Update: 2018-10-21 05:33 AM -0400


Translation from one Script into another


- based on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translation 181001

by U Kyaw Tun (UKT) (M.S., I.P.S.T., USA), Daw Khin Wutyi, Daw Zinthiri Han and staff of Tun Institute of Learning (TIL). Not for sale. No copyright. Free for everyone. Prepared for students and staff of TIL  Research Station, Yangon, MYANMAR 
 - http://www.tuninst.net , www.romabama.blogspot.com

UKT 181002: The original Wikipedia article is too long for my interest, and I've divided it into two.
The second part begins with 06. Literary translation is in next file.


index.htm | Top

Contents of this page

UKT 181002: This is the first part of the Wikipedia article.


01. Etymology

02. Theories
02.1. Western theory
  The First attack on Bur-Myan language in Pagan Period
  Negligence of Linguistics {þûd~da.byu-ha kyûm:}
02.2. Other traditions
02.2.1. Near East
02.2.2. Asia
02.2.3. Islamic world

03. Fidelity and transparency
03.1. Equivalence
03.2. Back-translation

04. Translators
04.1. Interpreting
04.2. Sworn translation
04.3. Telephone
04.4. Internet
04.5. Computer assist

05. Machine translation


UKT notes


Contents of this page


- UKT 181001

After becoming convinced that Script is more important in human communication than Speech, I must look into how to translate one text into another. I have heard Pali translated/interpreted into everyday Burmese all my life without paying much attention to it. I did not know Burmese and Pali are speeches, and both are written in Myanmar script. I've heard Pali being recited, and interpreted as {a.nak a.Daip~paaý} without knowing that it is more interpretation {Ba-þa-prûn} than translation {sa.ka:prûn}. However, I still need to study more.

Spreading Buddha's message {boad~Da. Dûm~ma.}, or Christ's message {hkric Dûm~ma.}, to speakers of various languages, must carry meaning, and that is known by the Akshara (syllable) rather than by Sound. If you care only about how the audience might hear it and awed {än.AU:}, the meaning (the message) is lost.

Coining linguistic terms ending in <-eme>

UKT 181008:

Note of apology: At present I'm not fully competent for coining  linguistic terms. Yet, I'm not ready to accept the works of those like the MLC (Myanmar language commission) who do not differentiate Alphabet from Akshara. I emphasize that unless one clearly differentiates the Alphabet-Letter system from Abugida-Akshara system, his understanding of Linguistics of the West (e.g. for Eng-Lat), and that of the East (e.g. for Bur-Myan) is flawed.

I'm relying on my knowledge Bur-Myan (L1), and on my knowledge of Eng-Lat which I must have heard even as a foetus in my mother's womb. Eng-Lat is almost an L1 for me. I'm going through Skt-Dev vocabulary based on A. A. Macdonell's A Practical Sanskrit Dictionary, comparing Sanskrit terms to Pal-Myan given by U Hoke Sein in Pali-Myan Dictionary. It is almost impossible to refer to MLC Burmese-English dictionary because of its difficult TOC, and therefore I have to rely on U (Dr.} Tun Tint's Burmese Orthography from time to time.

On top of all, I've to rely on my method of analysis as a modern scientist whose ideas are steep in Robert Boyle's "Skeptical Chemist". See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Sceptical_Chymist 181011.

The Bur-Myan understanding of the English word "Meaning" is {a.Daip~paaý}, whereas {a.nak} means "deeper". The two words taken together {a.nak a.Daip~paaý}, therefore means not the "dictionary" or "surface meaning", but "deeper meaning for understanding of the source language.

I've coined the word {li.pain:} from {li.pi.} 'phonetics or linguistics' to go together with a Bur-Myan word to arrive at a linguistic term ending with <-eme> from Alphabet-Letter system (for English). My quest is to come up with an equivalent for Abugida-Akshara system for Burmese. I'll have to begin with the basic unit of meaning.

