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Total and not absolute translation

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Although now the absolute translatability is considered impossible, that is to say, the possibility arising of a given target text, through a translation process, an initial text that is equivalent to the first one, completely devoid of information loss or addition of sense, although few theories take into consideration the relative untranslatability and provide compensation strategies. According to the vision of the total translation of Peeter Torop, to which Firth in his essay “Linguistic analysis and translation” (1956) attributed the meaning of “exhaustive description of a certain language […] This total translation can not possibly be a complete translation from a theoretical point of view. ” We can not decide to favor a translation over another, but try to understand what parts of the transmitting culture have been translated, and conversely what information loss. It is well recognized track of Quine’s teaching: from the indeterminacy of translation, we come to the indeterminacy of translatability. Expand the spectrum observation of the single verbal text resulted from the translation process for all traces that are present in a text from a different culture and also are in the receiving culture, reveals not only the verbatim record of the a translation, but all indications on the text disseminated in a given receiving culture.

It is very difficult to make a direct idea of a text itself, without thinking to what Torop and Popovic call “metatexts”. This coincidence is not just about the translation strategies that are superimposed on the total translation, it is a universal constant. In any translation, the author decides to clarify any element of the source text, consciously or not, while in some cases it is simply compelled to do so for linguistic reasons. These choices, which include a large part of subjectivity, are sources of debate in the next phase, the revision phase, when the language choices of the translator are questioned by the auditor. Needless to say that the translations that will result will be as numerous as the interpreters of the text, each focusing on a certain dominant, or will decide to adopt a translation strategy dictated by its own criteria of translatability and it will necessarily be forced to sacrifice certain characteristics of the source text to successfully make others. The very existence of the text structure presupposes that there is a planning hierarchy. Generally, during the design of the text, there is already in the mind of the author a dominant element around which a constellation of important but secondary elements. To this translation process design add a variety of other distinct phenomena of the presence of the source text and target text, a process of transformation or the presence of a variant or invariant component.

A single model

One of the main methodological problems of translation science is developing principles for classifying different types of translation based on a unique design of the translation process. In this sense, the translation process is proving to be the main object of study of the science of translation.

The conceptual basis of this work lies in the belief that interlingual translation (textual), intralingual (metatextual), intersemiotic (extratextual), intertextual and intratextual can be described on the basis of a single model of the translation process, and that ultimately there fault presuppositions to describe culture as overall total translation process. In turn, this perspective provides insight into the mechanisms of culture.

As regards the translation sciences, universal model of the translation process may be the basis for the description, either for the entire translation or for specific translations. But a translation process, even if it is designed universally, canned in a way its concreteness, since at the beginning and at the end of this process, in one form or another, there is always a text. On the basis of a rapprochement between source text and target text, a concrete reconstruction of the translation process becomes possible. From a methodological point of view, in relation to the different updates of the translation process, the problem arises from the comparison and classification of different translations on the basis of a specific model. And from the point of view of the method, it is important that during the training of translators, it is possible to choose between different strategies or translation methods.

An article on the translation process remains very abstract and of no use to the reader if it is not shown in a flowchart as a concrete example of what is happening on the ground.

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