Me Estiro (Yo Tambien Leo) (Spanish Edition)


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This colorfully illustrated book is designed for children who are learning to read in Spanish. For this reason, the words and sentences are simple and easily recognizable. It displays colorful pictures of children doing fun daily activities with short descriptions that the learning reader can easily pick up and thus gain confidence in their reading.

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me estiro yo tambien leo spanish edition Manual

Customer reviews There are no customer reviews yet. Share your thoughts with other customers. Write a product review. Feedback If you need help or have a question for Customer Service, contact us. Would you like to report poor quality or formatting in this book? The act of understanding even the simplest message potentially involves all the beliefs, suppositions, inferences and expectations that are the stuff of personal, social and cultural life. Understanding everyday messages is therefore not all that different from what a translator must do when first confronting a ST— and it is certainly no less complicated.

It is, however, true that messages may be understood with varying degrees of precision. For instance, suppose that a mother asked her son to get the blue biro from the top left-hand drawer of the bureau, and he responded by giving her a black biro that happened to be handy. She would be justified in thinking that he had not understood her message fully, as he had evidently not paid attention to a number of details in it. Yet he could not be accused of a total lack of comprehension, because he did register and respond to the one salient fact that he had been asked for a biro.

In everyday communication, evidence that a message has been understood may come from appropriate practical response. Another measure of how precisely a message has been understood is appropriate linguistic response. Appropriate linguistic response includes such basic things as returning a greeting appropriately, giving a satisfactory answer to a question, or filling in a form correctly. While none of these are translation-like processes, they do show that the element of comprehension and interpretation within the translation process involves what can be a perfectly ordinary, everyday activity requiring no special skill or power of intellect, only an average native command of the language used.

There is, however, another kind of ordinary, everyday linguistic response that is rather similar to translation proper. Here is a commonplace example: Who are you going with? And what time does it start? But I want you back here by And you come right in and go to bed when you get home, is that clear? No hanging around at the door saying goodnight for hours on end. Goes back to find Boy Well? What did your Dad say? He says we can go as long as we come straight back at quarter past midnight—and as long as we behave ourselves.

In this commonplace verbal exchange, the girl gives ample evidence of having understood very precisely what her father has said. This twofold process is strongly reminiscent of translation proper. Extracting information by way of comprehension and interpretation from a given text, and then re-expressing the details of that information in another text using a different form of words is what translators do. The only real difference between this example and translation proper is that both ST and TT are in English. We shall follow Jakobson in referring to the reporting or rephrasing of a text in the same language as intralingual translation Jakobson, , pp.

Jakobson also talks of inter-semiotic translation ibid. This is another commonplace, everyday process, as can be shown in a banal example: A B What does that road sign say? Of course, the road sign does not actually say anything: Verbalizing this non-linguistic message is simply a way of translating, not from one language to another, but from a nonlinguistic communication system road signs to a linguistic one. This is another reason, then, for arguing that everybody is a translator of a sort.

Another common process of interpretation that bears a similarity to translation proper is an intra-linguistic process whereby one expands on a particular text and its contents. This type of expository interpretation can, as here, easily develop into a full-scale textual exegesis that tries to analyse and explain the implications of a text perhaps with the addition of cross-references, allusions, footnotes and so on. The first and third examples above represent two extremes on a continuum of translation-like processes.

At one end, the TT expresses only a condensed version of the ST message; we shall call this gist translation. At the other end, the TT is far more wordy than the ST, explaining and expanding it; we shall call this exegetic translation. Both gist translation and exegetic translation are, of course, matters of degree. Half-way between these two extremes there is, in principle at least, a process that adds nothing to, and omits nothing from, the message content of the ST, while couching it in terms that are radically different from those of the ST.

In form of expression ST and TT are quite different, but in message content they are as close to one another as possible. We shall call this ideal process rephrasing. The attainability of ideally precise rephrasing is a controversial question that will continue to occupy us in what follows. From the examples just cited, it is clear that precision is a relative matter.

These examples illustrate what is surely a fundamental maxim of translation, namely that rephrasing never allows a precise reproduction of the total message content of the ST, because of the very fact that the two forms of expression are different, and difference of form always entails a difference in communicative impact. We shall return to this in Chapter 2, in discussing the concept of translation loss. It should be added that there are two important respects in which these three types of process are on an equal footing with one another, as well as with translation proper.

First, they all require intelligence, mental effort and linguistic skill; there can be no substitute for a close knowledge of the subject matter and context of the ST, and a careful examination and analysis of its contents. Second, in all three cases, mastery of the TL is a prerequisite. It is salutary to remember that the majority of English mother-tongue applicants for translation posts in the European Commission fail because of the poor quality of their English McCluskey, , p. In a translation course, TL competence needs as close attention as SL competence.