What is a Semene? When I look up for this term on the Internet on 181011, I could not get much. I could not find any Wikipedia article on it. I found: - n. ¹. the meaning of a morpheme. ². also called semanteme, a minimum unit of meaning in terms of which it is sometimes proposed in general might be analysed. from: Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 . So what do we understand by meaning ? Then I across the name Jaccque Derrida (1930-2004). The name is familiar to me, and has been mentioned in my works: Speech vs. Writing in Derrida and Bhartṛhari - by H. G. Coward - sp-writ.htm (link chk 181011)

UKT 181018: Bhartṛhari {Ba.tRRi.ha.ri. hsa.ra} भर्तृहरि , was a Sanskrit grammarian. I've added the Bur-Myan word {hsa.ra} to his name that he was grammar teacher.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhart%E1%B9%9Bhari 181018

Now what I found today 181011: "Jacques Derrida was a sort of enfant terrible of philosophy who attacked conventional thinking on the meaning (semantics) of philosophical terms.

enfant terrible is a French expression meaning "unruly child". It traditionally refers to a child who is terrifyingly candid by saying embarrassing things to parents or others. See Wikipedia:
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enfant_terrible 181018

Jaccque Derrida undermined much of traditional and especially Anglo-American analytic-linguistic philosophy, e.g., Bertrand Russell. Where American philosophers like Willard van Orman Quine sought for an authoritative "meaning of meaning" in Russellian and Fregean "theories of reference," Derrida saw meaning as constantly shifting in time with usage (cf., the later Wittgenstein's meaning as use, which precipitated his break with Russell's logical atomism). ... -- http://www.informationphilosopher.com/solutions/philosophers/derrida/ 181011

So, I'll tentatively take Semantics as {a.Daip~pèý li.pain:}.

Many words in Bur-Myan vocabulary is made up of two words in tandem, such as {a.nak a.Daip~pèý} 'deep-meaning', "knowledge of writing legibly and reading clearly and distinctly', {poän þûN~ðaan} 'picture appearance'. The tandem order may be changed without change in meaning.

The Eng-Lat habit of splitting of these Bur-Myan words in Burmese-to-English translation makes the understanding of a Bur-Myanmar reader reading in English. It has been my experience in my back translation of English-to-Burmese.

For use in Bur-Myan, I've coined (tentatively) the following terms. See Pal-Myan word {li.pi.} "akshara, script, written word' - UHS PMD0830. See also the print-on-paper book on Bur-Myan Phonetics in TIL Research library ¤ {þûd~da.byu-ha kyûm:} - by Abbot of Taungdwingyi KhinGyiByaw (fl. 1084 BE).

• Grapheme - {sa-ré: li.pain:} : from 'to write'
• Lexeme - {wau-ha-ra. li.pain:} : from 'n. vocabulary'
• Morpheme - {þûN~ðaan li.pain:} : from 'n. shape'
• Phoneme - {sa-hpût li.pain:} : from 'to read aloud'
• Sememe - {a.Daip~pèý li.pain:} : from 'to mean'

Then comes English being translated/interpreted into Burmese. The problem is more complicated because here we are using two scripts, Latin and Myanmar. Moreover, the two uses two transcription systems, Alphabet-Letter for English and Abugida-Akshara for Burmese. To compound the problem Eng-Latin is non-phonetic whereas Bur-Myan is phonetic. Fool as I am in attempting to formulate BEPS, I am treading onto an area where angels fear to tread. I deserve to be called man-on-the-street {lûm:pau-ka.lu} by my friend U (Dr.) Tun Tint.

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Translation is the communication of the meaning of a source-language text by means of an equivalent target-language text. [1] [UKT ¶]

The English language draws a terminological distinction (not all languages do) between translating (a written text or script {sa}) and interpreting (oral {sa.ka:} ; under this distinction, translation can begin only after the appearance of writing within a language community.

UKT 181008: Sign-language which does not involve "sound-waves" and "hearing" is outside the scope of BEPS. Sign-language is used mainly for interpreting. For Sound-through-air languages such as BEPS, we must recognise that there are two speech-to-script transcription systems: Alphabet-Letter and Abugida-Akshara. Languages, where the medium that carries the sound-waves is not air, but water for instance, are beyond our scope of discussion.

