Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text.
➢ General Oxford Dictionary:
Translation n 1 the act or an instance of translating. 2 a written or spoken expression of the meaning of a word, speech, book, etc. in another language.
➢ Dictionary of Translation Studies:
Translation: An incredibly broad notion which can be understood in many different ways. For example, one may talk of translation as a process or a product, and identify sub-types as literary translation, technical translation, subtitling and machine translation; moreover, while more typically it just refers to the transfer of written texts, the term sometimes also includes interpreting.
➢ Free Online Dictionary:
1. a. The act or process of translating, especially from one language into another. b. The state of being translated.
2. A translated version of a text.
[noun] a written communication in a second language having the same meaning as the written communication in a first language. Synonyms: interlingual rendition, rendering, version
In his seminal paper, ‘On Linguistic Aspects of Translation’ (Jakobson 1959/2000), the Russo-American linguist Roman Jakobson makes a very important distinction between three types of written translation:
1. Intralingual translation- translation within the same language, which can involve rewording or paraphrase. 2. Interlingual Translation- Translation from language to another, and 3. Intersemiotic Translation- Translation of the verbal sign by a non-verbal sign, e.g music or image.
Only the second category, interlingual translation, is deemed ‘translation proper’ by Jackobson.
Theories of Translation
Eugene A. Nida
Discussions about theories of translation are too often concerned with distinctions between literary and nonliterary texts, between prose and poetry, or between technical articles on physics and run-of-the-mill commercial correspondence. But in order to understand the nature of translation, the focus should not be on different types of discourse but on the processes and procedures involved in any and all kinds of interlingual communication (Bell, 1987). Furthermore, a theory of interlingual communication should not be restricted to discussions between translating and interpreting (whether consecutive or simultaneous), since interpreting differs from translating primarily because of the pressures of time and exigencies of the setting. Some professional translators take considerable pride in denying that they have any theory of translation — they just translate. In reality, however, all persons engaged in the complex task of translating possess some type of underlying or covert theory, even though it may be still very embryonic and described only as just being "faithful to what the author was trying to say."
Instead of no theories of translation, there are a multiplicity of such theories, even though they are seldomly stated in terms of a full-blown theory of why, when, and how to translate. One of the reasons for so many different views about translating is that interlingual communication has been going on since the dawn of human history. As early as the third millenium BC, bilingual lists of words — evidently for the use of translators — were being made in Mesopotamia, and today translating and interpreting are going on in more than a thousand languages — in fact, wherever there are bilinguals.
One of the paradoxes of interlingual communication is that it is both amazingly complex (regarded by LA. Richards (1953) as "probably the most complex type of event yet produced in the evolution of the cosmos") and also completely natural (Harris and Sherwood, 1978). Interpreting is often done by children with amazingly fine results,...