There is, after all, not much point in people who do not have the skill to rephrase texts in their native language trying their hand at translation proper into their mother-tongue. Consequently, synopsis-writing, reported speech, intralingual rephrasing and exegesis are excellent exercises for a translator, because they develop technique in finding, and choosing between, alternative means of expressing a given message content.

That is why the first practical exercise in this course is a piece of intralingual translation in English. Recast the story in different words, adapting it for a specific purpose and a specific type of audience define carefully what these are. Discuss the textual changes you found it necessary to make, and the reasons for these alterations.

Do this by inserting into your TT a superscript notenumber after each point you intend to discuss, and then discussing the points in order on a fresh sheet of paper. Whenever you annotate your TT, this is the system you should use. Text AND the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there.

And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. Translation as a process 11 And the LORD came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: So the LORD scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the LORD did there confound the language of all the earth: The tutor will give you any necessary contextual information, and tell you how long you should take over the translation.

It can, however, also be viewed as a product: Here, too, it is useful to start by examining two diametric opposites, in this case two opposed types of translation, one showing extreme SL bias, the other extreme TL bias. At the extreme of SL bias is interlineal translation, where the TT attempts to respect the details of SL grammar by having grammatical units corresponding point for point to every grammatical unit of the ST. Interlineal translation is rare and exists only to fulfil specialized purposes in, say, language teaching, descriptive linguistics or in certain kinds of ethnographic transcript.

Since it is of little practical use to us, we shall not, in fact, give it much consideration, other than to note its position as the furthest degree of SL bias. Interlineal translation is actually an extreme form of the much more common literal translation, where the literal meaning of words is taken as if from the dictionary that is, out of context , but TL grammar is respected. Literal meaning will be discussed as a topic in Chapter 7. For our purposes, we shall take literal translation as the practical extreme of SL bias.

At the extreme of TL bias is completely free translation, where there is only a global correspondence between the textual units of the ST and those of the TT. The following example contrasts a literal and a free translation of a stock conversation in Chinese between two people who have just been introduced: Translation as a product 13 The type of extreme freedom seen in the second version is known as communicative translation, which is characterized as follows: This degree of freedom is no more to be recommended as general practice than interlineal translation.

Translators have to use their own judgement about when communicative translation is appropriate. Communicative translation is, however, mandatory for many culturally conventional formulas that do not allow literal translation. Antes que te cases, mira lo que haces. Marry in haste, repent at leisure. For further examples, see p. Between the two extremes of literal and free translation, one may imagine an infinite number of degrees, including some sort of a compromise or ideal half-way point between the two.

For the moment, we simply suggest that translations can be usefully judged on a parameter between the two polarities of extreme SL bias and extreme TL bias. Five points on this parameter are schematized in the following diagram adapted from Newmark , p. Between the literal and free extremes, the Chinese conversation given above might be rendered at the three intermediate points as follows: The literature on translation studies has generated a great deal of discussion of what is generally known as the principle of equivalent effect.

First, the requirement that the TT should affect its recipients in the same way as the ST does or did its original audience raises the difficult problem of how any one particular recipient responds to a text, and of the extent to which texts have constant interpretations even for the same person on two different occasions. Before one could objectively assess textual effects, one would need to have recourse to a fairly detailed and exact theory of psychological effect, a theory capable, among other things, of giving an account of the aesthetic sensations that are often paramount in response to texts.

Second, the principle of equivalent effect presumes that the theory can cope not only with ST and SL audience but also with the impact of a TT on its intended TL audience. Since on both counts one is faced with unrealistic expectations, the temptation for translators is covertly to substitute their own subjective interpretation for the effects of the ST on recipients in general, and also for the anticipated impact of the TT on its intended audience. More fundamentally still, unlike intralingual translation, translation proper has the task of bridging the cultural gap between monolingual speakers of different languages.

The backgrounds, shared knowledge, cultural assumptions and learnt responses of monolingual TL speakers are inevitably culture-bound. To take a simple example: In fact, of course, few texts can be attributed such a monolithic singleness of purpose, and as soon as a ST is acknowledged to have multiple effects, it is unlikely that the TT will be able to replicate them all.

In any case, humour itself is a highly culture-bound phenomenon, which means that even the genuine crosscultural equivalence of laughter is questionable. Another point one must query about the principle of objective equivalent effect concerns the requirement that the TT should replicate the effects of the ST on its original audience. This might conceivably be possible for a contemporary ST, but for a work of any appreciable age it may not be feasible or even desirable.

It may not be possible for the translator to determine how audiences responded to the ST when it was first produced. But even if one assumes that such effects can be determined through historical research, one is still faced with a dilemma: Even if it were translated into early modern English, could one ever know if the TT would produce the same effects on an English-speaking readership in the s as the ST did on its contemporary Spanish readers?

