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Because of the laboriousness of the translation process, since the s efforts have been made, with varying degrees of success, to automate translation or to mechanically aid the human translator.
Thus translatio is "a carrying across" or "a bringing across": The Germanic languages and some Slavic languages have calqued their words for the concept of "translation" on translatio.
Strictly speaking, the concept of metaphrase—of "word-for-word translation"—is an 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.
Discussions of the theory and practice of translation reach back into antiquity and show remarkable continuities.
The ancient Greeks distinguished between metaphrase literal translation and paraphrase. This distinction was adopted by English poet and translator John Dryden — , who described translation as the judicious blending of these two modes of phrasing when selecting, in the target language, "counterparts," or equivalents , for the expressions used in the source language:.
Dryden cautioned, however, against the license of "imitation", i. This general formulation of the central concept of translation— equivalence —is as adequate as any that has been proposed since Cicero and Horace , who, in 1st-century-BCE Rome , famously and literally cautioned against translating "word for word" verbum pro verbo.
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 , and adapters in various periods especially pre-Classical Rome, and the 18th century , translators have generally shown prudent flexibility in seeking equivalents —" literal " where possible, paraphrastic where necessary—for the original meaning and other crucial "values" e.
In general, translators have sought to preserve the context itself by reproducing the original order of sememes , and hence word order —when necessary, reinterpreting the actual grammatical structure, for example, by shifting from active to passive voice , or vice versa.
The grammatical differences between "fixed-word-order" languages  e. English , French , German and "free-word-order" languages  e.
When a target language has lacked terms 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 concepts that are " untranslatable " among the modern European languages.
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 metaphrase to paraphrase that may be used in translating among them.
However, due to shifts in ecological niches of words, a common etymology 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 French actuel "present", "current" , the Polish aktualny "present", "current," "topical", "timely", "feasible" ,  the Swedish aktuell "topical", "presently of importance" , the Russian актуальный "urgent", "topical" or the Dutch actueel "current".
The main ground seems to be the concept of parallel creation found in critics such as Cicero. Dryden observed that "Translation is a type of drawing after life If translation be an art, it is no easy one.
In the 13th century, Roger Bacon wrote that if a translation is to be true, the translator must know both languages , as well as the 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 — , is credited with being the first European to posit that one translates satisfactorily only toward his own language.
Kelly states that since 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 or thesaurus can ever be a fully adequate guide in translating.
The Scottish historian Alexander Tytler , in his Essay on the Principles of Translation , emphasized that assiduous reading is a more comprehensive guide to a language than are dictionaries.
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.
Traditions of translating material among the languages of ancient Egypt , Mesopotamia , Assyria Syriac language , Anatolia , and Israel Hebrew language go back several millennia.
There exist partial translations of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh c. There is a separate tradition of translation in South , Southeast and East Asia primarily of texts from the Indian and Chinese civilizations , connected especially with the rendering of religious, particularly 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 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 system for glossing Chinese texts for Japanese speakers. Though Indianized states in Southeast Asia often translated Sanskrit material into the local languages, the literate elites and scribes more commonly used Sanskrit as their primary language of culture and government.
Some of the art of classical Chinese poetry [writes Link] must simply be set aside as untranslatable. The internal structure of Chinese characters has a beauty of its own, and the calligraphy in which classical poems were written is another important but untranslatable dimension.
Since Chinese characters do not vary in length, and because there are exactly five characters per line in a poem like [the one that Eliot Weinberger discusses in 19 Ways of Looking at Wang Wei with More Ways ], another untranslatable feature is that the written result, hung on a wall, presents a rectangle.
Translators into languages whose word lengths vary can reproduce such an effect only at the risk of fatal awkwardness Another imponderable is how to imitate the , rhythm in which five- syllable lines in classical Chinese poems normally are read.
Chinese characters are pronounced in one syllable apiece, so producing such rhythms in Chinese is not hard and the results are unobtrusive; but any imitation in a Western language is almost inevitably stilted and distracting.
Even less translatable are the patterns of tone arrangement in classical Chinese poetry. Each syllable character belongs to one of two categories determined by the pitch contour in which it is read; in a classical Chinese poem the patterns of alternation of the two categories exhibit parallelism and mirroring.
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.
At the literalist extreme, efforts are made to dissect every conceivable detail about the language of the original Chinese poem.
Chinese characters, in avoiding grammatical specificity, offer advantages to poets and, simultaneously, challenges to poetry translators that are associated primarily with absences of subject , number , and tense.
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.
Some Western languages, however, ask by grammatical rule that subjects always be stated. 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. Nouns have no number in Chinese.
Chinese verbs are tense -less: For poets, this creates the great advantage of ambiguity. Link proposes a kind of uncertainty principle that may be applicable not only to translation from the Chinese language, but to all translation:.
Dilemmas about translation do not have definitive right answers although there can be unambiguously wrong ones if misreadings of the original are involved.
Any translation except machine translation, a different case must pass through the mind of a translator, and that mind inevitably contains its own store of perceptions, memories, and values.
Translation of material into Arabic expanded after the creation of Arabic script in the 5th century, and gained great importance with the rise of Islam and Islamic empires.
Arab translation initially focused primarily on politics, rendering Persian, Greek, even Chinese and Indic diplomatic materials into Arabic.
