TRANSLATION AS PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS PDF
CEE. Professor Hasan Ghazala. TRANSLATION. AS PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS. A Textbook for University Students and Trainee Translators. Special Edition. Request PDF on ResearchGate | Translation as Problems and Solutions: A Textbook for University Students and Trainee Translators ( pages) | This textbook. PDF | The ability to choose the correct translation technique is an indispensable skill; therefore it is essential for translation students to be aware of why a.
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Translation as Problems and Solutions - Ebook download as PDF File .pdf) or read book online. translation. (PDF) Translation: Some Lexical and Syntactic Problems SDL FreeTranslation. com is the world's number one provider of free and professional translation. Translation as problems and solutions book. Read 21 reviews from the world's largest community for readers. الناشر:كُتب هذا الكتاب من أجل الطلاب العرب أ.
In the training, the emphasis should also be on the need to translate idiomatically. Qualifications of the Translators Translators and their qualifications have a great impact on how they translate. Unlike their more qualified peers, who have been trained to take into account target text readers, translate meanings rather than e. Consequently, a first step in ensuring that translations in international achievement tests do not contain unwanted literal renderings is to see to it that only qualified translators are used to translate, revise and verify them and that they have a good knowledge of the source language or languages reconcilers and verifiers in PISA and especially of the target language, are well versed in the subject matter, and are familiar with translation theory and the general principles of translation.
However, it seems that this has not always been the case, but, rather, that the translators have often lacked important qualifications [ 28 , 30 , 31 , 49 ]. More attention thus needs to be paid to ensuring that the translators really are qualified. A practical way of doing this is to test them see also, e.
The qualifications should also be clearly mentioned in the requirements for the translators. What also helps translators to avoid unwanted literal translations is to make it possible for them to work in teams and discuss with subject matter experts, for example, see also, e.
However, such discussions take a lot of time, and therefore it is necessary to reserve time for them in the testing and translation schedule. The Amount of Time Available Time likewise plays a role in how literally the translator translates. However, when in a hurry or under time pressure, the translator lacks cognitive resources cf. Thus, to avoid unwanted literal translations in international achievement studies, it is important to see to it that the translators translating the tests have sufficient time to do their job.
However, findings suggest that this has not always been the case but that, rather, the translators have often had to work under very tight timelines and time pressure [ 28 , 30 , 31 , 57 , 58 ]. There are, roughly speaking, two ways in which it can be ensured that translators have sufficient time to translate the tests.
The first is to hire enough translators for each translation phase. However, finding several qualified translators may not always be easy B. Halleux-Monseur, personal communication, January 24, The second way, then, is to allot more time to translation in the testing schedule.
However, this requires that major changes be made in the testing cycles. The Amount and Quality of Revision and the Use of Parallel Texts How much a translation contains literal rendering is also dependent on how it is revised or checked for correction and improvement [ 55 , 56 ].
In international achievement studies, the way the translations are revised basically depends on which of the two major translation approaches is followed: forward or back translation. In forward translation, there are, in principle, two phases during which the translations can be revised: review e.
For the sake of brevity, this paper only discusses national revision, even though the same principles, of course, also apply to verification for more information on verification, see, e. Since the review or reconciliation phase is typically not reserved for revision alone, but also includes another task, that of merging together two parallel target versions, these two tasks are here discussed together.
In the other major translation approach, back translation, the revision largely consists in comparing the back translated versions to the source versions. Revision Revising can have a great effect on whether or to what extent a translation contains unwanted literal renderings. How a translation is revised, in turn, depends on at least five largely interrelated factors, most of which also have an impact on how texts are actually translated: the purpose of and guidelines specifying the translation task, the method of revising, the time spent on revising, the person s revising, and the medium for revising paper or screen.
Deficiencies in any of these easily result in the reviser not being able to spot and correct unwanted literal translations. As in the case of translation proper, the purpose of the translation task and the translation guidelines have a central role in determining how a text is revised. Obviously, the method of revision plays a huge part in how a translation is revised.
Properly revising a translation requires that the translation be checked, for example, for semantic faithfulness to the source text, grammatical correctness, naturalness and idiomaticity, and correctness of style. However, these cannot all be checked at the same time but necessitate several separate revisions.
For example, there should be a separate revision for checking the translation for faithfulness to the source version and another for checking it for idiomaticity. Another purely monolingual revision is therefore needed to check translations for idiomaticity.