The choice between modernizing a TT or making it archaic is fraught with difficulties whatever one decides: At best, a good TT produces a carefully fabricated approximation to some of the manifest properties of the ST. This means that a sound attitude to translation methodology should avoid an absolutist attempt at maximizing sameness in things that are crucially different ST and TT , in favour of a relativist attempt at minimizing relevant dissimilarities between things that are clearly understood to be different.

It is in this everyday sense of the word that we use it in this book. A machine that permits energy loss is not a theoretical anomaly in engineering: But it is far more realistic to start by admitting that the transfer of meaning from ST to TT is necessarily subject to a certain degree of translation loss; that is, a TT will always lack certain culturally relevant features that are present in the ST. The analogy with energy loss is, of course, imperfect.

While energy loss is a loss of energy, translation loss is not a loss of translation, but of exact ST-TT correspondence in the process of translation. Nevertheless, once one accepts the concept of inevitable translation loss, a TT that is not a replica of its ST is no longer seen as a theoretical anomaly, and the translator can concentrate on the realistic aim of reducing translation loss, rather than on the unrealistic one of seeking the definitive translation of the ST.

It is important to note that translation loss embraces any failure to replicate a ST exactly, whether this involves losing features in the TT or adding them. Our concept of translation loss is, therefore, not opposed to a concept of translation gain; where the TT gains features not present in the ST, this is a form of translation loss. A third example exhibits still more sorts of translation loss: The English is more concise, but its grammar is a potential source of ambiguity for the unwary; for instance, is this a transfer tax that is capital, or a tax that is a capital transfer, or a tax on transfers that are capital, or a tax on the transfer of capital?

The grammar of the Spanish expression eliminates all such ambiguity, but it is more Translation as a product 17 cumbersome than the English. As these three examples show, translation loss, in the way we have defined it, is inevitable, even where the TT gains in, say, economy, vividness, cultural specificity or avoidance of ambiguity. The challenge to the translator is, therefore, not to eliminate translation loss altogether, but to reduce it by deciding which of the relevant features in the ST it is most important to respect, and which can most legitimately be sacrificed in doing so.

For all translators, but particularly for students, there are two great advantages in the notion that translation loss is inevitable, and that a so-called gain is actually a loss. First, they are relieved of the inhibiting, demoralizing supposition that, if only they were clever enough or lucky enough to find it, the perfect TT is just round the corner; and, second, they are less tempted to try crudely to outweigh losses in their TT with a greater volume of gains. We shall discuss compensation in the next chapter. Once this approach is adopted, the culturally relevant features in the ST will tend to present themselves to the translator in a certain hierarchical order.

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We shall, therefore, discuss such issues in the next chapter. The second step will be to analyse the objectively ostensible formal properties of the ST—syntax, lexis and so on; we shall suggest a systematic framework for discussing these properties in Chapters 4—6. Subsequent ST features which will inevitably be lacking, or changed, in any TT will have to do with nuances of literal or connotative meaning; yet others will stem from such aspects of language variety as dialect, sociolect and register.

We shall be discussing literal and connotative meaning in Chapters 7 and 8 respectively, and questions of language variety in Chapters 9 and Students are advised to investigate the context of the full text before translating the passage. Text Le puse nombres: Cansado de maravillarme, quise saber, invariable y funesto fin de toda aventura. Translation as a product 2. The tutor will tell you how long you have for the exercise.

This assignment combines an element of gist translation with an introduction to one of the main demands made of professional translators: The second part looks at two related translation techniques necessitated by the translation loss attendant on the transfer from one cultural mode of expression to another: That is to say, the various kinds of cultural transposition we are about to discuss are all alternatives to a strictly SL-biased literal translation. Any degree of cultural transposition involves, therefore, the choice of features indigenous to the TL and the target culture in preference to features rooted in the source culture.

The various degrees of cultural transposition can be visualized as points along a scale between the extremes of exoticism and cultural transplantation: Some of the most straightforward examples of the basic issues involved in cultural Cultural issues in translation 21 translators, but a brief look at the question will provide a simple introduction to what are often complex problems. Translating names In translating a name there are, in principle, at least two alternatives.

The first alternative is tantamount to literal translation, and involves no cultural transposition. This alternative may be impracticable if, as with Chinese or Russian names, it creates problems of pronounceability and comprehension in an oral TT, or problems of spelling, printing and memorization in a written one. The second alternative, transliteration, is less extreme: The result is that the transliterated name stands out less clearly as a reminder of foreign and culturally strange elements in the TT. Transliteration is the standard way of coping with, for example, Chinese or Arabic names in English texts.

How a name is transliterated may be entirely up to the translator, if there is no established precedent for transcribing the name in question and no strictly laid down system of transliterational conventions. Alternatively, it may be a matter of using a standard transliteration created by earlier translators. Standard transliterations vary, of course, from language to language. Examples are common in the translation of place-names: Some names are not normally transliterated, but have instead standard indigenous communicative equivalents in the TL.

