Translation and Interpreting

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-term paper –

So, you wannabe a translator….

Translation and Interpreting in
International Communication


As I was preparing to put my ideas in order and reflect upon what I was going to write for my essay on International Communication, I suddenly remembered the last lecture on the subject. It was about translating and interpreting, so I figured out that an essay on the translation challenges in today's world would be a great idea to write about.

I personally knew Dumitru Toncia, my sister-in-law' relative, who had worked in the field for many years, so we had a meeting in which I took some interesting notes. He is specialized in English and French.

There are a lot of definitions for International Communication, but I consider it to contain aspects of intercultural understandings, communicaton theory, intercultural communication, croscultural communication, mass communication, intercultural psychology, congnition psychology, area-study like society, culture, constitution, law, education, language etc

Proper translation and interpreting has become more and more demanding, and this paper deals with the qualities translators or interpreters should posses in the international environment today. It also outlines some grammar and semantics issues that turn this filed into a real challenge.

I hope the examples he drew from his experience in translation will give you an interesting insight into some of the most frustrating problems encountered when transferring ideas from one language to another. Taking part in the selection of candidates for translator jobs in international environments, Toncia has often been amazed by the fact that a number of candidates with a perfect knowledge of both the source and the target languages and an impressive mastery of the relevant field could be very poor translators indeed. Why is that? One of the human factors is the lack of modesty. The translator's personality and intelligence interfere with the very humble task he has to perform. Instead of putting aside his own ideas, fantasies and style to follow blindly the author's, he merges, adds or transforms. Anyway, besides humility, candidates must possess two other qualities: judgment and flexibility. Judgment

By judgment I mean the ability to solve a problem through wide knowledge of the field, through awareness that a problem exists and through taking into account the various levels of context. Wide knowledge of the field. Let's take the phrase to table a bill. The translator must know that if the original is in British English, it means "to submit a bill -- i.e. a text proposed to become law -- to the country's legislative body", in French "déposer un projet de loi", but that if the author followed American usage, he meant "to shelve", i.e. "to adjourn indefinitely the discussion of the text", in French "ajourner sine die l'examen du projet de loi" Here is another example. The word heure in French can mean "hour" as well as "o'clock". To be able to translate correctly the French phrase une messe de neuf heures, you have to know that a Catholic mass lasting nine hours is extremely improbable, so that the translation is "a nine o'clock mass", and not "a nine hour mass". Since the linguistic structure is exactly the same in un voyage de neuf heures, which means "a nine hour journey", only knowledge of the average duration of a mass can help the translator decide. Awareness that a problem exists. When you become a professional translator, the chief development that occurs in you during your first three or four years consists in becoming aware of problems that you had no idea could exist. If you are transferred to another organization, the whole process will start anew for a few years because the new field implies new problems that are just as hidden as in your former job. Some people may know that in the history of international communication there was an organization...
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