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Sunday, May 20, 2007

Types of Translation

Types of Translation

Translation theories were largely formed around Bible translations in the sixteenth century. Etienne Dolet is credited with the first formulation of a theory of translation

Dryden, one of the earliest English translation theorists, classifies translation into three types – metaphrase – word for word, line for line rendering, paraphrase – where in translating sense is given more importance, and imitation where sense matters in translation.


Horaces Ars Poetica trs by Ben Jonson - metaphrase

Virgil’s Aenid trs by Waller – paraphrase

Pindar’s two odes by Abraham Cowley – imitation

In 1789 George Campbell suggest three criteria for good translation

  1. There should be just representation of the original
  2. The spirit and manner of the original should be conveyed through consistency with the language of the translation
  3. The translation should have the quality of an original performance so as to appear natural and easy.

In 1790 Alexander Taylor in The Principles of Translation set up three different principles

  1. The translation should give a complete transcript of the idea of the original work
  2. The style and manner of writing should be of the same character with that of the original.
  3. The translation should have all the case of the original composition.

Goethe suggests two modes of translation

First, the translator attempts to bring foreign author to his reader and through the second the reader is taken to the author. It involves the ‘adoption’ of the foreign writer into the native literary tradition in terms of its language and culture without sacrificing the spirit of the original .

Second, where readers are taken to the author involves a word for word, line by line faithful translation

In the twentieth century radical ideas developed about translation. Roman Jacobson classified the twentieth century translation into three categories

  1. Intralingual – rewording in the same language
  2. Interlingual – translation into some other language
  3. Intersemiotic – translation across media

Theodore Savory makes a comprehensive division into four groups.

First Group: Belongs to all statements of a purely informative in character such as those seen by a traveler like, notices instructions etc It has plain unemotional language

Second group: To this belong all popular translations meant for general reader.

Third group: - most important of all groups as it contains all scholarly translations of literary classes with commentaries and discussions on how good and how perfect the renderings are done by different translators in different times.

Fourth group: Contains all learned and scientific and technical publications.

Andre Lefevere catalogues seven strategies of translations

  1. Phonemic translations
  2. Literal translations
  3. Metrical translations
  4. Poetry into Prose
  5. Rhymed translation
  6. Blank verse translation
  7. Interpretation

Some more theories of Translation

  1. Medium restricted translation theories
  2. Area restricted translation theories
  3. Rank-restricted translation theories
  4. Text-type restricted theories
  5. Time-restricted theories
  6. Problem-restricted theories


Important questions:

  1. Write a note on Andre Lefevere’s strategies of translation
  2. Write a note on Theodore Savory’s division translation
  3. Give a brief history of translation theories
  4. Write a note on types of translation


Anonymous said...

hi! it is really interesting to know all the "developers" of translation. For me this is an excellent article.

I'd like to know more about types of translation, do you have any information? I will apreciate that. thanks.


Anil Pinto said...

Glad to know it was useful. Would take some time to respond. Do you have specific questions?

Anonymous said...

Do you have further detailed information or examples of translation types from savory?
I really need the E-book, actually. I want to use it to write my S1 thesis...
thank you...

Vira- Indonesia

Anil Pinto said...

Not sure. At the moment travelling. Will try to check next week and if I have will leave a comment here.