About 20 years ago, I heard Prof. Valentín García Yebra lecturing, Ph.D. in classical philology and member of the Real Academia Española de la Lengua (Royal Spanish Language Academy), literary translation. Her ideas are still valid to date and I intend to repeat some of her concepts.
It has long been recognized that there are two major types of translations: documentary and scientific translation and literary translation.
They often talk about which of the two types offers the greatest difficulty. Some argue that scientific and technical translation is in difficulty due to the experience and knowledge required in the various disciplines and, therefore, is a stronger specialization. In others' opinion, literary translation is more difficult due to the language quality required for the original and the translated texts.
García Yebra believes that a person should talk, not so much about the greater or less difficulty of translation, but about the larger or smaller difficulties of a given translator. For a person who learns a particular science or technique and has a highly specialized terminology, it is much easier to translate the texts of a given discipline than to deal with literary texts. For a translator to read and enjoy poetry and literature when studying a foreign language, it is much easier to translate such texts than the given language, provided that he knows and understands his mother tongue perfectly.
In his opinion, there is no doubt in itself that literary translation is more challenging for the translator. The scientific or technical language is usually a concrete and unique one to eliminate all sorts of ambiguities such that the target language words are exactly the same as in the source language. In addition, the scientist tries to exclude something from his personal form to express ideas and thus avoid the characteristic connotations of literary language that make translation difficult in this area.
It is defined as science and technology seeking generic ideas, not individual ideas and statements, which is an ever-increasing approximation to all languages used in vehicles. The scientific language is increasingly international and there is no significant difference between translation and translation. Machine translation is therefore a very useful tool for handling scientific and technical materials.
When approaching a literary text, whether it is novel or poetry, the first problem is the possibility or the impossibility of literary translation. It really depends on the proxies or the distance of source and target languages, which means that it is certainly more difficult to translate from German to Spanish because of French or Italian Spanish or German in English. In addition, a thorough understanding of the original text, including idiomic connotations, is a basic condition for translating it. Therefore, the translator must first read a novelist whole book or full poem he wants to translate. Once you have acquired the essential knowledge and understanding of the author's original text, you can begin the translation. But this task requires a lot of time, dedication and review. After the translated text is over, more or more times have to be read, and each reading is a new revision, a new editing of the entire work to dissect the language and bring it closer to the author's thoughts. This practically makes machine translation impossible for literary translations. This should be done by an experienced translator whose feelings and intrusions are in the work he or she is seeking.
For example, Edith Grossman, a very well-distinguished American translator who worked primarily in Spanish, spoke of a literary lunch at a San Francisco Bay Area literary lunch with a "service school" with "constant review and editing, loud reading, accuracy checking, review and, if possible, downtimer period of the manuscript to be conducted before more review. "(quoted Translatorial, Journal of the Northern California Translators Association, Volume 30, May 2008).
As a conclusion, it should be noted that the "old way" of the personal translation of the translation translation is not a substitute for machine translation software, even though it takes a lot more time. The only way to achieve high-quality literary translation.
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