not been familiar with the purpose [ 28 , 30 , 31 ]: Since equivalence in difficulty is typically not a purpose in any other type of translation, most translators are not trained for and used to pursuing it.
Translation Guidelines Ways are thus needed to make the purpose more tangible, easier to grasp, and more familiar to translators.
Since not much can be done to the purpose, extremely heavy demands are put on the translation guidelines. However, it seems that there have been problems in these, too. Even though most studies have provided translators with translation guidelines or specific translator training of some kind, in some studies e.
Moreover, in some studies, this need does not appear to have been stated as clearly and unequivocally as it should have been. This, in turn, appears to have been because in some studies e. The instructions, however, have largely consisted of directions on how to remain lexically and syntactically and thus literally as close to the source version as possible [ 34 , page 15].
In practice, the guidelines thus appear to necessitate literal translation. Therefore, rather than clearly and unequivocally encouraging idiomatic translation, the guidelines seem to provide controversial messages as to how literally or freely to translate. Because of the numerous linguistic instructions—compared to the few brief recommendations for idiomatic translation—the emphasis rather seems to have been on literal translation.
Such emphasis, in turn, easily lures translators into translating literally. The great number of specific linguistic instructions and the strong emphasis in the OECD guidelines on literal resemblance can be expected to be a problem in translations into non-Indo-European languages, in particular.
This is because the instructions are mainly written from the point of view of Indo-European languages and, specifically, English and French and their syntactic and vocabulary structures. Therefore, when translating into these languages, following the instructions and staying close to the source version often work quite well, yielding completely natural literal translations.
However, when translating into non-Indo-European languages e. Thus, adjustments may be needed in the translation guidelines. The first step, however, is to see to it that translators in all studies receive translation guidelines.
The next step is to ensure that the guidelines say clearly that the main concern is to translate idiomatically and that this is because unnaturalness inevitably leads to nonequivalence in difficulty.
At the same time, explicit warnings—supported by illustrative examples—are needed against unwanted literal translation. This is to counteract both the strong effect the specific word—and sentence—level instructions have in the opposite direction and the tendency of translators to translate literally. Some specific linguistic translation instructions do seem to be needed to make the elusive, unique and strange purpose of the translation task clearer and to render it easier for translators to assess the difficulty of the items and texts.
However, could the number of the instructions perhaps be reduced, as suggested, for example, by, Dept et al. More research is needed on this. Also, when providing such instructions, it is important to remind translators that because of differences between languages, the instructions do not always apply and that, therefore, slavishly following them easily leads to unwanted literal translations.
It may even be good to prepare separate, customized instructions for translation into languages that are very dissimilar to English and French as has already been done in PISA for translation into Arabic and Chinese. Another way of making the purpose of the translation of international achievement tests more tangible, easier to grasp, and more familiar to translators is to provide translators with explicit training on it.
This has been the practice in some but not in all studies. In the training, the emphasis should also be on the need to translate idiomatically.
Problems of Arabic Machine Translation : evaluation of three systems
Qualifications of the Translators Translators and their qualifications have a great impact on how they translate. Unlike their more qualified peers, who have been trained to take into account target text readers, translate meanings rather than e.
Consequently, a first step in ensuring that translations in international achievement tests do not contain unwanted literal renderings is to see to it that only qualified translators are used to translate, revise and verify them and that they have a good knowledge of the source language or languages reconcilers and verifiers in PISA and especially of the target language, are well versed in the subject matter, and are familiar with translation theory and the general principles of translation.
However, it seems that this has not always been the case, but, rather, that the translators have often lacked important qualifications [ 28 , 30 , 31 , 49 ]. More attention thus needs to be paid to ensuring that the translators really are qualified.
A practical way of doing this is to test them see also, e. The qualifications should also be clearly mentioned in the requirements for the translators.
What also helps translators to avoid unwanted literal translations is to make it possible for them to work in teams and discuss with subject matter experts, for example, see also, e. However, such discussions take a lot of time, and therefore it is necessary to reserve time for them in the testing and translation schedule.
The Amount of Time Available Time likewise plays a role in how literally the translator translates. However, when in a hurry or under time pressure, the translator lacks cognitive resources cf. Thus, to avoid unwanted literal translations in international achievement studies, it is important to see to it that the translators translating the tests have sufficient time to do their job. However, findings suggest that this has not always been the case but that, rather, the translators have often had to work under very tight timelines and time pressure [ 28 , 30 , 31 , 57 , 58 ].
There are, roughly speaking, two ways in which it can be ensured that translators have sufficient time to translate the tests. The first is to hire enough translators for each translation phase.
However, finding several qualified translators may not always be easy B. Halleux-Monseur, personal communication, January 24, The second way, then, is to allot more time to translation in the testing schedule.
However, this requires that major changes be made in the testing cycles. The Amount and Quality of Revision and the Use of Parallel Texts How much a translation contains literal rendering is also dependent on how it is revised or checked for correction and improvement [ 55 , 56 ]. In international achievement studies, the way the translations are revised basically depends on which of the two major translation approaches is followed: forward or back translation.
In forward translation, there are, in principle, two phases during which the translations can be revised: review e. For the sake of brevity, this paper only discusses national revision, even though the same principles, of course, also apply to verification for more information on verification, see, e. Since the review or reconciliation phase is typically not reserved for revision alone, but also includes another task, that of merging together two parallel target versions, these two tasks are here discussed together.
Translation as problems and solutions
In the other major translation approach, back translation, the revision largely consists in comparing the back translated versions to the source versions. Revision Revising can have a great effect on whether or to what extent a translation contains unwanted literal renderings. How a translation is revised, in turn, depends on at least five largely interrelated factors, most of which also have an impact on how texts are actually translated: the purpose of and guidelines specifying the translation task, the method of revising, the time spent on revising, the person s revising, and the medium for revising paper or screen.
