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Translation methods versus translation techniques

FOR TRANSLATION always represents original text (or “Source text” or “Output text”); in this, it assumes a certain degree of equivalence, although the concept of strict equivalence between languages ​​is now exceeded in Translation Studies. The concept of translation has long been readjusted into dichotomies such as “fidelity” versus “freedom”, “fidelity to the letter” versus “fidelity to the Spirit”, and so on.

The translation takes into account a series of parameters (context, grammar, etc.), in order to make it understandable for people without knowledge of the source language and who do not have the same culture or knowledge2. Translating involves controlling the source language, but also the target (or recipient) language, which is usually the mother tongue. The good translator has more than linguistic skills: he must be able to analyze the text and possess the qualities of writing. To translate scientific and technical texts, you must also possess strong technical knowledge and master the jargon in both languages.

Translation is still essentially human, but from computer tools come machine translation tools (computer-assisted translation).

The discipline that is interested in translation is called the translation process.

Role of translation and languages ​​in the circulation of ideas and information

In space and time, the intensity of intercultural communication and exogamous exchanges largely depend on the quantity and quality of information translated from one language to another, but history has shown that movement and “notoriety” of the ideas are not to be quantitatively confused with the most widely spoken languages. In particular, the number of speakers of a spoken language is not a good predictor of the ability of a message created in this language (or circulating in this language) to later be translated and circulated around the world; According to linguist David Crystal, “what explains why a language becomes a global language has little to do with the number of people who speak, but much more to do with” who “these speakers” speak with. ” The network of bilingual speakers and translators6 is therefore of great importance from this point of view.

Since the 19th century and with globalization and the regulation of “intellectual property rights” and translation, various languages ​​and cultures are more or less well “translated”, or even disappear more quickly than before or are already dead or dead. forgotten (a dead language like Latin can still be translated).

Some authors describe the emergence of a new Global Language Network and System, where English plays a preponderant and central role. However, the cultural-linguistic hegemony of English could be contained little by little by the improvement and generalization of machine translation software on the Internet and by the novel Wikimedean approach that encourages and facilitates interlinguistic translations and exchanges on Wikipedia and its sister projects ( in the 287 possible languages ​​by the end of 2013, whose languages ​​say “dead” and Esperanto, with several important projects in bilateral language).

Analyzing the relative status of the world’s languages ​​has long been impossible due to a lack of relevant data, notes Mark Davis (president and co-founder of the Unicode Consortium that produces standards for character encoding for all computers and mobile devices). interfaces of the planet using writing), while the importance of the structure of this network is still perceived; For a long time it has been impossible to quantitatively study the structure of the global network of exchanges between languages, but this becomes easier thanks to the constitution of large open databases of global trade “sites” such as Wikipedia or Twitter and while you know better and the proportion of languages ​​spoken on the Internet is better.

In 2014, an international American-French team used the science of networks to create the maps to visualize how information and ideas circulate in the world (based on the language of the original message, based on the average GDP of the countries where the language is used). that is spoken15), depending on the language of the first translations and who will transmit the information or according to the Medium (book, Wikipedia, Twitter). To compile this “Map”, these researchers have studied, on the one hand, the available data on Literary Translation (based on 2.2 million translations of books published in more than 1000 languages) and, on the other hand, the two large global networks of exchanges by language11,16 which are:

Bilingual tweets (from the study of 550 million tweets, 17 million users in 73 languages, selected for the study), which has been possible thanks to the open database and because it allows associating a tweet to a language and to the person who Send a tweet to one or more language communities; of different language versions of Wikipedia pages (not taking into account the work of robots on Wikipedia), including the database is open (DBPedia)

Analysis of this data shows that:

There is an important prioritization of “interface” languages ​​in this network, with nuances depending on the media studied.

Without surprise, English is the most important and effective in terms of interface between other languages ​​to spread an idea or information in the world (the hub is the most central in the mapped network). Second, particularly in

Translation methods vs translation techniques

What is the difference between a translation method and a translation technique? Well, it is very simple: the translation method refers to the entire text to be translated, while the translation technique will vary case by case within the same text, depending on the ad hoc verbal elements base to translate. The classical taxonomy of translation processes dates back to 1958, and it is to J.-P. Vinay and J. Darbelnet that it owes it. It has seven categories:

1. Debt

Borrowing is a translation process to use a word or expression in the source text in the target text. The loan note usually in italics. In fact, it is to reproduce such an expression from the original text. In this sense, it is a translation technique that does not translate …

Example: The gaucho wore a black hat and panties that he was wearing at that time.

2. The cape

When a translator uses the lexical layer, he creates or uses a neologism in the target language by adopting the structure of the source language.

Example: German handball translated into Spanish handball or English skyscraper translated into French skyscraper.

3. The literal translation

This is what is conventionally called metaphrasic translation or metaphrase. It is a word-for-word translation that leads to a text in the target language, both correct and idiomatic. According to Vinay and Darbelnet, literal translation is only possible between languages ​​for the benefit of a great cultural proximity. It is only acceptable if the translated text maintains the same syntax, the same meaning and the same style as the original text.

Example: What time is it? ⇒ What time is it?

4. The transposition

Transposition consists of moving from one grammatical category to another without therefore the meaning of the text not changing. This technique introduced a change in grammatical structure.

Example: the president thinks that ⇒ according to the president

5. Modulation

Modulation consists of changing the shape of the text through a semantic or perspective modification.

Example: Maybe you are right ⇒ you have not maybe not wrong.

6. Equivalence

Equivalence is a translation process whereby a reality equivalent is translated into a completely different expression. This technique can be used to translate the names of institutions, interjections, expressions, all facts or proverbs.

Example: once bitten, twice shy ⇒ he that was burned with milk sees the cow and cries.

7. Adaptation

Adaptation, also called cultural substitution or cultural equivalent, consists of replacing a cultural element of the original text with another more appropriate to the culture of the target language. This will make the text more familiar and understandable.

Example: baseball ⇒ soccer

Since the 1960s, different authors (Michel Ballard, Hélène Chuquet, Michel Paillard, etc.) have reported other translation procedures such as explanation (in provides clarification in the target language text), placement (use of a suite of words generally used together in the target language) and compensation (don’t make a reference or connotation in a part of the text and compensate by making it appear later).

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