HOME

TheInfoList




Translation is the communication of the
meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * Meaning (non-linguistic), a general ter ...
of a source-language text by means of an
equivalent Equivalence or Equivalent may refer to: Arts and entertainment *Album-equivalent unit, a measurement unit in the music industry *Equivalence class (music) *''Equivalent VIII'', or ''The Bricks'', a minimalist sculpture by Carl Andre *''Equivalent ...
target-language text. The English language draws a
terminological
terminological
distinction (which does not exist in every language) between ''translating'' (a written text) and ''
interpreting Interpreting is a translational activity in which one produces a first and final translation on the basis of a one-time exposure to an expression in a source language. The most common two modes of interpreting are simultaneous interpreting, wh ...
'' (oral or
signed Signing may refer to: * Using sign language * Signature, placing one's name on a document * Signature (disambiguation) * Manual communication, signing as a form of communication using the hands in place of the voice * Digital signature, signing as ...

signed
communication between users of different languages); under this distinction, translation can begin only after the appearance of
writing Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area arou ...

writing
within a language community. A translator always risks inadvertently introducing source-language words,
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
, or
syntax In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...

syntax
into the target-language rendering. On the other hand, such "spill-overs" have sometimes imported useful source-language
calque In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...

calque
s and
loanword A loanword (also loan word or loan-word) is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning ...
s that have enriched target languages. Translators, including early translators of
sacred text Religious texts, also known as scripture, scriptures, holy writ, or holy books, are the texts which various religious traditions consider to be sacred Sacred describes something that is dedicated or set apart for the service or worship of ...
s, have helped shape the very languages into which they have translated. Because of the laboriousness of the translation process, since the 1940s efforts have been made, with varying degrees of success, to automate translation or to mechanically aid the human translator. More recently, the rise of the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
has fostered a
world-wide market A market is a composition of system A system is a group of Interaction, interacting or interrelated elements that act according to a set of rules to form a unified whole. A system, surrounded and influenced by its environment, is described b ...
for
translation services The language industry is the industry (economics), sector of activity dedicated to facilitating multilingual communication, both oral and written. According to the European Commission's Directorate-General of Translation, the language industry comp ...
and has facilitated "
language localisation Language ''localisation'' (or ''localization'', see American and British English spelling differences#iseize, spelling-differences) is the process of adapting a product's translation to a specific country or region. It is the second phase of a lar ...
".


Etymology

The
English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon England, early medieval England, which has eventually become the World language, leading lan ...

English
word "translation" derives from the
Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Roman Republic, it became ...

Latin
word ''translatio'', which comes from ''
trans Trans- is a Latin prefix meaning "across", "beyond", or "on the other side of". Used alone, trans may refer to: Media * ''Trans'' (film), US film * Trans (Festival), a former festival in Belfast, Northern Ireland, United Kingdom * Trans Corp, a ...

trans
'', "across" + ''
ferre
ferre
'', "to carry" or "to bring" (''-latio'' in turn coming from ''latus'', the
past participle In linguistics, a participle () (from Latin ' a "sharing, partaking") is a nonfinite verb, nonfinite verb form that has some of the characteristics and functions of both verbs and adjectives. More narrowly, ''participle'' has been defined as "a wo ...
of ''ferre''). Thus ''translatio'' is "a carrying across" or "a bringing across" – in this case, of a text from one language to another.
Christopher Kasparek Christopher Kasparek (born 1945) is a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish Englis ...
, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 83.
Some
Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages spoken primarily by the Slavs, Slavic peoples or their descendants. They are thought to descend from a proto-language called Proto-Slavic language, Proto- ...

Slavic languages
and the
Germanic languages The Germanic languages are a branch of the Indo-European The Indo-European languages are a language family native to western and southern Eurasia. It comprises most of the languages of Europe together with those of the northern Indian su ...

Germanic languages
(other than
Dutch Dutch commonly refers to: * Something of, from, or related to the Netherlands * Dutch people () * Dutch language () *Dutch language , spoken in Belgium (also referred as ''flemish'') Dutch may also refer to:" Castle * Dutch Castle Places * ...
and
Afrikaans Alaric speaking Afrikaans. Afrikaans (, ) is a West Germanic language spoken in South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over Demographics of South Africa, 5 ...
) have
calque In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the me ...
d their words for the
concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the bo ...

concept
of "translation" on ''translatio'', substituting their respective Slavic or Germanic root words for the Latin roots. The remaining Slavic languages instead calqued their words for "translation" from an alternative Latin word, , itself derived from ("to lead across" or "to bring across")—from ("across") + , ("to lead" or "to bring"). The
West 250px, A compass rose with west highlighted in black West or Occident is one of the four cardinal directions or points of the compass The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet-based directions are conventionally defined. A co ...
and
East Slavic languages The East Slavic languages constitute one of the three regional subgroups of Slavic languages The Slavic languages, also known as the Slavonic languages, are Indo-European languages The Indo-European languages are a language family nativ ...
(except for
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
) adopted the pattern, whereas Russian and the
South Slavic languages The South Slavic languages are one of three branches of the Slavic languages. There are approximately 30 million speakers, mainly in the Balkans. These are separated geographically from speakers of the other two Slavic branches (West Slavic lang ...
adopted the pattern. The
Romance language The Romance languages, less commonly Latin or Neo-Latin languages, are the modern languages that evolved from Vulgar Latin between the third and eighth centuries. They are a subgroup of the Italic languages in the Indo-European languages, Indo- ...
s, deriving directly from Latin, did not need to ''calque'' their equivalent words for "translation"; instead, they simply adapted the second of the two alternative Latin words, ., The
Ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally referred to by speakers simply as Greek (, ), refers collectively to the diale ...
term for "translation", (''metaphrasis'', "a speaking across"), has supplied English with "
metaphraseMetaphrase is a term referring to literal translation, i.e., "word by word and line by line" translation. In everyday usage, metaphrase means wikt:literalism, literalism; however, metaphrase is also the translation of poetry into prose.Andrew Dousa H ...
" (a "
literal Literal may refer to: * Interpretation of legal concepts: ** Strict constructionism ** The plain meaning rule (a.k.a. "literal rule") * Literal (mathematical logic), certain logical roles taken by propositions * Literal (computer programming ...
", or "word-for-word", translation)—as contrasted with "
paraphrase A paraphrase is a restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words. The term itself is derived via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages ...
" ("a saying in other words", from , ''paraphrasis''). "Metaphrase" corresponds, in one of the more recent terminologies, to "
formal equivalence The terms dynamic equivalence and formal equivalence, coined by Eugene Nida, are associated with two dissimilar translation approaches that are employed to achieve different levels of literalness between the source text and the target text, as ...
"; and "paraphrase", to "
dynamic equivalence The terms dynamic equivalence and formal equivalence, coined by Eugene Nida Eugene A. Nida (November 11, 1914 – August 25, 2011) was a linguist who developed the dynamic equivalence, dynamic-equivalence Bible translation, Bible-translat ...
".Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 84. Strictly speaking, the concept of metaphrase—of "word-for-word translation"—is an
imperfect The imperfect ( abbreviated ) is a verb A verb, from the Latin ''wikt:verbum#Latin, verbum'' meaning ''word'', is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''hap ...

imperfect
concept, because a given word in a given language often carries more than one meaning; and because a similar given meaning may often be represented in a given language by more than one word. Nevertheless, "metaphrase" and "paraphrase" may be useful as ''ideal'' concepts that mark the extremes in the spectrum of possible approaches to translation.


Theories


Western theory

Discussions of the theory and practice of translation reach back into
antiquity Antiquity or Antiquities may refer to Historical objects or periods Artifacts * Antiquities, objects or artifacts surviving from ancient cultures Eras Any period before the European Middle Ages In the history of Europe, the Middle Ages ...

antiquity
and show remarkable continuities. The
ancient Greeks Ancient Greece ( el, Ἑλλάς, Hellás) was a civilization belonging to a period of History of Greece, Greek history from the Greek Dark Ages of the 12th–9th centuries BC to the end of Classical Antiquity, antiquity ( AD 600). This era was ...
distinguished between ''metaphrase'' (literal translation) and ''paraphrase''. This distinction was adopted by English poet and translator
John Dryden '' John Dryden (; – ) was an English poet, , translator, and playwright who was appointed England's first in 1668. He is seen as dominating the literary life of to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the ...

John Dryden
(1631–1700), who described translation as the judicious blending of these two modes of phrasing when selecting, in the target language, "counterparts," or
equivalents ''Equivalents'' is a series of photographs of clouds taken by Alfred Stieglitz from 1925 to 1934. They are generally recognized as the first photographs intended to free the subject matter from literal interpretation, and, as such, are some of the ...
, for the expressions used in the source language: Dryden cautioned, however, against the license of "imitation", i.e., of adapted translation: "When a painter copies from the life... he has no privilege to alter features and lineaments..." This general formulation of the central concept of translation—
equivalence Equivalence or Equivalent may refer to: Arts and entertainment *Album-equivalent unit The album-equivalent unit is a measurement unit in music industry to define the consumption of music that equals the purchase of one album copy. This consumpti ...
—is as adequate as any that has been proposed since
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
and
Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus (; 8 December 65 – 27 November 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace (), was the leading Roman Empire, Roman Lyric poetry, lyric poet during the time of Augustus (also known as Octavian). The rhetoricia ...

Horace
, who, in 1st-century-BCE
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...
, famously and literally cautioned against translating "word for word" (). Despite occasional theoretical diversity, the actual ''practice'' of translation has hardly changed since antiquity. Except for some extreme metaphrasers in the early Christian period and the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, and adapters in various periods (especially pre-Classical Rome, and the 18th century), translators have generally shown prudent flexibility in seeking
equivalents ''Equivalents'' is a series of photographs of clouds taken by Alfred Stieglitz from 1925 to 1934. They are generally recognized as the first photographs intended to free the subject matter from literal interpretation, and, as such, are some of the ...
—"literal" where possible, paraphrastic where necessary—for the original
meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * Meaning (non-linguistic), a general ter ...
and other crucial "values" (e.g.,
style Style is a manner of doing or presenting things and may refer to: * Architectural style An architectural style is a set of characteristics and features that make a building or other structure notable or historically identifiable. It is a sub-cla ...
,
verse form Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbolism, and metre (poetry), metre—to ...
, concordance with musical accompaniment or, in films, with speech movements) as determined from context. In general, translators have sought to preserve the
context Context may refer to: * Context (language use), the relevant constraints of the communicative situation that influence language use, language variation, and discourse summary. Computing * Context (computing), the virtual environment required to ...
itself by reproducing the original order of
sememe __NOTOC__ A sememe () is a semantic Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by whic ...
s, and hence
word order In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
—when necessary, reinterpreting the actual
grammatical In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
structure, for example, by shifting from
active Active may refer to: Music * Active (album), ''Active'' (album), a 1992 album by Casiopea * Active Records, a record label Ships * Active (ship), ''Active'' (ship), several commercial ships by that name * HMS Active, HMS ''Active'', the nam ...
to
passive voice A passive voice construction is a grammatical voice In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. ...

passive voice
, or ''vice versa''. The grammatical differences between "fixed-word-order"
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
s (e.g. English, ,
German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citizens of Germany, see also German nationality law * German language The German la ...

