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Translation Theories

General Theory of Translation


1. Denotative Theory of Translation
2. Transformational Theory of Translation
3. Semantic Theory of Translation
The main goal of the General Theory of Translation (GTT) to reveal the essence of the TR activity, to
create a theoretical model of TR, to explain all phenomena which occur while translating and be the starting point
for the elaboration of more particular problems.
Scopul principal al teoriei generale a Traduceri (GTT) pentru a descoperi esena activitii TR, pentru a
crea un model teoretic de TR, pentru a explica toate fenomenele care apar n timp ce traducerea i s fie punctul de
plecare pentru elaborarea probleme mai deosebite.

DTT (Situational Theory of Translation) the contents of all language


signs reflect certain objects, phenomena and relations of reality.
DTT (Teoria situaional traducerii) coninutul tuturor semnelor lingvistice reflecta anumite obiecte,
fenomene i relaii ale realitii.
These elements of reality which are reflected in the signs of lg are usually called denotata the surrounding reality is
common for the whole humankind.
Aceste elemente ale realitii care se reflect n semnele LG sunt, de obicei numite denotaie realitatea
nconjurtoare este comun pentru ntreaga omenire.
People exchange thoughts about the same phenomena of the reality use different codes to name the same denotata.
all lgs name differently the same objects, phenomena etc.
Oamenii schimb de idei cu privire la aceleai fenomene ale realitii folosesc coduri diferite pentru a denumi
acelai denotata. toate numele LGS diferit obiecte aceeai, fenomene etc.
DTT defines TR as a process of describing with the help of the TL the denotata which are described in the SL.
Translator identifies the units which make up the text with the known SL signs understands which situation of the
reality is described by the original.
DTT definete TR ca un proces de descrie cu ajutorul TL denotata care sunt descrise n SL.
Translator identific unitile care alctuiesc textul cu cunoscute semnele SL nelege care situaia a realitii este
descris de original.
Having understood the original denotata(referent - something referred to; the object of a reference) the t-or
describes this very situation in the TL. It is possible to describe a certain real situation taken from the ST with the
means of the TL since any lg possesses the necessary means not just to describe the known facts and phenomena
of the surrounding reality, but to designate new phenomena.
Dup ce a neles denotaia original (de referin - ceva menionate, obiectul unei trimiteri) T-sau descrie aceast
situaie foarte n TL. Este posibil pentru a descrie o anumit situaie real luat de la ST cu mijloacele de TL de la
un LG posed mijloacele necesare nu doar pentru a descrie faptele cunoscute i fenomenele realitatea
nconjurtoare, dar pentru a desemna fenomene noi.
Such phenomena can be described with the help of the TL.

baseball,
smog (smoke and fog),
gerrymandering (electoral frauds ),
teach-in (conference with debates),

which denote a number of phenomena inexistent in the TL, the t-or describes them.
DTT describes a whole range of peculiarities of the TR process when the choice of the TR variant is impossible
without referring to the real situation of the ST
DTT descrie o serie ntreag de particulariti ale procesului de TR, atunci cnd alegerea variantei TR este
imposibil fr referire la situaia real a ST
A. Lack in the TL system of the signs which would name the situation described by the ST unit. In this case the
t-or on the basis of the denotata of the TL unit:
A. Lipsa n sistemul TL semnelor care ar numi situaia descris de ctre unitatea de ST. In acest caz, t-sau pe
baza denotaia unitii TL:
1. creates a new sign in the TL

(pop-art = realism that uses the imagery, styles, and themes of advertising, mass media, and
popular culture)
which acquires the representation of the indicated denotata.

