The Translator as Communicator

The Translator as Communicator

The Translator as Communicator

The Translator as Communicator

Synopsis

By taking an integrated approach to the practice of translation, the authors provide an unprejudiced contribution to translation theory. The proposed model is presented through a series of case studies ranging from legal texts to poetry.

Excerpt

As the title of this book suggests, we look upon all kinds of acts of translating as essentially acts of communication in the same sense as that which applies to other kinds of verbal interaction. Even apparent exceptions, such as legal texts which constitute an official record of decisions made, or poems which are purely self-expressive, are nevertheless texts composed in the full knowledge that they are likely to be read and to elicit a response. They provide evidence on the basis of which people construct meaning. It is this characteristic which defines the common ground of a wide variety of translation activities: literary translating, religious translating, technical translating, interpreting, subtitling and dubbing, selectively reducing a text in a different language, and so on. Typically, a translator operates on the verbal record of an act of communication between source language speaker/writer and hearers/readers and seeks to relay perceived meaning values to a (group of) target language receiver(s) as a separate act of communication. (In some situations, for example liaison interpreting, the source language act of communication is intended directly and only for a target language receiver.) This is then the essential core, the common ground which we take as the point of departure for our study. Instead of dwelling on what differentiates the literary from the non-literary, the interpreter from the translator, and so on-distinctions which are well documented already-this book focuses on text features which serve as clues to an underlying textual strategy. For it is the case that all texts must satisfy basic standards of textuality before acquiring the additional characteristics of being literary, technical, oral, etc. And characteristics which come to the fore in particular fields of activity may be seen to be present in others where they are not so readily noticed. For example, an idiolectal feature which is conspicuous as a characteristic of someone's casual

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