German
) and "free-word-order" languages (e.g.,
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
, Latin,
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
,
Russian Russian refers to anything related to Russia, including: *Russians (русские, ''russkiye''), an ethnic group of the East Slavic peoples, primarily living in Russia and neighboring countries *Rossiyane (россияне), Russian language term ...
) have been no impediment in this regard. The particular syntax (sentence-structure) characteristics of a text's source language are adjusted to the syntactic requirements of the target language. When a target language has lacked s that are found in a source language, translators have borrowed those terms, thereby enriching the target language. Thanks in great measure to the exchange of calques and loanwords between languages, and to their importation from other languages, there are few
concept Concepts are defined as abstract ideas A mental representation (or cognitive representation), in philosophy of mind Philosophy of mind is a branch of philosophy that studies the ontology and nature of the mind and its relationship with the bo ...

concept
s that are " untranslatable" among the modern European languages. A greater problem, however, is translating terms relating to cultural concepts that have no equivalent in the target language. For full comprehension, such situations require the provision of a gloss. Generally, the greater the contact and exchange that have existed between two languages, or between those languages and a third one, the greater is the ratio of
metaphraseMetaphrase is a term referring to literal translation, i.e., "word by word and line by line" translation. In everyday usage, metaphrase means wikt:literalism, literalism; however, metaphrase is also the translation of poetry into prose.Andrew Dousa H ...
to
paraphrase A paraphrase is a restatement of the meaning of a text or passage using other words. The term itself is derived via Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages ...
that may be used in translating among them. However, due to shifts in
ecological niche In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. Ecology considers organisms ...

ecological niche
s of words, a common
etymology Etymology ()The New Oxford Dictionary of English ''The'' () is a grammatical article Article often refers to: * Article (grammar) An article is any member of a class of dedicated words that are used with noun phrases to mark the identi ...
is sometimes misleading as a guide to current meaning in one or the other language. For example, the English ''actual'' should not be confused with the
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
French ("present", "current"), the Polish ("present", "current," "topical", "timely", "feasible"),Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 85. the Swedish ''aktuell'' ("topical", "presently of importance"), the Russian ("urgent", "topical") or the Dutch ''actueel'' ("current"). The translator's role as a bridge for "carrying across" values between cultures has been discussed at least since
Terence Publius Terentius Afer (; – ), better known in English as Terence (), was a Roman African playwright A playwright or dramatist is a person who writes play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an activity done for enjoyment * P ...
, the 2nd-century-BCE Roman adapter of Greek comedies. The translator's role is, however, by no means a passive, mechanical one, and so has also been compared to that of an
artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipeda ...

artist
. The main ground seems to be the concept of parallel creation found in critics such as
Cicero Marcus Tullius Cicero ( ; ; 3 January 106 BC – 7 December 43 BC) was a Ancient Rome, Roman statesman, lawyer, scholar, philosopher and Academic skepticism, Academic Skeptic, who tried to uphold optimate principles during crisis of ...

Cicero
. Dryden observed that "Translation is a type of drawing after life..." Comparison of the translator with a musician or actor goes back at least to
Samuel Johnson Samuel Johnson (18 September 1709  – 13 December 1784), often called Dr Johnson, was an English writer who made lasting contributions as a poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, critic A critic is a person who communicates an asses ...
's remark about
Alexander Pope Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) is seen as one of the greatest English poets and the foremost poet of the early 18th century. He is best known for satirical and discursive poetry, including ''The Rape of the Lock ''The Rape of ...

Alexander Pope
playing
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
on a
flageolet The flageolet is a woodwind instrument Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a mus ...
, while Homer himself used a
bassoon The bassoon is a woodwind instrument Woodwind instruments are a family of musical instruments A musical instrument is a device created or adapted to make musical sounds. In principle, any object that produces sound can be considered a m ...

bassoon
. If translation be an art, it is no easy one. In the 13th century,
Roger Bacon Roger Bacon (; la, Rogerus or ', also '' Rogerus''; ), also known by the scholastic accolade It was customary in the European Middle Ages, more precisely in the period of scholasticism which extended into early modern times, to designate th ...
wrote that if a translation is to be true, the translator must know both
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
s, as well as the
science Science () is a systematic enterprise that builds and organizes knowledge Knowledge is a familiarity or awareness, of someone or something, such as facts A fact is something that is truth, true. The usual test for a statement of ...

science
that he is to translate; and finding that few translators did, he wanted to do away with translation and translators altogether. The translator of the Bible into German,
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citiz ...

Martin Luther
(1483–1546), is credited with being the first European to posit that one translates satisfactorily only toward his own language. L.G. Kelly states that since
Johann Gottfried Herder Johann Gottfried (after 1802, von) Herder (; ; 25 August 174418 December 1803) was a German philosopher, theologian, poet, and literary critic. He is associated with the Age of Enlightenment, Enlightenment, ''Sturm und Drang'', and Weimar Classic ...

Johann Gottfried Herder
in the 18th century, "it has been axiomatic" that one translates only toward his own language. Compounding the demands on the translator is the fact that no
dictionary A dictionary is a listing of lexemes from the lexicon of one or more specific languages, often arranged Alphabetical order, alphabetically (or by radical-and-stroke sorting, radical and stroke for ideographic languages), which may include in ...

dictionary
or
thesaurus A thesaurus (plural ''thesauri'' or ''thesauruses'') or synonym dictionary is a reference work for finding synonyms and sometimes antonyms of words. They are often used by writers to help find the best word to express an idea: Synonym diction ...

thesaurus
can ever be a fully adequate guide in translating. The Scottish historian Alexander Tytler, in his ''Essay on the Principles of Translation'' (1790), emphasized that assiduous reading is a more comprehensive guide to a language than are dictionaries. The same point, but also including listening to the ''spoken'' language, had earlier, in 1783, been made by the Polish poet and
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
ian Onufry Kopczyński.Kasparek, "The Translator's Endless Toil", p. 86. The translator's special role in society is described in a posthumous 1803 essay by "Poland's
La Fontaine#REDIRECT Jean de La Fontaine Jean de La Fontaine (, , ; 8 July 162113 April 1695) was a French fabulist and one of the most widely read French poets of the 17th century. He is known above all for his '' Fables'', which provided a model for subs ...

La Fontaine
", the Roman Catholic
Primate of Poland Image:Henryk Muszyński.JPG, Henryk Muszyński This is a list of Archbishops of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Gniezno, Archdiocese of Gniezno, who are simultaneously primate (bishop), Primates of Poland since 1418.
, poet,
encyclopedist An encyclopedia (American English American English (AmE, AE, AmEng, USEng, en-US), sometimes called United States English or U.S. English, is the set of varieties of the English language native to the United States. Currently, Amer ...
,
author An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book A book is a medium for recording information Information is processed, organised and structured data Data (; ) are individual facts, statistics, or item ...
of the first Polish novel, and translator from French and Greek,
Ignacy Krasicki Ignacy Błażej Franciszek Krasicki (3 February 173514 March 1801), from 1766 of (in German, ''Ermland'') and from 1795 (thus, ), was Poland's leading poet"Ignacy Krasicki", ' (Encyclopedia of Poland), p. 325. ("the Prince of Poets"), a criti ...
:


Other traditions

Due to Western colonialism and cultural dominance in recent centuries, Western translation traditions have largely replaced other traditions. The Western traditions draw on both ancient and medieval traditions, and on more recent European innovations. Though earlier approaches to translation are less commonly used today, they retain importance when dealing with their products, as when historians view ancient or medieval records to piece together events which took place in non-Western or pre-Western environments. Also, though heavily influenced by Western traditions and practiced by translators taught in Western-style educational systems, Chinese and related translation traditions retain some theories and philosophies unique to the Chinese tradition.


Near East

Traditions of translating material among the languages of ancient
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
,
Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in th ...

Mesopotamia
,
Assyria Assyria (), also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamia Mesopotamia ( grc, Μεσοποταμία ''Mesopotamíā''; ar, بِلَاد ٱلرَّافِدَيْن ; syc, ܐܪܡ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ, or , ) is a historical region of We ...

Assyria
(
Syriac language The Syriac language (; syc, / '), also known as Syriac Aramaic (''Syrian Aramaic'', ''Syro-Aramaic'') and Classical Syriac (in its literary and liturgical form), is an Aramaic Aramaic (: ''Arāmāyā''; : ; : ; ) is a language that ...

Syriac language
),
Anatolia Anatolia,, tr, Anadolu Yarımadası), and the Anatolian plateau. also known as Asia Minor, is a large peninsula in Western Asia and the westernmost protrusion of the Asian continent. It makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region ...
, and
Israel Israel (; he, יִשְׂרָאֵל, translit=Yīsrāʾēl; ar, إِسْرَائِيل, translit=ʾIsrāʾīl), officially the State of Israel ( he, מְדִינַת יִשְׂרָאֵל, label=none, translit=Medīnat Yīsrāʾēl; ), is a ...

Israel
(
Hebrew language Hebrew (, , or ) is a of the . Historically, it is regarded as one of the spoken languages of the and their longest-surviving descendants: the and . It was largely preserved throughout history as the main of (post-) and . Hebrew is the ...
) go back several millennia. There exist partial translations of the Sumerian ''
Epic of Gilgamesh The ''Epic of Gilgamesh'' () is an epic poem An epic poem is a lengthy narrative poem, ordinarily involving a time beyond living memory in which occurred the extraordinary doings of the extraordinary men and women who, in dealings with ...
'' (c. 2000 BCE) into
Southwest Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to t ...
n languages of the second millennium BCE. An early example of a
bilingual in Seattle Seattle ( ) is a port, seaport city on the West Coast of the United States. It is the county seat, seat of King County, Washington, King County, Washington (state), Washington. With a 2020 population of 737,015, it is the la ...

bilingual
document is the 1274 BCE
Treaty of Kadesh A treaty is a formal, legally binding written agreement between actors in international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as bi ...

Treaty of Kadesh
between the
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization  A civilization (or civilisation) is a that is characterized by , , a form of government, and systems of communication (such as ). Civilizations are intimately associated with additional char ...

ancient Egypt
ian and s. The Babylonians were the first to establish translation as a profession. The first translations of Greek and Coptic texts into Arabic, possibly indirectly from Syriac translations, seem to have been undertaken as early as the late seventh century CE. The second Abbasid Caliph funded a translation bureau in Baghdad in the eighth century. Bayt al-Hikma, the famous library in Baghdad, was generously endowed and the collection included books in many languages, and it became a leading centre for the translation of works from antiquity into Arabic, with its own Translation Department. Translations into European languages from Arabic versions of lost Greek and Roman texts began in the middle of the eleventh century, when the benefits to be gained from the Arabs’ knowledge of the classical texts were recognised by European scholars, particularly after the establishment of the Escuela de Traductores de Toledo in Spain. Caxton’s ‘Dictes or Sayengis of the Philosophres‘ (Sayings of the Philosophers, 1477), was a translation into English of an eleventh century Egyptian text, which reached English through its translation into Latin and then French. The translation of foreign works for publishing in Arabic was revived by the establishment of the Madrasa al-Alsum (‘School of Tongues’) in Egypt in 1813 CE.


Asia

There is a separate tradition of translation in
South South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...

South
,
Southeast The points of the compass are the vectors by which planet A planet is an astronomical body orbiting a star or Stellar evolution#Stellar remnants, stellar remnant that is massive enough to be Hydrostatic equilibrium, rounded by its own gravity ...

Southeast
and
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
(primarily of texts from the
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
n and
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...

Chinese
civilizations), connected especially with the rendering of religious, particularly
Buddhist Buddhism (, ) is the world's fourth-largest religion Religion is a social Social organisms, including humans, live collectively in interacting populations. This interaction is considered social whether they are aware of it or not, an ...

Buddhist
, texts and with the governance of the Chinese empire. Classical Indian translation is characterized by loose adaptation, rather than the closer translation more commonly found in Europe; and
Chinese translation theory Chinese translation theory was born out of contact with vassal A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton M ...
identifies various criteria and limitations in translation. In the East Asian sphere of Chinese cultural influence, more important than translation ''per se'' has been the use and reading of Chinese texts, which also had substantial influence on the Japanese, Korean and Vietnamese languages, with substantial borrowings of Chinese vocabulary and writing system. Notable is the Japanese
kanbun A is a form of Classical Chinese Classical Chinese, also known as Literary Chinese (古文 ''gǔwén'' "ancient text", or 文言 ''wényán'' "text speak"; modern vernacular: 文言文 ''wényánwén'' "text speak text"), is the language ...
, a system for glossing Chinese texts for Japanese speakers. Though Indianized states in Southeast Asia often translated
Sanskrit Sanskrit (; attributively , ; nominalization, nominally , , ) is a classical language of South Asia that belongs to the Indo-Aryan languages, Indo-Aryan branch of the Indo-European languages. It arose in South Asia after its predecessor langua ...

Sanskrit
material into the local languages, the literate elites and scribes more commonly used Sanskrit as their primary language of culture and government. Some special aspects of translating from
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
are illustrated in
Perry Link Eugene Perry Link, Jr. (born 1944) () is Chancellorial Chair Professor for Innovative Teaching Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages in College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the University of California, Riverside The Uni ...