The previously mentioned partly explains why, for example, back translation is not effective when checking translations for unwanted literal renderings: when using back translations, the reviser mainly concentrates on the back translated versions and their semantic faithfulness to the source texts, with much less attention paid to the translation and whether it is in idiomatic language or contains unwanted literal renderings [ 8 ].
Making several separate revisions, of course, takes a lot of time. However, trying to concentrate on both the source and target text makes it difficult for the reviser to spot and correct unwanted literal translations [ 19 , pages 32, ] [ 55 , 56 ]. Understandably, the revisers and their qualifications also have an impact on how the revision is made.
For example, revisers with a deficient knowledge of the target language will not be able to ensure that the translations are in natural and idiomatic language.
The number of revisers likewise affects revision. However, when there are several revisers, they can divide the tasks so that, for instance, one of them only concentrates on the monolingual revision. Having several revisers also means that there are more eyes to spot unwanted literal translations.
Translation as Problems and Solutions
Parallel Texts Parallel texts can help the translator to avoid unwanted literal renderings. They can help the translator to get a fuller understanding of the meaning of the source text, which, in turn, is a prerequisite for him or her to be able to make a natural and fluent translation. In contrast, deficient comprehension and the ensuing uncertainty easily leads to risk aversion and to literal and often incomprehensible translations [ 39 , page ] [ 40 , page 42].
Also, parallel texts help the translator to see that typically there is not just one but several ways in which an idea can be expressed and that these can differ enormously and, yet, all be correct.
This can encourage the translator not to use literal renderings but to choose more idiomatic expressions. However, the use of parallel texts may also foster unwanted literal translation.
This is the case when the texts need to be merged together. Merging texts together is a complex cognitive process, which involves, among other things, comparing the texts to each other, taking out ideas and extracts from them and putting these together.
However, when ideas and extracts from different sources are put together, it cannot be assumed that the resulting text would automatically be correct, coherent, harmonious, and in good language. Rather, as a last step in the merging process, the resulting text also needs to be carefully revised and finalized. This need, moreover, is understandably the greater, the more different the parallel texts are from each other as, e. Thus, the whole process of merging, if done properly, is a complex cognitive process and requires a lot of time.
Revision and Parallel Versions in International Achievement Studies In the context of international achievement studies, the most important lessons from the previously mentioned are the following. First, if we want to avoid unwanted literal translations in these studies, it is necessary to have all translations properly revised and finalized.
This, in turn, requires the following: that the purpose or goal of translating the tests is made clear to reconcilers and reviewers by providing them with clear translation guidelines and translator training; that the translation approach makes it possible for revisers to focus on the translations not on, e. In addition, it is beneficial to use several successive revisers and make the revision on paper.
Second, it may be good to make parallel target versions—provided the other tasks involved in using them e. Revision However, it seems that in international achievement studies sufficient attention has not always been paid to the revision and finalizing of the translations e.
Even though no research proper exists on why this may have been so, there are findings [ 28 ] suggesting that the reasons have been largely the same as those when actually translating a text: that the purpose of the translation task has been vague and strange and that the guidelines have not always been quite clear and unequivocal; that the method of revision has not always been efficient; that the revisers have not always had sufficient time to make the revision; that the revisers have not always been qualified.
In addition to this, the deficiencies may also have been due to the fact that in international achievement studies the revisions have mainly been done on screen. Consequently, to avoid unwanted literal translations in international achievement tests, it is imperative that more attention be paid to the revising and finalizing of the translations.
This involves, for example, the following. First, making sure that the revisers understand the purpose and specifics of the translation task, by providing them with written translation guidelines and translator training which say clearly that the goal is to make translations that are natural and in idiomatic target language. Partly customized guidelines and training may also be needed for translation into more remote languages.
Second, using a translation approach which makes it possible for revisers to concentrate on the target text—this typically rules out back translation, unless it is accompanied by a separate revision for idiomatic language [ 59 , page 39]—and reminding them of the need to make several revision rounds, of which one should focus on ensuring the naturalness and idiomaticity of the translations.
Third, allotting so much time to revision and using so many parallel revisers that the revisers have sufficient time to make several separate revision rounds, to be creative and to seek for idiomatic expressions, to revise on paper, and to discuss with subject matter experts, when necessary. Fourth, making sure—by means of a test, for instance—that the revisers have an excellent command of the target language and that they are well versed in the principles of translation.