Deficiencies in any of these easily result in the reviser not being able to spot and correct unwanted literal translations. As in the case of translation proper, the purpose of the translation task and the translation guidelines have a central role in determining how a text is revised. Obviously, the method of revision plays a huge part in how a translation is revised.
Properly revising a translation requires that the translation be checked, for example, for semantic faithfulness to the source text, grammatical correctness, naturalness and idiomaticity, and correctness of style.
However, these cannot all be checked at the same time but necessitate several separate revisions. For example, there should be a separate revision for checking the translation for faithfulness to the source version and another for checking it for idiomaticity. Another purely monolingual revision is therefore needed to check translations for idiomaticity. The previously mentioned partly explains why, for example, back translation is not effective when checking translations for unwanted literal renderings: when using back translations, the reviser mainly concentrates on the back translated versions and their semantic faithfulness to the source texts, with much less attention paid to the translation and whether it is in idiomatic language or contains unwanted literal renderings [ 8 ].
Making several separate revisions, of course, takes a lot of time. However, trying to concentrate on both the source and target text makes it difficult for the reviser to spot and correct unwanted literal translations [ 19 , pages 32, ] [ 55 , 56 ]. Understandably, the revisers and their qualifications also have an impact on how the revision is made. For example, revisers with a deficient knowledge of the target language will not be able to ensure that the translations are in natural and idiomatic language.
The number of revisers likewise affects revision. However, when there are several revisers, they can divide the tasks so that, for instance, one of them only concentrates on the monolingual revision.
Having several revisers also means that there are more eyes to spot unwanted literal translations. Parallel Texts Parallel texts can help the translator to avoid unwanted literal renderings. They can help the translator to get a fuller understanding of the meaning of the source text, which, in turn, is a prerequisite for him or her to be able to make a natural and fluent translation. In contrast, deficient comprehension and the ensuing uncertainty easily leads to risk aversion and to literal and often incomprehensible translations [ 39 , page ] [ 40 , page 42].
Also, parallel texts help the translator to see that typically there is not just one but several ways in which an idea can be expressed and that these can differ enormously and, yet, all be correct. This can encourage the translator not to use literal renderings but to choose more idiomatic expressions. However, the use of parallel texts may also foster unwanted literal translation. This is the case when the texts need to be merged together. Merging texts together is a complex cognitive process, which involves, among other things, comparing the texts to each other, taking out ideas and extracts from them and putting these together.
However, when ideas and extracts from different sources are put together, it cannot be assumed that the resulting text would automatically be correct, coherent, harmonious, and in good language.
Rather, as a last step in the merging process, the resulting text also needs to be carefully revised and finalized. This need, moreover, is understandably the greater, the more different the parallel texts are from each other as, e.
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Thus, the whole process of merging, if done properly, is a complex cognitive process and requires a lot of time. Revision and Parallel Versions in International Achievement Studies In the context of international achievement studies, the most important lessons from the previously mentioned are the following.
First, if we want to avoid unwanted literal translations in these studies, it is necessary to have all translations properly revised and finalized. This, in turn, requires the following: that the purpose or goal of translating the tests is made clear to reconcilers and reviewers by providing them with clear translation guidelines and translator training; that the translation approach makes it possible for revisers to focus on the translations not on, e.
In addition, it is beneficial to use several successive revisers and make the revision on paper. Second, it may be good to make parallel target versions—provided the other tasks involved in using them e. Revision However, it seems that in international achievement studies sufficient attention has not always been paid to the revision and finalizing of the translations e.
Even though no research proper exists on why this may have been so, there are findings [ 28 ] suggesting that the reasons have been largely the same as those when actually translating a text: that the purpose of the translation task has been vague and strange and that the guidelines have not always been quite clear and unequivocal; that the method of revision has not always been efficient; that the revisers have not always had sufficient time to make the revision; that the revisers have not always been qualified.
In addition to this, the deficiencies may also have been due to the fact that in international achievement studies the revisions have mainly been done on screen. Consequently, to avoid unwanted literal translations in international achievement tests, it is imperative that more attention be paid to the revising and finalizing of the translations.
This involves, for example, the following. First, making sure that the revisers understand the purpose and specifics of the translation task, by providing them with written translation guidelines and translator training which say clearly that the goal is to make translations that are natural and in idiomatic target language. Partly customized guidelines and training may also be needed for translation into more remote languages. Second, using a translation approach which makes it possible for revisers to concentrate on the target text—this typically rules out back translation, unless it is accompanied by a separate revision for idiomatic language [ 59 , page 39]—and reminding them of the need to make several revision rounds, of which one should focus on ensuring the naturalness and idiomaticity of the translations.Another factor which complicates the understanding of languages even more is the existence of dialects.
For example, research is needed to find the ideal number and ideal way of presenting specific translation instructions.
He should be familiar with both Source and Target Languages and their cultures. This could be done, for example, by making several versions of the translation guidelines and asking several translators into, e. Translating specific content Translators who must translate specific materials like fiction have to transcribe a whole story, context, world and environment into another language.
Cultural factors Each population has a way of communicating and expressing its own messages, as well as its own code when it comes to language, symbols, understanding, shorthand, etc. Besides, unlike other cross-cultural studies, in international achievement studies the instruments contain not only items but also stimulus texts, which also need to be equivalent in meaning and difficulty.
This involves, for example, the following. Problem 7: Technical Knowledge Translators are first and foremost, linguists; though they do have good knowledge of certain subjects, they are usually not the top experts in the field. Berezner, and B.
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