Perry Link
's discussion of translating the work of the
Tang Dynasty The Tang dynasty (, ; ), or Tang Empire, was an imperial dynasty of China that ruled from 618 to 907, with an interregnum An interregnum (plural interregna or interregnums) is a period of discontinuity or "gap" in a government, organiza ...
poet Wang Wei (699–759 CE). Once the untranslatables have been set aside, the problems for a translator, especially of Chinese poetry, are two: What does the translator think the poetic line says? And once he thinks he understands it, how can he render it into the target language? Most of the difficulties, according to Link, arise in addressing the second problem, "where the impossibility of perfect answers spawns endless debate." Almost always at the center is the letter-versus-spirit
dilemma A dilemma ( grc-gre, δίλημμα "double proposition") is a problem offering two possibilities, neither of which is unambiguously acceptable or preferable. The possibilities are termed the ''horns'' of the dilemma, a clichéd usage, but disti ...
. At the literalist extreme, efforts are made to dissect every conceivable detail about the language of the original Chinese poem. "The dissection, though," writes Link, "normally does to the art of a poem approximately what the
scalpel A scalpel, or lancet, or bistoury, is a small and extremely sharp bladed instrument used for surgery, anatomical dissection, podiatry and various handicraft, arts and crafts (called a hobby knife). Scalpels may be disposable product, single-use ...

scalpel
of an
anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organisms and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living things. It ...

anatomy
instructor does to the life of a frog." Chinese characters, in avoiding
grammatical In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. The traditional areas of linguistic analysis include ...
specificity, offer advantages to poets (and, simultaneously, challenges to poetry translators) that are associated primarily with absences of subject,
number A number is a mathematical object A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics. In the usual language of mathematics, an ''object'' is anything that has been (or could be) formally defined, and with which one may do deduct ...
, and tense.
Perry Link Eugene Perry Link, Jr. (born 1944) () is Chancellorial Chair Professor for Innovative Teaching Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages in College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at the University of California, Riverside The Uni ...

Perry Link
, "A Magician of Chinese Poetry", ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXIII, no. 18 (24 November 2016), p. 50.
It is the norm in classical Chinese poetry, and common even in modern Chinese prose, to omit subjects; the reader or listener infers a subject. The grammars of some Western languages, however, require that a subject be stated (although this is often avoided by using a passive or impersonal construction). Most of the translators cited in Eliot Weinberger's ''19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei'' supply a subject. Weinberger points out, however, that when an "I" as a subject is inserted, a "controlling individual mind of the poet" enters and destroys the effect of the Chinese line. Without a subject, he writes, "the experience becomes both universal and immediate to the reader." Another approach to the subjectlessness is to use the target language's
passive voice A passive voice construction is a grammatical voice In linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of language. It encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the methods for studying and modeling them. ...

passive voice
; but this again particularizes the experience too much.
Noun A noun () is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be uttered in isolation with semantic, objective or pragmatics, practical meaning (linguistics), meaning. In many l ...

Noun
s have no
number A number is a mathematical object A mathematical object is an abstract concept arising in mathematics. In the usual language of mathematics, an ''object'' is anything that has been (or could be) formally defined, and with which one may do deduct ...
in Chinese. "If," writes Link, "you want to talk in Chinese about one rose, you may, but then you use a "
measure word In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most language ...
" to say "one blossom-of roseness." Chinese
verb A verb () is a word (part of speech) that in syntax conveys an action (''bring'', ''read'', ''walk'', ''run'', ''learn''), an occurrence (''happen'', ''become''), or a state of being (''be'', ''exist'', ''stand''). In the usual description of E ...
s are tense-less: there are several ways to specify when something happened or will happen, but
verb tense A verb, from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Ro ...
is not one of them. For poets, this creates the great advantage of
ambiguity Ambiguity is a type of meaning Meaning most commonly refers to: * Meaning (linguistics), meaning which is communicated through the use of language * Meaning (philosophy), definition, elements, and types of meaning discussed in philosophy * ...
. According to Link, Weinberger's insight about subjectlessness—that it produces an effect "both universal and immediate"—applies to timelessness as well. Link proposes a kind of uncertainty principle that may be applicable not only to translation from the Chinese language, but to all translation:


Islamic world

Translation of material into
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
expanded after the creation of in the 5th century, and gained great importance with the rise of
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
and Islamic empires. Arab translation initially focused primarily on politics, rendering Persian, Greek, even Chinese and Indic diplomatic materials into Arabic. It later focused on translating classical Greek and Persian works, as well as some Chinese and Indian texts, into Arabic for scholarly study at major Islamic learning centers, such as the Al-Karaouine (
Fes Fez or Fes (; ar, فاس, fās, ber, ⴼⴰⵙ, fas, french: Fès) is a city in northern inland Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: ...

Fes
,
Morocco ) , image_map = Morocco (orthographic projection, WS claimed).svg , map_caption = Location of Morocco in northwest Africa.Dark green: Undisputed territory of Morocco.Lighter green: Western Sahara, a United Nations lis ...

Morocco
),
Al-Azhar Al-Azhar Mosque ( ar, الجامع الأزهر, al-Jāmiʿ al-ʾAzhar, lit=The Resplendent Congregational Mosque), known simply in Egypt as al-Azhar, is an Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a t ...
(
Cairo Cairo ( ; ar, القاهرة, al-Qāhirah, , Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asiatic language spoken in E ...

Cairo
,
Egypt Egypt ( ar, مِصر, Miṣr), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a transcontinental country This is a list of countries located on more than one continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identi ...

Egypt
), and the
Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad Baghdad (; ar, بَغْدَاد ) is the capital of Iraq Iraq ( ar, ٱلْعِرَاق, '; ku, عێراق '), officially the Republic of Iraq ( ar, جُمْهُورِيَّة ٱلْعِرَاق '; ku, کۆما ...
. In terms of theory, Arabic translation drew heavily on earlier Near Eastern traditions as well as more contemporary Greek and Persian traditions. Arabic translation efforts and techniques are important to Western translation traditions due to centuries of close contacts and exchanges. Especially after the
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
, Europeans began more intensive study of Arabic and Persian translations of classical works as well as scientific and philosophical works of Arab and oriental origins. Arabic, and to a lesser degree Persian, became important sources of material and perhaps of techniques for revitalized Western traditions, which in time would overtake the Islamic and oriental traditions. In the 19th century, after the
Middle East The Middle East ( ar, الشرق الأوسط, ISO 233 The international standard An international standard is a technical standard A technical standard is an established norm (social), norm or requirement for a repeatable technical task whi ...

Middle East
's
Islam Islam (; ar, اَلْإِسْلَامُ, al-’Islām, "submission o God Oh God may refer to: * An exclamation; similar to "oh no", "oh yes", "oh my", "aw goodness", "ah gosh", "ah gawd"; see interjection An interjection is a word or ex ...
ic clerics and copyists A translator who contributed mightily to the advance of the Islamic Enlightenment was the Egyptian cleric Rifaa al-Tahtawi (1801–73), who had spent five years in Paris in the late 1820s, teaching religion to Muslim students. After returning to Cairo with the encouragement of
Muhammad Ali Muhammad Ali (; born Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr.; January 17, 1942 – June 3, 2016) was an American professional boxer, activist, entertainer, poet and philanthropist. Nicknamed The Greatest, he is widely regarded as one of the most significa ...
(1769–1849), the
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
viceroy of Egypt, al–Tahtawi became head of the new school of languages and embarked on an intellectual revolution by initiating a program to translate some two thousand European and Turkish volumes, ranging from ancient texts on geography and geometry to
Voltaire François-Marie Arouet (; 21 November 169430 May 1778), known by his ''nom de plume A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a ...

Voltaire
's biography of
Peter the Great Peter the Great ( rus, Пётр Вели́кий, Pyotr Velíkiy, ˈpʲɵtr vʲɪˈlʲikʲɪj), Peter I ( rus, Пётр Первый, Pyotr Pyervyy, ˈpʲɵtr ˈpʲɛrvɨj) or Pyotr Alekséyevich ( rus, Пётр Алексе́евич, p=ˈp ...

Peter the Great
, along with the ''
Marseillaise "La Marseillaise" is the national anthem A national anthem is a patriotic Patriotism or national pride is the feeling of love, devotion, and sense of attachment to a homeland and alliance with other citizens who share the same sent ...

Marseillaise
'' and the entire ''''. This was the biggest, most meaningful importation of foreign thought into Arabic since
Abbasid The Abbasid Caliphate ( or ar, اَلْخِلَافَةُ ٱلْعَبَّاسِيَّةُ, ') was the third caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islam Islam (;There ar ...
times (750–1258). The movement to translate English and European texts transformed the Arabic and
Ottoman Ottoman is the Turkish spelling of the Arabic masculine given name Uthman (name), Uthman (Arabic: عُثْمان ''‘uthmān''). It may refer to: Governments and dynasties * Ottoman Caliphate, an Islamic caliphate from 1517 to 1924 * Ottoman Empi ...
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...

Turkish
languages, and new words, simplified syntax, and directness came to be valued over the previous convolutions. Educated Arabs and Turks in the new professions and the modernized
civil service The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leader ...
expressed
skepticism Skepticism (American American(s) may refer to: * American, something of, from, or related to the United States of America, commonly known as the United States The United States of America (USA), commonly known as the United States (U. ...

skepticism
, writes Christopher de Bellaigue, "with a freedom that is rarely witnessed today ... No longer was legitimate knowledge defined by texts in the religious schools, interpreted for the most part with stultifying literalness. It had come to include virtually any intellectual production anywhere in the world." One of the neologisms that, in a way, came to characterize the infusion of new ideas via translation was ''"darwiniya"'', or "Darwinism". One of the most influential liberal Islamic thinkers of the time was Muhammad Abduh (1849–1905), Egypt's senior judicial authority—its chief mufti—at the turn of the 20th century and an admirer of Charles Darwin, Darwin who in 1903 visited Darwin's exponent Herbert Spencer at his home in Brighton. Spencer's view of social organism, society as an organism with its own laws of evolution paralleled Abduh's ideas. After World War I, when Britain and France divided up the Middle East's countries, apart from Turkey, between them, pursuant to the Sykes-Picot agreement—in violation of solemn wartime promises of postwar Arab autonomy—there came an immediate reaction: the Muslim Brotherhood emerged in Egypt, the House of Saud took over the Hijaz, and regimes led by army officers came to power in Iran and Turkey. "[B]oth illiberal currents of the modern Middle East," writes Christopher de Bellaigue, de Bellaigue, "Islamism and militarism, received a major impetus from Western Imperialism, empire-builders."As often happens in countries undergoing social crisis, the aspirations of the Muslim world's translators and modernizers, such as Muhammad Abduh, largely had to yield to retrograde currents.


Fidelity and transparency

Fidelity (or "faithfulness") and felicityMarina Warner, "The Politics of Translation" (a review of Kate Briggs, ''This Little Art'', 2017; Mireille Gansel, translated by Ros Schwartz, 2017; Mark Polizzotti, ''Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto'', 2018; Boyd Tonkin, ed., ''The 100 Best Novels in Translation'', 2018; Clive Scott (linguist), Clive Scott, ''The Work of Literary Translation'', 2018), ''London Review of Books'', vol. 40, no. 19 (11 October 2018), p. 22. (or transparency (linguistic), transparency), dual ideals in translation, are often (though not always) at odds. A 17th-century French critic coined the phrase "" to suggest that translations can be either faithful or beautiful, but not both. Fidelity is the extent to which a translation accurately renders the meaning of the source text, without distortion. Transparency (linguistic), Transparency is the extent to which a translation appears to a native speaker of the target language to have originally been written in that language, and conforms to its grammar, syntax and idiom. John Dryden (1631–1700) wrote in his preface to the translation anthology ''Sylvae'': A translation that meets the criterion of fidelity (faithfulness) is said to be "faithful"; a translation that meets the criterion of transparency, "idiomatic". Depending on the given translation, the two qualities may not be mutually exclusive. The criteria for judging the fidelity of a translation vary according to the subject, type and use of the text, its literary qualities, its social or historical context, etc. The criteria for judging the transparency (linguistic), transparency of a translation appear more straightforward: an unidiomatic translation "sounds wrong" and, in extreme cases of word-for-word translation, often results in patent nonsense. Nevertheless, in certain contexts a translator may consciously seek to produce a literal translation. Translators of literary, religious, or historic texts often adhere as closely as possible to the source text, stretching the limits of the target language to produce an unidiomatic text. Also, a translator may adopt expressions from the source language in order to provide "local color". While current Western translation practice is dominated by the dual concepts of "fidelity" and "transparency", this has not always been the case. There have been periods, especially in pre-Classical Rome and in the 18th century, when many translators stepped beyond the bounds of translation proper into the realm of ''adaptation''. Adapted translation retains currency in some non-Western traditions. The
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
n epic, the ''Ramayana'', appears in many versions in the various Languages of India, Indian languages, and the stories are different in each. Similar examples are to be found in medieval Christianity, medieval Christian literature, which adjusted the text to local customs and mores. Many non-transparent-translation theories draw on concepts from German Romanticism, the most obvious influence being the German theologian and philosopher Friedrich Schleiermacher. In his seminal lecture "On the Different Methods of Translation" (1813) he distinguished between translation methods that move "the writer toward [the reader]", i.e., transparency (linguistic), transparency, and those that move the "reader toward [the author]", i.e., an extreme fidelity to the foreignness of the source text. Schleiermacher favored the latter approach; he was motivated, however, not so much by a desire to embrace the foreign, as by a nationalist desire to oppose France's cultural domination and to promote German literature. In recent decades, prominent advocates of such "non-transparent" translation have included the French scholar Antoine Berman, who identified twelve deforming tendencies inherent in most prose translations, and the American theorist Lawrence Venuti, who has called on translators to apply "foreignizing" rather than domesticating translation strategies.