Where such conventional communicative equivalents exist, the translator may feel constrained to use them. Not to do so would either display ignorance, or be interpreted as a significant stylistic choice. For some names, particularly place-names, a standard TL equivalent may exist in the form of a calque.

Here the structure of the TL name imitates that of the SL name, but grammatical slots in it are filled with TL units translating the individual meaningful units of the SL name. In the absence of a standard calque translation, the option of creating a calque may sometimes be open to the translator. A further alternative in translating names is cultural transplantation. This is the extreme degree of cultural transposition. SL names are replaced by indigenous TL names that are not their referential equivalents, but have similar cultural connotations. The examples show clearly why cultural transplantation of names is such a risky option.

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When translating names, one must, therefore, be aware of three things: We will now look at issues raised by the various degrees of cultural transposition in more complex units than names. Exoticism In general, the extreme options in signalling cultural foreignness in a TT fall into the category of exoticism. A TT translated in a deliberately exotic manner is one which constantly resorts to linguistic and cultural features imported from the ST into the TT with minimal adaptation, and which contains constant reminders of the exotic source culture and its cultural strangeness.

However, such a TT has an impact on TL audiences which the ST could never have on a SL audience, for whom the text Cultural issues in translation 23 has none of the features of an alien culture. As a strategic option, exoticism needs to be carefully handled: Furthermore, if a culturally distant exotic TT is to be understood, many of the terms used in it may need to be explained; yet the constant intrusion of glosses, footnotes and academic explanations of exotic features in a TT is likely to reduce its attractiveness.

This may present a serious dilemma for the translator. Cultural transplantation At the opposite end of the scale from exoticism is cultural transplantation, whose extreme forms are hardly to be recognized as translations at all, but are more like adaptations—the wholesale transplanting of the entire setting of the ST, resulting in the text being completely reinvented in an indigenous target culture setting.

As these examples show, cultural transplantation on this scale can produce highly successful texts, but it is not normal translation practice. However, on certain points of detail— as long as they do not have knock-on effects that make the TT incongruous— cultural transplantation may be considered as a serious option. By and large, normal, middle-of-the-road translation practice avoids both wholesale exoticism and wholesale cultural transplantation. In attempting to avoid the two extremes, the translator may have to consider the alternatives lying between them on the scale given on p.

This process is termed cultural borrowing. The translator resorts to it when it proves impossible to find a suitable indigenous expression in the TL for translating the ST expression. A vital condition for the success of cultural borrowing in a TT is that the textual context of the TT should make the meaning of the borrowed expression clear.

Of course, cultural borrowing only presents translators with an open and free choice in cases where previous translation practice has not already set up a precedent for the verbatim borrowing of the ST expression. Furthermore, where terms with SL origins have already passed into common usage in the TL without significant change of meaning, thus constituting standard conventional equivalents of the original SL terms borrowed, the translator may not be faced with a significant decision at all. Unless special considerations of style can be invoked, there is little reason not to render such terms verbatim in an English TT.

On occasion it may even seem perverse not to do so. Communicative translation In contrast with cultural borrowing, the translator may opt for communicative translation. As we saw briefly in Chapter 2 p. Only special contextual reasons can justify opting against a standard communicative translation in such cases. The translator has virtually no freedom of choice in rendering stock institutionalized phrases like the following: The very fact that the ST uses a set phrase or idiom is usually part and parcel of its stylistic effect, and if the TT does not use corresponding TL set phrases or idioms this stylistic effect will be lost.

Cultural issues in translation 25 However, it often happens that set phrases in the ST do not have readily identifiable communicative TL equivalents. In such cases, the translator has a genuine choice between a literal rendering and some kind of attempt at communicative translation.

An example of this choice and its implications can be drawn from translating a Hungarian ST into English. We choose Hungarian because it is unfamiliar to most readers, and therefore capable of giving a genuinely exotic impression. Waking on the first morning of the holiday, the children are disappointed to find that it is raining heavily.

Their mother comforts them with a proverb, suggesting that it will soon clear up: The only possible advantage of the literal translation is its exoticism, but this advantage is cancelled by two things: If there were good reasons for preserving the exoticism, one could mitigate these disadvantages by obliquely signalling in the TT that the mother is using what is, for TL readers, an exotic proverb: You know the saying: Which solution is deemed best will naturally depend on contextual factors outside the scope of this example.

Nevertheless, the example illustrates very well the alternatives in cultural transposition, including the one we have yet to discuss, namely calque. In essence, then, calque is a form of literal translation. A bad calque imitates ST structure to the point of being ungrammatical in the TL; a good calque manages to compromise between imitating a ST structure and not offending against the grammar of the TL. Calquing may also be seen as a form of cultural borrowing, although, instead of verbatim borrowing of expressions, only the model of SL grammatical structures is borrowed.