. creeaz un nou semn n TL


(pop-art = realism care utilizeaz imaginile, stiluri i teme de publicitate, mass-media, i cultura popular)
care a achizitionat reprezentarea denotaia indicat.
2. looks for a sign in the TL which would
-describe a similar
-widen its semantic function and
-include the information of the indicated denotata
. caut un semn n TL care ar
-descriei un similar
-widen funcia sa semantic i
-include informarea denotata indicat
(freedom-ride = campaign to support freedom)
3.describes the necessary denotata with the help of the combination of TL signs
descrie denotata necesar cu ajutorul combinaiei de semne TL
(drive-in = cinema n aer liber ce poate fi privit doar din automobil)
B. The role of the described situation is extremely important while choosing the variant of TR regardless of the
means which describe the situation in the original:
Rolul situaia descris este extrem de important n timp ce alegerea variantei de TR, indiferent de mijloacele pe
care descriu situaia n original:
1. TL has only one way to desribe the given situation

(no parking = parcarea interzis/


wet paint = proaspt vopsit)

2. TL has a predominant generally accepted and most widest spread way of describing the situation

TL are un predominant general acceptat i cel mai larg rspndit mod de a descrie situaia

(keep off the grass = nu clcai pe iarb/


in the afternoon = dup amiaz/ / )

3. referring to the reality -to establish the appropriateness of using a usual correspondence in the TR or substituting
by another variant:
referindu-se la realitatea -pentru a stabili oportunitatea de a folosi un coresponden obinuit n TR sau
substituirea de alt variant:
X was bated by the right - to bate -a hitui, a goni //, ;
X a fost hituit de forele de dreapta
if X equals Roosevelt, to bate means a supune unor critici aspre/ vehemente
DTT gives the possibility to explain many peculiarities of choosing the correct TR variant related to the reality.,
focuses upon the identical character of 2 situations described by the SL and the TL.
Establishing the link between these 2 situations the units of the SL and TR obtain the role of intermediars.
DTT ofer posibilitatea de a explica multe particulariti ale alegerea variantei TR corect n legtur cu realitatea.,
Se concentreaz asupra caracterului identic al 2 situaii descrise de SL si TL.
Stabilirea legturii ntre aceste 2 situaii unitile de SL i TR obine rolul de intermediari.

Transformational Theory of Translation


TR can also be represented in the following way:

the t-or receives the ST,


carries out certain operations related to the ST, creating the TT.
the main principle in this case would be this transformation of the ST into the TT.

TR poate fi de asemenea reprezentat n felul urmtor:


T-sau primete ST,
desfoar anumite operaiuni legate de ST, crearea TT.
principiul de baz n acest caz, ar fi aceast transformare a ST n TT.
The Transformational Theory of Translation (TTT) -based Transformational Grammar, -examines the rules of the
appearance of syntactic structures that have common lexemes and logical-syntactical links:
Transformationala Teoria Traduceri (TTT) pe baz de Gramatica transformaional, -examines regulile de apariia
unor structuri sintactice, care au lexeme comune i legturi logice-sintactice
- the boy threw the stone
- the stone was thrown by the boy
- the stone, thrown by the boy
- the throwing of the stone by the boy;
TTT considers certain structures as nuclear ones and the rest transformational ones or transforms.
if the predicative structures doer-action is the nuclear one, the boy is reading, all the other transforms which
preserve this basic correspondence: the reading by the boy, the reading boy, etc.

2 tendencies can be singled out (2 tendine pot fi extrase)


The 1st examines the process of creating TT as the transformation of the SL units and structures into TL units and
structures. (1 examineaz procesul de creare TT ca transformarea unitilor SL i structurile n uniti i structuri
TL.)

that every SL unit has a correspondent TL unit and


the relation between these 2
the relation of TR equivalence.

c fiecare unitate SL are o unitate de corespondent TL i


relaia dintre acestea 2
relaia de echivalen TR.
SL units are the initial structures which, with the help of certain rules, can create corresponding TL units.
Such theoretical model focuses upon the relations between ST and TT forms.
Unitile SL sunt structurile iniiale care, cu ajutorul unor reguli, pot crea uniti de TL corespunztoare.
O astfel de model teoretic se concentreaz asupra relaiilor dintre formele ST i TT.
The 2nd tendency

describes a number of stages of TR process in terms of transformation.