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 , 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.
Along with expanding secular education, printing transformed an overwhelmingly illiterate society into a partly literate one.
In the past, the sheikhs and the government had exercised a monopoly over knowledge. Now an expanding elite benefitted from a stream of information on virtually anything that interested them.
Between and The most prominent among them was al-Muqtataf A translator who contributed mightily to the advance of the Islamic Enlightenment was the Egyptian cleric Rifaa al-Tahtawi —73 , who had spent five years in Paris in the late s, teaching religion to Muslim students.
This was the biggest, most meaningful importation of foreign thought into Arabic since Abbasid times — In France al-Tahtawi had been struck by the way the French language Yet Arabic has its own sources of reinvention.
The root system that Arabic shares with other Semitic tongues such as Hebrew is capable of expanding the meanings of words using structured consonantal variations: The movement to translate English and European texts transformed the Arabic and Ottoman 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 expressed 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. Fidelity or "faithfulness" and felicity  or transparency , dual ideals in translation, are often though not always at odds.
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 — 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 of a translation appear more straightforward: 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 Indian epic, the Ramayana , appears in many versions in the various Indian languages , and the stories are different in each.
Similar examples are to be found in 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" he distinguished between translation methods that move "the writer toward [the reader]", i.
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.
The question of fidelity vs. 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. Common pitfalls in translation, especially when practiced by inexperienced translators, involve false equivalents such as " false friends "  and false cognates.
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. In the context of machine translation , a back-translation is also called a "round-trip translation.
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Language tools on the internet provide help in understanding text. 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 target text with the assistance of a computer program.
The machine supports a human translator. Computer-assisted translation can include standard dictionary and grammar software. The term, however, normally refers to a range of specialized programs available to the translator, including translation-memory , terminology-management , 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.
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.
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.
Interactive translations with 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 human language is 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.
The weaknesses of pure machine translation , unaided by human expertise, are those of artificial intelligence itself. Translation of literary works novels , short stories , plays , poems , etc.
In the s a substantial gender imbalance was noted in literary translation into English,  with far more male writers being translated than women writers.
In Meytal Radzinski launched the Women in Translation campaign to address this. 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 , Latin was the lingua franca of the western learned world.
Meanwhile, the Christian Church frowned on even partial adaptations of St. 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 centuries to render.
The Arabs undertook large-scale efforts at translation. Having conquered the Greek world, they made Arabic versions of its philosophical and scientific works.
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.
Chaucer founded an English poetic tradition on adaptations and translations from those earlier-established literary languages.
The first great English translation was the Wycliffe Bible c. 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. 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 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 verbal accuracy.
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".
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.
The 19th century brought new standards of accuracy and style. In regard to accuracy, observes J. 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 advance of the 20th century, a new pattern was set in by Benjamin Jowett , who translated Plato into simple, straightforward language.
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. Modern translation is applicable to any language with a long literary history.
For example, in Japanese the 11th-century Tale of Genji is generally read in modern translation see " Genji: 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.
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 c.
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 ".
Douglas Hofstadter , in his 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 paper " On Linguistic Aspects of Translation ", declared that "poetry by definition [is] untranslatable".
In Hofstadter published his own translation of Eugene Onegin , in verse form. Gregory Hays, in the course of discussing 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.
A translation is an assemblage of words, and as such it can contain as much or as little poetry as any other such assemblage. Book-title translations can be either descriptive or symbolic.
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.
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. In translating Chinese literature, translators struggle to find true fidelity in translating into the target language.
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 authors, making the Wen Xuan one of the most difficult literary works to translate.
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 , 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.
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.
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.
One of the first recorded instances of translation in the West was the rendering of the Old Testament into Greek in the 3rd century BCE.
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 , Armenian and Georgian.
Still considered one of the greatest translators in history, for having rendered the Bible into Latin , is Jerome — C.
For centuries the Roman Catholic Church used his translation known as the Vulgate , though even this translation stirred controversy. Higgins  in 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. A later author, Ambrose C. Efforts to translate the Bible into English had their martyrs.
Debate and religious schism over different translations of religious texts continue, as demonstrated by, for example, the King James Only movement.
During prayers, the Quran , as the miraculous and inimitable word of Allah, is recited only in Arabic.
However, as of , it had been translated into at least 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 range of meanings , depending on context.
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.
Muslims regard any translation of the Quran as but one possible interpretation of the 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. Properly researching that context requires a detailed knowledge of hadith and sirah , which are themselves vast and complex texts.
Hence, analogously to the translating of 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.
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. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
This article is about language translation. For other uses, see Translation disambiguation. Das traue ich ihm schon zu. Das traue ich ihm glatt zu.
Aus dem Umfeld der Suche quondam , over , erstwhile , bygone. Die einfache Vergangenheit ode… 6 Replies avered past tense of aver - mit Nachdruck behaupten, beteuern Last post 15 Sep 15, Please correct me if I am wrong.
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Passt auf euch auf! If the cap fits, wear it. Passen Sie auf sich auf! Passen Sie gut auf! Watch what you say! Passen Sie auf , was Sie sagen! Sein Vorschlag passt mir gar nicht.
The two colours BE clash violently. The colors AE do not match. Die Farben passen nicht zusammen. The colours BE do not match.
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