Equivalence

The question of fidelity vs. transparency (linguistic), transparency has also been formulated in terms of, respectively, "''formal'' equivalence" and "''dynamic'' [or ''functional''] equivalence" – expressions associated with the translator Eugene Nida and originally coined to describe ways of translating the Bible; but the two approaches are applicable to any translation. "Formal equivalence" corresponds to "metaphrase", and "dynamic equivalence" to "paraphrase". "Formal equivalence" (sought via "literal" translation) attempts to render the text literally, or "word for word" (the latter expression being itself a word-for-word rendering of the classical Latin ) – if necessary, at the expense of features natural to the target language. By contrast, "dynamic equivalence" (or "''functional'' equivalence") conveys the essential thoughts expressed in a source text—if necessary, at the expense of literality, original
sememe __NOTOC__ A sememe () is a semantic Semantics (from grc, σημαντικός ''sēmantikós'', "significant") is the study of reference Reference is a relationship between objects in which one object designates, or acts as a means by whic ...
and
word order In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most languag ...
, the source text's active vs. passive voice (grammar), voice, etc. There is, however, no sharp boundary between formal and functional equivalence. On the contrary, they represent a spectrum of translation approaches. Each is used at various times and in various contexts by the same translator, and at various points within the same text – sometimes simultaneously. Competent translation entails the judicious blending of formal and functional
equivalents ''Equivalents'' is a series of photographs of clouds taken by Alfred Stieglitz from 1925 to 1934. They are generally recognized as the first photographs intended to free the subject matter from literal interpretation, and, as such, are some of the ...
. Common pitfalls in translation, especially when practiced by inexperienced translators, involve false equivalents such as "false friends" and false cognates.


Back-translation

A "back-translation" is a translation of a translated text back into the language of the original text, made without reference to the original text. Comparison of a back-translation with the original text is sometimes used as a check on the accuracy of the original translation, much as the accuracy of a mathematical operation is sometimes checked by reversing the operation. But the results of such reverse-translation operations, while useful as approximate checks, are not always precisely reliable. Back-translation must in general be less accurate than back-calculation because linguistic symbols (words) are often ambiguous, whereas mathematical symbols are intentionally unequivocal. In the context of machine translation, a back-translation is also called a "round-trip translation." When translations are produced of material used in medical clinical trials, such as informed consent, informed-consent forms, a back-translation is often required by the Ethics Committee (European Union), ethics committee or institutional review board. Mark Twain provided humorously telling evidence for the frequent unreliability of back-translation when he issued his own back-translation of a French translation of his short story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County". He published his back-translation in a 1903 volume together with his English-language original, the French translation, and a "Private History of the 'Jumping Frog' Story". The latter included a synopsized adaptation of his story that Twain stated had appeared, unattributed to Twain, in a Professor Sidgwick's ''Greek Prose Composition'' (p. 116) under the title, "The Athenian and the Frog"; the adaptation had for a time been taken for an independent Ancient Greece, ancient Greek precursor to Twain's "Jumping Frog" story. When a document survives only in translation, the original having been lost, researchers sometimes undertake back-translation in an effort to reconstruct the original text. An example involves the novel ''The Manuscript Found in Saragossa, The Saragossa Manuscript'' by the Polish aristocrat Jan Potocki (1761–1815), who wrote the novel in French and anonymously published fragments in 1804 and 1813–14. Portions of the original French-language manuscript were subsequently lost; however, the missing fragments survived in a Polish translation, made by Edmund Chojecki in 1847 from a complete French copy that has since been lost. French-language versions of the complete ''Saragossa Manuscript'' have since been produced, based on extant French-language fragments and on French-language versions that have been back-translated from Chojecki's Polish version. Many works by the influential Classical antiquity, Classical physician Galen survive only in medieval
Arabic Arabic (, ' or , ' or ) is a Semitic language The Semitic languages are a branch of the Afroasiatic language family originating in the Middle East The Middle East is a list of transcontinental countries, transcontinental region ...

Arabic
translation. Some survive only in Renaissance Latin translations from the Arabic, thus at a second remove from the original. To better understand Galen, scholars have attempted back-translation of such works in order to reconstruct the original ancient Greek, Greek. When historians suspect that a document is actually a translation from another language, back-translation into that hypothetical original language can provide supporting evidence by showing that such characteristics as idioms, puns, peculiar Grammar, grammatical structures, etc., are in fact derived from the original language. For example, the known text of the ''Till Eulenspiegel'' folk tales is in High German but contains puns that work only when back-translated to Low German. This seems clear evidence that these tales (or at least large portions of them) were originally written in Low German and translated into High German by an over-metaphrastic translator. Supporters of Aramaic primacy—the view that the Christianity, Christian New Testament or its sources were originally written in the Aramaic language—seek to prove their case by showing that difficult passages in the existing Ancient Greek, Greek text of the New Testament make much more sense when back-translated to Aramaic: that, for example, some incomprehensible references are in fact Aramaic puns that do not work in Greek. Due to similar indications, it is believed that the 2nd century Gnostic Gospel of Judas, which survives only in Coptic language, Coptic, was originally written in Greek.
John Dryden '' John Dryden (; – ) was an English poet, , translator, and playwright who was appointed England's first in 1668. He is seen as dominating the literary life of to such a point that the period came to be known in literary circles as the ...

John Dryden
(1631–1700), the dominant English-language literary figure of his age, illustrates, in his use of back-translation, translators' influence on the evolution of languages and literary styles. Dryden is believed to be the first person to posit that English sentences should not end in prepositions because Latin sentences cannot end in prepositions. Dryden created the proscription against "preposition stranding" in 1672 when he objected to Ben Jonson's 1611 phrase, "the bodies that those souls were frighted from", though he did not provide the rationale for his preference. Dryden often translated his writing into Latin, to check whether his writing was concise and elegant, Latin being considered an elegant and long-lived language with which to compare; then he back-translated his writing back to English according to Latin-grammar usage. As Latin does not have sentences ending in prepositions, Dryden may have applied Latin grammar to English, thus forming the controversial rule of Preposition stranding#The Debate about P-stranding, no sentence-ending prepositions, subsequently adopted by other writers.


Source and target languages

In the practice of translation, the source language is the language being translated from, while the target language, also called the receptor language, is the language being translated into.Basil Hatim and Jeremy Munday
Translation: An Advanced Resource Book
Introduction, pg. 10. Milton Park: Routledge, 2004.
Difficulties in translating can arise from lexicon, lexical and syntactical differences between the source language and the target language, which differences tend to be greater between two languages belonging to different language family, language families. Often the source language is the translator's second language, while the target language is the translator's first language. In some geographical settings, however, the source language is the translator's first language because not enough people speak the source language as a second language. For instance, a 2005 survey found that 89% of professional Slovene translators translate into their second language, usually English. In cases where the source language is the translator's first language, the translation process has been referred to by various terms, including "translating into a non-mother tongue", "translating into a second language", "inverse translation", "reverse translation", "service translation", and "translation from A to B". Translation for specialized or professional fields requires a working knowledge, as well, of the pertinent terminology in the field. For example, translation of a legal text requires not only fluency in the respective languages but also familiarity with the terminology specific to the legal field in each language. While the form and style of the source language often cannot be reproduced in the target language, the meaning and content can. Linguist Roman Jakobson went so far as to assert that all cognitive experience can be classified and expressed in any living language. Linguist Ghil'ad Zuckermann suggests that the limits are not of translation ''per se'' but rather of ''elegant'' translation.


Source and target texts

In translation, a source text (ST) is a text written in a given source language which is to be, or has been, translated into another language, while a target text (TT) is a translated text written in the intended target language, which is the result of a translation from a given source text. According to Jeremy Munday's definition of translation, "the process of translation between two different written languages involves the changing of an original written text (the source text or ST) in the original verbal language (the source language or SL) into a written text (the target text or TT) in a different verbal language (the target language or TL)". The terms 'source text' and 'target text' are preferred over 'original' and 'translation' because they do not have the same positive vs. negative value judgment. Translation scholars including Eugene Nida and Peter Newmark have represented the different approaches to translation as falling broadly into source-text-oriented or target-text-oriented categories.


Translators

Competent translators show the following attributes: *a ''very good'' knowledge of the language, written and spoken, ''from which'' they are translating (the source language); *an ''excellent'' command of the language ''into which'' they are translating (the target language); *familiarity with the subject matter of the text being translated; *a profound understanding of the etymological and idiomatic correlates between the two languages, including Register (sociolinguistics), sociolinguistic register when appropriate; and *a finely tuned sense of when to ''metaphrase'' ("translate literally") and when to ''paraphrase'', so as to assure true rather than spurious ''#Equivalence, equivalents'' between the source and target language texts. A competent translator is not only bilingual but bicultural. A
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
is not merely a collection of words and of rules of
grammar In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language, meaning that it is a comprehensive, systematic, objective, and precise study of language. Linguistics encompasses the analysis of every aspect of language, as well as the ...
and syntax for generating Sentence (linguistics), sentences, but also a vast interconnecting system of connotations and culture, cultural references whose mastery, writes linguist Mario Pei, "comes close to being a lifetime job." The complexity of the translator's task cannot be overstated; one author suggests that becoming an accomplished translator—after having already acquired a good basic knowledge of both languages and cultures—may require a minimum of ten years' experience. Viewed in this light, it is a serious misconception to assume that a person who has fair fluency in two languages will, by virtue of that fact alone, be consistently competent to translate between them. Emily Wilson (classicist), Emily Wilson, a professor of classical studies at the University of Pennsylvania and herself a translator, writes: "[I]t is [hard] to produce a good literary translation. This is certainly true of translations of ancient Greek and Latin, Roman texts, but it is also true of literary translation in general: it is very difficult. Most readers of foreign languages are not translators; most writers are not translators. Translators have to read and write at the same time, as if always playing multiple instruments in a One-man band, one-person band. And most one-person bands do not sound very good." The translator's role, in relation to the original text, has been compared to the roles of other interpretive artists, e.g., a musician or actor who interprets a work of musical or dramatic art. Translating, especially a text of any complexity (like other human activities), involves ''interpretation'': choices must be made, which implies interpretation. Mark Polizzotti writes: "A good translation offers not a reproduction of the work but an interpretation, a re-representation, just as the performance of a Play (theatre), play or a sonata is a representation of the Play (theatre), script or the Sheet music, score, one among many possible representations." A translation of a text of any complexity is – as, itself, a work of art – unique and unrepeatable. The English-language novelist Joseph Conrad, whose writings Zdzisław Najder has described as verging on "auto-translation" from Conrad's Polish and French linguistic personae, advised his niece and
Polish Polish may refer to: * Anything from or related to Poland Poland ( pl, Polska ), officially the Republic of Poland ( pl, Rzeczpospolita Polska, links=no ), is a country located in Central Europe. It is divided into 16 Voivodeships of Pol ...
translator Aniela Zagórska: "[D]on't trouble to be too scrupulous ... I may tell you (in French) that in my opinion ''il vaut mieux interpréter que traduire'' [it is better to interpret than to translate] ...''Il s'agit donc de trouver les équivalents. Et là, ma chère, je vous prie laissez vous guider plutôt par votre tempérament que par une conscience sévère ...'' [It is, then, a question of finding the equivalent expressions. And there, my dear, I beg you to let yourself be guided more by your temperament than by a strict conscience....]" Conrad advised another translator that the prime requisite for a good translation is that it be "idiomatic". "For in the idiom is the ''clearness'' of a language and the language's force and its picturesqueness—by which last I mean the picture-producing power of arranged words." Conrad thought C.K. Scott Moncrieff's English translation of Marcel Proust's ''À la recherche du temps perdu'' (''In Search of Lost Time''—or, in Scott Moncrieff's rendering, ''Remembrance of Things Past'') to be preferable to the French original. Emily Wilson (classicist), Emily Wilson writes that "translation always involves interpretation, and [requires] every translator... to think as deeply as humanly possible about each verbal, poetic, and interpretative choice." Translation of other than the simplest brief texts requires painstakingly close reading of the source text and the draft translation, so as to resolve the ambiguities inherent in
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
and thereby to asymptotically approach the most accurate rendering of the source text.
Christopher Kasparek Christopher Kasparek (born 1945) is a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish Englis ...
, translator's foreword to Bolesław Prus, ''Pharaoh (Prus novel), Pharaoh'', translated from the Polish, with foreword and notes, by Christopher Kasparek, Amazon Kindle e-book, 2020, ASIN:BO8MDN6CZV.
Part of the ambiguity, for a translator, involves the structure of human
language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the ...

