Theories of Translation

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Theories of Translation

1.Introduction

Translation, oral or written, is probably as old as the spoken or written word. Throughout the ages, famous writers have tried their hand at ``the art of translating``. Translation is usually defined as the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by the means of an equivalent target-language text. It can be also described as an expression of a sense from one language to another as well as transmission of a written or spoken language to another. However, it is a very broad notion that can be comprehended in a lot of various ways. It is also a multi-staged, creative process. Translation offers us the experience and attitudes of another culture or mentality. We cannot imagine a world without the translations of literary master pieces from all countries. The role of translation is to overcome cultural and linguistic barriers among nations. It is a key process in the development of global connectedness. A translator has several identities. First, a translator is a reader, who should know the text and its social and cultural background. He/she should also try to understand the original author`s feelings and thoughts about life and art. Secondly, a translator is a writer, because he must master two or more languages, and have the professional writer`s knowledge about the languages. Thirdly, a translator is a creator who is able to understand the source text well and to recreate the text which is faithful to the source text. If he is a real artist and a good craftsman, his work may even surpass the original. Fourthly, a translator is a researcher. The literature translation is dependent on literature study, which is the premise of translation. A translator`s four identities are mixed and integrated. Nevertheless, regardless of the degree of embellishment, translation cannot avoid altering the work. An American professor, scholar, linguist and polyglot, Werner Winter wrote that perfect translation was impossible. In his opinion, words, like marble, have certain intrinsic qualities that are indivisible from the form they take. That`s why he compares the translator to a sculptor who attempts to replicate a marble statue without the benefit of marble. But, translation is a worthwhile enterprise, despite the built-in flows. Because of our curiosity about other cultures, translation will likely never go out of fashion. Globalization overcomes spatial barriers, thus resulting in the mobility of people and objects; and a proper contact between different linguistic communities. It is manifested not only in the creation of global market, but also in the significance of travel and international movement of people (mass tourism, business travelling, migration and exile) and in the consolidation of a global communication system that distributes images and texts to any place in the world. These developments emphasize the significance of translation, which has been a key of global communication for decades. Some language theorist emphasize that translation has been neglected in the current literature on globalization.

However, although the practice of translating is long established, the

study of the field developed into an academic discipline until the

second half of the twentieth century. Before that, translation had

normally been an element of language learning in modern language

courses. (Munday, 2001:7).

The globalization theory focuses on mobility and deterritoriallzation, trying to obscure the complexities involved in overcoming cultural and linguistic barriers and to make the role of translation less important. However, many scholars indicate that translation helps us not only to get a better insight into the world, but to get to know ourselves better.

The practice of translation comprises the selection and importation of

cultural goods from outside a given circuit, and their transformation

into terms which the receiving...
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