Like cultural borrowing proper, and for similar reasons, translation by creating calques does occur in practice. Furthermore, as also happens with cultural borrowing proper, some originally calqued expressions become standard TL cultural equivalents of their SL originals. Clearly, there are certain dangers in using calque as a translation device. The major one is that the meaning of calqued phrases may not be clear in the TT.

In the worst cases, calques are not even recognizable for what they are, but are merely puzzling bits of gibberish for the reader or listener. But, of course, it is not sufficient for the TT to make it clear that a particular phrase is an intentional calque. The meaning of the calqued phrase must also be transparent in the TT context. The most successful calques need no explanation; less successful ones may need to be explained, perhaps in a footnote or a glossary. Like all forms of cross-cultural borrowing, calque exhibits a certain degree of exoticism, bringing into the TT a flavour of the cultural foreignness and strangeness of the source culture.

Consequently, it should generally be avoided in texts where exoticism is strategically inappropriate, such as an instruction manual, whose prime function is to give clear and explicit information. In any text, one should also definitely avoid unintentional calquing resulting from too slavish a simulation of the grammatical structures of the ST. These examples are from a Colombian tourist brochure. In brief summary of the discussion so far: Where standard communicative equivalents are lacking, and also a particular ST concept is alien to the target culture, preference should be given to cultural borrowing, unless there are particular reasons against it.

The emphasis in the preceding paragraph on solutions being preferable unless certain conditions militate against them draws attention to the need to balance one set of considerations against another. This is, indeed, a general feature of the translation process, and remarking on it in the context of a choice between literal translation, communicative translation, cultural transplantation and so on brings us to a discussion of compromises made necessary by this feature.

Often one allows these losses unhesitatingly. These are just two examples of the many kinds of compromise translators make every day. Compromises should be the result of deliberate decisions taken in the light not only of what latitudes are allowed by the SL and TL respectively, but also of all the factors that can play a determining role in translation: Only then can the translator have a firm grasp of which aspects of the ST can be sacrificed with the least detriment to the effectiveness of the TT, both as a rendering of the ST and as a TL text in its own right.

Much of the material in this book will in fact draw attention, in both principle and practice, to the different kinds of compromise suggested—perhaps even dictated—by different types of text. The issue of undesirable, yet inevitable, translation losses raises a special problem for the translator. The problem consists in knowing that the loss of certain features sacrificed in translation does have detrimental effects on the quality of the TT, but seeing no way of avoiding these unacceptable compromises. It is when faced with apparently inevitable, yet unacceptable, compromises that translators may feel the need to resort to techniques referred to as compensation—that is, techniques of making up for the loss of important ST features through replicating ST effects approximately in the TT by means other than those used in the ST.

For methodological purposes it is useful to distinguish four different aspects of compensation while remembering that these aspects frequently occur together. Compensation in kind The first aspect we shall call compensation in kind. This refers to making up for one type of textual effect in the ST by another type in the TT. The contrast in Spanish between masculine and feminine forms of the definite article is one that frequently causes problems.

The definite article in English does not permit the expressive power that a Spanish ST may derive from the contrast between feminine and masculine gender. Compensation in kind can be further illustrated by three of its most typical forms. First, explicit meanings in the ST may be compensated for by implicit meanings in the TT. Machado, b Second, connotative meanings in the ST may be compensated for by literal meanings in the TT.

This type of compensation can be illustrated by comparing two translations of another extract from Machado poem LX. Has the noria of my thought run dry… Machado, , p. Third, where, for example, the humour of the ST hinges on the comic use of calque, the TT may have to derive its humour from other sources, such as a play on words. Compensation in place Compensation in place consists in making up for the loss of a particular effect found at a given place in the ST by creating a corresponding effect at an earlier or later place in the TT.

This example illustrates the relationship between grammatical transposition—the reorganization of a ST grammatical structure into a different, more idiomatic, structure in the TT—and the notion of compensation in place: Compensation in place is frequently a necessary device in translating verse. Tanto tren con tu cueppo, tanto tren; tanto tren con tu boca, tanto tren; tanto tren con tu sojo, tanto tren. This phonetic reinforcement cannot be precisely, and equally intensively, replicated in an English TT because the key words do not alliterate in the required ways.

The Cultural issues in translation 31 following TT attempts at least partly to compensate for this by using phonetic reinforcement distributed in different places from where it occurs in the ST: An accurate literal translation of this phrase might be produced by translating word for word; but the resulting TT phrase would be far too long-winded and ponderous to be suitable in most contexts, and certainly out of place in a colloquial one.

Compensation by splitting Compensation by splitting may be resorted to, if the context allows, where there is no single TL word that covers the same range of meaning as a given ST word. As well as illustrating compensation by splitting, this rendering is also an example of compensation in kind: We will not pursue this any further, because what is involved is the question of literal versus connotative meaning, and these questions are not addressed until Chapters 7 and 8.