language
. Psychology, Psychologist and neural science, neural scientist Gary Marcus notes that "virtually every sentence [that people generate] is ambiguity, ambiguous, often in multiple ways. Our brain is so good at comprehending language that we do not usually notice." An example of linguistic ambiguity is the "pronoun disambiguation problem" ("PDP"): a machine has no way of determining to whom or what a pronoun in a sentence—such as "he", "she" or "it"—refers. Such disambiguation is not infallible by a human, either. Ambiguity is a concern both to translators and – as the writings of poet and literary critic William Empson have demonstrated – to literary criticism, literary critics. Ambiguity may be desirable, indeed essential, in poetry and diplomacy; it can be more problematic in ordinary prose.
Christopher Kasparek Christopher Kasparek (born 1945) is a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish Englis ...
also cautions that competent translation – analogously to the dictum, in mathematics, of Kurt Gödel's incompleteness theorems – generally requires more information about the subject matter than is present in the actual source text. Therefore translation of a text of any complexity typically requires some research on the translator's part.
Christopher Kasparek Christopher Kasparek (born 1945) is a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish Englis ...
, translator's foreword to Bolesław Prus, ''Pharaoh (Prus novel), Pharaoh'', translated from the Polish, with foreword and notes, by Christopher Kasparek, Amazon Kindle e-book, 2020, ASIN:BO8MDN6CZV.
A translator faces two contradictory tasks: when translating, to strive for omniscience concerning the text; and, when reviewing the resulting translation, to adopt the reader’s unfamiliarity with it. Analogously, "[i]n the process, the translator is also constantly seesawing between the respective linguistic and cultural features of his two languages."
Christopher Kasparek Christopher Kasparek (born 1945) is a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish Englis ...
, translator's foreword to Bolesław Prus, ''Pharaoh (Prus novel), Pharaoh'', translated from the Polish, with foreword and notes, by Christopher Kasparek, Amazon Kindle e-book, 2020, ASIN:BO8MDN6CZV.
Thus, writes Kasparek, "Translating a text of any complexity, like the performing of a musical or dramatic work, involves ''interpretation'': choices must be made, which entails interpretation. Bernard Shaw, aspiring to felicitous understanding of literary works, wrote in the preface to his 1901 volume, ''Three Plays for Puritans'': 'I would give half a dozen of Shakespeare's plays for one of the prefaces he ought to have written.'"
Christopher Kasparek Christopher Kasparek (born 1945) is a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish Englis ...
, translator's foreword to Bolesław Prus, ''Pharaoh (Prus novel), Pharaoh'', translated from the Polish, with foreword and notes, by Christopher Kasparek, Amazon Kindle e-book, 2020, ASIN:BO8MDN6CZV.
Translators may render only parts of the original text, provided that they inform readers of that action. But a translator should not assume the role of Censorship, censor and surreptitiously delete or bowdlerize passages merely to please a political or moral interest.Billiani, Francesca (2001) Translating has served as a school of writing for many an author, much as the copying of masterworks of painting has schooled many a novice painter. A translator who can competently render an author's thoughts into the translator's own language, should certainly be able to adequately render, in his own language, any thoughts of his own. Translating (like analytic philosophy) compels precise analysis of language, language elements and of their usage. In 1946 the poet Ezra Pound, then at St. Elizabeth's Hospital, in Washington, D.C., advised a visitor, the 18-year-old beginning poet W.S. Merwin: "The work of translation is the best teacher you'll ever have." Merwin, translator-poet who took Pound's advice to heart, writes of translation as an "impossible, unfinishable" art. Translators, including monks who spread Buddhist texts in
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
, and the early modern European translators of the Bible, in the course of their work have shaped the very languages into which they have translated. They have acted as bridges for conveying knowledge between cultures; and along with ideas, they have imported from the source languages, into their own languages, loanwords and calques of grammar, grammatical structures, idioms, and vocabulary.


Interpreting

Interpreting is the facilitation of speech communication, oral or sign language, sign-language communication, either simultaneously or consecutively, between two, or among three or more, speakers who are not speaking, or signing, the same language. The term "interpreting," rather than "interpretation," is preferentially used for this activity by Anglophone translators, to avoid confusion with other meanings of the word "wikt:interpret, interpretation." Unlike English, many languages do not employ two separate words to denote the activities of writing, written and live-communication (speech communication, oral or sign language, sign-language) translators. Even English does not always make the distinction, frequently using "translating" as a synonym for "interpreting." Interpreters have sometimes played crucial roles in History of the world, history. A prime example is La Malinche, also known as ''Malintzin'', ''Malinalli'' and ''Doña Marina'', an early-16th-century Nahua peoples, Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf of Mexico, Gulf Coast. As a child she had been sold or given to Maya peoples, Maya slave-traders from Xicalango, and thus had become bilingual. Subsequently given along with other women to the invading Spaniards, she became instrumental in the Spain, Spanish conquest of Mexico, acting as interpreter, adviser, intermediary and lover to Hernán Cortés. Nearly three centuries later, in the United States, a comparable role as interpreter was played for the Lewis and Clark Expedition of 1804–6 by Sacagawea. As a child, the Lemhi Shoshone woman had been kidnapped by Hidatsa Indians and thus had become bilingual. Sacagawea facilitated the expedition's traverse of the North American continent to the Pacific Ocean. The famous Chinese man of letters Lin Shu (1852 – 1924), who knew no foreign languages, rendered Western literary classics into Chinese with the help of his friend Wang Shouchang (王壽昌), who had studied in France. Wang interpreted the texts for Lin, who rendered them into Chinese. Lin's first such translation, 巴黎茶花女遺事 (''Past Stories of the Camellia-woman of Paris'' – Alexandre Dumas, fils's, ''The Lady of the Camellias, La Dame aux Camélias''), published in 1899, was an immediate success and was followed by many more translations from the French and the English.


Sworn translation

Translating for legal equivalence, Sworn translation, also called "certified translation," aims at legal equivalence between two documents written in different languages. It is performed by someone authorized to do so by local regulations, which vary widely from country to country. Some countries recognize self-declared competence. Others require the translator to be an official state appointee. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, certain government institutions require that translators be accredited by certain translation institutes or associations in order to be able to carry out certified translations.


Telephone

Many commercial services exist that will interpret spoken language via telephone. There is also at least one custom-built mobile device that does the same thing. The device connects users to human interpreters who can translate between English and 180 other languages.


Internet

Web-based human translation is generally favored by companies and individuals that wish to secure more accurate translations. In view of the frequent inaccuracy of machine translations, human translation remains the most reliable, most accurate form of translation available. With the recent emergence of translation crowdsourcing, translation memory techniques, and internet applications, translation agencies have been able to provide on-demand human-translation services to Small and medium businesses, businesses, individuals, and enterprises. While not instantaneous like its machine counterparts such as Google Translate and Babel Fish (website), Babel Fish (now defunct), web-based human translation has been gaining popularity by providing relatively fast, accurate translation of business communications, legal documents, medical records, and software localization. Web-based human translation also appeals to private website users and bloggers. Contents of websites are translatable but urls of websites are not translatable into other languages. Language tools on the internet provide help in understanding text.


Computer assist

Computer-assisted translation (CAT), also called "computer-aided translation," "machine-aided human translation" (MAHT) and "interactive translation," is a form of translation wherein a human translator creates a #Source and target texts, target text with the assistance of a computer program. The machine supports a human translator. Computer-assisted translation can include standard
dictionary A dictionary is a listing of lexemes from the lexicon of one or more specific languages, often arranged Alphabetical order, alphabetically (or by radical-and-stroke sorting, radical and stroke for ideographic languages), which may include in ...

dictionary
and grammar software. The term, however, normally refers to a range of specialized programs available to the translator, including translation memory, terminology-management, concordancer, concordance, and alignment programs. These tools speed up and facilitate human translation, but they do not provide translation. The latter is a function of tools known broadly as machine translation. The tools speed up the translation process by assisting the human translator by memorizing or committing translations to a database (translation memory database) so that if the same sentence occurs in the same project or a future project, the content can be reused. This translation reuse leads to cost savings, better consistency and shorter project timelines.


Machine translation

Machine translation (MT) is a process whereby a computer program analyzes a source text and, in principle, produces a target text without human intervention. In reality, however, machine translation typically does involve human intervention, in the form of pre-editing and post-editing.See th
annually performed NIST tests since 2001
and Bilingual Evaluation Understudy
With proper terminology work, with preparation of the source text for machine translation (pre-editing), and with reworking of the machine translation by a human translator (post-editing), commercial machine-translation tools can produce useful results, especially if the machine-translation system is integrated with a translation memory or translation management system. Unedited machine translation is publicly available through tools on the
Internet The Internet (or internet) is the global system of interconnected computer networks that uses the Internet protocol suite (TCP/IP) to communicate between networks and devices. It is a ''internetworking, network of networks'' that consist ...

Internet
such as Google Translate, Babel Fish (website), Babel Fish (now defunct), Babylon Software, Babylon, DeepL Translator, and StarDict. These produce rough translations that, under favorable circumstances, "give the gist" of the source text. With the Internet, translation software can help non-native-speaking individuals understand web pages published in other languages. Whole-page-translation tools are of limited utility, however, since they offer only a limited potential understanding of the original author's intent and context; translated pages tend to be more erroneously humorous and confusing than enlightening. Interactive translations with Pop-up ad, pop-up windows are becoming more popular. These tools show one or more possible equivalents for each word or phrase. Human operators merely need to select the likeliest equivalent as the mouse glides over the foreign-language text. Possible equivalents can be grouped by pronunciation. Also, companies such as Ectaco produce pocket devices that provide machine translations. Relying exclusively on unedited machine translation, however, ignores the fact that communication in natural language, human language is wikt:context, context-embedded and that it takes a person to comprehend the context of the original text with a reasonable degree of probability. It is certainly true that even purely human-generated translations are prone to error; therefore, to ensure that a machine-generated translation will be useful to a human being and that publishable-quality translation is achieved, such translations must be reviewed and edited by a human. Claude Piron writes that machine translation, at its best, automates the easier part of a translator's job; the harder and more time-consuming part usually involves doing extensive research to resolve ambiguity, ambiguities in the source text, which the grammatical and lexical (semiotics), lexical exigencies of the target language require to be resolved. Such research is a necessary prelude to the pre-editing necessary in order to provide input for machine-translation software, such that the output will not be garbage in garbage out, meaningless. The weaknesses of pure machine translation, unaided by human expertise, are Logology (science of science)#Artificial intelligence, those of artificial intelligence itself. As of 2018, professional translator Mark Polizzotti held that machine translation, by Google Translate and the like, was unlikely to threaten human translators anytime soon, because machines would never grasp nuance and connotation. Writes Paul Taylor: "Perhaps there is a limit to what a computer can do without knowing that it is manipulating imperfect representations of an external reality."