Fifth, strongly encouraging revisers to make the revision at least partly on paper. This has become increasingly important today, when more and more of the translation work is done in electronic environments. In addition to all this, however, as part of the revision process, it would be good to have pilot testees and other outsiders read the translations with fresh eyes, with no negative influence from the source versions , complete the test, and comment on the language in it.
Cognitive laboratories such as these are the only way to find out whether or to what extent unwanted literal renderings really affect testees and their performance cf. Parallel Versions When translating international achievement tests, two types of parallel target versions have been used: those that are translated from one and those that are translated from two source versions. For the sake of brevity, the following mainly limits itself to the latter. This is because when using two different-language source versions, the problems may be expected to be greater.
Also, more findings are available on this practice. However, the principles also largely apply to cases where the target versions are rendered from only one source version.
International achievement studies have differed considerably in whether or not they have used two source versions. For example, in IEA studies, it was previously recommended that each country makes two target versions from one or two source version s ; today, the recommendation is to make only one target version. The experiences as to whether the use of two source versions has helped to avoid unwanted literal renderings or not have also varied.
In some cases, the experiences have been mainly positive. For example, in the PISA field trial, verifiers reported that those test versions that had been translated from two source versions contained fewer unwanted literal translations than those that had been rendered from only one version [ 29 ]. Also, for instance, Denmark has found the procedure to be beneficial J. Mejding, personal communication, September 16, However, there are also experiences which suggest that the use of two source versions may foster unwanted literal translation.
For example, when translating the IALS materials into Finnish by means of double-translation from two languages , the reconciler felt that the use of the two source versions was complicated.
The two Finnish target versions, one of them based on the English and the other on the French source version, were often so different that much more time would have been needed to make the resulting versions coherent, fluent, and idiomatic.
Therefore, Finland decided not to follow the procedure in PISA but to modify it slightly so that more emphasis would be put on the revising and finalizing of the target versions.
In PISA , Finland thus only made one translation from each English source version, which was then revised by another national translator.
In PISA , the procedure was developed further so that each draft was revised by two successive revisers; the first of whom also cross-checked the drafts against the French source versions. This, as commented by the Finnish translators translating the PISA materials [ 28 ], has had both its cons and pros. The main disadvantage has been an increase in time pressure.
When the total amount of time reserved for translation has remained the same and when, at the same time, this time has had to be divided between three instead of two successive national translators and revisers, each translator and reviser has had less time to do his or her job.
In practice, however, the time pressure seems to have mainly centered on the first reconciler, who has had several tasks to accomplish. By contrast, the second reconciler, for example, who has been able to concentrate more or less exclusively on revising and finalizing the Finnish versions, does not appear to have had suffered from time pressure. Mainly, then, the procedure has been found to be beneficial. The use of the two different-language source versions has helped translators to find different ways of expressing the same thing and the correct meanings of words with several meanings, which, in turn, has helped them to avoid unwanted literal renderings; also, the procedure has made it possible to pay proper attention to the revising and finalizing of the Finnish versions, without interference from the source languages.
Interestingly, in international verification, the linguistic quality of Finnish PISA tests has also been judged to be very high. Experiences from Sweden also suggest that the double translation and reconciliation procedure may make it difficult for the reconciler to properly revise and finalize the translations. However, basically the materials have been the same, because Finland has borrowed materials from Sweden and only adapted them for use in Finland.
In practice, then, the only difference has been that in Finland more time has been spent on making the revision. During this extra time, the materials have undergone an extra revision round, during which they have been checked by an extra person, who has been able to concentrate solely on the final Swedish versions without interferencefrom the source versions or the first Swedish drafts and on finalizing them. Thus, it seems that in at least some countries, the use of the two source versions has rendered it difficult for reconcilers to find sufficient time to make a proper revision and to ensure that the translations do not contain unwanted literal translations.
Therefore, if parallel source versions are used, it is important to see to it that reconcilers have sufficient time also to properly revise and finalize the resulting target versions. In practice, this might be done, for example, so that each country hires so many reconcilers that each reconciler only has a small number of texts to revise.
However, the problem with this solution is that since the requirements for reconcilers are so high and unique, it may not be easy to find several persons who would meet the requirements. Another slightly better solution, then, would be to allot more time in the translation schedule to the reconciliation phase.