Suffice it to say that the TT exhibits the substitution of literal meaning for connotative meaning. The four types of compensation discussed above can, of course, take many different forms; and, as our last example indicates, it also often happens that a single case of compensation belongs to more than one category at the same time. Good examples of multiple compensation will be found in the texts set for analysis in Practical 3.

We conclude with a word of caution: The aim is to reduce some of the more serious and undesirable translation losses that necessarily result from the fundamental structural and cultural differences between SL and TL. Cultural issues in translation Text 33 34 Thinking Spanish translation turn to p. Give your own version where you can improve on the published TT. It is the first volume in a trilogy of works which experiment with narrative technique.

In this volume the protagonist reflects on his own identity and experience. He has lived the life of a political and cultural exile. Seix Barral, , pp. Contextual information The text is an official information leaflet explaining arrangements for postal votes in the local elections. Cultural issues in translation Text 41 4 The formal properties of texts: There are, doubtless, insurmountable problems in establishing objectively what the ostensible properties of a text are, but it can at least be said that whatever effects, meanings and reactions are triggered by a text must originate from features concretely present in it.

It is, therefore, necessary for the translator to look at the text as a linguistic object. There is no need for a detailed incursion into linguistic theory, but linguistics does offer a hierarchically ordered series of systematically isolated and complementary levels on which the formal properties of texts can be located for the purposes of a methodical discussion. It is true of any text that there are various points on which it could have been different.

All these points of detail, no matter how large or small, where a text could have been different that is, where it could have been another text are designated as textual variables. It is these textual variables that the series of levels defined in linguistics makes it possible to identify. First, looking at textual variables on an organized series of isolated levels enables one to see which textual variables are important in the ST and which are less important. As we have seen, some of the ST features that fall prey to translation loss may not be worth the effort of compensation.

It is, therefore, excellent strategy to decide which of the textual variables are indispensable, and which can be ignored, for the purpose of formulating a good TT. In general, as we shall see, the more prominently a particular textual variable contributes to triggering effects and meanings in a text, and the more it coincides in this with other textual variables conveying related meanings and effects, the more important it is.

This enables the translator to identify what textual variables of the ST are absent from the TT, and vice versa. That is, although translation loss is by definition not ultimately quantifiable, it is possible to make a relatively precise accounting of translation losses on each level. This also permits a more self-aware and methodical way of evaluating TTs and of reducing details of translation loss. We propose six levels of textual variables, hierarchically arranged from lowest to highest; hierarchically in the sense that each level is, as it were, built on top of the previous one.

Naturally, other schemes could have been offered, but arguing about alternative theoretical frameworks is beyond the scope of this coursebook, as it would involve a deeper plunge into linguistic theory than is useful for our purposes. In this chapter and the next two, we shall work our way up through the levels, showing what kinds of textual variable can be found on each, and how they may function in a text. Surprising as it may seem at this early stage, this method does not imply a plodding or piecemeal approach to texts: A schematic representation of all the filters we are suggesting can be found on p.

Taking a text on this level means looking at it as a sequence of sound segments phonemes if it is an oral text, or as a sequence of letters graphemes if it is a written one. Although phonemes and graphemes are different things, they are on the same basic level of textual variables: This always and automatically constitutes a source of translation loss.

The real question for the translator, however, is whether this loss matters at all. Could we not simply put it down as a necessary consequence of the transition from one language to another, and forget about it? The transcription of names is a prime example. This transliteration in fact occasions a phonic distortion from Chinese [mawdzdu? The simplest example of such special effects is onomatopoeia. If it has a thematically important function, onomatopoeia may require care in translation.

What is more, many SL onomatopoeic words do not have one-to-one TL counterparts. In these and many other cases the range of reference of the SL word does not coincide exactly with that of its nearest TL counterpart. These types of crosscultural difference are phonic in nature, and are in themselves potential sources of translation problems.

Onomatopoeia may cause more of a translation problem where the nearest semantic counterparts to an onomatopoeic SL word in the TL are not onomatopoeic. To the extent that the very fact of onomatopoeia is an effect contributing to textual meaning, its loss in the TT is a translation loss that the translator may have reason to regret. Some onomatopoeic words can be used not only as interjections, but also as nouns or verbs: The example typifies a common translation problem: Even something as simple as onomatopoeia, then, may need attention in translating.

For example, the more obviously a pun or a spoonerism is not accidental or incidental in the ST, the more it is in need of translating. A major strategic decision will then be whether to seek appropriate puns or spoonerisms for the TT, or whether to resort to some form of compensation. Typical problems of this kind will be found in Practicals 4 and 8. Every time this root recurs in the text, it coincides with a vital moment in the narrative, so that it very soon acquires emphatic force, underlining crucial narrative and thematic points.