the possibility of reducing the great variety of SL and TL forms
to a relatively small number of structures.
It is assumed that
there is a complete equivalence among similar structures of SL and TT.
there is a certain set of SL and TT units with identical content.
These units are called nuclear ones.

descrie o serie de etape ale procesului TR n termeni de transformare.


posibilitatea de a reduce o mare varietate de forme i TL SL
la un numr relativ mic de structuri.
Se presupune c
exist o echivalen ntre complet structurile similare ale SL i TT.
exist un anumit set de uniti SL i TT cu coninut identic.
Aceste uniti sunt numite cele nucleare.
The process of TR can be divided into 3 stages:
1. stage of analysis: the structures of the original are transformed into SL nuclear structures
2. stage of TR: SL nuclear structures are substituted by the equivalent TL nuclear structures (interlingual
transformation)
3. stage of synthesis: TL nuclear structures are being joined into final structures of the TT
1. etapa de analiz: structurile original sunt transformate n structuri nucleare SL
2. etapa de TR: structuri nucleare SL sunt substituite cu structurile nucleare TL echivalente (transformare
interlingual)
3. Etapa de sintez: TL structuri nucleare sunt s-au alturat n structuri finale ale TT
Intralingual transformation:

How short a time the old people had left!


The old people had a very short time left.
A very short time was left to the old people.

This time (which was left to the old people) was very short.

TTT describes profoundly the

relations among SL and TL grammatical structures,


which is a very important aspect of the description of the TR process.

TTT descrie profund


relaiile dintre structuri gramaticale SL i TL,
care este un aspect foarte important al descrierea procesului TR.

Semantic Theory of Translation


One of the most important tasks of the GTT is to reveal the essence of equivalent relations between the ST and the
TT.

based on the study of the semantic aspect of the ST and the TT.
to single out semantic elements in the ST and to selecting TL units,
which would reflect similar semantic elements in TR

Una dintre cele mai importante sarcini ale GTT este de a dezvlui esena relaiilor echivalente dintre ST i TT.
pe baza studiului de aspectul semantic al ST i TT.
s singur afar elemente semantice n ST i de selectarea uniti TL,
care s reflecte elemente semantice similare din TR
Meaning of any lg sign is a cluster of more elementary meanings, semantic factors or semes. In order to single out
certain semes in a language unit one must refer to the discriminating indication which could help to contrast this
unit with a similar one of the same lg.
neles orice semn LG este un grup de mai multe sensuri elementare, factorii semantice sau Semes. n scopul de a
evidentia anumite Semes ntr-o unitate de limb trebuie s se refere la indicaia discriminatoriu, care ar putea ajuta
pentru a contrasta acest aparat cu unul similar din aceeai LG.

student/ is characterized by the following group of elementary meanings:


A person who studies not teacher (in other words the seme a person who studies is singled out by
confronting the words student - teacher)
a person who studies in a higher education institution not pupil
Masculine gender- not student/ ka
Singular- One student- not students
using student,
namely these indications will be reproduced.
other indications which any student has -his age, color of hair,
are linguistically irrelevant
not reflected in the meaning of the word student.

"student" / este caracterizat de urmtorul grup de semnificaii elementare:


O persoan care nu STUDII "profesor" (cu alte cuvinte, seme "o persoan care studiaz" este izolat de
confruntarea cuvintele "elev" - "profesor")
o persoan care studiaz ntr-o nvmntul superior instituional nu "elev"
Masculin gen nu "student / ka"
Un student Singular- nu "studeni"
utilizarea "student",
anume aceste indicaii vor fi reproduse.

alte indicaii care orice student are varsta -His, culoarea parului,
sunt lipsite de relevan lingvistic
nu se reflect n sensul cuvntului "student".
Every lg has its way of choosing the elements of the reality, whose information is fixed in certain lg. signs and
reproduced when used. Every lg. has its own linguistically relevant elements of situation.

