20. Words with built-in judgment
Report. It is a way of exchanging information. The basic symbolic fact is the report of what we have seen or felt. It’s the most usual form of communication.*It’s raining. (Report) Most frequently we rely on reports of reports, like “the newspapers say…” The translator should remember that reports adhere to the following groups. First & foremost all reports are verifiable, we can analyze it & say whether it is a fact or not. Report is based on mere facts. A translator should remember that for the most part people trust each other reports. Everyday life is full of reports & precision is one of the most trust worthy characteristics of reports. All reports should avoid misunderstanding. There are lots of texts, which are reports. First & foremost these are the texts full of factual matter, about science, mathematics, automotive engineering, travel, geography etc. The information in them should be reliable. The lng of reports is so to say “map” lng, bcos it gives reasonably accurate representation of the sphere. It enables you to get the work done. This lng may be dull & uninteresting, but reports are not meant for entertainment. We should state the things in such a way that everybody will agree with our formulation. A report is what to do & how to do. Most reports exclude inferences, judgments and loaded-words. Inference. It is an expression of opinion as a kind of comment on what is going said. In science we rely not only on reports but also on inferences & it’s important to distinguish between them two. An inference is a statement about the unknown based on the known. Report is a statement. Inference is a conclusion. Report is the foundation of utterances in some areas of thought. And inferences form the main body of science. E.g. a physician making a diagnosis infers it from the symptoms that a patient is talking about. Inference depends upon facts & we should always mention first facts & then inferences. Judgment. They are usually regarded as a barrier to clear thinking. They express the speaker’s approval or disapproval. (It’s a wonderful car.) Judgments look like facts but they are not facts. When a translator deals with legal documents he should do his job in such a way that the division between reports, inferences & judgments is obvious. Sometimes judgments lead people to extremes. If a person expresses disapproval he uses words having negative connotation, approval – positive (always exaggerated). Every translator should be able to disregard extremes, trying to make information neutral to avoid misunderstanding. No judgment is directly stated. It’s implied. Slanting is a case when people characteristic features & facts in such a way that the attitude of the writer is vividly seen, though sometimes he keeps the facts only & for the choice of facts the arrangement show the bias. This is done on purpose. The translator should avoid bias & keep the balance. He should be very sensitive if he feels it. Then he should discover bias, divide facts into important & not, establish a certain hierarchy of facts, find out whether the writer or his editors gave the story a misleading emphasis, discover whether they did it deliberately or sue to the lack of competence. If deliberately he should not chose a word. If not intentionally the translator should edit the message.
The usage of affective connotations produces a certain effect (pig, sugar, honey etc.) the idea of effective connotation is so important that every translator should know the means to express them. If the translator translates from Russian into English the minimative suffixes are reduced. The choice of words is very important. The difference between forms of address shows your attitude.
* Gentleman – individual – person – gent – guy – fellow – herd
* I have the honor to inform you sir – I should like to tell you sir – I’m telling you nester – Listen punk
Some words also possess connotation: informative and affective. (e.g.: pig – animal (inf), offence (aff))
Informative includes both definition and its denotation
Colloquial words: 1)slang – highly emotive and expressive words which are used by most speakers in very informal communication; 2) jargon – with professional terminology; 3)euphemisms – indirect meaning: - abbreviations (SOB – son of a bitch) – litotes (not exactly thin = fat) – abstractions (it, do it) – indirections (sleep together)
Reasons: taboo topics, political correctness, feminism
Words with built-in judgment
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20. Words with built-in judgment