Literary translation

Translation of literature, literary works (novels, short story, short stories, theatre, plays, poetry, poems, etc.) is considered a literary pursuit in its own right. Notable in Canadian literature ''specifically'' as translators are figures such as Sheila Fischman, Robert Dickson (writer), Robert Dickson, and Linda Gaboriau; and the Canadian Governor General's Awards annually present prizes for the best English-to-French and French-to-English literary translations. Other writers, among many who have made a name for themselves as literary translators, include Vasily Zhukovsky, Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński, Vladimir Nabokov, Jorge Luis Borges, Robert Stiller, Lydia Davis, Haruki Murakami, Achy Obejas, and Jhumpa Lahiri. In the 2010s a substantial gender imbalance was noted in literary translation into English, with far more male writers being translated than women writers. In 2014 Meytal Radzinski launched the ''Women in Translation'' campaign to address this.


History

The first important translation in the West was that of the Septuagint, a collection of Jewish Scriptures translated into early Koine Greek in Alexandria between the 3rd and 1st centuries BCE. The dispersed Jews had forgotten their ancestral language and needed Greek versions (translations) of their Scriptures. Throughout the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, Latin was the ''lingua franca'' of the western learned world. The 9th-century Alfred the Great, king of Wessex in England, was far ahead of his time in commissioning vernacular Anglo-Saxon language, Anglo-Saxon translations of Bede's ''Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, Ecclesiastical History'' and Boethius' ''Consolation of Philosophy''. Meanwhile, the Christian Church frowned on even partial adaptations of St. Jerome's ''Vulgate Bible, Vulgate'' of c. 384 CE, the standard Latin Bible. In Asia, the spread of Buddhism led to large-scale ongoing translation efforts spanning well over a thousand years. The Tangut Empire was especially efficient in such efforts; exploiting the then newly invented block printing, and with the full support of the government (contemporary sources describe the Emperor and his mother personally contributing to the translation effort, alongside sages of various nationalities), the Tanguts took mere decades to translate volumes that had taken the
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...

Chinese
centuries to render. The Arabs undertook Graeco-Arabic translation movement, large-scale efforts at translation. Having conquered the Ancient Greece, Greek world, they made Arabic versions of its philosophical and scientific works. During the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, translations of some of these Arabic versions Latin translations of the 12th century, were made into Latin, chiefly at Córdoba, Spain, Córdoba in Spain.J.M. Cohen, p. 13. King Alfonso X of Castile, Alfonso X the Wise of Kingdom of Castile, Castile in the 13th century promoted this effort by founding a ''Schola Traductorum'' (School of Translation) in Toledo, Spain, Toledo. There Arabic texts, Hebrew texts, and Latin texts were translated into the other tongues by Muslim, Jewish, and Christian scholars, who also argued the merits of their respective religions. Latin translations of Greek and original Arab works of scholarship and science helped advance European Scholasticism, and thus European science and culture. The broad historic trends in Western translation practice may be illustrated on the example of translation into the English language. The first fine translations into English were made in the 14th century by Geoffrey Chaucer, who adapted from the Italian language, Italian of Giovanni Boccaccio in his own ''Knight's Tale'' and ''Troilus and Criseyde''; began a translation of the French-language ''Roman de la Rose''; and completed a translation of Boethius from the Latin. Chaucer founded an English poetry, poetic tradition on ''Literary adaptation, adaptations'' and translations from those earlier-established literary languages. The first great English translation was the ''Wycliffe Bible'' (c. 1382), which showed the weaknesses of an underdeveloped English prose. Only at the end of the 15th century did the great age of English prose translation begin with Thomas Malory's ''Le Morte Darthur''—an adaptation of Arthurian romances so free that it can, in fact, hardly be called a true translation. The first great Tudor period, Tudor translations are, accordingly, the ''Tyndale Bible, Tyndale New Testament'' (1525), which influenced the ''Authorized Version'' (1611), and Lord Berners' version of Jean Froissart's ''Chronicles'' (1523–25). Meanwhile, in
Renaissance The Renaissance ( , ) , from , with the same meanings. is a period Period may refer to: Common uses * Era, a length or span of time * Full stop (or period), a punctuation mark Arts, entertainment, and media * Period (music), a concept in ...

Renaissance
Italy, a new period in the history of translation had opened in Florence with the arrival, at the court of Cosimo de' Medici, of the Byzantine scholar Georgius Gemistus Pletho shortly before the fall of Constantinople to the Turks (1453). A Latin translation of Plato's works was undertaken by Marsilio Ficino. This and Erasmus' Latin edition of the ''New Testament'' led to a new attitude to translation. For the first time, readers demanded rigor of rendering, as philosophical and religious beliefs depended on the exact words of Plato, Aristotle and Jesus. Non-scholarly literature, however, continued to rely on ''adaptation''. France's ''Pléiade'', England's Tudor period, Tudor poets, and the Elizabethan translators adapted themes by
Horace Quintus Horatius Flaccus (; 8 December 65 – 27 November 8 BC), known in the English-speaking world as Horace (), was the leading Roman Empire, Roman Lyric poetry, lyric poet during the time of Augustus (also known as Octavian). The rhetoricia ...

Horace
, Ovid, Petrarch and modern Latin writers, forming a new poetic style on those models. The English poets and translators sought to supply a new public, created by the rise of a middle class and the development of printing, with works such as the original authors ''would have written'', had they been writing in England in that day. The Elizabethan period of translation saw considerable progress beyond mere paraphrase toward an ideal of Stylistics (linguistics), stylistic equivalence, but even to the end of this period, which actually reached to the middle of the 17th century, there was no concern for Words, verbal accuracy.J.M. Cohen, p. 14. In the second half of the 17th century, the poet John Dryden sought to make Virgil speak "in words such as he would probably have written if he were living and an Englishman". As great as Dryden's poem is, however, one is reading Dryden, and not experiencing the Roman poet's concision. Similarly,
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
arguably suffers from
Alexander Pope Alexander Pope (21 May 1688 – 30 May 1744) is seen as one of the greatest English poets and the foremost poet of the early 18th century. He is best known for satirical and discursive poetry, including ''The Rape of the Lock ''The Rape of ...

Alexander Pope
's endeavor to reduce the Greek poet's "wild paradise" to order. Both works live on as worthy ''English'' epics, more than as a point of access to the Latin or Greek. Throughout the 18th century, the watchword of translators was ease of reading. Whatever they did not understand in a text, or thought might bore readers, they omitted. They cheerfully assumed that their own style of expression was the best, and that texts should be made to conform to it in translation. For scholarship they cared no more than had their predecessors, and they did not shrink from making translations from translations in third languages, or from languages that they hardly knew, or—as in the case of James Macpherson's "translations" of Ossian—from texts that were actually of the "translator's" own composition. The 19th century brought new standards of accuracy and style. In regard to accuracy, observes J.M. Cohen, the policy became "the text, the whole text, and nothing but the text", except for any bawdy passages and the addition of copious explanatory footnotes. In regard to style, the Victorians' aim, achieved through far-reaching metaphrase (literality) or ''pseudo''-metaphrase, was to constantly remind readers that they were reading a ''foreign'' classic. An exception was the outstanding translation in this period, Edward FitzGerald (poet), Edward FitzGerald's ''Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam, Rubaiyat'' of Omar Khayyam (1859), which achieved its Oriental flavor largely by using Persian names and discreet Biblical echoes and actually drew little of its material from the Persian original. In advance of the 20th century, a new pattern was set in 1871 by Benjamin Jowett, who translated Plato into simple, straightforward language. Jowett's example was not followed, however, until well into the new century, when accuracy rather than style became the principal criterion.


Modern translation

As a language evolves, texts in an earlier version of the language—original texts, or old translations—may become difficult for modern readers to understand. Such a text may therefore be translated into more modern language, producing a "modern translation" (e.g., a "modern English translation" or "modernized translation"). Such modern rendering is applied either to literature from classical languages such as Latin or Greek, notably to the Bible (see "Modern English Bible translations"), or to literature from an earlier stage of the same language, as with the works of William Shakespeare (which are largely understandable by a modern audience, though with some difficulty) or with Geoffrey Chaucer's Middle English, Middle-English ''The Canterbury Tales, Canterbury Tales'' (which is understandable to most modern readers only through heavy dependence on footnotes). In 2015 the Oregon Shakespeare Festival commissioned professional translation of the entire Shakespeare canon, including disputed works such as ''Edward III (play), Edward III'', into contemporary vernacular English; in 2019, off-off-Broadway, the canon was premiered in a month-long series of staged readings. Modern translation is applicable to any language with a long literary history. For example, in Japanese the 11th-century ''The Tale of Genji, Tale of Genji'' is generally read in modern translation (see "The Tale of Genji#Modern readership, ''Genji:'' modern readership"). Modern translation often involves literary scholarship and textual revision, as there is frequently not one single canonical text. This is particularly noteworthy in the case of the Bible and Shakespeare, where modern scholarship can result in substantive textual changes. Anna North writes: "Translating the long-dead language
Homer Homer (; grc, Ὅμηρος , ''Hómēros'') was an ancient Greek Ancient Greek includes the forms of the Greek language Greek ( el, label=Modern Greek Modern Greek (, , or , ''Kiní Neoellinikí Glóssa''), generally re ...

Homer
used — a variant of ancient Greek called Homeric Greek — into contemporary English is no easy task, and translators bring their own skills, opinions, and stylistic sensibilities to the text. The result is that every translation is different, almost a new poem in itself." An example is Emily Wilson (classicist), Emily Wilson's 2017 translation of Homer's ''Odyssey'', where by conscious choice Wilson "lays bare the morals of its time and place, and invites us to consider how different they are from our own, and how similar." Modern translation meets with opposition from some traditionalists. In English, some readers prefer the Authorized King James Version of the Bible to modern translations, and Shakespeare in the original of ca. 1600 to modern translations. An opposite process involves translating modern literature into classical languages, for the purpose of extensive reading (for examples, see "List of Latin translations of modern literature").


Poetry

Views on the possibility of satisfactorily translating poetry show a broad spectrum, depending partly on the degree of latitude desired by the translator in regard to a poem's formal features (rhythm, rhyme, verse form, etc.), but also relating to how much of the suggestiveness and imagery in the host poem can be recaptured or approximated in the target language. Douglas Hofstadter, in his 1997 book, ''Le Ton beau de Marot'', argued that a good translation of a poem must convey as much as possible not only of its literal meaning but also of its form and structure (meter, rhyme or alliteration scheme, etc.). The Russian-born linguist and semiotician Roman Jakobson, however, had in his 1959 paper "On Linguistic Aspects of Translation", declared that "poetry by definition [is] untranslatable". Vladimir Nabokov, another Russian-born author, took a view similar to Jakobson's. He considered rhymed, metrical, versed poetry to be in principle untranslatable and therefore rendered his 1964 English translation of Alexander Pushkin's Eugene Onegin#Into English, ''Eugene Onegin'' in prose. Hofstadter, in ''Le Ton beau de Marot'', criticized Nabokov's attitude toward verse translation. In 1999 Hofstadter published his own translation of ''Eugene Onegin'', in verse form. However, a host of more contemporary literary translators of poetry lean toward Alexander von Humboldt's notion of language as a "third universe" existing "midway between the phenomenal reality of the 'empirical world' and the internalized structures of consciousness." Perhaps this is what poet Sholeh Wolpé, translator of the 12th-century Iranian epic poem ''The Conference of the Birds'', means when she writes:
Twelfth-century Persian and contemporary English are as different as sky and sea. The best I can do as a poet is to reflect one into the other. The sea can reflect the sky with its moving stars, shifting clouds, gestations of the moon, and migrating birds—but ultimately the sea is not the sky. By nature, it is liquid. It ripples. There are waves. If you are a fish living in the sea, you can only understand the sky if its reflection becomes part of the water. Therefore, this translation of ''The Conference of the Birds'', while faithful to the original text, aims at its re-creation into a still living and breathing work of literature.
Poet Sherod Santos writes: "The task is not to reproduce the content, but with the flint and the steel of one's own language to spark what Robert Lowell has called 'the fire and finish of the original.'" According to Walter Benjamin:
While a poet's words endure in his own language, even the greatest translation is destined to become part of the growth of its own language and eventually to perish with its renewal. Translation is so far removed from being the sterile equation of two dead languages that of all literary forms it is the one charged with the special mission of watching over the maturing process of the original language and the birth pangs of its own.
Gregory Hays, in the course of discussing ancient Rome, Roman adapted translations of ancient Greek literature, makes approving reference to some views on the translating of poetry expressed by David Bellos, an accomplished French-to-English translator. Hays writes:


Book titles

Book-title translations can be either descriptive or symbolic. Descriptive book titles, for example Antoine de Saint-Exupéry's ''Le Petit Prince'' (The Little Prince), are meant to be informative, and can name the protagonist, and indicate the theme of the book. An example of a symbolic book title is Stieg Larsson's ''The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo'', whose original Swedish title is ''Män som hatar kvinnor'' (Men Who Hate Women). Such symbolic book titles usually indicate the theme, issues, or atmosphere of the work. When translators are working with long book titles, the translated titles are often shorter and indicate the theme of the book.