The important thing to keep in mind is that, onomatopoeia aside, the sound-symbolic effect of words is not intrinsic to them, but operates in conjunction with their literal and connotative meanings in the context. For example, persistent repetition of the sound [1] does not, in and of itself, suggest a sudden burst of spiritual illumination, or a flood of bright daylight, or a cacophony of voices instrumental in ridiculing petty officialdom.

El alma vuelve al cuerpo, Se dirige a los ojos Y choca. La ley levanta Frente al oficial cacumen 48 Thinking Spanish translation La sacrosanta Letra que todos consumen. We shall discuss connotative meaning as such in Chapter 8. In the last of these examples, sound symbolism clearly has such an important textual role that to translate the texts without some attempt at producing appropriate sound-symbolic effects in the TT would be to incur severe translation loss.

Apart from alliteration and assonance, rhyme is the most obvious example. When such recurrences are organized into recognizable patterns on a large scale, for example in a regularly repeated rhyme scheme, they are clearly not accidental or incidental. However, this does not mean that one is obliged, or even well advised, to reproduce the exact patterns of recurrence found in the ST.

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In fact, opinions are divided among translators of verse about the extent to which even such obvious devices as rhyme scheme should be reproduced in the TT. In English, for example, blank verse is a widespread genre with at least as high a prestige as rhyming verse, so that there is often a case for translating rhyming STs from other languages into blank verse in English. We shall consider at length the importance of genre as a factor in translation in Chapter There is, however, a style of translation that actually more or less reverses the maxim quoted from Lewis Carroll; that is, it concentrates on taking care of the sounds and allows the sense to emerge as a kind of vaguely suggested impression.

This technique is generally known as phonemic translation. Here is part of one poem, followed by i the phonemic translation and ii a literal prose translation: We shall not dwell on this example, beyond saying that it perfectly illustrates the technique of phonemic translation: As a matter of fact, it is difficult if not impossible, for a TT to retain a close similarity to the actual phonic sequences of the ST and still retain anything more than a tenuous connection with any kind of coherenl meaning, let alone the meaning of the ST. What we have here is a form of humorous pastiche which consists in the cross-linguistic phonic imitation of a well-known text.

Although phonemic translation cannot be recommended as a technique for serious translation of sensible texts, there are texts that are not intended to be sensible in the original and which qualify as suitable objects for a degree of phonemic translation. Finally, though they are less common than sound symbolism, special effects may also be contrived through the spatial layout of written texts. Such cases illustrate the potential importance of specifically graphic textual variables. An obvious example is the acrostic, a text in which, say, reading the first letter of each line spells out, vertically, a hidden word.

Another is concrete poetry, where the visual form of the text is used to convey meaning. The text in Practical 4, from the same source, is also a good example; just as onomatopoeia is iconic phonically, this text—like much concrete poetry—is iconic graphically, imitating visually what it describes referentially.

Groups of syllables may, on this level, form contrastive prosodic patterns for example, the alternation of a short, staccato, fast section with a long, slow, smooth one , or recurrent ones, or both. In texts not designed to be read aloud, such prosodic patterns, if they are discernible at all, are relatively unlikely to have any textual importance. However, in texts intended for oral performance or intended to evoke oral performance , such as plays, speeches, poetry or songs, prosodic features can have a considerable 52 Thinking Spanish translation theme-reinforcing and mood-creating function.

In texts where prosodic special effects play a vital role, the translator may have to pay special attention to the prosodic level of the TT. In most cases, it is not possible to construct a TT that both sounds natural in the TL and reproduces in exact detail the metric structure of the ST. In this respect translating from Spanish to English, or vice versa, can be quite problematic, since the prosodic structures of the two languages are substantially different.

In English, patterns of accent are distributed idiosyncratically over the syllables of words, with each polysyllabic word having one maximally prominent, and a number of less prominent, syllables in a certain configuration: Only by knowing the word can one be sure what its prosodic pattern is; that is, accent patterns in a group of words are tied to the identity of the individual words.

This is known as free wordaccent. In effect, this means that free word-accent applies to both Spanish and English with the proviso that penultimate syllable stress predominates in Spanish and is regarded as the norm.

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These differences between the English and Spanish prosodic systems may in themselves sometimes give rise to translation problems in prose and verse alike. They are not, however, the main source of metrical difficulties in verse translation: The same is true on the prosodic level. The difference between Spanish and English versification constitutes a major problem in verse translation.

We shall deal here in elementary terms with the basics of the two systems, so that they can be compared. Such metrical structure is the main feature of the patterned use of recurrences on the prosodic level. It does not, however, exhaust the entire field of prosody, since it ignores tempo and melodic pitch, which may also constitute vital textual variables in an oral text.

We shall not discuss free verse, which would need too detailed a study for the purposes of this course. In translating verse, one strategic decision that needs to be made is on the prosodic level: This decision will depend ultimately on the textual function of metre in the ST, and on whether creating metric recurrences in the TT would lead to unacceptable translation losses on other levels. For English, there is a well-tried system, which we adopt here. For Spanish, we suggest a simple notation below. The notation brings out clearly and concisely the metric patterns, and the variations in them, which are so fertile a source of special textual effects.

