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TRANSLATION: Etymology and Definition
Transcript of TRANSLATION: Etymology and Definition
Etymology and Definition
From Babel to Babel Fish
From Babel to Fish
Tower of Babel -
where the Bible tells us different languages were first introduced
Babel Fish -
instant translation services
(The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy), a fictitious animal that performs instant translations
Babel Fish Corporation
, a human-powered translation service developed by Oscar Jofre
Yahoo! Babel Fish
, a web translation service
FIDELITY VS. TRANSPARENCY
- refers to the limits to which a given human translation work precisely depicts the underlying message or meaning of the source text without distorting it, without intensifying or weakening any part of its context, and otherwise without subtracting or adding to it at all.
Merci por ta gentellesse
…. meaning …
Thank you for your gentleness.
- is the communication of the meaning of a source- language text by means of an equivalent target-language text
- translation began only after the appearance of written literature
Epic of Gilgamesh
is an epic poem from ancient Mesopotamia. Dating from the Third Dynasty of Ur (circa 2100 BC), it is often regarded as the first great work of literature. The literary history of Gilgamesh begins with five Sumerian poems about 'Bilgamesh' (Sumerian for 'Gilgamesh'), king of Uruk
Due to the demands of
consequent to the Industrial Revolution that began in the mid-18th century, some translation specialties have become formalized, with dedicated schools and professional associations.
Because of the laboriousness of translation, since the 1940s engineers have sought to automate translation
or to mechanically aid the human translator (computer-assisted translation). The rise of the Internet has fostered a world-wide market for translation services and has facilitated language localization.
Translation studies systematically study the theory, description, and application of translation.
- in translation is far more than mere correct communication of information despite using a linguistic approach to translation or word for word translation
Je’tiame mon amie
I love you my friend.
- pertains to the degree to which a translation caters to native speakers and the target audience, such that idiomatic, syntactic, and grammatical conventions are followed while cultural, political, and social context is kept in mind at all times.
cor ad cor loquitor
a heart speaks to heart
that have high fidelity are classified as
translations; in turn, translations that meet the second standard are referred to as
- often called “thought-for- thought” translation as opposed to a word -for-word translation; a translation method in which the translator attempts to reflect to the thought rather than words or forms
Les belles infideles
like women, can be either faithful or beautiful but not both
Etymology and Definition
I. Learning Targets:
1. To let the students know the origin and the history of the word TRANSLATION in different languages;
2. To let them understand what is meant by translation;
3. To explain the need and importance of translation.
II. UNLOCKING OF DIFFICULTIES
Words in a Pic
• Tower of Babel
• Babel Fish
• Latin word
“to bring or carry accross”
• Greek word
“to speak accross”
and gives us the phrase
“a literal word-for word translation”
as contrasted with
“a saying in other words”
• This distinction has laid at the heart of the theory of translation throughout its history:
employed it in Rome,
continued to use it in the seventeenth century and it still exists today in the debates around
"fidelity versus transparency"
"formal equivalence versus dynamic equivalence".
The first known translations are those of the Sumerian epic Gilgamesh into Asian languages from the second millennium BC. Later Buddhist monks translated Indian sutras into Chinese and Roman poets adapted Greek texts.
The words denoting translate, translation in
Standard Average European (SAE)
languages derive from roots in Latin and Classical Greek. The basic notion is that of carrying something across, from Latin transferre or Greek metapherein. A
is etymologically a metaphor, whereby something is, in some sense, something that it literally is not.
That man is a pig;
this article is (in Finnish)
The semantic elements that are highlighted in this construal of the notion are
1. something (say ‘X’) remains the same
2. the something that is carried across
3. there are two contexts involved, which we can call the source and target contexts.
• In Finnish, the normal verb meaning
, whose basic meaning is
• However, from the early 19th century a second verb began to be used:
• Finnish verb
also has a slang meaning,
Data from Different Language Lamilies
Modern Greek has two distinct terms.
‘To translate’ is
‘to speak across’, which seems to highlight difference.
Ukrainian makes a similar distinction:
‘put, set across’
In Sanskrit, there are several words for the idea of translating.
• A translator is
which glosses as ‘other language maker’; this highlights difference. On the other hand, some of the words meaning ‘translation’ seem to highlight other features.
means ‘loose translation’, and also ‘imitation, reflection (lit. ‘after-taking’), which suggests the feature of similarity.
literally means ‘saying after, explaining’; this suggests the feature of mediation.
Hindi also has two different sets of terms for written and spoken translation.
Written translation is
‘saying after, explaining’ (
‘speaking’); this suggests the mediation feature.
Oral translating is done by a
a ‘two-language speaker’.
The Hungarian word meaning ‘to translate’ is
whose literal meaning is ‘to turn something to the other side’.
In Turkish the words meaning ‘translation’ highlight the feature of difference:
literally means ‘make turn’, i.e. change.
But Turkish also uses another verb, tercüme etmek, and one word for a translator is tercüman, which derives from Arabic (below) and highlights mediation.
The Japanese for a translation is
has the basic sense ‘turn, turn over, flutter’ and
means ‘substitute words’. The main semiotic feature here seems to be difference.
Oral translation is denoted by the verb
has the basic sense ‘pass through, transmit, communicate’.
In Korean, words for translating and interpreting both seem to foreground the notion of mediation:
tong yeok hada,
means ‘transmit, communicate’ and
‘translate’ from Arabic, but also uses
literally ‘copy, transfer’ (cf. Javanese salin ‘change dress’).
Oral translating has a different term indicating a change of language:
Dravidian. In Tamil, the same terms are used for the written and oral modes, and both stress the feature of difference, changing the language:
‘transfer, change, turn over’).
What have you learned from the discussions taken?
FIDELITY vs. TRANSPARENCY
FORMAL EQUIVALENCE vs. DYNAMIC
Explain the need of translation.
• Group activity; same group (word translation): Let them have their own translation of foreign word they knew/know.
• Then let them determine whether it is fidelity or transparency then why or why not?
Mary Joy R. Flores
Roel T. Renoblas