English doesn t provide student with the masculine seme,


unlike the Ro/Ru word student /.

Semantic Theory of Translation (STT) bases TR equivalence on the


presence of communicative semes in the ST and TT. Translators task is to reproduce in TR namely those
elementary meanings which are communicatively relevant in the original. Many lgs have a set of peculiar
methods of expressing a number of categories (Teoria Semantic traducerii (STT) i ntemeiaz TR echivalena
privind prezena Semes de comunicare n ST i TT. Sarcina traductorului este de a reproduce n TR i anume
acele sensuri elementare care sunt comunicativ relevante n original. Multe LGS au un set de metode specifice
de exprimare o serie de categorii)

(movement, location in space, possession), -deep categories,


others are named surface categories.
which make up a common basic structure.
(micare, locaie n spaiu, posesia), categoriile -deep,
altele sunt numite categorii de suprafa.
care alctuiesc o structur de baz comun.

In order to describe the process of TR

it is necessary to build up the scheme of mutual relations between


basic words whose meanings refer to the same semantic field.
He dozed after the lessons
Doze-Surface unita atipi/
Sleep-Deep unit(basic unit)

STT describes equivalent relations among multiple lg. means of SL and TL with common deep categories.

to reduce lg. means to small number of basic elements,


to establish semantic differences between the basic elements of 2 lgs
which form the field of the category.

STT descrie relaiile dintre echivalente lg multiple. mijloace de SL si TL cu categoriile profunde comune.
pentru a reduce lg. nseamn s numr mic de elemente de baz,
de a stabili diferene semantice ntre elementele de baz ale 2 LGS
care formeaz "cmpul" din categoria.
1. the so-called stylistic synonyms;

to sleep
to slumber -to be dormant
to snooze -to take a light nap
to drowse to be half-asleep
to doze to sleep lightly

2. derivative words -skill- skilled, skillful, etc.


Other elements of the system differ from the common word by the following parameters: (Alte elemente ale
sistemului difer de cuvntul comun de urmtorii parametri:)
A. presence of a certain semantic property. (prezena unei anumite proprieti semantic.)
3. direction of the movement (direcia micrii)

(to move to approach to depart)

B. supplementary restrictions in the choice of actants. (restricii suplimentare n alegerea actani.)

1st actant (subject) of the vb.


to live may be either an element of organic nature or non-organic matter (the tree lives, the person lives,
the idea lives)
figuratively speaking, inanimate objects (the stone lives, the sea lives).

C.certain formal conditions of using either signs in the language, (anumite condiii formale ale folosind fie
semne n limba)

peculiarities of verbal government (prepositional or non-prepositional).


the semantic field existence in space of 2 similar in meaning verbs
to live and to lodge,
we will note the difference of prepositions used after them
(in and at).

particularitile de guvernare verbale (prepoziionale sau non-prepoziionale).


cmpul semantic "existen n spaiu" de 2 similar in verbe Noiune "a tri" i "s depun",
vom nota diferenta de prepoziiilor utilizate dup ei
("n" i "la").
STT has a great explanatory force. It reveals many aspects of the TR process which are impossible to observe
directly. It allows to describe not only common elements of the ST and TT, but also many reasons and directions of
divergences between the 2 texts. It also allows analyzing objectively the system of synonymic means which express
a certain category and indicate a number of essential factors determining the choice of the TR variant.
STT are o for explicativ mare. Ea dezvluie multe aspecte ale procesului de TR care sunt imposibil de observat
direct. Aceasta permite s descrie nu numai elemente comune ale ST i TT, dar i mai multe motive i direciile
divergene ntre cele 2 texte. De asemenea, permite analiza obiectiv sistemul de mijloace sinonime care exprim o
anumit categorie i indic o serie de factori care determin eseniali alegerea variantei TR.