A translator always risks inadvertently introducing source-language words, grammar, or syntax into the target-language rendering. On the other hand, such "spill-overs" have sometimes imported useful source-language calques and loanwords that have enriched target languages. Translators, including early translators of sacred texts, have helped shape the very languages into which they have translated. [2]

In linguistics, a calque /kælk/ or loan translation is a word or phrase borrowed from another language by literal, word-for-word or root-for-root translation. Used as a verb, "to calque" means to borrow a word or phrase from another language while translating its components, so as to create a new lexeme in the target language.
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calque 181008

UKT 181011: In the Christendom, early translators of sacred texts, were doing the translating of one Alphabet-Letter system -- Rom-Lat (Roman speech in Latin script) to Eng-Lat in later years. Before, they had to do the translation from Rom-Lat to Anglo Saxon to Old-English script. Since meaning is changing, according to Jacques Derrida, these early translators were mostly interpreting. See also Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bible_translations 181011
"Alfred the Great had a number of passages of the Bible circulated in the vernacular [Anglo-Saxon ((Ænglisc) speech written in Runic script which was replaced by Latin script later] in around 900. These included passages from the Ten Commandments and the Pentateuch, [the five books of the Bible: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy.] which he prefixed to a code of laws he promulgated around this time. In approximately 990, a full and freestanding version of the four Gospels in idiomatic Old English appeared, in the West Saxon dialect; these are called the Wessex Gospels. Around the same time, a compilation now called the Old English Hexateuch appeared with the first six (or, in one version, seven) books of the Old Testament.
"Pope Innocent III in 1199 banned unauthorized versions of the Bible as a reaction to the Cathar and Waldensian heresies. The synods of Toulouse and Tarragona (1234) outlawed possession of such renderings. There is evidence of some vernacular translations being permitted while others were being scrutinized."
UKT 181012: When I look into the works of Pope Innocent III on the Internet, I found divergent views. He brought about the death of many Christians through inquisitions and by conducting the Fourth Crusade - not against the Muslims, but against Greek Church in Constantinople. Reading through all the above, I opine that what the early Bible translators were doing was not translation but interpretation.

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. [3] More recently, the rise of the Internet has fostered a world-wide market for translation services and has facilitated "language localization". [4]

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01. Etymology

The English word "translation" derives from the Latin* word translatio, [6] which comes from trans, "across" + ferre, "to carry" or "to bring" (-latio in turn coming from latus, the past participle of ferre). Thus translatio is "a carrying across" or "a bringing across": in this case, of a text from one language to another. [7]

*UKT 181002: The word Latin is ambiguous. The ambiguity arises from the failure to differentiate script {sa} from speech {sa.ka:}. When the word Latin is used alone it strictly means script. The speech is generally Roman - the speech of Rome the seat of Western Christendom. The confusion came about because of Roman Catholic liturgy being recited in Roman-Latin, with the lay-attendees not knowing the meaning. Even the minister might not know the deeper meaning of what he is reciting. In all probability his speech would not be understood even by the ancient Romans if they were brought back to life. It is because of this scene which Gautama Buddha had foreseen that he forbade Buddhist liturgy recited in Sanskrit.
See ¤ Language problem of primitive Buddhism, by Chi Hisen-lin (季羡林 , 1911 – 2009)
- lang-probl.htm (link chk 181008)

The Germanic languages [8] and some Slavic languages have calqued aka loaned their words for the concept of "translation" on translatio. [7]

The Romance languages [Spanish, Portuguese, French, Italian, Romanian - by order of number of speakers] and the remaining Slavic languages have derived their words for the concept of "translation" from an alternative Latin word, traductio, itself derived from traducere ("to lead across" or "to bring across", from trans, "across" + ducere, "to lead" or "to bring"). [7]

The Ancient Greek term for "translation", μετάφρασις (metaphrasis, "a speaking across"), has supplied English with "metaphrase" (a "literal", or "word-for-word", translation) -- as contrasted with "paraphrase " ("a saying in other words", from παράφρασις, paraphrasis). [7] "Metaphrase" corresponds, in one of the more recent terminologies, to "formal equivalence"; and "paraphrase", to "dynamic equivalence". [9]

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. [10]

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Western theories: 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 (1631–1700), 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.

