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TITELA VLCEANU

TRANSLATION KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES AND


SKILLS

CONTENTS

Foreword..5
Course description7
Thematic areas..7
Unit One Monolingual versus bilingual communication
The status of the translator as a communicator....9
Objectives....9
Timing..9
A. Perspectives on translation and on the translator...10
Bibliography.15
Evaluation16
B. The translator as communicator.17
Bibliography.21
Evaluation.22
Unit Two - Language functions and text typology.
Informative, expressive, vocative functions. informative, expressive,
vocative texts...................................................23
Objectives...23
Timing23
A. Language functions and the text continuum..24
Bibliography.29
Evaluation.30
B. Genre-based optimisation strategies in the translation of cultural loads33
Bibliography.50
Evaluation.51
Unit Three - The reader-oriented perspective. skopostheorie. translation methods:
semantic vs communicative translation..53
Objectives...53
Timing53
Bibliography58
Evaluation59
Unit Four - Policing the cultural intertraffic. Defining culture specific items and
related translation strategies. Translation procedures62
3

Objectives...62
Timing62
Policing the cultural intertraffic. Defining culture specific items and related
translation strategies. Translation procedures..63
Bibliography.69
Evaluation.70
General bibliography .75

FOREWORD

The first decade of the new millennium is characterised by enhanced


communication owing to state-of-the-art technology and to the development of
localisation strategies, i.e. accommodation to the specificities of socio-cultural
matrices. The compression or even annihilation of time and space in the global
village via the use of technology in interpersonal, corporate and mass
communication as well as the linguistic ascendancy of English, the lingua
franca for so many decades now, generated by a constellation of geopolitical
and socio-economic factors (there is no parangon as there is linguistic
hierarchy with respect to the aesthetic qualities of a language) resulted in the
widespread of communication means at the informative, expressive and
persuasive levels and in the hybridisation of discourse types.
Without a shadow of doubt, bilingual communication or translation plays
an ever important role within this framework the burden of proof lies not
only in the huge number of officially translated pages for instance, the
magnitude of the phenomenon amounts to 1,800,000 pages translated for the
European bodies in 2008 please visit the website of the Directorate General
for
Translation,
European
Commission,
http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/translation/faq/index_en.htm#2), but also in the
number of bilingual publications, be they periodicals or else.

Universitatea din Craiova


Facultatea de Litere
Catedra de Studii Anglo-Americane

TRANSLATION KNOWLEDGE, ATTITUDES AND SKILLS


Curs op ional
Specializarea: Romn-Englez, ID, an III, sem. I
Anul III, sem I, 1 or curs, 1 or seminar/ sptmn, 2 credite
Titular de curs: Conf. univ. dr. TITELA VLCEANU
Descrierea cursului
Cursul este focalizat pe abordrile i metodele de referin i de
actualitate din domeniul teoriei i practicii traducerii. Partea teoretic este
complementat de activiti cu caracter aplicativ, urmrindu-se asimilarea i
operaionalizarea unor noiuni traductologice fundamentale, precum i
dezvoltarea competenei de traducere relativ la gestionarea tipologiei textuale.
Cursul profileaz n egal msur caracterul interdisciplinar al domeniului i
specificitatea acestuia.
Tematic general
1. Monolingual versus bilingual communication The status of the translator
as a communicator.
2. Language functions and text typology. Informative, expressive, vocative
functions. Informative, expressive, vocative texts.
3. The reader-oriented perspective. Skopostheorie. Translation methods:
semantic vs communicative translation.
4. Policing the cultural intertraffic. Defining culture specific items and
related translation strategies.

UNITATEA DE NVARE I

MONOLINGUAL VERSUS BILINGUAL COMMUNICATION


THE STATUS OF THE TRANSLATOR AS A
COMMUNICATOR

Obiective

Contientizarea aspectelor complexe legate circumscrierea domeniului teoriei


i practicii traducerii n corelaie cu procesul de comunicare interlingv i
intercultural;

Familiarizarea studenilor cu aspectele descriptive i normative ale


deontologiei profesionale a traductorului.

Familiarizarea studenilor cu aspectele descriptive i normative ale nelegerii


i dezvoltrii competenei de traducere;

Timp alocat: 3 ore

A. PERSPECTIVES ON TRANSLATION AND ON THE


TRANSLATOR
The status of translation diachrony and synchrony
G. Steiner (1975) in his landmark book After Babel: aspects of language and
translation divides the theory of translation into four main periods:
the first period extends from the Roman times up to the
publication of Tytlers Essay on the Principles of Translation (1791); the
period is characterized by immediate empirical focus;
the second period has as a starting point the year 1791 and ends in
1946 with Larbauds Sous linvocation de St. Jerome; theory of translation
and hermeneutics go hand in hand and at the same time the vocabulary and the
terminology of translation as science are developed on a par with the
methodology of translation;
the third period is much shorter but not downgraded in signification.
It extends over three decades (1940s 1960s) when theory of translation is
mostly influenced by machine translation, by the introduction of structural
linguistics and of the theory of communication.
the last division is from 1960s onwards and it could be seen as a
reversion to hermeneutics. Theory of translation is now a hybrid, an
interdisciplinary approach in the wide frame of antropology, sociology, rhetoric,
poetics, grammar, semantics and pragmatics.
The first traces of translation go back around the year 3000 BC in the
Egyptian Old Kingdom. The next proof is to be found much later in 300 BC in
the Roman translations from the Greek language. Cicero and Horace discuss
translation in conjunction with the two functions of the poet: the poet fulfilled the
universal human duty of acquiring and disseminating wisdom and he was also
responsible for the art of making and shaping a poem. Cicero strongly believed
that the mind dominates the body in the same way the king rules over his subjects
or the father controls his children (what he calls the Law of Reason). Therefore,
he favours word for word, sense for sense translation while paying equal
attention to the aesthetic criteria of the target language product which should
enrich the native language of the readership. Horace takes a stand against
overcautious imitation or mimesis. He thinks that the translator should be in the
habit of borrowing and coining words, but within limits. Moderation becomes a
key word as the translator bears responsibility to the target language readers.
During the 14TH AND 16TH CENTURIES, the main preoccupation lies
in the translation of the Bible. The translators role was to spread the word of
God and two criteria were to be met: aesthetic and evangelistic. St. Jerome wrote

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about stylistic licence and heretical interpretations of the Bible in the attempt
to clarify intricate meaning and allegory or parable in the religious text.
Between 1380-1384, Wycliffite performs the first translation of the
complete Bible in the very spirit of the theory of dominion by grace: man was
immediately responsible to God and Gods law. In order that the crucial text may
be accessible, the translation is done in the vernacular language.
The second Wycliffite Bible is produced between 1395-1396. Chapter
15 contains an elaboration of the stages of the translation process: translation
presupposes a collaborative effort of collecting old Bibles and glosses; a
comparison of these is necessary; translation cannot be done without counselling
with old grammarians and old divines; the translation should focus on sentence
meaning.
Tyndales translation of the New Testament in 1525 is intended as a
clear version for the layman. Hence, we can state that the aims of the 16th
century Bible translators were to spot errors (in some other translations of the
sacred text), to produce an accessible and aesthetic vernacular style and to
clarify points of dogma.
In the medieval education system, translation was a writing exercise
and a means of improving oratorical style (in the very tradition established by
Quintilian in the 1st century AD): paraphrasing, embellishment, and
abridgement to achieve both efficiency and effectiveness. Translation in the
Middle Ages can be considered vertical as transposing the text from a source
language of prestige (Latin) into the vernacular target language while
rendering word for word meaning (interlinear gloss). It can also be seen as
horizontal: the source and target languages have similar values (Norman
French and English, for instance) and it becomes a matter of imitatio or
borrowing.
Bacon and Dante are concerned with moral and aesthetic criteria, with
loss and coinage in translation. In their opinion, translation resembles stylistics.
Dante is further worried by the accessibility of the translated text and by its
accuracy. Chaucer is the first to consider translation a skill and to acknowledge
that there are different modes of reading and interpreting a source language
text.
Although decreasing in quantity and importance, the translation of
classical authors was not neglected totally. Chapman in his "Epistle to the
Reader, which accompanied his translation of the Iliad, manifests the same
range of concerns: avoid word for word renderings; reach the spirit of the
original; investigate versions and glosses.
THE RENAISSANCE is another turning point in the history of the theory
of translation. The Elizabethan translators believed in the affirmation of the
individual and this is obvious in the replacement of the indirect discourse by the
direct one. Wyatt, Surrey translated mostly poems; they saw translation as an
adaptation, faithful to the meaning of the poem but also complying with the
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expectations of the target language readers. The poem was viewed as an artifact of
a particular cultural system and the translation should fulfil a similar function in
the target language; thus translation was assessed as a primary intellectual
activity.
THE 17TH CENTURY (AUGUSTAN ENGLAND) is a period of radical
changes in the theory of literature and translation. Descartes has already imposed
his inductive reasoning and literary critics state rules of aesthetic production
(imitation of ancient masters).
Sir John Denham speaks of the formal aspect of Art, of the spirit nature
of the work and he declares himself against the literal translation of poetry.
The translator and author have equal status, but they operate in different social
(cultural) and temporal contexts. The translators mastery of the two languages
is desirable to understand the spirit of the author and to conform to the canons of
his age.
Pope advises the translator to give a close reading to the original text for
considerations of style and manner and to keep alive the fire of the poem.
IN THE 18TH CENTURY authors are particularly sensitive to the
question of overfaithfulness vs. looseness in translation, and of the moral duty
to the contemporary reader. The major achievements are the restructurings of
Shakespeares texts and the reworkings of Racines plays.
Dr. Johnson discusses the additions that translators can make to texts
as every individual has the right to be addressed in his own terms. The metaphor
of the translator as painter / imitator is to be decoded as the moral duty the
translator has toward the subject and the receiver. The translator will be seen as a
painter who is denied the possibility of using the same colours.
We have already mentioned that Tytlers work (1791) is a hallmark in the
history of the theory of translation, being considered the first systematic study in
English. The principles he announces are best summed up in the following words:
complete transcript of the idea of the original work (total surrender of the
translator); similar style and manner of the source language and target language
text; original composition bearing the stamp of the translator as text creator.
The 18th centurys ideology is mainly a reaction against rationalism and
formal harmony, while allowing the vitalist function of imagination and the
freedom of the creative force.
Briefly, two tendencies were recorded: translation as a category of
thought; translation as the genius work. The problem of meaning is at the core of
both trends: if poetry is a separate entity from language, then the translator should
be able to read between the lines, to reproduce the text behind the text. Shelley
granted translation a lower status: a kind of filling a gap between inspirations,
for the sake of the literary graces.
THE 19TH CENTURY (THE VICTORIANS) is characterized by the need
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to convey remoteness in time and space and by the concept of untranslatability


