Teaching Cohesion in Translation

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Teaching Cohesion in Translation
(Applied Linguistics)

By
Haitham Ghazi Al- Mashkoor
University of Baghdad
College of Education for Women
English Department
Introduction
Language is an expression of culture and individuality of its speakers. It influences the way the speakers perceive the world. This principle has a far-reaching implication fro translation. If language influences thought and culture, it means that ultimate translation is impossible. The opposite point of view, however, gives another perspective. Humboldt’s "inner" and "outer" forms in language and Chomsky’s "deep" and "surface" structures imply that ultimate translation is anyhow possible.( Yule,1988:27) Linguistically, translation is a branch of applied linguistics, for in the process of translation the translator consistently makes any attempt to compare and contrast different aspects of two languages to find the equivalents. Translation, involving the transposition of thoughts expressed in one language by one social group into the appropriate expression of another group, entails a process of cultural de-coding, re-coding and en-coding. "Translation involves the rendering of a source language (SL) text into the target language (TL) so as to ensure that (1) the surface meaning of the two will be approximately similar and (2) the structure of the SL will be preserved as closely as possible, but not so closely that the TL structure will be seriously distorted (McGuire, 1980: 2). "the general term referring to the transfer of thoughts and ideas from one language (source) to another (target), whether the languages are in written or oral form; whether the languages have established orthographies or do not have such standardization or whether one or both languages is based on signs, as with sign languages of the deaf." Brislin (1976: 1)

Since translation is, above all, an activity that aims at conveying meaning or meanings of a given-linguistic discourse from one language to another, rather than the words or grammatical structures of the original, we should look briefly at the most significant and recent developments in the field of study of "meaning", or semantics. Our interest here lies in the shift of emphasis from referential or dictionary meaning to contextual and pragmatic meaning. Such a shift represents a significant development, particularly relevant to translation, and to communicative register-based approach to translation. This paper discusses the importance of teaching cohesion in translation on the textual level. Test scores for a school year of Class One before and after teaching are compared to illustrate the point.

The importance of the knowledge of cohesion
Each language has its own patterns to convey the interrelationships of persons ad events; in no language may these patterns be ignored, if the translation is to be understood by its readers (Baker,1992:27). The topic of cohesion ... has always appeared to be the most useful constituent of discourse analysis or text linguistics applicable to translation. (Newmark,1987:295)

What is cohesion

Cohesion is the grammatical and/or lexical relationships between the different elements of a text.This may be the relationship between different sentences or between different parts of a sentence.For example: a) A: Is Jenny coming to the party?

B: Yes, she is.
There is a link between Jenny and she and also between coming and is. ( b) In the sentence:
If you are going to London, I can give you the address of a good hotel there. The link is between London and there. ( Richards,1985:45) | |

Cohesion is the network of lexical, grammatical, and other relations which link various parts of a text. These relations or ties organize and, to some extent, create a text, for instance, by requiring the reader to interpret words and expressions by reference to other words and expressions in the surrounding sentences and...
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