18. Text analysis from a translator’s perspective. Redundancy as a translation problem.
When we get a text for translation we should first analyze it as a unity, as a whole – find links inside the text, all the devices etc. We should read it to the end. Only then we should start translating it.
When you have to translate the text you should remember that Writing is space–bound, static, and permanent. It’s the result of situation in which the writer is usually distant from the reader & often doesn’t know who the reader is going to be. The reader is your client & you do not know exactly what your client really needs. If your client is a specialist, then before creating a clean copy, discuss it with the client. Cooperate with your client. Writing allows repeated reading & use of analysis & promotes the development of careful organization, compact expression with often-intricate structures. Units of discourse are usually easy to identify through punctuation & layout (arrangement of the page). Repeated reading allows you to compress the lng, & make it more expressive. You should read the whole text, get the general idea, the idea of every paragraph, compare the ideas of the paragraph with the whole text, decide which role each paragraph plays for the whole text. Then translate the paragraph sentence by sentence. The idea of translating word by word is wrong. The translator should do it only if literal translation is required. In all other cases you should first read the text several times to make sure of the intention of the author. And then start translating the text. If the text is long & your memory is bad you should write down key words, key-phrases or key sentences. And then provide your own translation. The title should be translated in the end. The title is a short summary. It reflects the ideas implied
When we write a text we should take care of such things as redundancy, if it does not serve the purpose of effectiveness. The opposite notion is compression.
он вернулся назад = he returned (no back)
* We expect John to return from his journey today. When I looked out of the window half an hour ago I saw the lights of his flat are on. Of course it might have been Paul who was there – I know he has the key. But since I am not sure that Paul is in town, John had possibly arrived.
We could use Present perfect, but it’s wrong from the point of view of information the author wanted to convey. Due to the lack of past perfect in Russian we should use such means, which convey this idea logically.
Sometimes the removal of redundancy is possible due to the peculiarities of the language.
*We find it difficult to hear the distinctions, which are of importance in the foreign language but not in our own. We find it difficult to pronounce sounds of the foreign language with which we are not familiar. The Frenchman trying to speak English will have difficulty with our “” & “” because the sound doesn’t occur in his language. He may say “z” instead of “”because it’s familiar to him. – Трудно различать в иностранном языке то, что не различается в родном, например, произносить незнакомые звуки. Французу трудно произносить непривычный звук “” и он, скорее всего, заменит его на знакомый “z”.
We do not have to impose the rules of one language on the structural patterns of another. Instead of repeating the same structure we use connective, typical of the TL.
Language minimalism & the motto “remove redundancy” may be applied only as a result of special analysis. This happens because not all given information may be considered unnecessary to mention again. Redundancy may be saved for a stylistic purpose, that’s why it should be preserved.
* Я вас люблю любовью страстной – I love you with the passion of love
The translation can be done without a thorough analysis of a passage. But then we should use a skeleton. The skeleton of the text may be done both in the SL & in the TL. For an experienced translator the SL is more preferable, because it’s not the skeleton he is going to reproduce, but rearranged text in the TL. If written translation – in the TL. If consecutive – in SL.
Once a passage has been thoroughly understood and its essential points noted, then it’s time to write down a text of your own which is the translation. There are certain techniques to make the text most effective: compression and suppression.
Compression – rendering the same meaning economically, removing redundancy, making the meaning vivid by using the potential qualities of the language. (don’t remove but compress)
•Making phrase do the work of clauses and sentences. (Вскоре, после того как мы приехали… – shortly upon our arrival…)
•Telescoping two o more sentences into one. (Уж лучше я останусь дома. Не хочется мокнуть. – I’d rather stay at home than get wet.)
•Using single words instead of word combinations. (Нимало не убоявшись трудностей – undaunted.)
•Using the shortest possible link to give the required “continuous connection of ideas” or semi-colon (punctuation).
Suppression is used on the context level. (remove some not very important facts)
1.Content redundancy must be eliminated.
2.Examples of the original passage can be suppressed and replaced by or grouped under generic terms or general definitions.
3.The interpreter should suppress anything, which s/he considers unimportant or immaterial.
4.Figurative language is unsuitable for an interpreter. Figures of speech are ornaments and must be discarded for economy’s sake.