Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Translation of Prologue of Saadi's Bostan and Its Analysis According to Catford's Theory of Translation Shift

Academic journal article Modern Journal of Language Teaching Methods

Translation of Prologue of Saadi's Bostan and Its Analysis According to Catford's Theory of Translation Shift

Article excerpt

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1. Introduction

Throughout history, various forms of translations have played a crucial role in inter human communication, not least in providing access to important texts for scholarship and religious purposes. However the study of translation as an academic subject has only begun in the past fifty years. In the English-speaking world, this discipline is generally known as 'translation studies', thanks to the Dutch-based US scholar James S. Holmes. The term translation itself has several meanings: it may refer to the general subject field, the product or the process. The process of translation between two different written languages involves the translator changing an original written text (ST) in the original verbal language (SL) into a written text (TT) in a different verbal language (TL) (Munday, 2001).

Translation studies is an academic interdiscipline associated with the systematic study of the theory, description and application of translation. As an interdiscipline, translation studies borrows much from several fields of study which support translation. They include comparative literature, computer science, history, linguistics, philology, philosophy, semiotics, and terminology. In English, writers occasionally use the word translatology to refer to translation studies. (retrieved from http: / / en.wikipedia.org/ wiki/Translation_studies)

Holmes has suggested a variety of areas in which translation studies can be used. These areas include 'translator training, teaching methods, testing techniques, curriculum design, translation aids, translation policy, and translation criticism'. Translation criticism in a general sense means criticizing a translated text, based on either lexical, structural or cultural dimensions of the receptor language, or based on its comparison with the source text. Such a field can become more academic by using the theories suggested by translation scholars. This involves looking at a translated text and its original from the viewpoint of a translation scholar and his or her concepts and definitions. Williams and Chesterman (2002) called such a practice (translation quality assessment) and divided it into three basic types: source-oriented; target-language oriented; and assessment of translation effects on clients, teachers, critics and readers.

1.1 .Statement of the Problem

John Catford suggested two main types of shifts occurring in the process of translation: 1-level shift and 2-category shift. The second type was further subcategorized into four other alternative subgroups including (structure shift, class shift, unit-rank shift, and intra-system shift). In order to gain a deep understanding of these shifts, Catford first introduced two other concepts: 'formal correspondence' and 'textual equivalence' which will be explained in details. Translation shift, its categorizations, and analysis of Bostan's prologue based on them are the main problems discussed in this paper.

1.2. Significance of the Study

First it should be said that reading this paper makes readers familiar with one of the most well-known verse and prose writers in the history of Iranian literature. Saadi (1184-1293) is among the most prominent poets of 12th century. His two breath-taking books, Bostan and Gulistan, are known by everybody familiar with Iranian poetry. Another outstanding figure whom this essay will introduce to the reader is the linguist and phonetician John Catford. By reading the following pages, readers get familiar with his life and his works and also with his theory of 'translation shift'.

As it has already been mentioned, this paper is going to investigate in what way and to what extent translation shifts suggested by Catford have occurred in the selected translation of the introductory section of Bostan. It should be kept in mind that study of these pages can also contribute to translators who are going to translate rest of Saadi's Bostan or any other poetic work. …

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