However, this solution also has its problems. Since the reconciler first needs to examine the two target and two source versions and merge the two target versions into one, it is more than likely that all the different versions will continue to have an impact interference on him or her also while revising and blind him or her to unwanted literal renderings. Therefore, the best option would be to split the reconciliation phase into two so that the first phase would consist in merging together the two target versions, whereas the second phase would be devoted to revising and finalizing the resulting target versions.
However, here the problem is that splitting the reconciliation phase into two and making revision a phase of its own require major changes in the timing of the testing procedures. All in all, however, given the contradictory experiences gained in using two different-language source versions, it is obvious that more research is needed on the procedure and on how it affects the revising, finalizing, and idiomaticity of translated test versions.
For example, it is important to know whether there have been differences in how the procedure has actually been implemented in the participating countries e.
Finally, research is needed on all the other procedures actually followed in the participating countries e. In practice, this might be done, for example, by asking translators, revisers, and verifiers working in or for the various countries about their experiences in following the procedures and by making comparisons between translations produced by following the various translation procedures.
Conclusion This paper discussed unwanted literal translation in international achievement studies. The purpose was twofold: to increase awareness of the threat unwanted literal translation poses to the validity of these studies and to discuss problems there have been when translating these tests which may have endangered their idiomaticity and to provide suggestions on how to improve the translation work so as to ensure as idiomatic translations as possible.
The paper showed that unwanted literal translation threatens the validity of international achievement studies, because in these studies the instruments need to be equivalent, not only in meaning but also in difficulty and because unwanted literal translations make attaining this goal impossible. By making texts odd and unnatural, they complicate and slow down the reading and response process and decrease the motivation of the testee to read the text and to answer the questions, thereby putting testees at an unequal position.
What further aggravates the problem is that literal translation whether wanted and unwanted is the default translation strategy and as such extremely common and difficult to avoid. Also, there are no psychometric methods for systematically and objectively identifying unwanted literal renderings in these tests and assessing their effects on testees. Thus, to avoid unwanted literal renderings, the studies have to rely more or less exclusively on judgmental methods and, more specifically, on rigorous translation procedures and practices.
However, the paper showed that there have been problems in these procedures and practices which have made it difficult to attain idiomaticity.
For example, in these studies the purpose of the translation task is necessarily vague and often also strange to the translators and revisers. In addition, the translation guidelines have not always made it unequivocally clear that the goal has been to produce idiomatic translations. As a result, translators and revisers have often been left uncertain as to how to translate, which, in turn, easily results in risk aversion and literal translation.
Also, they have often had to work in a hurry, because of which they may have had to accept the literal renderings which have first come to their minds. Finally, when revising the translations, revisers have not always been able to pay sufficient attention to the naturalness and idiomaticity of the translations, because they have had to use the back translation method, because they have had to merge together two parallel versions or because they have worked on screen.
What has made avoiding unwanted literal translations even more difficult is that often there have been problems not only in one but several factors at the same time e. To help increase the idiomaticity and equivalence of different-language versions of international achievement tests, the paper suggested the following. Prepare customized instructions for translation into more remote languages. Make it possible for translators and revisers to discuss with subject matter experts, for example.
If two parallel versions are used, make the revising and finalizing of the translations a phase of its own. Advise revisers to make several revision rounds and to pay special attention to idiomatic target language. Encourage revisers to revise on paper. Conduct cognitive laboratories. In addition to this, the paper also left open or raised new questions that need to be addressed in future research.
For example, research is needed to find the ideal number and ideal way of presenting specific translation instructions. This could be done, for example, by making several versions of the translation guidelines and asking several translators into, e. Research is also needed on how the use of the two target or source versions affects the revising, finalizing, and idiomaticity of the translations and how these two tasks can be best combined.
This necessitates comparisons between the translation procedures followed in the various organizations and participating countries e. As our understanding of the significance and principles of translation grows, it helps us to improve the procedures and practices followed when translating international achievement tests and to produce more idiomatic and equivalent translations.
Conversely, however, this also means that the practices followed when translating, for example, the very first tests were not as developed as they are today e.
This, of course, casts doubts on the validity not only of the early studies but also of all those studies where the early materials have been or will be used as anchors to provide trend data. Naturally, nothing can be done to improve the validity of the past studies. However, by making a close linguistic examination of the early translations, we can decide whether they are of a sufficiently high quality to be used in future studies and in this way ensure the validity of the future studies.
