Translation Theory

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The term “translation” refers to the process of transferring information encoded in the source language to the target language. The most important aspect of the translation process is to preserve the meaning in a way that will be as close as possible to that of the original message. The origin of the word “translation” derives from the Latin term “translatio”, which, in turn, is a combination of the words “trans” and “fero”, meaning “to carry across” or “to bring across”. However, there is also an alternative Latin word “traduco”, which is translated as “to lead across”. “Translation studies” is an academic discipline which “concerns itself with the study of translation” (Baker 2005: 277). The term has been popularized by James S. Holmes who…show more content…
The former can be broken down into Descriptive Translation Studies and Translation Theory, which in turn are divided into Product, Process and Function oriented respectively (in: Baker 2005: 278).
Focusing on the branch named Translation Theory, it is necessary to point out that this is a blanket term. This means that Translation Theory covers many definitions, methods and other translation related issues. As Newmark noted, Translation Theory states and clearly defines what are the most appropriate methods of translation of various texts belonging to different categories (Newmark 1991: 19).
Newmark (1981:38) claims that “translation is a craft consisting in the attempt to replace a written message and/or statement in one language by the same message and/or statement in another language. Each exercise involves some kind of loss of meaning, due to a number of factors. It provokes a continuous tension, a dialectic, an argument based on the claims of each language. The basic loss is on continuum between overtranslation (increased detail) and undertranslation (increased generalisation)”. It can be seen that the original meaning is always lost to some extent in the process of
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The truth is that every word has a wide range of various meanings, depending on the context. If we look at any dictionary, this becomes clear. With regard to the aesthetic function, Newmark (1988) states that in translations, and particularly in poetry, a conflict between the expressive and the aesthetic function very often appears. It happens often that translators face the problem of leaving the text literally translated, but at the same time ugly, or translating it nicely without using word-for-word translation. An interesting fact is that Renaissance writers stated that “translations are like women—homely when they are faithful and unfaithful when they are lovely” (Nida,
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