(which was quite a dogma at the time). Carlyles translations from German show
an immense respect for the original, based on the writers sureness of its worth.
We assist at the emergence of an litist conception of translation, which is
addressed to the cultivated reader whilst the average reader is made no
concessions as far as his expectations and tastes are concerned. The translation has
an archaic flavour, the contemporary life has no room into the space of
translation.
M. Arnold in his considerations On Translating Homer advises the
reader to put trust into the scholars and thus translation is devaluated as a mere
instrument to bring the target language reader into the source language text.
Longfellow went to the extreme and considered the translator a
technician and E. Fitzgerald said that It is better to have a live sparrow than a
stuffed eagle, which is to be understood as version of the source language text
into the target language text as a living entity. This patronizing attitude is
equivalent to Nidas spirit of exclusivism: the translator is a skilful merchant
offering exotic wares to the discerning few.
The emergence of the science of the theory of translation is indeed the
merit of THE 20TH CENTURY (up to this date, we can speak of commentaries
arising from the practice of translating) when advancements and refinements of
the theory are the topical issue.
The 20th century is marked, in its first half, by literalness, archaizing, the
target language second rate merit and by an lite minority addressed by the
translator.
Translation theory stems from comparative linguistics; it is mainly an
aspect of semantics, but it cannot be strictly separated from sociolinguistics
and.semiotics. C. S. Peirce laid the foundations of semiotics in 1934 when he
stated that no sign has a self- contained meaning, that it is a function of the user /
interpretant (the idea echoed in the field of translation, too). Stylistics (Jakobson,
1960, 1966; Spitzer, 1948), in its turn at the crossroads between linguistics and
literary criticism, intersects the theory of translation into a joint venture. In
pragmatics, ordinary language philosophers (Austin, 1962) take into
consideration grammatical and lexical aspects of translation, stating that all
sentences depend on a presupposition or truth value to be identified. Austins
declarative and performative sentences coincide in fact with the distinction
between standardized and non-standardized language in translation. Wittgenstein
(1958) laid emphasis on the contextual meaning(s) of words while Grice (1975)
associated intention to meaning.
In its attempt to become a science, theory of translation equips itself with
a set of objectives, among which one comes topmost: to determine appropriate
methods for the widest possible range of texts or text categories. Translation
theory should also provide the framework of principles, rules, hints for translating

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texts and criticizing translations (a background for problem solving). The practical
problems encountered are:
the intention of the text;
the intention of the translator;
the readership and setting of the text; t
the quality of the writing and the authority of the text.
Translation becomes a question of semantic universals or tertium
comparationis, a question of splitting words and word series into components to
be transferred according to the target language context.

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Bibliografie minimal
Baker, M., (1992). In Other Words. A Coursebook on Translation, London:
Routledge.
Bell, R.T. (1991). Translation and Translating. London: Longman.
Gouadec, D. (2007). Translation as a Profession, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John
Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hansen, G., Malmkjr, K., Gile, D. (eds). (2004). Claims, Changes and
Challenges in Translation Studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Publishing Company
Hatim, B., Mason, I. (1997). The Translator as Communicator. London:
Routledge.
Kuhuwiczak, P., Littau, K. (eds). (2007). A Companion to Translation Studies.
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Munday, J. (2001). Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications,
London: Routledge.
Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. Prentice Hall International (UK)
Ltd.
Snell-Hornby, M. (1995). Translation Studies. An Integrated Approach,
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Venuti, L. (1992). Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology,
London: Routledge.
Vlceanu, T. (2003). Translation. The Land of the Bilingual, Craiova:
Universitaria.
Wolf, M., Fukari, A. (eds). (2007). Constructing a Sociology of Translation.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

15

EVALUARE
1.
Enlarge upon the importance of professionalisation in translation with
respect to different periods of time.
Ancient times:

Middle Ages:..

Renaissance:

The 17th century

The 18th century..

The 19th century

The 20th century

The 21st century

2.
Can you identify a common core of translation features across centuries?
a)
..
b)

c)

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B. THE TRANSLATOR AS COMMUNICATOR


In the new millennium, the status of translation is still questioned: art, craft
or science? Before making a choice, we must bear in mind that in the closing
decade of the 20th century the vast bulk of translations were not literary texts, but
economic, technical, medical, legal ones and that the vast majority of translators
are professionals engaged in making a living rather than whiling away the time.
Translation as a profession has been acknowledged since the foundation of
FIT (International Federation of Translators) in 1953, the promulgation of the
Translators Charter at Dubrovnik in 1963 (which laid down the translators
code of conduct with regard to confidentiality and open negotiation of fees) and
the UNESCO Recommendations of 1976 in Nairobi. Nowadays, staff
translators are seen performing various roles: in the European Commission,
UNO, UNESCO, NATO and other international organizations translating reports
(in-house translators), journals, brochures and facilitating communication (on
the basis of common humanity) between representatives of member countries.
Their job also includes the translation of classified information, correspondence,
publicity, faxes, contracts, training films, etc. As freelancers, they may be
translating original papers for academic journals to help researchers with the
updating of information, they may be dubbing or sub-titling films or translating all
sorts of materials for translation companies.
The translators task is to continually search and re-search, to deconstruct and
reconstruct the text as his/her world is one of dichotomies pertaining to the
traditional areas of activity of translators (technical, literary, religious translator,
etc), to modes of translating (written, oral) and to the translators priorities or
focus (literal vs. free, form vs. content, formal vs. dynamic equivalence, semantic
vs. communicative translating, translators visibility vs. invisibility, domesticating
vs. foreignizing translation).
In a large sense, the translator is identified with any communicator (whether
listeners or readers, monolinguals or bilinguals) as they receive signals containing
messages encoded.
The translator is a bilingual mediating agent between monolingual
communication participants in two different language communities. (House,
1977) i.e. the translator decodes messages transmitted in one language and reencodes them in another.
To better understand this principle, it is useful if not necessary to examine
the following diagram:

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Monolingual communication
code
sender

channel

signal
(message)

channel

receiver

content

The sender selects the message and the code, encodes the message, selects
the channel of communication and transmits the signal containing the message.
The receiver receives the signal containing the message, recognizes the code,
decodes the signal and finally retrieves and comprehends the message.
The translator is both a receiver and a producer, a special category of
communicator whose behaviour (act of communication) is conditioned by the
previous one and whose reception of that previous act is intensive. Unlike other
receivers who have a choice whether to pay more or less attention to their
listening or reading, the translator interacts closely with the source language text,
whether for immediate purpose (simultaneous interpreter) or in a more
reflective way (literary translator).
In a normative (prescriptive) approach, a good translation is:
that in which the merit of the original work is so completely transfused
into another language, as to be distinctly apprehended, and as strongly felt, by a
native of the country to which that language belongs, as it is by those who speak
the language of the original work. (Tytler, 1791).
Translation is an abstract concept incorporating both the process/the
activity and the product/the translated text. From now on we shall refer to the
activity with the term of translating.
Of course, any theoretical framework should deal with translation
problems and should formulate a set of strategies for approaching this i.e. it
should provide a model whose cohesive character is explained by the collection of
data. There are no cast-iron rules. Everything is more or less.
Newmark (1988) identifies four levels present in various degrees
consciously in the mind when translating:
1. the SLT level to which we continually go back to;
2. the referential level objects, real or imaginary, which we visualize
progressively in the comprehension and reproduction process;
3. the cohesive level which is more general, concerned with grammar
and presuppositions of the SLT;
4. the level of naturalness, of common language appropriate to the
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writer/speaker under the circumstances.