UKT 181008: The following is a short poem by John Dryden: "Happy the Man"
from: http://famouspoetsandpoems.com/poets/john_dryden/poems/8091 181008

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say,
Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today.
Be fair or foul or rain or shine
The joys I have possessed, in spite of fate, are mine.
Not Heaven itself upon the past has power,
But what has been, has been, and I have had my hour


Contents of this page

02.1. Western theory

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 (1631–1700), 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:

When [words] appear... literally graceful, it were an injury to the author that they should be changed. But since... what is beautiful in one [language] is often barbarous, nay sometimes nonsense, in another, it would be unreasonable to limit a translator to the narrow compass of his author's words: 'tis enough if he choose out some expression which does not vitiate the sense. [7]

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..." [9]

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). [9]

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.g., style, verse form, concordance with musical accompaniment or, in films, with speech articulatory movements) as determined from context. [9]

UKT 181008: Reading through the above paragraphs brought back to my mind the Burmese art of storytelling {kwak-saip} by a single person. Though I search the Internet for an article on the subject, I could not find any.

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. [UKT ¶]

UKT 181008: A sememe  { {a.Daip~pèý li.pain:} (from Greek σημαίνω (sēmaínō), meaning 'mean, signify') is a semantic language unit of meaning, analogous to a morpheme. The concept is relevant in structural semiotics.    A sememe is a proposed unit of transmitted or intended meaning; it is atomic or indivisible. A sememe can be the meaning expressed by a morpheme, such as the English pluralizing morpheme -s, which carries the sememic feature [+ plural]. Alternatively, a single sememe (for example [go] or [move]) can be conceived as the abstract representation of such verbs as skate, roll, jump, slide, turn, or boogie. - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sememe 181008

Personal note: It was in 1955 when I was preparing for my honours degree in Chemistry, when my Lecturer Mr. B. K. Menon assigned us to write an essay on "Biphenyls". I prepared my essay almost exclusively from Gilman's Organic Chemistry - an advanced treatise, which I knew to be Mr. Menon's favourite. We were not supposed to copy from any book, but in order to fool him, I shifted from active to passive voice, or vice versa , and then paraphrased the whole essay. I must have covered my tracks so much that he came to me and asked "Kyaw Tun, from where did you copy it?" I laughed secretly and simply said "From Gilman, Sir." And he, an honest academic as he was, admitted "I couldn't find it!. With this note I honour my old professor - gone but never will be forgotten.

The grammatical differences between "fixed-word-order" languages [11] (e.g. English, French, German) and "free-word-order" languages [12] (e.g., Greek, Latin, Polish, Russian) have been no impediment in this regard. [9] The particular syntax {wa-kya.sæÑ:} (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 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. [9] A greater problem, however, is translating terms relating to cultural concepts that have no equivalent in the target language. [13] For full comprehension, such situations require the provision of a gloss.

The First attack on Bur-Myan language in Pagan Period

UKT 181009: The following is my conjecture based on my study into Bur-Myan and Newari/Nepali languages, and the Burmese Nya-major {Ña.kri:} vs. Pali Nya-minor {nya.lé:}

I hold that Bur-Myan language of the Arigyi monks before the religious reforms of King Anawrahta, was the same as the Old Magadhi of Magadha Mahajanapada {ma-ga.Da. ma.ha-za.na.pa.da.} mixed with Pyu speech of Tagaung Kingdom of King Abhiraza {a.Bi.ra-za mín:}. After the religious reforms, Pali-Lanka speech in Myanmar akshara made inroads into the Bur-Myan of Arigyi, wiping out words beginning with /ŋ/ (velar) {gna.} and /ɲ/ (palatal) {Ña.}. We find the term for "fish" in Newari speech to be {gna} (vowel-length 2 eye-blinks) which is the same as {gna:} (emphatic 2 eye-blnk) in Burmese. There are other cases of similarity between the two languages, which finally led me to conclude that Tagaung Kingdom was a part of Magadha Mahajanapada {ma-ga.Da. ma.ha-za.na.pa.da.}, where the Old Magadhi language was spoken. However, Tagaung Kingdom was never a part of Magadha Kingdom.

