A Brief Look at the Quality of a Translation

Topics: Translation, Source text, Linguistics Pages: 8 (2589 words) Published: August 28, 2013
A Brief Look at The Quality of A Translation
(Translation of Faulkner’s ‘Sanctuary’ by Farhad Qebraii)

BY Ali Kavoosi

Course Instructor: F. Asadi Ph.D.

Abstract

The article is an evaluative work on a translation of Faulkner’s Sanctuary by Farhad Qebraii. To do so the standard norms are got from Blum Kulka’s article “shifts of cohesion and coherence in translation” and the level of accepted changes through the translation is considered. The translation by Qebraii is accepted as a qualified one based on the factors analyzed through the paper.

Introduction

Through the process of translation some changes occur within the form (Surface Structure) and the meaning components (Deep Structure) of the source text. These changes are considered to be inevitable in translation. Due to the differences in the grammatical structures and linguistic features of languages there seem a logical reason for such a phenomenon .In 1986, Shoshana Blum-Kulka in her article ‘Shifts of cohesion and coherence in translation’ went through the changes (shifts as she calls) in translation. She made a comparison between the structure of the source and that of the target language and elaborated on the logical shifts that may occur through the process of translation. Here, the aim of the evaluation is to assess the quality of the translated version of the work ‘Sanctuary’ by William Faulkner. To do so, the structural features of both English and Persian language (as SL&TL) should be investigated and

based on that and the concept of Blum-Kulka’s article assess the quality of translation. According to what Blum-Kulka says in her article, the negotiation of meaning between different parts of a text is based on the assumption that subsequent turns are related to each other in Coherent ways. This is the covert relationship between the parts, but there is another unity, visible in the surface structure of the text, which is called Cohesion. These two elements change through the translation process to naturalize the target text. But sometimes the high level of changes brings about some mismatches between TT and ST which lower the quality of translation. The overall purpose of this paper would be detecting these aspects from BlumKulka’s view point. Whether the translation is qualified or not is somehow a subjective matter just because of the unique elements belonging to translation. From the very beginning, there have been conflicts among those who regard translation as a work of art and those with scientific approaches. There have been too many translations with high level of acceptability and, when checked, no signs of newly arrived norms for translation. These all indicate that in this field there seem not to exist a categorical law and what is taken as a qualified translation in artistic viewpoint may lack the quality of a good work in scientific scope.

Methodology

To evaluate the quality, there would be one by one comparison between the meaningful units of both ST and TT of the work. These all would be done with regard to linguistic features

of both English and Persian. To do so, in discussion section of the paper there would be a brief explanation about the linguistic features ( specially grammatical points) of both languages to clarify some necessary points. To a further study and in a more precise way there would be several exemplifications and for each enough supporting ideas based on Blum-Kulka’s article. Finally, the conducted work would lead to an eventual conclusion to show the quality of the work based on the factors mentioned within the paper.

Discussion

Over a long period of time there have been too many discussions on the notion of translation. Whether it is an art or a science, or maybe a mixture of both has been the fundamental issue of majority of the cases. If the literature is reviewed, there seem to be no clear criterion to clarify the notion of translation. Here, I want to offer my own understanding of...

References: Khazaeefar, A. (1388). A textbook of literary Translation. Tehran: Samt Publication Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. Prentice Hall Blum-Kulka, Sh. Shifts of Cohesion and Coherence in Translation.
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