The fourth level binds translation theory to translating theory and
translating theory to practice.
The translation practice brings about specifications of the translator
competence i.e. knowledge and skills.
The professional (technical) translator has access to five distinct kinds of
knowledge: TL knowledge, text-type knowledge, SL knowledge, subject area (real
world) knowledge and contrastive knowledge. (Johnson and Whitelock: 1987,
p.137)
There is overlap between these five kinds which will be discussed later on.
What proves to be more important is adequacy in translation in terms of the
specifications of the task and the users needs.
Bearing in mind Chomskys ideal speaker hearer we can postulate the
existence of the ideal bilingual reader writer whose communicative competence
consists in a perfect knowledge of both languages. At the same time, this ideal
bilingual reader writer is unaffected by theoretically irrelevant conditions such
as memory limitations, distractions, shifts of attention or interest, errors random
or characteristic, in applying his knowledge in actual performance.
The translators communicative competence is a multi-component:
Grammar competence can be identified with the knowledge and skills to
understand and express the literal meaning of utterances.
Sociolinguistic competence should be seen as a knowledge of and ability to
produce and understand utterances appropriately in context.
Discourse competence is the ability to combine form and meaning to achieve
unified spoken or written text in different genres. Special attention will be paid to
the sociolinguistics variables of power and distance which transcend particular
fields and modes of translating.
Strategic competence is the same as the mastery of communications strategies
which may be used to improve communications or to compensate for breakdowns.
Cumulatively, the translator should possess sensitivity to language,
linguistic competence in both languages and intercultural communicative
competence in both cultures in order to create (write neatly, plainly and nicely in
a variety of registers), comprehend and use context-free texts as the means of
participation in context sensitive discourse. S/he should possess the ability to

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research often temporarily the topic of the texts being translated, and to master
one specialism (Newmark: 1991: 49).

20

Bibliografie minimal
Gouadec, D. (2007). Translation as a Profession, Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John
Benjamins Publishing Company.
Hansen, G., Malmkjr, K., Gile, D. (eds). (2004). Claims, Changes and
Challenges in Translation Studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Publishing Company
Hatim, B., Mason, I. (1997). The Translator as Communicator. London:
Routledge.
Kuhuwiczak, P., Littau, K. (eds). (2007). A Companion to Translation Studies.
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Leung, C., 2005, Convivial Communication : Recontextualizing Communicative
Competence in International Journal of Applied Linguistics, vol. 15, No.
2, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 119 144.
Munday, J., 2001, Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications,
London: Routledge.
Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. Prentice Hall International (UK)
Ltd.
Snell-Hornby, M. (1995). Translation Studies. An Integrated Approach,
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Tosi, A. (2003). Crossing Barriers and Bridging Cultures. Clevedon: Multilingual
Matters Ltd.
Venuti, L. (1992). Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology,
London: Routledge.
Vlceanu, T. (2003). Translation. The Land of the Bilingual, Craiova:
Universitaria.
Wolf, M., Fukari, A. (eds). (2007). Constructing a Sociology of Translation.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

21

EVALUARE
Translation involves division of labour: Do you think that the literary
translators, the technical translators, the legal translators, the medical
translators and the business translators competence is exactly the same? Justify
your answer with reference to Newmarks (1988) translation competence
components:
Technical translators competence.........

Legal translators competence.........

Medical translators competence.........

Business translators competence.........

Comparison and contrast:.......................

22

UNITATEA DE NV ARE II

LANGUAGE FUNCTIONS AND TEXT TYPOLOGY.


INFORMATIVE, EXPRESSIVE, VOCATIVE FUNCTIONS.
INFORMATIVE, EXPRESSIVE, VOCATIVE TEXTS

Obiective

Contientizarea aspectelor complexe legate de abordarea funcional a


traducerii i de tipologia textual n traducere;

Familiarizarea studenilor cu aspectele descriptive i normative ale


recunoaterii i producerii textelor expressive, informative i conative;

Contientizarea diferenelor i asemnrilor interculturale n validarea


tipologiei textuale.

Timp alocat: 4 ore

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A. LANGUAGE FUNCTIONS AND THE TEXT CONTINUUM


The two functional theories of language to be discussed are Bhlers
(1934) and Jakobsons (1960), the latters being the most frequently applied to
translating. According to Bhler, language manifests three main functions: the
expressive (Ausdruck), the informative (he calls it representation, Darstellung)
and the vocative (Appell), which in fact coincide with the main purposes of using
language. Jakobson strongly suggests that a theory of language is based on a
theory of translation. He adapts Bhlers theory and proposes a six -function
model:
code
[metalinguistic function]

addresser
[emotive function]

code
[phatic function]

message
[poetic function]

addressee
[conative function]

context
[referential function]

The emotive (expressive) function draws attention upon the mind of the
originator of the utterance who expresses his/her feelings irrespective of any
response. The focus is on the sender, the meaning is subjective, personal,
connotative.
E.g.

I am tired.

Within this linguistic approach, it must be understood that text typology


has no clear-cut demarcation lines. Text- types as all embracing categories are
commonly defined as classes of texts with typical patterns of characteristics or
classes of texts expected to have certain traits for certain overall rhetorical
purposes.
The text producer feeds his / her own beliefs or goals into the model of
the current communication situation, thus also performing as a mediator.
Extensive mediation is manifest into text-types. The identification of a text- type
can be done through either inductive reasoning (the text as an entity is compared
to text theory specifications) or deductive reasoning (text theory is applied to
empirical samples).

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Any categorization or classification is idealized since all texts are


hybrids, multifunctional, recognizing dominance of certain peculiar features,
showing some emphasis or thrust. We are dealing with a text continuum rather
than with borderline instances. It is all about cognitive thresholds or the extent to
which text receivers are prone to recognize objects and believe statements.
As readers and translators (a translator is said to be a privileged reader as
s/he reads in order to produce, to do something with the text not merely to receive
it, in order to make a decision that will affect ordinary readers) we should be able
to recognize the dominant contextual focus:
Some traditionally established text-types could be defined along
FUNCTIONAL lines, i.e. according to the contributions of texts to human
interaction. we would at least be able to identify some DOMINANCES, though
without obtaining a strict categorization for every conceivable exampleIn many
texts, we would find a mixture of the descriptive, narrative, and argumentative
function. (Beaugrande and Dressler, 1981:184)
Basically, text typology includes descriptive, narrative and
argumentative texts for whose identification and processing we are biologically
endowed (we have internalised patterns of recognition of text-type and text
organization).
With respect to the degree of mediation present in the text, descriptive
and narrative texts, can be said to give a reasonably unmediated account of the
situation (we are in fact dealing with situation monitoring) whilst in the last type
the situation is guided according to the text producers goal (situation
management). On the other hand, mediation is minimal within the same culture
(Western, for instance) and maximal in the case of remote cultures (Western and
Muslim).
With this specification in mind, we can proceed now to the following stage
of classifying texts on account of language functions and further according to
rhetorical purposes. Readability (the extent to which a text is suitable for reception
among its receivers) is not to be identified with expenditure of the least effort, but
rather with a balancing of the required effort and the resulting insights.
Newmark (1980) thinks of the following categories as expressive text-types:
1. Serious imaginative literature further divided into lyrical poetry, short
stories, novels, plays. Of course, some assistance is needed in the case of plays as
far as cross-cultural communication is concerned because plays are addressed to a
large audience (we shall make future reference to the concept of audience design).
2. Authoritative statements derive their authority from the high status or
reliability and linguistic competence of their originators. Such texts bear the stamp
of their authors, although they are mainly denotative, not connotative.

25

E.g. political speeches, documents, statutes and legal documents, academic


works of acknowledged authorities
3. Autobiographies, essays, personal correspondence when personal effusions
are more often than not mingled throughout the pages.

Undoubtedly, the status of the author is a sacred one. It proves essential


for the translator to be able to distinguish the personal interferences in the texts:
unusual collocations, original metaphors, coined words, displaced syntax,
neologisms- all that characterizes the idiolect or personal dialect and that seems as
natural as possible in a translation.

The informative (referential) function focuses on the external situation,


on the reality outside language including reported ideas or theories i.e. the subject
matter. It refers to entities, states, events, relations which constitute the real world.
Content is now the priority.
E.g.

Here is the 14a.

Typical informative texts are textbooks, technical reports, textbooks,


articles in newspapers or periodicals, scientific papers, minutes, etc.
Informative texts represent the vast majority of a professional translators work in
international organizations, private companies, and translation agencies.
Therefore, it is important to highlight the salient features of this kind of texts so
often dealt with.
Scientific texts explore, extend, clarify societys knowledge store of a
special domain of facts by presenting and examining evidence drawn from
observation and documentation (Beaugrande and Dressler: 1981, p.186). Their
evaluation is based on upgrading in the sense that more specialized knowledge
is provided for everyday occurrences.
Academic papers are written in a technical style characterised in English
by an extensive use of the passive forms, present and perfect tenses, Latinate
vocabulary, jargon, and absence of metaphors.
Other technical textbooks concentrate on the use of the first person plural,
present tense, dynamic verbs, active voice, basic conceptual metaphors. Popular
science or art books (coffee-table books, pulp fiction) cannot deviate from simple
grammatical structures, stock metaphors, simple vocabulary and they are always
rich in illustrations to accommodate definitions.
The vocative function focuses on the readership/addressee/audience.
E.g.