Only when these patterns have been identified in a ST, and their effects pinpointed, can the translator begin to face the decision as to what—if any—TL prosodic patterns might be appropriate in the TT. That there will need to be prosodic patterns in the translation of a prosodically patterned ST is virtually certain; that they will hardly ever replicate those of the ST is even more certain. The challenge to the translator is to find appropriate compromises.

Spanish Spanish verse is syllabic. That is, the writer does not have to choose among conventional configurations of stressed and unstressed syllables, as is the case in traditional English or German verse. A line of verse in Spanish is defined in terms of the number of syllables it contains, and the pattern of stresses may vary greatly within that framework. However, syllable counting is not an entirely straightforward matter.

When working out the syllabic pattern of Spanish verse, a particular difficulty arises from the fact that elision may, but does not necessarily, occur between a word ending in a vowel and a following word which begins with a vowel or a silent h. Normal practice is to use the symbolpto indicate elision, as here: It is useful to think of Spanish verse forms as being of two basic types: Those with nine or more syllables often have a mid-line pause.

The metric structure of a line of Spanish verse can be worked out and notated through a combination of syllable counting and registering groups of stressed and unstressed syllables separated by junctures marked by a pause. These structures are, of course, not intended to lay down a rigid and immutable rule of scansion; they merely suggest and represent plausible oral readings of the lines concerned. For practical purposes, the following simple system is an adequate way of notating metric structure in Spanish verse: In this notation, the following symbols are used: In modern Spanish verse, assonance and full rhyme are equally likely to appear and are of equal value.

The most common verse forms are: This line is a pentameter: Each of the feet in this case is made up of one unstressed syllable followed by one stressed syllable. A foot of this type is an iamb, represented as A line consisting of five iambic feet is an iambic pentameter. It is the most common English line, found in the work of great playwrights and poets like Shakespeare, Milton and Wordsworth.

A line consisting of three iambs is an iambic trimeter; one consisting of four iambs is an iambic tetrameter; one consisting of six iambs is an iambic hexameter. The shorter lines are more usual than the pentameter in songs, ballads and light verse. Besides the iamb, the commonest other types of feet are: Naturally, following a single rhythmic pattern without variation would quickly become tedious.

One other sort of English metre is worth mentioning, strong-stress metre.


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This is different from the syllable-and-stress metre described above. Only the stresses count in the scanning, the number of weak syllables being variable. Much modern verse uses this metre, most frequently with four stresses in a line, often in combination with syllable-and-stress metre. NB Exact metrical analysis and scansion in English and in Spanish are a far more complex and subtle issue than the simple notations we have given here. However, for the purposes of an introduction to translation methodology, only three things are required: Arenas Santiago de Chile: In the light of your findings in i , translate the text with due attention to graphic detail.

Explain the main decisions of detail you made in producing your TT. Rozas and published in , an anthology which also contains other poems experimenting with the iconic relationship between graphic form and poetic content. In common with other graphic poems by Guillermo de Torre, the key to this iconic relationship in the extract below is given by the title.

Translate the text into English. The novel is noted for its ludic qualities. It is useful to divide the contents of this level into two areas: A great deal of the explicit literal meaning of a text is carried by the configuration of words and phrases. To interpret any text it is necessary—but, of course, not sufficient—to construe the literal meaning conveyed by its grammatical structures. Literal meaning as such will be discussed in Chapter 7.

Furthermore, a TT has normally to be constructed by putting words into meaningful grammatical configurations according to the conventions and structures of the TL, and using the lexical means available in the TL. Consequently, translators can never ignore the level of grammatical variables in either the ST or the TT. Let us look at the question of grammatical arrangement first.

It is important to remember that these structural patterns differ from language to language. Even where apparent cross-linguistic similarities occur, they are often 62 Thinking Spanish translation misleading, the structural equivalent of faux amis. The following pairs illustrate this point: The distinction between these two alternatives illustrates a characteristic difference between English and Spanish. These differences in grammatical tendencies imply that, in translating from Spanish to English, there is a frequent need for grammatical transposition see p.

In a normal predicative phrase in Chinese, Grammar and lexis in translation 63 there are three particularly troublesome grammatical features. First, neither subject nor object need be explicitly singular or plural. Second, there is no definite or indefinite article for either subject or object.

Third, there may be no indication of a tense or mood for the predicate. Wherever the grammatical structures of the ST cannot be matched by analogous structures in the TT, the translator is faced with the prospect of major translation losses. The problems that may be caused by this are not necessarily serious, but they are complex and many, which means that we can only touch on them briefly here. Such problems are illustrated in more detail in Chapters 16—

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