Plays

The translation of plays poses many problems such as the added element of actors, speech duration, translation literalness, and the relationship between the arts of drama and acting. Successful play translators are able to create language that allows the actor and the playwright to work together effectively. Play translators must also take into account several other aspects: the final performance, varying theatrical and acting traditions, characters' speaking styles, modern theatrical discourse, and even the acoustics of the auditorium, i.e., whether certain words will have the same effect on the new audience as they had on the original audience. Audiences in Shakespeare's time were more accustomed than modern playgoers to actors having longer stage time. Modern translators tend to simplify the sentence structures of earlier dramas, which included compound sentences with intricate hierarchies of subordinate clauses.


Chinese literature

In translating Chinese literature, translators struggle to find true fidelity in translating into the target language. In ''The Poem Behind the Poem'', Barnstone argues that poetry "can't be made to sing through a mathematics that doesn't factor in the creativity of the translator". A notable piece of work translated into English is the ''Wen Xuan'', an anthology representative of major works of Chinese literature. Translating this work requires a high knowledge of the genres presented in the book, such as poetic forms, various prose types including memorials, letters, proclamations, praise poems, edicts, and historical, philosophical and political disquisitions, threnodies and laments for the dead, and examination essays. Thus the literary translator must be familiar with the writings, lives, and thought of a large number of its 130 authors, making the ''Wen Xuan'' one of the most difficult literary works to translate.


Sung texts

Translation of a text that is sung in vocal music for the purpose of singing in another language—sometimes called "singing translation"—is closely linked to translation of poetry because most vocal music, at least in the Western tradition, is set to Verse (popular music), verse, especially verse in regular patterns with rhyme. (Since the late 19th century, musical setting of prose and free verse has also been practiced in some art music, though popular music tends to remain conservative in its retention of stanzaic forms with or without refrains.) A rudimentary example of translating poetry for singing is church hymns, such as the German chorales translated into English by Catherine Winkworth. Translation of sung texts is generally much more restrictive than translation of poetry, because in the former there is little or no freedom to choose between a versified translation and a translation that dispenses with verse structure. One might modify or omit rhyme in a singing translation, but the assignment of syllables to specific notes in the original musical setting places great challenges on the translator. There is the option in prose sung texts, less so in verse, of adding or deleting a syllable here and there by subdividing or combining notes, respectively, but even with prose the process is almost like strict verse translation because of the need to stick as closely as possible to the original prosody of the sung melodic line. Other considerations in writing a singing translation include repetition of words and phrases, the placement of rests and/or punctuation, the quality of vowels sung on high notes, and rhythmic features of the vocal line that may be more natural to the original language than to the target language. A sung translation may be considerably or completely different from the original, thus resulting in a contrafactum. Translations of sung texts—whether of the above type meant to be sung or of a more or less literal type meant to be read—are also used as aids to audiences, singers and conductors, when a work is being sung in a language not known to them. The most familiar types are translations presented as subtitles or surtitles projected during opera performances, those inserted into concert programs, and those that accompany commercial audio CDs of vocal music. In addition, professional and amateur singers often sing works in languages they do not know (or do not know well), and translations are then used to enable them to understand the meaning of the words they are singing.


Religious texts

An important role in history has been played by translation of religious texts. Such translations may be influenced by tension between the text and the religious values the translators wish to convey. For example, Buddhist monks who translated the
India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi Hindi (Devanagari: , हिंदी, ISO 15919, ISO: ), or more precisely Modern Standard Hindi (Devanagari: , ISO 15919, ISO: ), is an Indo-Aryan language spoken chiefly in Hindi Belt, ...

India
n sutras into
Chinese Chinese can refer to: * Something related to China China, officially the People's Republic of China (PRC), is a country in East Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by population, world's most populous country, with a populat ...
occasionally adjusted their translations to better reflect China's distinct culture, emphasizing notions such as filial piety. One of the first recorded instances of translation in the West was the 3rd century BCE rendering of some books of the biblical Old Testament from Hebrew into Koine Greek. The translation is known as the "Septuagint", a name that refers to the supposedly seventy translators (seventy-two, in some versions) who were commissioned to translate the Bible at Alexandria, Egypt. According to legend, each translator worked in solitary confinement in his own cell, and, according to legend, all seventy versions proved identical. The ''Septuagint'' became the source text for later translations into many languages, including Latin, Coptic language, Coptic, Armenian language, Armenian, and Georgian language, Georgian. Still considered one of the greatest translators in history, for having rendered the Bible into Latin, is Jerome (347–420 CE), the patron saint of translators. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church used his translation (known as the Vulgate), though even this translation stirred controversy. By contrast with Jerome's contemporary, Augustine of Hippo (354–430 CE), who endorsed precise translation, Jerome believed in adaptation, and sometimes invention, in order to more effectively bring across the meaning. Jerome's colorful Vulgate translation of the Bible includes some crucial instances of "overdetermination". For example, Isaiah's prophecy announcing that the Savior will be born of a virgin, uses the word almah'', which is also used to describe the dancing girls at Solomon's court, and simply means young and nubile. Jerome, writes Marina Warner, translates it as ''virgo'', "adding divine authority to the virulent cult of sexual disgust that shaped Christian moral theology (the [Moslem] ''Quran'', free from this linguistic trap, does not connect Maryam (name), Mariam/Mary, mother of Jesus, Mary's miraculous nature with moral horror of sex)." The apple that Eve offered to Adam, according to Mark Polizzotti, could equally well have been an apricot, orange, or banana; but Jerome liked the pun ''malus/malum'' (apple/evil). Pope Francis has suggested that the phrase "lead us not into temptation", in the Lord's Prayer found in the Gospel of Matthew, Gospels of Matthew (the first Gospel, written c. 80–90 CE) and Gospel of Luke, Luke (the third Gospel, written c. 80–110 CE), should more properly be translated, "do not let us fall into temptation", commenting that God does not lead people into temptation—Satan does. Some important early Christian authors interpreted the Bible's Greek text and Jerome's Latin Vulgate similarly to Pope Francis. A.J.B. Higgins in 1943 showed that among the earliest Christian authors, the understanding and even the text of this devotional verse underwent considerable changes. These ancient writers suggest that, even if the Greek and Latin texts are left unmodified, something like "do not let us fall" could be an acceptable English rendering. Higgins cited Tertullian, the earliest of the Latin Church Fathers (c. 155–c. 240 CE, "do not allow us to be led") and Cyprian (c. 200–258 CE, "do not allow us to be led into temptation"). A later author, Ambrose (C. 340–397 CE), followed Cyprian's interpretation. Augustine of Hippo (354–430), familiar with Jerome's Latin Vulgate rendering, observed that "many people... say it this way: 'and do not allow us to be led into temptation.'" In 863 CE the brothers Saints Cyril and Methodius, the Byzantine Empire's "Apostles to the Slavs", began translating parts of the Bible into the Old Church Slavonic language, using the Glagolitic script that they had devised, based on the Greek alphabet. The periods preceding and contemporary with the Protestant Reformation saw translations of the Bible into vernacular (local) European languages—a development that contributed to Western Christianity's split into Roman Catholicism and Protestantism over disparities between Catholic and Protestant renderings of crucial words and passages (and due to a Protestant-perceived need to reform the Roman Catholic Church). Lasting effects on the religions, cultures, and languages of their respective countries were exerted by such Bible translations as
Martin Luther Martin Luther (; ; 10 November 1483 – 18 February 1546) was a German German(s) may refer to: Common uses * of or related to Germany * Germans, Germanic ethnic group, citizens of Germany or people of German ancestry * For citiz ...

Martin Luther
's into German (the New Testament, 1522), Jakub Wujek's into Polish (1599, as revised by the Jesuits), and William Tyndale's (New Testament, 1526 and revisions) and the ''King James Version'' into English (1611). Efforts to translate the Bible into English had their martyrs. William Tyndale (c. 1494–1536) was convicted of heresy at Antwerp, was strangled to death while tied at the stake, and then his dead body was burned. Earlier, John Wycliffe (c. mid-1320s – 1384) had managed to die a natural death, but 30 years later the Council of Constance in 1415 declared him a heretic and decreed that his works and earthly remains should be burned; the order, confirmed by Pope Martin V, was carried out in 1428, and Wycliffe's corpse was exhumed and burned and the ashes cast into the River Swift. Debate and religious schism over different translations of religious texts continue, as demonstrated by, for example, the King James Only movement. A famous ''mistranslation'' of a Biblical text is the rendering of the Hebrew word (''keren''), which has several meanings, as "horn" in a context where it more plausibly means "beam of light": as a result, for centuries artists, including sculptor Michelangelo, have rendered Moses, Moses the Lawgiver with horns growing from his forehead. Such fallibility of the translation process has contributed to the Islamic world's ambivalence about translating the ''Quran'' (also spelled ''Koran'') from the original Arabic, as received by the prophet Muhammad from Allah (God) through the angel Gabriel incrementally between 609 and 632 CE, the year of Muhammad's death. During prayers, the ''Quran'', as the miraculous and inimitable word of Allah, is recited only in Arabic. However, as of 1936, it had been translated into at least 102 languages. A fundamental difficulty in translating the ''Quran'' accurately stems from the fact that an Arabic word, like a Hebrew or Aramaic word, may have a Polysemy, range of meanings, depending on
context Context may refer to: * Context (language use), the relevant constraints of the communicative situation that influence language use, language variation, and discourse summary. Computing * Context (computing), the virtual environment required to ...
. This is said to be a linguistic feature, particularly of all Semitic languages, that adds to the usual similar difficulties encountered in translating between any two languages. There is always an element of human judgment—of interpretation—involved in understanding and translating a text. Muslims regard any translation of the ''Quran'' as but one possible interpretation of the Classical Arabic, Quranic (Classical) Arabic text, and not as a full equivalent of that divinely communicated original. Hence such a translation is often called an "interpretation" rather than a translation. To complicate matters further, as with other languages, the meanings and usages of some expressions have changed ''over time'', between the Classical Arabic of the ''Quran'', and modern Arabic. Thus a modern Arabic speaker may misinterpret the meaning of a word or passage in the ''Quran''. Moreover, the interpretation of a Quranic passage will also depend on the historic context of Muhammad's life and of his early community. Properly researching that context requires a detailed knowledge of ''hadith'' and ''Prophetic biography, sirah'', which are themselves vast and complex texts. Hence, analogously to the translating of #Chinese literature, Chinese literature, an attempt at an accurate translation of the ''Quran'' requires a knowledge not only of the Arabic language and of the target language, including their respective evolutions, but also a deep understanding of the two cultures involved.


Experimental literature

Experimental literature, such as Kathy Acker’s novel ''Don Quixote'' (1986) and Giannina Braschi’s novel ''Yo-Yo Boing!'' (1998), features a translative writing that highlights discomforts of the interlingual and translingual encounters and literary translation as a creative practice. These authors weave their own translations into their texts. Acker's Postmodern literature, Postmodern fiction both fragments and preserves the materiality of Catullus’s Latin text in ways that tease out its semantics and syntax without wholly appropriating them, a method that unsettles the notion of any fixed and finished translation. Whereas Braschi's trilogy of experimental works (''Empire of Dreams (poetry collection), Empire of Dreams'', 1988; ''Yo-Yo Boing!'', 1998, and ''United States of Banana'', 2011) deals with the very subject of translation. Her trilogy presents the evolution of the Spanish language through loose translations of dramatic, poetic, and philosophical writings from the Medieval, Spanish Golden Age, Golden Age, and Modernismo, Modernist eras into contemporary Caribbean, Latin American, and Nuyorican Spanish expressions. Braschi’s translations of classical texts in Iberian Spanish (into other regional and historical linguistic and poetic frameworks) challenge the concept of national languages.