Alex! Come here a minute!


26

A synonym for vocative would be calling upon i.e. calling upon the
addressee to act, think or feel, to respond in the way intended by the text. Its
appeal is meant to be very direct- think of the vocative case in some inflected
languages. This function is also termed conative (denoting effort) and rhetorically
it could be considered a strategy of manipulation, of getting active agreement.
Typical vocative texts are instructions, advertising, propaganda,
persuasive writing (requests, cases, theses) and possibly popular fiction, whose
purpose is to sell the book and to entertain the readers.
The first factor in a vocative text is the relationship between the writer and
the readership. This relationship-of power or equality, command, request,
persuasion- is identified through grammatical realizations:
E.g.

forms of address-T (you, the corresponding French and Romanian


tu), and V (you; in French: vous, in Romanian: dumneavoastr);
use of the infinitive, imperative, subjunctive, indicative, impersonal
forms, of the passive voice;
first and/or family name;
titles;
hypocoristic names.

The second factor is that these texts must be written in an immediately


comprehensible language. Thus, the linguistic or the cultural level of the SL text
has to be reviewed before it is given a pragmatic impact.
The poetic/aesthetic function is designed to please the senses, firstly
through its actual or imagined sound, and secondly through its metaphors. The
rhythm, balance, and contrasts of sentences, clauses and words play their part. The
sound effects consist of onomatopoeia, alliteration, assonance, rhyme, metre,
intonation, stress. They are encountered in most types of texts: poetry, nonsense,
childrens verse/nursery rhymes, some types of publicity (jingles, TV
commercials). In translating, there can be often conflict between the expressive
and the aesthetic function i.e. between factual truth and beauty. Compromise or
compensation is often needed.
The phatic function of language is used for maintaining contact with
the addressee rather than for imparting new information, for keeping social
relations in good repair. It focuses on the channel, on the fact that participants are
in contact. In spoken English, apart from tone of voice, it usually occurs in
standard phrases or phaticisms.
Eg.

How are you?


You know.
Are you well?
See you tomorrow.
27

Lovely to see you.


What an awful day!
Isnt it hot today?
Some phaticisms are universal, others cultural and they should be rendered
by standard equivalents, not literal translations. In written English, phaticisms
attempt to win the confidence and the credulity of the reader.
E.g.

of course, naturally, undoubtedly, it is interesting, it is important to


note that

They often flatter the reader:


E.g.

It is well-known that

The problem which arises is whether to delete or overtranslate them (increase


detail), or to tone down phaticisms:
E.g.

Illustrissimo Signore Rossi: Mr. Rossi

The metalinguistic / metalingual function of language indicates a


language ability to explain, name, and criticise its own features. It focuses on the
code, on the language being used to talk about language. Dictionaries,
grammar books are typically displaying this function. The translation becomes
difficult when the items to be rendered from one language to another are
language-specific.
E.g.

supine, ablative, illative, vocative

The options range from detailed explanations, examples to a culturally neutral


third term.
On the other hand, SL expressions signaling metalingual words
E.g. strictly speaking, in the true sense of the word, so called, so to speak,
as another generation put it
have to be treated cautiously as there may be no equivalence of meaning if
translated one-to-one.

28

Bibliografie minimal
Hatim, B., Mason, I. (1997). The Translator as Communicator. London:
Routledge.
Jaworski, A., Coupland, N. (1999). The Discourse Reader, London & New York:
Routledge.
Kuhuwiczak, P., Littau, K. (eds). (2007). A Companion to Translation Studies.
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Munday, J., 2001, Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications,
London: Routledge.
Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. Prentice Hall International (UK)
Ltd.
Snell-Hornby, M. (1995). Translation Studies. An Integrated Approach,
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Tosi, A. (2003). Crossing Barriers and Bridging Cultures. Clevedon: Multilingual
Matters Ltd.
Vermeer, H. (1996). A Skopos Theory of Translation, Heidelberg:
TEXTconTEXT.
Vlceanu, T. (2003). Translation. The Land of the Bilingual, Craiova:
Universitaria.
Wolf, M., Fukari, A. (eds). (2007). Constructing a Sociology of Translation.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

29

EVALUARE
Identify text type and justify your choice from a descriptive and normative
point of view. Note down the particular problems you encounter with every text
and your commentaries as they arise.

1. Brideshead Revisited by Evelyn Waugh


Julia left Sebastian and me at Brideshead and went to stay with an aunt,
Lady Rosscommon, in her villa at Cap Ferrat. All the way she pondered her
problem. She had given a name to her widower-diplomat; she called him
Eustace, and from that moment he became a figure of fun to her, a little interior,
incommunicable joke, so that when at last such a man did cross her path though
he was not a diplomat but a wistful major in the Lifeguards and fall in love with
her and offer her just those gifts she had chosen, she sent him away moodier and
more wistful than ever; for by that time she had met Rex Motram.
Rexs age was greatly in his favour, for among Julias friends there was a
king of gerontophilic snobbery; young men were held to be gauche and pimply; it
was thought very much more chic to be seen lunching at the Ritz a thing, in any
case, allowed to few girls of that day, to the tiny circle of Julias intimates; a thing
looked at askance by the elders who kept the score, chatting pleasantly against the
walls of the ballrooms at the table on the left as you came in, with a starched and
wrinkled old rou whom your mother had been warned of as a girl, tan in the
centre of the room with a party of exuberant young bloods. Rex, indeed, was
neither starched nor wrinkled; his seniors thought him a pushful young cad, but
Julia recognized the unmistakable chic the flavour of Max and F.E. and the
prince of Wales, of the big table in the Sporting Club, the second magnum and the
fourth cigar, of the chauffeur kept waiting hour after hour without compunction
which her friends would envy. His social position was unique; it had an air of
mystery, even of crime, about it; people said Rex went about armed. Julia and her
friends had a fascinating abhorrence of what they called Pont Street; they
collected phrases that damned their user, and among themselves and often,
disconcertingly, in public talked a language made up of them. It was Pont
Street to wear a signet ring and to give chocolates at the theatre; it was Pont
Street at a dance to say, Can I forage for you? Whatever Rex might be, he was
definitely not Pont Street. He had stepped straight from the underworld into the
world of Brenda Champion who was herself the innermost of a number of
concentric ivory spheres.
Perhaps Julia recognized in Brenda an intimation of what she and her
friends might be in twelve years time; there was an antagonism between the girl
and the woman that was hard to explain otherwise. Certainly the fact of his being
Brenda Champions property sharpened Julias appetite for Rex.
Rex and Brenda Champion were staying at the next villa on Cap Ferret,
taken that year by a newspaper magnate and frequented by politicians. They
30

would not normally have come within Lady Rosscommons ambit, but, living so
close, the parties mingled and at once Rex began warily to pay his court.
Text type:.
Comments:

2. Proposal for Restructuring Kuwait


Four architectural firms of international standing (from England, Italy,
France, and Finland) were invited by the government of Kuwait to submit
proposals for the reconstruction of a city which had largely disappeared with the
oil boom. the general proposals, which covered the city as a whole, were followed
by detailed proposals in the form of demonstration buildings. In the first part of
this article we will be dealing with the four general proposals.
The main task of the four groups of architects was to try to establish
principles which might guide the development of the future city. These principles
were in essence architectural. They were concerned with the kind of city that
might be built for this changing culture and this particular climate. The architects
were entirely free to develop their own individual ideas but for the purpose of
comparison all proposals were drawn to the same scale and statistics were
presented on a comparable basis.
Each scheme had special characteristics and made differing assumptions
about the intensity of development within the city, but the four also showed some
common points of agreement:
1.
All four architects stressed the value of the waterfront as a recreational
area for the city and thought that a traffic road at this point should be avoided.
2.
All architects agreed that the area immediately surrounding the Sief Palace
and harbour should be developed as a special area and the palace and any
government buildings closely associated with it should be designated as a whole.
3.
All architects agreed that new residential areas should be brought back into
the city. The advantages of bringing people back into the city to increase
liveliness and to avoid commuting were stresssed.
4.
All architects agreed that the souk or bazaar area of the city should be
preserved and encouraged in growth. Methods were suggested of linking this to
surrounding open areas with shade-creating structures.
Text type:.
Comments:

31

3.
a) On busy days when you really have to put your back into it, dont turn your
back to your body. Our original crunchy bars are high in fibber, making digestion
faster, more efficient.
b) The conventional chair forces your lower back forward, pilling unnecessary
strain on your spine and back muscles. The Back Chair allow you to sit up
comfortably and naturally, with spine and back muscles in perfect alignment.
c) The local KOMPAS office will allocate the reserved apartment upon your
arrival at your resort. Since KOMPAS local offices work within fixed hours, we
would not advise you to book this type of accommodation if your arrival in the
resort is later than 20.00 hours.
Text type:.
Comments:

32

B. GENRE-BASED OPTIMISATION STRATEGIES IN THE


TRANSLATION OF CULTURAL LOADS
1.