Because of incursion Pali language (artificially made from Old Magadhi and Lankan language) that Burmese grammar has become the "Pali grammar dressed in Burmese dress".

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. [UKT ¶]

UKT 181019: The term ecological niches of words, is a borrowed term from the Science of Ecology which has captivated my interest when I was helping my daughter, Nini Tun, preparing for her B.Sc (Zoology) degree in Bassein College many years ago. Here, it has been borrowed for Linguistics. See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ecological_niche 181009
"In ecology, a niche (CanE, UK: /'ni:ʃ/ or US: /'nɪʧ/) [1] is the fit of a species living under specific environmental conditions. [2] [3] The ecological niche describes how an organism or population responds to the distribution of resources [primarily food and water] and competitors (for example, by growing when resources are abundant, and when predators, parasites and pathogens [enemies] are scarce) and how it in turn alters those same factors (for example, limiting access to resources by other organisms, acting as a food source for predators and a consumer of prey). "The type and number of variables comprising the dimensions of an environmental niche vary from one species to another [and] the relative importance of particular environmental variables for a species may vary according to the geographic and biotic contexts". [4] 

Here, I will have to apply the term ecological niches to the language (speech and script) of Arigyi monks of Pagan kingdom before persecution by King Anawrahta {a.nau-ra.hta mín:}, and Pali-Myan (now current in Myanmarpré} and its derivative the "literary Bur-Myan" - favourite of the MLC, and "colloquial Bur-Myan" used by {lûm:pau-ka.lu}.

I contend that the language of Arigyi monks of Pagan kingdom has found its niche in the "colloquial Bur-Myan" used by {lûm:pau-ka.lu}. Its enemies are the Pali-Lankan and its derivative the International Pali, and Skt-Dev.

At present, its enemy is Eng-Lat. The Wikipedia article, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Translation 181001, cites the example of English actual and its French cognate actuel . I will use as my example the English word uncle .

We have in Bur-Myan the relationships: father's elder brother - {Ba.kri:}, father's younger brother - {Ba.htwé:}, mother's elder brother - {U:kri:}, and mother's younger brother - {U:lé:}. What on earth does {ûn-kèý} (derived from English uncle .) mean.

I reply facetiously: {ûn-kèý} came from the British colonialists with their Enfield rifles and superior cannons firing explosive-shells. Our forefathers had only {gnak-kri:taún da:} and cannons firing non-explosive iron balls. So, {ûn-kèý} must mean the person (British colonialists) who came to rape our mother (Myanmarpré).

For example, the English actual should not be confused with the cognate French actuel ("present", "current"), the Polish aktualny ("present", "current," "topical", "timely", "feasible"), [14] the Swedish aktuell ("topical", "presently of importance"), the Russian актуальный ("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 (2nd-century-BCE), the Roman adapter of Greek comedies. [UKT ¶]

The translator's role is, however, by no means a passive, mechanical one, and so has also been compared to that of an artist. 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..." Comparison of the translator with a musician or actor goes back at least to Samuel Johnson's remark about Alexander Pope playing Homer on a flageolet, while Homer himself used a bassoon. [14]

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 [UKT 181012: to which I will add "culture including religious belief and history"] , 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. [15]

The translator of the Bible into German, 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 in the 18th century, "it has been axiomatic" that one translates only toward his own language. [16]

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 (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 grammarian Onufry Kopczyński. [17]

See Essay on the Principles of Translation, by Alexander Tytler, 1790, in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraries:
- ATytler-EssayPrincipTransl<Ô> / Bkp<Ô> (link chk 181012)

The translator's special role in society is described in a posthumous 1803 essay by "Poland's La Fontaine", the Roman Catholic Primate of Poland, poet, encyclopedist, author of the first Polish novel, and translator from French and Greek, Ignacy Krasicki:

[T]ranslation... is in fact an art both estimable and very difficult, and therefore is not the labor and portion of common minds; [it] should be [practiced] by those who are themselves capable of being actors, when they see greater use in translating the works of others than in their own works, and hold higher than their own glory the service that they render their country. [18]


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02.2. 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

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02.2.1. Near East

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. 2000 BCE) into Southwest Asian languages of the second millennium BCE. [19]

