Home > Reading 1 (Mr. Sha'abani) > Summary (Translation: from sublime to the ridiculous?)

Summary (Translation: from sublime to the ridiculous?)

December 3, 2009 Leave a comment Go to comments

In The Name of God

Name: Reza Takhshid
Class: Reading 01
Assignment: Summary (Translation: from sublime to the ridiculous?)

‘To translate’ is ‘to express the sense in or into another language’, according to the Oxford Dictionary. Even that translation represents bringing words from a lexicon to another; it shouldn’t be considered, only, as the exchange of the words. Since translation is a form of communication which deals with ‘culture and truth’, says Peter Newmark, it should be done only after the original text is fully comprehended.

First, the purpose of the text should be determined. Is the text simply giving information, is it trying to stimulate the imagination, or arouse the reader’s interest? Once this has been done, the translator must bear in mind the target audience of the translation. Even that different individuals are to read the translation; they tend to share certain characteristics with the readers of the original text. And perhaps they fall into the same category and have the same expectation from the text.

The next thing which puts the translator on a tightrope is consideration of the knowledge of the readers. Whether it’s understanding the cultural differences or a matter of technical knowledge, the translator must balance expectations of the readers with those of the writer.

The translator must be loyal to the style and register of the original text. An amusing and discursive piece of text should not turn into a ponderous one, just as an erudite text should not be over simplified. But still there are times which an awkward text could be made more accessible by the translator.

The style of the writing, especially in literary works, could represent a great part of the intended message of the writing. Transferring what and how the writer is saying something rather than just what he or she is saying; is a problem which the translator should solve in a decent manner. Also the translator should be aware of any kind of ‘sub-text’ embedded into the text.

Overlooking the need of great knowledge of the source and perfect mastery of the target language has lead to translations done by those lacking this requirement. For the best results the translator should translate into their mother language or they could expect to ‘contribute greatly to many people’s hilarity in the process’ as stated by Peter Newmark.

  1. Niyayesh
    December 4, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Nice blog!

    • Rez(A)
      December 5, 2009 at 12:47 pm


  2. December 4, 2009 at 10:06 pm

    good job man, would you post your previous summary as well ?? thanks a lot.

    • Rez(A)
      December 5, 2009 at 12:46 pm

      sure thing!
      soon I will!

  3. December 5, 2009 at 4:49 pm

    I put your blog’s link in my blog.
    Good Luck.

  4. Payaam
    December 15, 2009 at 1:52 am

    first I guess it’s your best writing here up till now.

    -by “discursive piece of text” you mean “long and detailed text” ?

    -i prefer “proper manner” for “decent manner” (here). what do you say?

    -in some occasions I don’t feel right about your using of some punctuations ( like ; ) .

    DUDE, leaving comment for such solid writing is kinda putting myself on a tightrope :-p

    • Rez(A)
      December 15, 2009 at 5:01 pm

      ummm, i didn’t write this! its a summary of another text!
      if you want i can show you the original! … i’ll read later and see what’s going on !!!

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