Conceptualization of genre
Genre in Literary Studies

When, in the 18th century, English commentators wished to follow their


classical predecessors, Plato and Aristotle, in distinguishing among types of
artistic production, they borrowed the word genre, kind, from French. The term
was initially applied to literary texts, which had also been the concern of the
classical commentators. All literary genres were considered to be recognizable by
their adherence to conventions of form, content, and use of language. In the
20th century, certain critics began to rehabilitate the concept of genre in literary
studies. Rather than conceiving of genre as a fixed, absolute set of conventions,
however, modern critics see genre as a dynamic set of conventions that are
related to changing social institutions and purposes. Hence, literary theorists are
concerned with the categorization of literary texts and how their conventions are
elegantly maintained or wittily subverted.

Genre in Language Studies

In Language Studies, in the decades following Bakhtin, the term genre has
been appropriated by linguists who wish to explore non-literary spoken and
written discourse in which expectations of conventional use of text structure,
lexis, and syntax are likely to be satisfied.
Systemic-functional linguists employ genre as part of their project to relate
language use to its social context, in particular, the context of culture. Interest
in genre arose out of a growing sense of the inadequacy of the concept of
register to account for the contextual aspects of text. Register analysis assumes
that textual features can be predicted because texts vary conventionally in relation
to three situational variables; namely, field (subject matter), tenor
(relationship between participants in the interaction), and mode (whether the text
is written or spoken). These situational variables did not deal with why the text
might have been written or spoken. The realization that a text might be shaped and
so categorized in relation to its communicative purpose led to a resurgence of
interest in a texts genre; that is, how a text relates systematically to its context of
culture.
The evolving nature of genres is a preoccupation for at least some of the
American genre analysts known as the New Rhetoricians (cf., Freedman and
Medway, 1994). This school of genre analysts situates genres in a thick
33

ethnographic description of the communities that give rise to them. Variation is


an important part of the story. Each new text produced within a genre reinforces
or remolds some aspect of the genre; each reading of a text re-shapes the social
understanding. The genre does not exist apart from its history, and that history
continues with each new text invoking the genre.
Indeed, linguists are concerned with the relation of texts to context and focus
in particular on the predictability or unpredictability of elements of the text. The
concept of the community and its communicative needs has been central to
recent conceptions of genre in linguistics. Even here, the notion of the discourse
community has rapidly evolved from that of a static group of experts with clearly
defined goals. The discourse community is now perceived as a diffuse group of
individuals with different levels of expertise and changing social relations,
whose communicative needs more or less coincide at different points of time1.
The most straightforward definition might be that a genre is a type of text or
talk, or, more broadly, of verbal activity or communicative event. For all practical
purposes this will mostly do, with all the usual limitations of typological studies:
fuzzy sets, overlapping categories and so on. (van Dijk, 2008: 148ff).

Genre and Intercultural Communication Theory

Communicative genres are historically and culturally specific, fixed


solutions to recurrent communicative problems. On the one hand, they guide
the interactants expectations about what is to be said (and done) in pre-defined
types of situations. On the other hand, they are the sediments of socially relevant
communicative processes. Only those processes which are of some relevance to
the social actors are likely to congeal into genres (Luckmann 1986; Bergmann
1987).
Knowledge about communicative genres not only includes the knowledge of
elements constitutive of a particular genre, but also knowledge about the
appropriate use of genres, i.e. when to use or not to use what genre. If we take
communicative genres as socially constructed solutions which organize, routinize,
and standardize dealings with particular communicative problems, it seems quite
obvious that different cultures may construct different solutions for specific
communicative problems. Moreover, whereas in one culture there may be generic
ways of handling particular communicative activities, in another culture
interactants may use spontaneous forms. Thus, the repertoire of communicative
genres varies from culture to culture.

Chilton and Schaffner (2002: 20) state that Participants in a linguistic interaction conceive of
the interaction as being of a certain kind, as proceeding according to certain patterns of linguistic
interaction that they have conceptualized in memory, and in which they may be more or less
skilled. The conceptualization and its deployment in the ongoing activity define that activity.
There is no genre form independent of the participants conceptions and preconceptions.
34

2.

Literary translation and cultural knowledge management

2.1. Toponyms
CHANGING PLACES vs. SCHIMB DE DAME
At the same station somewhere in Hampshire or the Mid-West p. 5 vs. in cine
stie ce gara din Hampshire sau Vestul Mijlociu p.7
Has never left the protection of the North American landmass- p.9 vs. pana acum
morris zapp nu a iesit niciodata de sub aripile protectoare ale masivului continent
nord-american p. 12
Western seabord of America, situated between Northern and Southern
California - p. 10 vs. coasta occidentala a Americii, situate intre California de
Nord si de Sud p.14
Wall Street p. 12 vs. Wall Street - p.17
Boston p. 16 vs. Boston p. 21 (historically, the association with the Boston
Tea Party may be activated)
Outer Mongolia p. 18 vs. Mongolia Exterioar p.25 (In modern Mongolian
usage, the label "Northern Mongolia" or "Rear Mongolia" is used. The continued
use of the phrase in the Chinese language is sometimes alleged to reflect a
Sinocentric perspective that takes the northern part of Mongolia as "outer", while
the southern portion, closer to the center of Chinese civilization, is regarded as
"inner").
Stradford-upon-Avon p. 25 vs. Stradford-upon-Avon p.34
New York- p. 33 vs. New York p.45;

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE vs. CE MICA-I LUMEA! O


POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
Europe p. 35 vs. Europa p. 46; Europe p. 249 vs. Europa - p. 30
Intensity I found it in America in 69. p. 294 vs. Intensitatea In America mia fost dat s-o descopar atunci in 69. p. 79 (historical allusion to the Flower
Power counterculture movement)
Texas p. 37 vs. Texas p. 49 (Texas is a culturally loaded term, representing the
most conservative state of America)

35

Piccadilly Circus p. 94 vs. strada Piccadilly pana la Circus p.121 (we think
that explicitation is unmotivated since the Romanian readership can readily
identify the geographical name)
English Midlands - p. 229 vs. Midlands p. 9
our friends across the Channel - p. 240 vs. prietenilor nostri de peste Canal
p. 20 (in our opinion, there is need to use the full geographical name in the
Romanian text, i.e. Canalul Manecii)
When I landed at Heathrow- p. 244 vs. cand am aterizat la Heathrow p. 25
(the identification of Heathrow as airport is enabled in conjunction with the verb
to land; yet, the Romanian readership receives minimal cultural information on
the airport in question)
Greenwich, London p. 334 vs. Greenwich, Londra p. 118 (this first mention
of Greenwich is almost automatically associated with Greenwich Mean Time, and
the association is made explicit a few pages later)
It is eight-thirty-five in Greenwich Greenwich Mean Time, indeed, the zero
point from which all the worlds time zones are calculated. p. 336 GMT
p. 120 (the abbreviation is used in Romanian on a regular basis)
Thames, St. Pauls, The Tower of London, Tower Bridge p. 338 vs. Tamisa,
Catedrala Sf. Paul, Turnul Londrei, Podul Turnului p. 122 (except the name of
the river Thames which has a recognised translation, the other geographical names
involve through-translation)

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


Midlands p. 603 vs. p. 25
The Isle of Wight p. 721 vs. The Isle of Wight p. 149 (the largest island of
England, located in the English Channel)
The English Channel p. 831 vs. Canalul Manecii p. 267

2.2. Anthroponyms
CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
Jane Austen p. 12 vs. Jane Austen - p.16
Virginia Woolf p.13 vs. Virginia Woolf p.18

36

Both children, Elizabeth and Darcy p. 33 vs. odraslele comune, Elizabeth si


Darcy p. 44 (Elizabeth si Darcy intertextually remind the readership of the main
characters of Jane Austens Sense and Sensibility; another remark concerns the
Romanian equivalent of children, i.e. odrasle, which is rather derogatory).
I doubt if we have the same problems, Mr Sparrow.
Swallow.
Mr Swallow. Sorry. A much nicer bird. p. 67 vs.
N-as zice ca avem aceleasi probleme, domnule Sparrow.
Swallow.
Scuzati, Swallow. Oricum o pasare mult mai draguta. p. 88 (the extratextual gloss provides the translation of the names of the two birds. It is
noteworthy that in the original text, the proper nouns acquire connotations hinted
at in the sentence A much nicer bird, which, to our mind, alludes to the proverb
A swallow doesnt make a summer. This cultural connotation is lost in
translation in spite of the extra-textual gloss.)
Chomsky and Saussure and Levi-Strauss p. 118 vs. Chomsky, Saussure sau
Levi-Strauss p. 149
... huckleberry runaways - p. 167 vs. baieti fugiti de acasa, gen Huckleberry
Finn - p. 205 (the American culture-specific items is highly transparent to the
Romanian readership)
Walt Whitman, Mark Twain, Gertrude Stein p. 169 transferred in the target
text (p. 208)