Science fiction

Science fiction being a genre with a recognizable set of conventions and literary genealogies, in which language often includes neologisms, neosemes, and invented languages, techno-scientific and Pseudoscience, pseudoscientific vocabulary, and fictional representation of the translation process, the translation of science-fiction texts involves specific concerns. The science-fiction translator tends to acquire specific competences and assume a distinctive publishing and cultural agency. As in the case of other mass-fiction genres, this professional specialization and role often is not recognized by publishers and scholars. Translation of science fiction accounts for the transnational nature of science fiction's repertoire of shared conventions and Trope (literature), tropes. After World War II, many European countries were swept by a wave of translations from the English. Due to the prominence of English as a source language, the use of pseudonyms and pseudotranslations became common in countries such as Italy and Hungary, and English has often been used as a vehicular language to translate from languages such as Chinese and Japanese. More recently, the international market in science-fiction translations has seen an increasing presence of source languages other than English.


Technical translation

Technical translation renders documents such as manuals, instruction sheets, internal memos, minutes, financial reports, and other documents for a limited audience (who are directly affected by the document) and whose useful life is often limited. Thus, a user guide for a particular model of refrigerator is useful only for the owner of the refrigerator, and will remain useful only as long as that refrigerator model is in use. Similarly, software documentation generally pertains to a particular software, whose applications are used only by a certain class of users.


See also

* American Literary Translators Association * Applied linguistics * Back-translation * Bible translations * Bilingual dictionary * Bilingual pun * Calque * Certified translation *
Chinese translation theory Chinese translation theory was born out of contact with vassal A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch A monarch is a head of stateWebster's II New College DictionarMonarch Houghton M ...
* Code mixing * Contrastive linguistics * Dictionary-based machine translation * European Master's in Translation * Example-based machine translation * False cognate * "False friend" * First language * Hindi to Punjabi Machine Translation System * Homophonic translation * Humour in translation ("howlers") * Hybrid word * Indirect translation * International Federation of Translators * Interpreting notes * Inttranet * Language brokering * Language industry * Language interpretation * Language localisation * Language professional * Language transfer * Legal translation * Lexicography * Lingua franca * Linguistic validation * List of translators * List of women translators * Literal translation * Machine translation * Medical translation * Metaphrase * Mobile translation * National Translation Mission (NTM) * Neural machine translation * Paraphrase * Phono-semantic matching * Postediting * Pre-editing * Pseudotranslation * Register (sociolinguistics) * Rule-based machine translation * Second language * Self-translation * Skopos theory * Statistical machine translation * Syntax * Technical translation * Transcription (linguistics) * Translating for legal equivalence * :Translation associations, Translation associations * Translation criticism * Translation memory * :Translation scholars, Translation scholars * European Parliament#Translation and interpretation, Translation services of the European Parliament * Translation studies * Translation-quality standards * Transliteration * Untranslatability * Vehicular language


Notes


References


Bibliography

* Armstrong, Rebecca, "All Kinds of Unlucky" (review of ''The Aeneid, translated by Shadi Bartsch'', Profile, November 2020, , 400 pp.), ''London Review of Books'', vol. 43, no. 5 (4 March 2021), pp. 35–36. * * * * Excerpted in English in * English translation: * * David Bromwich, Bromwich, David, "In Praise of Ambiguity" (a review of Michael Wood (academic), Michael Wood, ''On Empson'', Princeton University Press, 2017), ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
''), vol. LXIV, no. 16 (26 October 2017), pp. 50–52. * J.M. Cohen, Cohen, J.M., "Translation", ''Encyclopedia Americana'', 1986, vol. 27, p. 14. *
Work in progress version (pdf).
* * Fatani, Afnan, "Translation and the Qur'an", in Oliver Leaman, ''The Qur'an: An Encyclopaedia'', Routledge, 2006, pp. 657–69. * Poets and critics Seamus Heaney, Charles Tomlinson, Tim Parks, and others discuss the theory and practice of translation. * * * Stephen Greenblatt, Greenblatt, Stephen, "Can We Ever Master King Lear?", ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXIV, no. 3 (23 February 2017), pp. 34–36. * Hays, Gregory, "Found in Translation" (review of Denis Feeney, ''Beyond Greek: The Beginnings of Latin Literature'', Harvard University Press), ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXIV, no. 11 (22 June 2017), pp. 56, 58. * Kaiser, Walter, "A Hero of Translation" (a review of Jean Findlay, ''Chasing Lost Time: The Life of C.K. Scott Moncrieff: Soldier, Spy, and Translator'', Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 351 pp., $30.00), ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXII, no. 10 (4 June 2015), pp. 54–56. * Includes a discussion of European language, European-language
cognate In linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken language), gestures (Signed language, sign language) and writing. Most langu ...
s of the , "translation". * Christopher Kasparek, Kasparek, Christopher, translator's foreword to Bolesław Prus, ''Pharaoh (Prus novel), Pharaoh'', translated from the Polish, with foreword and notes, by Christopher Kasparek, Amazon Kindle e-book, 2020, ASIN:BO8MDN6CZV. * * Perry Link, Link, Perry, "A Magician of Chinese Poetry" (review of Eliot Weinberger, with an afterword by Octavio Paz, ''19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei (with More Ways)'', New Directions, 88 pp., $10.95 [paper]; and Eliot Weinberger, ''The Ghosts of Birds'', New Directions, 211 pp., $16.95 [paper]), ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXIII, no. 18 (24 November 2016), pp. 49–50. * Gary Marcus, Marcus, Gary, "Am I Human?: Researchers need new ways to distinguish artificial intelligence from the natural kind", ''Scientific American'', vol. 316, no. 3 (March 2017), pp. 58–63. ''Multiple'' tests of artificial-intelligence efficacy are needed because, "just as there is no single test of Athletics (physical culture), athletic prowess, there cannot be one ultimate test of intelligence." One such test, a "Construction Challenge", would test perception and physical action—"two important elements of intelligent behavior that were entirely absent from the original Turing test." Another proposal has been to give machines the same standardized tests of science and other disciplines that schoolchildren take. A so far insuperable stumbling block to artificial intelligence is an incapacity for reliable disambiguation. "[V]irtually every sentence [that people generate] is ambiguity, ambiguous, often in multiple ways." A prominent example is known as the "pronoun disambiguation problem": a machine has no way of determining to whom or what a pronoun in a sentence—such as "he", "she" or "it"—refers. * * Ange Mlinko, "Whole Earth Troubador" (review of ''The Essential W.S. Merlin'', edited by Michael Wiegers, Copper Canyon, 338 pp., 2017), ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXIV, no. 19 (7 December 2017), pp. 45–46. * Anka Muhlstein, Muhlstein, Anka, "Painters and Writers: When Something New Happens", ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXIV, no. 1 (19 January 2017), pp. 33–35. * * * * * Introduction by Stuart Berg Flexner, revised edition. * * Polizzotti, Mark, ''Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto'', MIT, 168 pp., 2018, . * *Malise Ruthven, Ruthven, Malise, "The Islamic Road to the Modern World" (review of Christopher de Bellaigue, ''The Islamic Enlightenment: The Struggle between Faith and Reason, 1798 to Modern Times'', Liveright; and Wael Abu-'Uksa, ''Freedom in the Arab World: Concepts and Ideologies in Arabic Thought in the Nineteenth Century'', Cambridge University Press), ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXIV, no. 11 (22 June 2017), pp. 22, 24–25. * * * Mary Snell-Hornby, Snell-Hornby, Mary; Schopp, Jürgen F. (2013)
"Translation"
''European History Online'', Mainz, Institute of European History, retrieved 29 August 2013. * *Władysław Tatarkiewicz, Tatarkiewicz, Władysław, ''O doskonałości'' (On Perfection), Warsaw, Państwowe Wydawnictwo Naukowe, 1976; English translation by
Christopher Kasparek Christopher Kasparek (born 1945) is a Scottish Scottish usually refers to something of, from, or related to Scotland, including: *Scottish Gaelic, a Celtic Goidelic language of the Indo-European language family native to Scotland *Scottish Englis ...
subsequently serialized in ''Dialectics and Humanism: The Polish Philosophical Quarterly'', vol. VI, no. 4 (autumn 1979)—vol. VIII, no 2 (spring 1981), and reprinted in Władysław Tatarkiewicz, ''On Perfection'', Warsaw University Press, Center of Universalism, 1992, pp. 9–51 (the book is a collection of papers by and about Professor Tatarkiewicz). * Taylor, Paul, "Insanely Complicated, Hopelessly Inadequate" (review of Brian Cantwell Smith, ''The Promise of Artificial Intelligence: Reckoning and Judgment'', MIT, October 2019, , 157 pp.; Gary Marcus and Ernest Davis, ''Rebooting AI: Building Artificial Intelligence We Can Trust'', Ballantine, September 2019, , 304 pp.; Judea Pearl and Dana Mackenzie, ''The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect'', Penguin, May 2019, , 418 pp.), ''London Review of Books'', vol. 43, no. 2 (21 January 2021), pp. 37–39. *Tobler, Stefan; Sabău, Antoaneta (2018)
''Translating Confession''
Review of Ecumenical Studies, ISSN: 2359-8093. * * * Marina Warner, Warner, Marina, "The Politics of Translation" (a review of Kate Briggs, ''This Little Art'', 2017; Mireille Gansel, ''Translation as Transhumance'', translated by Ros Schwartz, 2017; Mark Polizzotti, ''Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto'', 2018; Boyd Tonkin, ed., ''The 100 Best Novels in Translation'', 2018; Clive Scott (linguist), Clive Scott, ''The Work of Literary Translation'', 2018), ''London Review of Books'', vol. 40, no. 19 (11 October 2018), pp. 21–24. * Emily Wilson (classicist), Wilson, Emily, "A Doggish Translation" (review of ''The Poems of Hesiod: Theogony, Works and Days, and The Shield of Herakles'', translated from the Greek by Barry B. Powell, University of California Press, 2017, 184 pp.), ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXV, no. 1 (18 January 2018), pp. 34–36. * Emily Wilson (classicist), Wilson, Emily, "Ah, how miserable!" (review of three separate translations of ''The Oresteia'' by Aeschylus: by Oliver Taplin, Liveright, November 2018; by Jeffrey Scott Bernstein, Carcanet, April 2020; and by David Mulroy, Wisconsin, April 2018), ''London Review of Books'', vol. 42, no. 19 (8 October 2020), pp. 9–12, 14. * Emily Wilson (classicist), Wilson, Emily, "The Pleasures of Translation" (review of Mark Polizzotti, ''Sympathy for the Traitor: A Translation Manifesto'', MIT Press, 2018, 182 pp.), ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXV, no. 9 (24 May 2018), pp. 46–47. *


Further reading

* * Lydia Davis, Davis, Lydia, "Eleven Pleasures of Translating", ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXIII, no. 19 (8 December 2016), pp. 22–24. "I like to reproduce the word order, and the order of ideas, of the original [text] whenever possible. [p. 22] [T]ranslation is, eternally, a compromise. You settle for the best you can do rather than achieving perfection, though there is the occasional perfect solution [to the problem of finding an equivalent expression in the target language]." (p. 23.) * Rudolf Flesch, Flesch, Rudolf, ''The Art of Clear Thinking'', chapter 5: "Danger! Language at Work" (pp. 35–42), chapter 6: "The Pursuit of Translation" (pp. 43–50), Barnes & Noble Books, 1973. * * * Ross Amos, Flora, "Early Theories of Translation", ''Columbia University Studies in English and Comparative Literature,'' 1920. At
Project Gutenberg
'. * Sharma, Sandeep, ''Translation and Translation Studies'', India, HP University, 2017. ''https://www.academia.edu/36609128/Translation_and_Translation_Studies.'' * Wechsler, Robert, '':File:Performing Without a Stage - The Art of Literary Translation - by Robert Wechsler.pdf, Performing Without a Stage: The Art of Literary Translation'', Catbird Press, 1998. * Garry Wills, Wills, Garry, "A Wild and Indecent Book" (review of David Bentley Hart, ''The New Testament: A Translation'', Yale University Press, 577 pp.), ''
The New York Review of Books ''The New York Review of Books'' (or ''NYREV'' or ''NYRB'') is a semi-monthly magazine with articles on literature, culture, economics, science and current affairs. Published in New York City, it is inspired by the idea that the discussion of i ...
'', vol. LXV, no. 2 (8 February 2018), pp. 34–35. Discusses some pitfalls in interpreting and translating the New Testament


External links

{{Authority control Translation, Applied linguistics Communication Meaning (philosophy of language)