Finally, the fact that translations often contain unwanted literal renderings and that they tend to be inferior to untranslated texts means that testees responding to translated versions are at a disadvantage, when compared to testees responding to untranslated e. This has led some researchers e.
This approach would undoubtedly improve the authenticity and idiomaticity of the national versions and in this way increase equivalence. At the same time, however, it also poses huge challenges to equivalence. Future studies could examine whether it would be possible to combine the strengths of these two approaches translated versus untranslated test versions. Acknowledgments The preparation of this paper has been supported by the Academy of Finland Grant no. References R.
Hambleton and A. Matsumoto and F. View at Google Scholar J. Kamil, P. Pearson, E. Moje, and P. Afflerbach, Eds. View at Google Scholar R. Tourangeau, L. Rips, and K. Harkness, A. Villar, and B. Harkness, M. Braun, B. Edwards et al. View at Google Scholar E. Nida and C. Larson, Meaning-Based Translation. Kintsch and T. Shreve and E. Angelone, Eds.
Danks and J. Danks, G. Shreve, S. Fountain, and M.
McBeath, Eds. Individual, Social, and Community Issues Vol. For E. Nida 90 "the person who is engaged in translating from one language into another ought to be constantly aware of the contrast in the entire range of culture represented by the two languages". Meaning that, language is considered as a part of culture and the society's identity.
For instance, according the Maya Indians who lives in the tropical countries, there is no place without vegetation unless it has been cleared for Maize-field.
Translation as problems and solutions
However, a cleared field is not the appropriate equivalent of the desert of Palestine. For that reason, E. Nida 91 argued that "words are fundamentally symbols for features of the cultures".
Since as said before by Ivir 56 that languages are equipped and lexicalized differently. The interpretations may be completely different as they may just slightly different, subtle overlaps. The differences between cultures and life perceptions from a society into another may cause a lot of problems to translators.
They create a lot of gaps which lead to plenty of overlaps between language pairs. Hence the translation task is going to be too complicated. Telya et al. One can notice that the Russians perception of such a term "conscience" is roughly the same as the Arab Muslims perception; both languages consider it as religious concept.
For Arab Muslims; good and evil are all related to religion. God is only the one truth; to do well is to obey god, to do evil is to disobey god. For them; the conscience is feeling the presence of God all the times and everywhere. So, the translator who ignores such cultural specifities would not be able to recognize the different ways of perception which do exist between people, languages, and cultures. So in such diversion like in the example above, the translator would misunderstand, mistranslate the concept of conscience wrongly because he may take for granted that it means the same thing in all languages, for all people of different regions.
Cultures cause a lot of problems that is why translators are required to be competent not just at the linguistic level, rather at the cultural level. The Russians used to translate as "chairman" which Obviously is appropriate equivalent; it does not reflect the role of the speaker not its expression has no equivalent in the Russian, Arabic, Chinese languages. The cultural translation problems are the results of the differences between languages as a set of lexemes, and meanings, as between cultures as ways of expressing oneself identity, living style.
In , Mona Baker stated that S. L word may express a concept which is totally unknown in the target culture. It can be abstract or concrete. It may be a religious belief, a social custom or even a type of food. She put them in the following order: a Culture specific concepts b The SL concept which is not lexicalized in TL c The SL word which is semantically complex d The source and target languages make different distinction in meaning e The TL lacks a super ordinate f The TL lacks a specific term hyponym g Differences in physical or interpersonal perspective h Differences in expressive meaning i Differences in form j Differences in frequency and purpose of using specific forms k The use of loan words in the source text Mona Baker also believed that it is necessary for translator to have knowledge about semantics and lexical sets.
This allows him to assess the value of a given item in a lexical set. These techniques are arranged hierarchically from general superordinate to specific hyponym Some strategies introduced by Newmark for dealing with cultural gap: 1 Naturalization: A strategy when a SL word is transferred into TL text in its original form.
If it is at higher level it would be a paraphrase.Apart from those, a translator faces several other challenges in their line of work. Subscribe Details Written by DR. Purpose of the Translation Task The purpose of the translation may foster literal rendering basically in two ways.
Solution If the matter is very technical you may need a lot of time — more than usual, to complete the task. However, when in a hurry or under time pressure, the translator lacks cognitive resources cf.
Danks and J. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. These are the publishers and editors who choose the works and commission the translations, pay the translators and often dictate the translation method.
Jensen and A. For example, research is needed to find the ideal number and ideal way of presenting specific translation instructions.