Academic journal article Translation & Interpreting

Explicitation of Implicit Logical Links in Persian-English Translation

Academic journal article Translation & Interpreting

Explicitation of Implicit Logical Links in Persian-English Translation

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Explicitation is a translation feature which has received a lot of attention in studies of translation. It seems to have been first introduced by Vinay and Darbelnet (1958) who defined it as "the method of introducing into the TL clarifications/details which are implicit in the SL, but which become clear from the context or the situation" (p.9, translated from French by Dimitrova, 2005, p.34). One specific type of explicitation which has been observed in several studies is the explicitation related to the shifts of cohesion through translation. The first systematic study in this regard is associated with BlumKulka's (1986) work. Blum-Kulka takes a discoursal and communicative approach to the study of translation and argues that the process of translation necessarily entails shifts both in textual and discoursal relationships. She points out that these shifts occur on two levels, i.e. cohesion and coherence. On the level of cohesion, shifts in types of cohesive markers used in translation seem to affect translations in terms of level of explicitness and text meaning. Shifts in the levels of explicitness are partly related to grammatical differences between languages and differences in stylistic preferences for types of cohesive markers and partly related to the process of translation. Based on the latter part, i.e. the process of translation, Blum-Kulka formulates "the explicitation hypothesis," which postulates "an observed cohesive explicitness from ST to TT regardless of the increase traceable to differences between the two linguistic and textual systems involved" (p.300).

Among the explicitations that occur through shifts of cohesion in translation is the explicit expression in the TT of logical links that are implicit in the ST. As there are few studies regarding this type of explicitation in Persian-English translation, the present research is an attempt to study this type of explicitation in this language pair, its effects on the cohesion of the TT, and the possible reasons behind its occurrence.

2. Literature review

The explicitation of implicit logical links between clauses and sentences has been touched upon in several studies. Van Leuven-Zwart (1990) notes that the "addition, deletion or replacement of function words may cause a shift with respect to the degree of explicitness through which cohesion is achieved" (p.81). Chesterman (1997) considers cohesion change as one of the syntactic strategies which "affects intra-textual reference, ellipsis, substitution, pronominalisation and repetition, or the use of connectors of various kinds" (p.98). He also lists the strategy of explicitness change among the pragmatic strategies as something which involves explicitation and implicitation.

Levy (1965) finds that a translator tends to explain the implicit logical relation between ideas to "explain away any breaks in thought or changes in perspective, to normalise the expression" (p.79), and suggests that this is due to the translator's effort to make the foreign text intelligible to the readers. Sidiropoulou (1995) finds an overall tendency for explicitating implicit cause-effect relationships in the translation of newspaper texts from English into Greek. Shlesinger's (1989; 1995) study suggests that the explicitation hypothesis may apply to oral as well as written translations. She finds shifts of cohesion in simultaneous interpreting, both from English into Hebrew and from Hebrew into English which suggests that the interpreter tends to render implicit forms more explicitly, regardless of the languages concerned.

Some studies attribute the increased level of cohesive explicitness in the TTs to the function and manifestation of translation norms. 0veras (1998) examines explicitating and implicitating shifts in a corpus of EnglishNorwegian and Norwegian-English translations of fiction and finds an increased level of cohesive explicitness and a stronger tendency towards explicitation than implicitation in both directions of translation. …

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