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE VS. CE MICA-I LUMEA! O


POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
Geoffrey Chaucer - p. 225 vs. p.7
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land - p. 229 vs. T.S. Eliot, Tara Pustie p. 9
Persse McGarrigle from Limerick he eagerly replied.
Perce? Is that short for Percival?
Its a variant of Pearce. He spelled it out for her.
Oh, like in Finnegans Wake p. 235 vs.
- Persse McGarrigle din Limerick, spuse el plin de zel.
- Perce? De la Percival?
- E o varianta de la Pearce, ii spuse el numele pe litere.
- Aa, ca in Veghea lui Finnegan! p. 16 (homophones; unfortunately, the
phonological effect cannot be reproduced in Romanian; yet, the literary
information is retrievable for the initiated readership)
37

Peirce. Another variant spelling of your name. he was an American


philosopher. p. 255 vs. De la Peirce. O alta varianta ortografica a numelui
tau. A fost un filosof American. p. 37
W.B. Yeats p. 243 vs. p. 24
Saussures linguistics p. 249 vs. lingvistica lui Saussure - p. 30
Eliza, so named after the heroine of Pygmalion p. 384 vs. Eliza, astfel botezata
dupa eroina din Pygmalion p. 168 (shared cultural knowledge seems to be a
prerequisite as there is no mention of the name of the author or of the heroine
features)

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


Thomas Carlyle, Charles Dickens p. 602 vs. p. 24
Disraeli p. 613 vs. p. 36
The Brntes! - p. 744 vs. Romanciere. Charlotte si Emily Brnte - p. 172
(specific information on the Brntes)

2.3. Infrastructure
2.3.1. Educational and cultural institutions/titles
CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
Under the British systemunder our educational rulesat eleven-plus, sixteenplus, eighteen-plus and twenty-plus p. 12 vs. In sistemul britanicin
conformitate cu legile invatamantului nostrumla unsprezece ani si ceva,
saisprezece si ceva, optsprezece si ceva si douazeci si ceva p. 17
The British Museum p. 13 vs. British Museum p. 17 (Comment: transfer
although David Lodges first novel The British Museum has fallen down was
rendered through a through-translation procedure: Muzeul Britanic s-a prabusit)
Harvard, Radcliffe, Cambridge p. 15 vs. Harvard, Radcliffe (extratextual
glosses assisting the Romanian readership with the identification of the College
for girls and of Cambridge, Massachusetts, where Harvard and the Radcliffe
College are located) p.21
Oxford p. 33 vs. Oxford p.44

38

Associate Professor p. 36 vs. profesor american p. 46 (the translator


successfully preserves local flavour; neverthelees, the translation loss is
significant as there is no indication of the equivalent academic title in the
European system; besides the Romanian term profesor ambiguously refers to
teacher generic term, and to the academic title)
They have a different system in England, Morris. The PhD isnt so important p.
51 vs. Morris, sistemul englezesc e diferit. La ei doctoratul nu e important. p. 66
(the cultural asymmetry is overtly perceived in the source text and, hence, in the
target text).
Release from Chancellors Office,
State University of Euphoria p. 136 vs.
De la Biroul Rectorului
Universitatii de Stat din Euphoria p. 169 (no equivalence of standardised
language Release from Chancellors Office which should be equated to
Comunicat dat de Rectorat.
Vice-Chancellor p.191 vs. Prorector p. 225
Senior Lectureships p.192 vs. posturi de conferentiari p. 236 (inaccurate
mapping Senior Lectureships: posturi de lectori universitari)

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE VS. CE MICA-I LUMEA! O


POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
Oxford and Cambridge - p. 231 vs. Oxford sau Cambridge p. 11
University College Dublin p. 241 vs. Colegiul Universitar din Dublin p.21
scholar from Trinity p. 241 vs. un individ titrat de la Trinity p. 22 (we
favour the full name in translation: Colegiul Trinity)
Harvard, Yale, Princeton and suchlike p. 270 vs. Harvard, Yale, Princeton si
altele de calibrul asta p. 54 (names of famous American universities; the
prestige associated to them is captured in the use of calibrul, a positively marked
term vs. the neutral suchlike)
Grammar school p. 334 vs. gimnaziu p. 118 (partial equivalent due to cultural
asymmetries in the education system in the UK and Romania)
NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!
Easton Grammar School for Boys p. 590 vs. Liceul de Baieti din Easton (this
time Grammar school is equated to high school in Romanian; the different
renderings of the phrase reveal the cultural gap, which is hard to bridge).
39

A-levels- p. 594 vs. note de zece p.15 ;


A-levels p. 831 vs. examene p. 267
Oxbridge p. 610 vs. Oxbridge p. 32
Sussex University p. 610 vs. Universitatea din Sussex - p. 32
University of Suffolk p. 615 vs. Universitatea din Suffolk p. 38
Cambridge p. 615 vs. p. 38
Vice-Chancellor p. 644 vs. Rector p. 70 (instead of Prorector)
O-level p. 669 vs. liceu p. 95 (O-level is generally associated with students
aged 16)

2.3.2. Mass-media
CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
Saturday Evening Post p. 18 vs. Saturday Evening Post p. 24
He tries to read a courtesy copy of Time p. 28 vs. Incerca sa citeasca un Time,
oferit de compania aeriana p. 38 (the indefinite article in front of the name of
the newspaper is unnatural the natural variant reads: ziarul Time, using
explicitation)
The BBC p. 77 vs. BBC p. 100
Euphoric State Daily p. 137 vs Euphoric State Daily p. 168
Rummidge Evening Mail - p. 138 vs. Rummidge Evening Mail p. 171
Rummidge Morning Post p. 139 vs. Rummidge Morning Post p. 172
Euphoric Times p. 140 vs. Euphoric Times p. 167

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE vs. CE MICA-I LUMEA! O


POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
doing The Times crossword p. 240 vs. cuvinte incrucisate din The Times
p. 20
The Guardian p. 295 vs. Guardian p. 79
40

Wall Street journal p. 514 vs. p. 302


Readers Digest 514 vs. p. 302

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


Sunday Times p. 592 vs. p.13
The Daily Mail p. 593 vs. p. 14
The Guardian p. 614 vs. p. 37
Financial Times p. 662 vs. p. 86
The Observer p. 723 vs. p. 151

2.3.3. Economic structures currency


CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
$300.00 per visit p. 33 vs. trei sute de dolari p. 45
One pound, please sir. p. 95 vs. O lira, va rog, domnule. p. 123 (a special
mention concerns the English richer system of relative social deixis Sir, Mr +
Last name as compared to the Romanian single term domnule)

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


Fifteen pounds p. 720 vs. cinsprezece lire p. 148
2.3.4. Sports
CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
There was, naturally, no baseball, football, hockey or basketball. There was
soccer - p. 59 vs. Evident ca nu putea fi vorba de baseball, fotbal, hochei sau
baschet (transfer and naturalization). Aveau insa fotbalul European(descriptive
equivalent) - p. 77
The Grand Prix circuit p.182 vs. circuit Grand Prix p. 224
2.3.5. Architecture
CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
41

a Victorian villa p. 17 vs. vila victoriana mare - p. 23 (addition of the postmodifier mare (Ro.) large (En.) for more referential accuracy)

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE VS. CE MICA-I LUMEA! O


POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
Victorian villa p. 323 vs. vila victoriana p. 106 (no contextual information on
the architecture or size or shape of this type of building)
The Rockfeller villa and its affluent lifestyle p. 512 vs. Vila Rockfeller si stilul
de viata luxos p. 301 (Rockfeller is the name of the richest person in history)

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


pied--terre- p. 621 vs. pied--terre p. 44 (the term is a second-hand borrowing
in Romanian, where further information is required for referential accuracy)
Victorian and Edwardian faades p. 657 vs. fatade victoriene sau eduardiene p. 80

2.3.6. Administrative functional units


CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
county Durham- p. 32 vs. comitatul Durham p. 43

2.3.7. Units of measure


CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
Philip Swallow is about six feet tall and weighs I should say about 140 poundp. 116 vs. Philip Swallow are inaltimea de aproximativ sase picioare si
cantareste, as zice, 140 de livre - p. 146 (the translator should have resorted to
adaptation and converted such units of measure into the Romanian system: meters
and centimeters (for height) and kilos (for weight); the translator is blamable for
using archaic terms where no intertemporal variation is involved).