UKT 181021: Read downloaded Epic of Gilgamesh, by N. K. Sanders, Assyrian International News Agency, Books Online, www.aina.org ,  pub date not given in TIL HD-PDF and SD-PDF libraires:
- NKSanders-EpicGilgamesh<)) / Bkp<)) (link chk 181021)
"When the gods created Gilgamesh they gave him a perfect body. Shamash the glorious sun endowed him with beauty, Adad the god of the storm endowed him with courage, the great gods made his beauty perfect, surpassing all others, terrifying like a great wild bull. Two thirds they made him god and one third man. ... " ‘Gilgamesh, where are you hurrying to? You will never find that life for which you are looking. When the gods created man they allotted to him death, but life they retained in their own keeping. As for you, Gilgamesh, fill your belly with good things; day and night, night and day, dance and be merry, feast and rejoice. Let your clothes be fresh, bathe yourself in water, cherish the little child that holds your hand, and make your wife happy in your embrace; for this too is the lot of man.' "

An early example of a bilingual document is the 1274 BCE Treaty of Kadesh between the ancient Egyptian and Hittie empires.

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02.2.2. Asia

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 special aspects of translating from Chinese are illustrated in Perry Link's discussion of translating the work of the Tang Dynasty poet Wang Wei (699–759 CE).[20]

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 1-2, 1-2-3 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.[21]

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. 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 of an anatomy instructor does to the life of a frog."[21]

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.[22]

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. 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; but this again particularizes the experience too much.[22]

Nouns have no number in Chinese. "If," writes Link, "you want to talk in Chinese about one rose, you may, but then you use a "measure word" to say "one blossom-of roseness."[22]

Chinese verbs are tense-less: there are several ways to specify when something happened or will happen, but verb tense is not one of them. For poets, this creates the great advantage of ambiguity. According to Link, Weinberger's insight about subjectlessness—that it produces an effect "both universal and immediate" -- applies to timelessness as well.[22]

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.

Weinberger [...] pushes this insight further when he writes that "every reading of every poem, regardless of language, is an act of translation: translation into the reader's intellectual and emotional life." Then he goes still further: because a reader's mental life shifts over time, there is a sense in which "the same poem cannot be read twice."[22


02.2.3. Islamic world

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. 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, Morocco), Al-Azhar (Cairo, Egypt), and the Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad. 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.

In the 19th century, after the Middle East's Islamic clerics and copyists

had conceded defeat in their centuries-old battle to contain the corrupting effects of the printing press, [an] explosion in publishing... ensued. Along with expanding secular education, printing transformed an overwhelmingly illiterate society into a partly literate one.

UKT 181010: It was not the printing press alone, but the new techniques of making cheap paper to print on was instrumental in expansion of secular education. A visit to Dard Hunter's museum then housed in the Institute of Paper Chemistry (IPC), Appleton, Wis., USA, from which I got my master degree in science was enlightening. An unknown story of how Dard Hunter and the West got a secret knowledge of making of better paper of long fibers from north-eastern Burma would be the most surprising!

Perhaps better paper making methods for making military maps was instrumental for the US to win the Second World War. When I was a student, IPC was still conducting "classified research" for the US government. I saw my first computer then, in 1958, in the IPC. We were allowed to simulate workings of a digester on computer.
See Wikipedia: - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dard_Hunter 181010
"Hunter opened the Dard Hunter Paper Museum at the M.I.T. (Massachusetts Institute of Technology) in 1939, which he considered his greatest accomplishment. [2] It was moved to the Institute of Paper Chemistry (I.P.C.) in Appleton, Wisconsin in 1954. The Robert C. Williams Paper Museum now comprises most of the collection of the Institute of Paper Science and Technology, on the campus of the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta."

With this little note of mine, I pay my respect to I.P.C., my alma mata , and Dr. Roy Whitney and his staff, and my fellow classmates from the State of Maine, in particular to my close friend and roommate John Mattor & his wife Beth.

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 1880 and 1908... more than six hundred newspapers and periodicals were founded in Egypt alone.

