Essay about Translation and Target Text

Submitted By kferrell08
Words: 1196
Pages: 5

IB English
29 January 2015
Translation Synthesis Essay When a piece of literature is being translated, the original understanding and meaning becomes lost. The author’s intent is also lost in the process of translation, concealed by the change in meaning and comprehension. The translation of poetry is a very difficult process. Many problems are faced. The first problem includes the translator finding words in the target language that can “express the highest level of faithfulness possible” for the source language (Haque). Some words in one language can be descriptive, while in another language, the words are considered offensive. Another problem with poetic translation is the level of difficulty to keep the “ambiguous puns” (Haque). There are many titles that fit the description of ambiguity, which are “hard or even impossible to translate” (Haque). The idea of ambiguity does not occur in all languages. When a translator is changing a piece of literature, the title must change as well. Words can get moved around because an exact translation is not possible, and the title losses its purpose of foreshadowing and other literary features. A literary translator has many expectations. They must “be skilled enough to translate feelings, cultural nuances, humor and other delicate elements” (Haque). A translator does not look at a piece of literature with a fine tooth comb. A line by line, or paragraph by paragraph view will not allow for a complete translation that is also correct in the language.They must look at the piece as a big picture, “in it totality” (Haque). A translator must keep in mind the author’s intent for the piece. Translating that intent into another language is hard to do correctly. The language “has more than a communicative, or societal and connective purpose in literary- prose translation” (Haque). Literary translation allows for “increasing awareness and understanding among diverse cultures and nations” and the chance to “reach a compromise” for different cultures; however, the factors needed to translate are not properly focused (Hassan). In literary translation, the “linguistic, pragmatic and cultural elements” are important aspects. Many translators focus on the linguistics and cultural elements that the pragmatics of the piece. They do not spend time looking at the meaning of the piece, or the author’s intent. This results in problems for the target text; therefor, the target text is “doomed to a complete failure” (Hassan). When a piece of literature is being translated, the meaning, or definition, of a word becomes skewered. In today’s society, “definitions of language are changing” (Gentzler). There are new factors that need to be considered. “New semiotic codes and sign systems” as well as “dialects, hybrids, and emerging languages” are changing; therefor, changing the meaning of words and phrases (Gentzler). The translation of a language to another is viewed as an “ongoing process within both cultures, with various intralingual, interlingual, and inter semiotic” that are always at play (Gentzler). As the translation of pieces changes the meaning, the language is lost as well. There is a unique language in every piece of literature. The language is unique to its cultural influence; however, some cultures become “lost, covered up, repressed, and oppressed” as they are translated (Gentzler). Language does however live through “other codes and sign systems”, depending on the cultural aspects (Gentzler). Translation is the “activity of carrying something across from one language to another…which the different societies are based” (Gentzler). With translation, there are many ways to translate. A piece does not only translate one way. With the vast stretch of ways to translate, communication “moves over, under, behind, and through traditional boundaries” (Gentzler). Boundaries are changed because the translations are able to go beyond what is expected. While translating, “new and highly creative…