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE VS. CE MICA-I LUMEA! O


POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
30,000 feet p. 351 vs. zece mii de metri p. 136 (adaptation)
Temperature of 104 degrees Farenheit p. 508 vs. 40 de grade Celsius - p. 294
(adaptation)
42

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


half a pint-p. 788 vs. o halba p. 220 (adaptation)
A hundred and fifty miles p. 831 vs. o suta cinzeci de mile p. 267

2.4. Artifacts
2.4.1. Literary artifacts
CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
Beowulf p.13 vs. Beowulf p.18 (extratextual gloss providing the information
that this is the title of an Anglo-Saxon epic poem)
Elizabethan sonnet sequences, Restoration heroic tragedythe premonitions of
the Theatre of the Absurd in the plays of George Bernard Shaw p. 14 vs.
seriile de sonete elizabetane, tragedia eroica a Restauratiei anticiparea
Teatrului Absurd in piesele lui George Bernard Shaw p. 19 (no indication of the
historical period or chronology)
Penguin Classics p. 22 vs. colectia Penguin Classics p. 30 (explicitation)
Alls Well That Ends Well- p. 25 vs. Totul e bine cand se sfarseste cu bine
p.34
Sense and Sensibility p. 38 vs. Bun simt si sensibilitate (the rendering
should be sanctioned as there is an already recognized translation: Ratiune si
simtire) p. 50
Hamlet, Ancient Mariner p. 40 vs. Hamlet, Ancient Mariner (extratextual gloss,
explaining that this is the title of Coleridges famous poem) p. 53
Oliver Twist- p. 82 vs. Oliver Twist p. 106
Mansfield Park, Emma, Persuasion p.186 vs. p. Mansfield Park, Emma,
Persuasiune 227

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE VS. CE MICA-I LUMEA! O


POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
When April with its sweet showers - p. 225 vs. La vremea cand Prier, cu dulci
siroaie - p. 7 (extratextual gloss, providing details on the literary allusion)

43

Troilus and Criseyde - p. 225 vs. Troilus si Cresida - p. 8 (extratextual gloss,


providing information on the recognised translation in Romanian)
T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land - p. 229 vs. T.S. Eliot, Tara Pustie p. 9
A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man p. 234 vs. Portret de tinerete al
artistului p. 15
Lear , King Lear p. 256, p. 265 vs. Regele Lear p. 38, 40 (the elliptical form is
not possible in Romanian)
The Faerie Queene p. 257 vs. Craiasa Zanelor p. 39 (extra-textual gloss
providing information on the author and the place of the work in the British
literary system)
There is positive discrimination at the Round Table. p. 291 vs. exista o
discriminare pozitiva in jurul Mesei Rotunde (literary allusion; contextually, the
Round Table is the contemporary gathering of academics travelling the world and
participating in conferences)
Ulysses p. 468 vs. p. 255
Tonight she was the Hyacinth Girl. p. 500 Asta-seara ea a fost Fata cu
Zambile - p.288 (literary allusion to The Waste Land)
The strange affair of the flesh and the bosom.
He means, The Merchant of Venice, Akira explains.
Some of the older translations of Shakespeare in our country are rather free
says Akira apologetically.
you know thats the making of a good parlour game here. You could make up
your ownlikeThe Mystery of the Missing Handkerchief for Othello, or A Sad
Case of Early Retirement for Lear 531 vs.
- Strania afacere a carnii si a inimii.
- Vrea sa zica Negutatorul din Venetia.
- Asa s-a tradus in japoneza? Intreba Persse incantat.
- Unele din traducerile ceva mai vechi ale pieselor lui Shakespeare erau cam
libere, ii explica Akira pe un ton de scuza.
- Stiti, aici avem toate ingredientele unui excelent joc de societate, isi da Persse
cu parerea. Puteti inventa singuri titluri de pilda, Misterul batistei pierdute
in loc de Othello sau Trista afacere a unei pensionari premature in loc de
Regele Lear p. 320 (besides the enumeration of Shakesperares plays and
their reception in exotic countries such as Japan, implicitly, there is the question
of the translation ethics, of the limits of literary translation, etc)

44

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


D.H. Lawrence, Women in Love, Lady Chatterley p. 623, 657 vs. Femei
indragostite, Lady Chatterley - p. 45, 81
When it concerns the fool or coward.
Robyn recklessly recites the next line from Anthony and Cleopatra p. 629 vs.
De-i prostovan sau las in tot ce face.
Robyn rosteste aproape instinctive urmatorul vers din Antoniu si Cleopatra
p. 53
Disraelis Sybil p. 637 vs. Sybil de Disraeli - p. 61
Charlotte Brntes Shirley p. 637 vs, Shirley de Charlotte Brnte p. 61
Hard Times p. 638 vs. Timpuri grele p. 61
Mrs Gaskells North and South p. 640 vs. Nord si Sud al doamnei Gaskell
- p. 65
Little Dorrit p. 656 vs. Micuta Doritt p. 80
Shakespeare, Julius Caesar p. 669 vs. Shakespeare, Iuliu Cezar p. 95
Middlemarch p. 707 vs. p. 134
Vanity Fair, The Picture of Dorian Gray, The Waste Land p. 845 vs.
Bilciul desertaciunilor, Portretul lui Dorian Gray, Tinutul nimanui p.
282

2.4.2. Film/music production


CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
Hollywood films p. 18 vs. filmele produse la Hollywood p. 24

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


Its supposed to be the Dynasty look.
Vic grunted. Dont talk to me about television p. 711 vs.
Cica e modelul din Dinastia.
Vic scoase un mormait.
Nu-mi vorbi mie de televiziune. p. 138
and watch East-Enders - p. 773 vs. p. 204

45

Jennifer Rush , that song has gone to your head. The one about the power of
love- p. 812, 818 vs. Jennifer Rush , that song has gone to your head. The one
about the power of love ti s-a urcat la cap cantecul ala despre puterea dragosteip. 247, 253

2.4.3. Food and drink


CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
Scotch or Bourbon? p. 90 vs. Scotch sau Bourbon? p. 116
a club sandwich with french fries on the side preceded by a large Manhattan..p. 94 vs. un sandvis mare cu garniture de cartofi prajiti, precedat de un
generos cocktail Manhattan - p. 121 (explicitation to render the metonymic use
of Manhattan)

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE vs. CE MICA-I LUMEA! O


POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
delicious fruit puddings .. p. 286 vs. delicioasele ei budinci de fructe - p.70
(the term puddind was borrowed in Romanian, undergoing narrowing of meaning:
it refers only to the dessert, and its transiting another cultural space did not secure
its home culture popularity)
a Bloody Mary p. 349 vs. un Bloody Mary p. 134 (popular cocktail)

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


whisky p. 588 vs. p. 9
sandwich p. 787 vs. sandvis p. 220

2.4.4. Clothing and footwear


CHANGING PLACES VS. SCHIMB DE DAME
one in Confederate Civil War Uniform, one in cowboy boots - p. 80 vs.
imbracat in uniforma confederate de pe timpul Razboiului Civil, altul avea
cizme de cowboy - p. 104 (indeed, no need for assistance as the Romanian
readership is familiarized with such American culture-bound items)

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!

46

Wellington boots p. 723 vs. in cizme de cauciuc p. 151 (Wellington boots


became a fashionable style emulated by the British aristocracy in the early 19th
century.)

2.5. Ideology and axiology


SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE VS. CE MICA-I LUMEA! O
POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
..Continental theorizing p. 254 vs. teoriile elaborate pe continent p. 36
(British aloofness is perceived in the cultural delimitation from the rest of Europe)
Conference overseas p. 293 vs. conferintele din strainatate p. 78 (overseas is a
British term replacing abroad due to the fact that the UK is an island country)
with typical British parsimony p. 313 vs. cu spiritual de economie tipic
pentru britanici (cultural stereotype presented in the source text)

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


Red or white? I used to think it was some kind of a password, like the Wars of the
Roses p. 847 vs. Alb sau rosu? La inceput am crezut ca era un fel de parola
si chiar m-am intrebat daca nu cumva reincepuse Razboiul celor Doua Roze p.
254
American literature, Commonwealth literature p. 870 vs. literatura americana,
literatura Commonwealth-ului p. 309

2.6. Language ego/idiomatic language


CHANGING PLACES vs. SCHIMB DE DAME
Sunny spellsnow even he was getting used to the quaint meteorological idiom
p. 173 vs. Soare fermecatoriar acum pana si el se obisnuise cu jargonul
caraghios al meteorologilor p. 213 (again, standardized language proves to be a
stumbling block; we suggest vreme insorita. Nevertheless, there is entropy as the
cultural connotation is seriously blurred)

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE vs. CE MICA-I LUMEA! O


POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
Small World. An Academic Romance vs. Ce mica-i lumea! O poveste din mediul
universitar (the Romanian term poveste (back translation test: story) is neutral
compared to the English romance. Nevertheless, the translators choice preserves

47

the same amount of ambiguity and arouses the readerships curiosity in detecting
the authors intended meaning)
Im trying to finish my doctoral dissertation
What is it on? Persse asked.
Romance she said. p. 237 vs.
Dar acum ma straduiesc sa-mi termin teza de doctorat.
Pe ce tema?
Romance, raspunse ea. p. 18 (although the term romance was
neutralised in the translation of the title of the novel, now it is transferred and the
translators decision-making proves to be difficult as explained in the footnote: the
translator prefers the loan word to preserve ambiguity)
Ive read hundreds of romances. Classical romances and medieval romances,
renaissance romances and modern romances. Heliodorus and Apuleius, Chrtien
de Troyes and Malory, Ariosto and Spenser, Keats and Barbara Cartland. p.
251 vs. am citit sute de romane de aventuri. Romane clasice si romane medievale,
romane renascentiste si romane moderne. Heliodor si Apuleius, Chrtien de
Troyes si Malory, Ariosto si Spenser, Keats si Barbara Cartland. p. 251(this
time romance is disambiguated as roman de aventuri; nonetheless, the ambiguity
still persists in the attempt to profile this literary genre by mentioning well-known
authors of romance).
Im modern English.
What? All of it? From Shakespeare to?
T.S. Eliot- p. 237 vs.
Eu ma ocup de moderni.
Cum asa? Chiar de toti? De la Shakespeare la?
T.S. Eliot. p. 17 (the readership needs backgroung information on the
language evolution mapping to literary ages)
Is that what its called in Japan? says Persse with delight.
Its a small world. Do you have that saying in Japan?
Narrow world Akira says. p. 532 vs.
- Ce mica-i lumea! Exista si in japoneza zicala asta?
- Ce stramta-i lumea, raspunde Akira - p.321 (an interculturally aware
reader/translator will be able to manipulate idiomatic language in a natural way).