The most prominent among them was al-Muqtataf... [It] was the popular expression of a translation movement that had begun earlier in the century with military and medical manuals and highlights from the Enlightenment canon. (Montesquieu's Considerations on the Romans and Fénelon's Telemachus had been favorites.) [23]

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 (1769–1849), the Ottoman 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's biography of Peter the Great, along with the Marseillaise and the entire Code Napoléon. This was the biggest, most meaningful importation of foreign thought into Arabic since Abbasid times (750–1258). [24]

In France al-Tahtawi had been struck by the way the French language... was constantly renewing itself to fit modern ways of living. 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 word for airplane, for example, has the same root as the word for bird. [25]

The movement to translate English and European texts transformed the Arabic and Ottoman Turkish languages, and new words, simplified syntax {wa-kya. sæÑ:}, 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." One of the neologisms that, in a way, came to characterize the infusion of new ideas via translation was "darwiniya", or "Darwinism". [23]

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 Darwin who in 1903 visited Darwin's exponent Herbert Spencer at his home in Brighton. Spencer's view of society as an organism with its own laws of evolution paralleled Abduh's ideas. [26]

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 de Bellaigue, "Islamism and militarism, received a major impetus from Western 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.[27]

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03. Fidelity and transparency

Fidelity (or "faithfulness") and transparency, dual ideals in translation, are often (though not always) at odds. A 17th-century French critic coined the phrase "les belles infidèles" to suggest that translations, like women, can be either faithful or beautiful, but not both.[28]

Fidelity is the extent to which a translation accurately renders the meaning of the source text, without distortion.

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) writes in his preface to the translation anthology Sylvae:

Where I have taken away some of [the original authors'] Expressions, and cut them shorter, it may possibly be on this consideration, that what was beautiful in the Greek or Latin, would not appear so shining in the English; and where I have enlarg'd them, I desire the false Criticks would not always think that those thoughts are wholly mine, but that either they are secretly in the Poet, or may be fairly deduc'd from him; or at least, if both those considerations should fail, that my own is of a piece with his, and that if he were living, and an Englishman, they are such as he wou'd probably have written. [29]

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: an unidiomatic translation "sounds wrong"; and, in the extreme case of word-for-word translations generated by many machine-translation systems, 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. A translator may adopt expressions from the source language in order to provide "local color".

Current Western translation practice is dominated by the dual concepts of "fidelity" and "transparency". This has not always been the case, however; 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 Indic (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" (1813) he distinguished between translation methods that move "the writer toward [the reader]", i.e., 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,[30] and the American theorist Lawrence Venuti, who has called on translators to apply "foreignizing" rather than domesticating translation strategies.[31]

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03.1. Equivalence

The question of fidelity vs. transparency has also been formulated in terms of, respectively, "formal equivalence" and "dynamic [or functional] equivalence". The latter expressions are associated with the translator Eugene Nida and were 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".

"Dynamic equivalence" (or "functional equivalence") conveys the essential thoughts expressed in a source text—if necessary, at the expense of literality, original sememe and word order, the source text's active vs. passive voice, etc.

By contrast, "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 verbum pro verbo)—if necessary, at the expense of features natural to the target language.

There is, however, no sharp boundary between functional and formal 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 functional and formal equivalents.[32]

Common pitfalls in translation, especially when practiced by inexperienced translators, involve false equivalents such as "false friends"[33] and false cognates.

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03.2. 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.[34] 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 forms, a back-translation is often required by the ethics committee or institutional review board.[35]

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 Greek precursor to Twain's "Jumping Frog" story.[36]

When a historic 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 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 that was made by Edmund Chojecki in 1847 from a complete French copy, now 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.[37]

A big part of the works by the highly influential Classical physician Galen survive only in medieval Arabic translation. Some of them survive only in Renaissance Latin translations from the Arabic, thus at a second remove from the original. To better understand Galen, scholars have attempted a back-translation of such works to reconstruct the original Greek.[citation needed]

Similarly, 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 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.

Similarly, supporters of Aramaic primacy—of the view that the 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 Greek text of the New Testament make much better 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, was originally written in Greek.

