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According to Brislin (1976: 1) translation is a general term referring to the transfer of thoughts and ideas from one language to another, whether the language is in written or oral form, whether the languages have established orthographies or not; or whether one or both languages is based on signs, as with signs of the deaf.
Another expert, Wilss (1982: 3), states that translation is a transfer process which aims at the transformation of a written source language text (SLT) into an optimally equivalent target language text (TLT), and which requires the syntactic, the semantic, and the pragmatic understanding and analytical processing of the source text. Syntactic understanding is related to style and meaning. Understanding of semantics is meaning related activity. Finally, pragmatic understanding is related to the message or implication of a sentence. This definition does not states what is transferred. Rather, it states the requirement of the process.
Nida and Taber (1982: 12) see translating as a process of reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent of the source language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style. In other words, translation is a transfer of meaning, message, and style from one SLT to the TLT. In the order of priority, style is put the last. Here the things to reproduce (transfer) is stated, message.
Newmark (1991: 27) defines the act of translating very briefly. It is the act of transferring meaning of a stretch or a unit of language, the whole or a part, from one language to another. (The discussion on meaning can be seen at sub-point F. Meaning, Message, and Style.)
According to the purpose, translation can be divided into four types: (a) pragmatic, (b) aesthetic-poetic, (c) ethnographic, and (d) linguistic translation (Brislin, 1976: 3-4). Pragmatic translation is the translation of a message with an interest in accuracy of the information meant to be communicated in the target language form. Belonging to such translation is the translation of technical information, such as repairing instructions. The second type is aesthetic-poetic translation that does not only focus on the information, but also the emotion, feeling, beauty involved in the original writing. The third is ethnographic translation that explicates the cultural context of the source and second language versions. The last type is linguistic translation, the one that is concerned with equivalent meanings of the constituent morphemes of the second language and with grammatical form. Seen from this classification, the translation of literary work should be the aesthetic-poetic one.
The other kinds of translation or translation approach important to review are the ones related to the concept of dynamic translation, semantic translation, communicative translation, and artistic translation.
Dynamic translation tries to transfer the messages or ideas into a target language and to evoke in the target language readers the responses that are substantially equivalent to those experienced by the source text readers (Nida and Taber, 1982 :28). A definition of dynamic translation centers on the concept of dynamic equivalence, that is the closest natural equivalence to the source language message. Hohulin (1982: 15) notices that the definition of dynamic translation contains three essential terms: (a) equivalent, which points toward the source language message, (b) natural, which points toward the receptor language, and (3) closest, which binds the two orientations together on the basis of the highest degree of approximation. Dynamic equivalence approach can be used in the level of translating sentences or group of sentences, because the whole message lies here.
Similar to the above concept is the idiomatic translation developed by Beekman and Callow (in Gutt, 1991: 68). It resembles the dynamic equivalence approach in the sense that it rejects the form-oriented translation and emphasizes that a translation should convey the meaning of the original. A translation, according to this approach, should be faithful to the ‘dynamics’ of the original, or the SL’s ‘naturalness’ of language use and ease of comprehension.
The idea of dynamic translation was first proposed by Nida and Taber and the semantic and communicative translation was by Newmark. He even states that the concepts represent his main contribution to general theory of translation (Newmark, 1991: 10). It seems to be a reaction to the concepts of formal and dynamic equivalence, literal and free translation. In the above dichotomy, the first “pole” of the dichotomy (formal equivalence and literal translation) seems to be condemned for being not be able to transfer the message. Semantic and communicative translation seem to be in the middle of the two poles formal and dynamic translation. (Here formal translation is understood as translation that pursues the formal equivalence and dynamic translation is the one that seeks for the dynamic equivalence. Discussion on the issue of equivalence can be seen in the next sub-point.)
Semantic translation emphasizes the “loyalty” to the original text. It is more semantic and syntactic oriented and, therefore, also author-centered. On the other hand, communicative translation emphasizes the loyalty to the “readers” and more reader-centered. The two concepts are not to be contrasted with literal word-for-word translation which is criticized in the concept of formal translation and literal translation. He sees it as a translation procedure. He states that literal word-for-word translation is not only the best in both communicative and semantic translation, but it is the only valid method of translation if equivalent effect is secured (Newmark, 1991: 10-11).
He further maintains that, in fact, there is no pure communicative or pure semantic method of translating a text. There are overlapping bands of methods. A translation can be more or less semantic as well as more or less communicative. Even a part of a sentence can be treated more communicatively or more semantically. Anyhow he maintains that the more important the language of the text or units of text, e.g. in the sacred texts, the more closely it should be translated. Finally he points out that meaning is complicated, many-leveled, a ‘network of relation’. The more generalization and simplification is done, the less meaning is gotten. From this discussion, it can be argued that the choice between semantic and communicative approach is done in the level of translating sentences or even parts of sentence (Newmark, 1991: 10).
In the area of literary translation, Chukovsky (1984) offers the concept of artistic translation. Like the other types of translation, meaning is a very important point to consider. Yet, style is taken as importantly as the other aspects for style is the portrait of the author; so when a translator distorts his style he also distorts ‘his face’ (Chukovsky, 1984: 20). Besides the meaning, impression on the readers should also be kept the same. This translation expert states that it is essential that the readers of the translation should be carried into the very same sphere as the readers of the original, and the translation must act in the very same nerves (Chukovsky, 1984: 80).
To compare, formal and dynamic translation center on the message of the original, the semantic and communicative translation on whether author-centered or reader-centered, and artistic translation does on the consideration of literary aspects: ideas and style. The concepts are based on different ground. It is clear that the concept of dynamic translation is suitable for translating the Bible. It is so because the concept of dynamic equivalence itself was developed from the practice of Bible translation. As it is known, there are many kinds of text some of which are with the characteristics different from the Bible. The semantic and communicative ones, on the other hand, can be applied at any kinds of text. The case of style is also discussed by Newmark in his hint that “the more important the language of the text or units of text, the more closely it should be translated.” Finally, artistic translation is probably most appropriate for translating certain literary works, like poetry. Maintaining the author’ style accurately is very difficult in certain novels as the translator is confronted with the syntactic system as well as literary convention of the target language.


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