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.[38][39] 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.[40] 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 no sentence-ending prepositions, subsequently adopted by other writers.[41][42]

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04. 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 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 equivalents between the source- and target-language texts.[43]

A competent translator is not only bilingual but bicultural. A language is not merely a collection of words and of rules of grammar and syntax for generating sentences, but also a vast interconnecting system of connotations and cultural references whose mastery, writes linguist Mario Pei, "comes close to being a lifetime job."[44]

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.[17]

The translator's role in relation to a text has been compared to that of an artist, e.g., a musician or actor, who interprets a work of art. Translation, like other human activities,[45] entails making choices, and choice implies interpretation.[14][46] 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,[47] advised his niece and Polish 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....][48]

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."[49]

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.[50][51]

The necessity of making choices, and therefore of interpretation, in translating[52] (and in other fields of human endeavor) stems from the ambiguity that subjectively pervades the universe. Part of the ambiguity, for a translator, involves the structure of human language. Psychologist and neural scientist Gary Marcus notes that "virtually every sentence [that people generate] is ambiguous, often in multiple ways. Our brain is so good at comprehending language that we do not usually notice."[53] 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.[54] Such disambiguation is not infallible by a human, either.

Ambiguity is a concern to both translators and, as the writings of poet and literary critic William Empson have demonstrated, to literary critics. Ambiguity may be desirable, indeed essential, in poetry and diplomacy; it can be more problematic in ordinary prose.[55]

A translator is faced with two contradictory tasks: when translating, he must strive for omniscience; when reviewing his translation, he must assume (the naive reader's) ignorance.

A translator may render only parts of the original text, provided he indicates that this is what he is doing. But a translator should not assume the role of censor and surreptitiously delete or bowdlerize passages merely to please a political or moral interest.[56]

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.[57] 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 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."[58] Merwin, translator-poet who took Pound's advice to heart, writes of translation as an "impossible, unfinishable" art.[59]

Translators, including monks who spread Buddhist texts in 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 grammatical structures, idioms, and vocabulary.

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04.1. Interpreting

Interpreting, or "interpretation," is the facilitation of oral or 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 "interpretation."

Unlike English, many languages do not employ two separate words to denote the activities of written and live-communication (oral or sign-language) translators.[60] Even English does not always make the distinction, frequently using "translating" as a synonym for "interpreting."

Interpreters have sometimes played crucial roles in history. A prime example is La Malinche, also known as Malintzin, Malinalli and Doña Marina, an early-16th-century Nahua woman from the Mexican Gulf Coast. As a child she had been sold or given to 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 Spanish conquest of Mexico, acting as interpreter, adviser, intermediary and lover to Hernán Cortés.[61]

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.[62]

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04.2. Sworn translation

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. Some countries recognize declared competence. Others require the translator to be an official state appointee. In some countries, such as the United Kingdom, translators must be accredited by certain translation institutes or associations in order to be able to carry out certified translations.

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04.3. 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.[63]

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04.4. 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.[64] With the recent emergence of translation crowdsourcing,[65][66] translation-memory techniques, and internet applications,[67] translation agencies have been able to provide on-demand human-translation services to businesses, individuals, and enterprises.

While not instantaneous like its machine counterparts such as Google Translate and Yahoo! Babel Fish, web-based human translation has been gaining popularity by providing relatively fast, accurate translation of business communications, legal documents, medical records, and software localization. [68] Web-based human translation also appeals to private website users and bloggers.[69] Contents of websites are translatable but urls of websites are not translatable into other languages. A language tool on the internet provides help in this (see reference link).[70]

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04.5. 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 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

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05. 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.[71

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 globalization-management system.[72]

Unedited machine translation is publicly available through tools on the Internet such as Google Translate, Babel Fish, Babylon, and StarDict. These produce rough translations that, under favorable circumstances, "give the gist" of the source text.[73]

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 humorous and confusing than enlightening.

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.[74]

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 ambiguities in the source text, which the grammatical and lexical exigencies of the target language require to be resolved.[75] 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 meaningless.[71]

The weaknesses of pure machine translation, unaided by human expertise, are those of artificial intelligence itself.[76] Translator Mark Polizzotti holds that machine translation, by Google Translate and the like, is unlikely to threaten human translators anytime soon, because machines will never grasp nuance and connotation.[77]

UKT 181002: See continuation in next file:

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