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


Cockney accent p. 726 vs. stilul de a vorbi p. 154 (neutralisation of social
dialect; the characters Cockney accent intertextually relates her to Eliza
Doolittle)

48

3.

Concluding remarks
We emphasize that intercultural awareness and competence are an essential
packaging for translation theorists and in extenso for translators as
professionals.
Contemporary approaches to literary translation2 discard the idea of divine
creation. Their very tenet is that the translator shows empathy to the writer of the
original which s/he feels bound to promote. This receptiveness allows a close
reading of the original, a macroscopic look at the whole and a microscopic one
at its component parts. Of course, there is a re-reading process since the translator
searches for the essence, filtering out relevant information which will be
transferred and re-shaped according to the readerships expectations. The
translator will acquire further knowledge (by reading other works of the same
writer, reviews of the text to be translated, historical documents describing the age
in which the author lived etc) in order to unearth the hidden agenda and to make
meaning available. Such knowledge proves essential for the paratext that
accompanies the translation of a literary text: preface, postface, notes etc.
Any coherent theory of translation evaluation should be based on objective
criteria, among which we can enumerate:
referential and grammatical accuracy;
informativity;
acceptability;
linguistic variation equivalence;
text-type equivalence;
re-contextualisation.
Re-contextualisation involves compliance with cultural policies (ideological
affiliation) and with editorial and marketing policies.
Translation quality management cannot be conceived without the activation of
the source language and target language contexts and without considering the
readerships expectations. Translation evaluation envisages the dynamics of sociocultural norms by disregarding the idea of cultural unity.
In our case, translation evaluation and validation presupposes, to a high
degree, the translators subjectivity, which is able to interpret the literary text seen
as a cultural artefact.

2
Cao (2007) discusses the more or less traditional dichotomy literary translation vs. nonliterary/technical/specialist translation. The author advocates a dynamic prototypology, fuzzy at
the edges, including broad types: general, literary and technical/specialist (a blanket term)
translation.

49

Bibliografie minimal
Van Dijk, T.A. (2008). Discourse and Context. A Sociocognitive Approach.
Cambridge: CUP
Kaivola, T., Melen-Paaso, M. (eds.). (2007). Education for Global
Responsibility-Finnish Perspectives. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press.
Lodge, D. (1989). A Trilogy. Changing Places. Small World. Nice work. London:
Penguin Books
Lodge, D. (1995). Schimb de dame. (transl. Virgil Stanciu) Bucuresti: Univers
Lodge, D. (1997). Ce mica-i lumea!. (transl. George Volceanov) Bucuresti:
Univers
Lodge, D. (1997). Meserie! (transl. Radu Paraschivescu) Bucuresti: Univers
Di Luzio, A., Gnthner, S., Orletti, F.(eds.). (2001). Culture in Communication.
Analyses of Intercultural Situations. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Mey, J.L.(ed.). (2009). Concise Encyclopedia of Pragmatics (2nd ed.).Oxford:
Elsevier Ltd.

50

EVALUARE
1. Provide cultural information for the following items and state the category to
which they belong (according to the above classification):
CHANGING PLACES
Waiting for Godot p.13

Sitting over a gin and tonic p. 96

NICE WORK
Tess of the DUrbervilles p. 723

David Bowie and The Who and Pink Floyd p. 831

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE


University College, Limerick, eh? ... There was a young lecturer from
Limerick I suppose everyone says that to you. p. 233

Persse was still on Guinness p. 412

2. Discuss the translators choices with respect to the culture-specific items in task
CHANGING PLACES vs. SCHIMB DE DAME
Waiting for Godot p.13 vs. Asteptandu-l pe Godot p. 18

51

Sitting over a gin and tonic p. 96 vs. stand cu un gin si tonic in fata p. 124

NICE WORK vs. MESERIE!


Tess of the DUrbervilles p. 723 vs. p. 151

David Bowie and The Who and Pink Floyd p. 831 vs. p. 267

SMALL WORLD. AN ACADEMIC ROMANCE vs. CE MICA-I LUMEA!


O POVESTE DIN MEDIUL UNIVERSITAR
University College, Limerick, eh? ... There was a young lecturer from
Limerick I suppose everyone says that to you. p. 233 vs. Colegiul
universitar, Limerick, ai? ... Un tanar lector de la Limerick Imi inchipui ca
toata lumea-ti zice asa. - p.13

Persse was still on Guinness p. 412 vs. Persse continua sa bea Guinness p.
199

52

UNITATEA DE NV ARE III

THE READER-ORIENTED PERSPECTIVE. SKOPOSTHEORIE.


TRANSLATION METHODS: SEMANTIC VS COMMUNICATIVE
TRANSLATION

Obiective
Contientizarea aspectelor complexe legate de abordarea funcional a
traducerii, centrat pe receptor;

Familiarizarea studenilor cu aspectele descriptive i normative ale traducerii


textelor expresive, informative i conative n vederea obinerii efectului de
echivalen.

nelegerea, internalizarea i operaionalizarea celor dou metode


fundamentale de traducere: traducerea semantic i traducerea comunicativ;

Timp alocat: 3 ore

53

THE READER-ORIENTED PERSPECTIVE.


SKOPOSTHEORIE. TRANSLATION METHODS: SEMANTIC
VS. COMMUNICATIVE TRANSLATION
Translating is not a neutral activity. Phrases such as traduttore-traditore,
les belles infidles abound in literature. Undoubtedly, the central problem of
translating can be expressed in a peremptory tone: whether to translate literally
or freely. The question of the prototypical essence of translation has no solid
foundation. The arguments in favour or against one alternative or the other have
been going on since at least the beginning of the first century BC. Up to the
beginning of the nineteenth century, many writers favoured free translation:
the spirit not the letter, the sense not the words, the message rather than the form,
the matter not the manner. Writers wanted the truth to be understood. At the turn
of the nineteenth century, anthropology had a great impact on linguistics.
Cultural anthropology suggested that linguistic barriers were insuperable and that
language was entirely the product of culture. The focus / choice of the translator
between the two poles was to be carefully thought according to the translators
orientation towards the social or the individual. No matter the name it bears,
the choice is an ideological one: free or literal (literalists, Valry, Croce),
dynamic equivalence or formal equivalence (Nida, 1964), communicative or
semantic translation (Newmark, 1981), domesticating or foreignizing
translation (Venuti, 1995), minimal mediation vs. maximal mediation (Nabokov,
1964). Venutis point of view deserves some further attention as he speaks of the
English cultural hegemony.
In domesticating texts, the translator adopts a strategy through which the
TL, not the SL is culturally dominant. Culture-specific terms are neutralised and
re-expressed in terms of what is familiar to the dominant culture. If the translation
is done from a culturally dominant SL to a minority-status TL, domestication
protects SL values.
Communicative translation attempts to convey the most precise
contextual meaning of the original. Both content and language are readily
acceptable and comprehensible.
Of all these methods, only semantic and communicative translations
fulfill the two major aims of translation: accuracy and economy. Similarities
between the two methods are also to be noticed: both use stock and dead
metaphors, normal collocations, technical terms, colloquialisms, slang,
phaticisms, ordinary language. The expressive components (unusual collocations
and syntax, striking metaphors, neologisms) are rendered very closely even
literally in expressive texts while in vocative and informative texts they are
normalised or toned down (except for advertisements).

54

Scholars, notably House (1977), speak of these two possibilities of choice


while attaching them different labels:
- semantic translation: art, cognitive translation, overt (culture-linked)
translation, overtranslation;
- communicative translation: craft, functional or pragmatic
translation, covert (culture-free) translation, undertranslation.
A semantic translation is likely to be more economical than a
communicative translation. As a rule, a semantic translation is written at the
authors linguistic level, a communicative translation at the readerships. It is
also worth mentioning that a semantic translation is most suitable for
expressive texts (more specifically for descriptive texts, definitions,
explanations), a communicative translation for informative and vocative texts
(standardized or formulaic language deserving special attention).
Cultural components are transferred intact in expressive translation,
transferred and explained with culturally neutral terms in informative
translation, replaced by cultural equivalents in vocative translation. A
semantic translation remains within the boundaries of the source language culture,
assisting the reader only with connotations. A communicative translation displays
a generous transfer of foreign elements with an emphasis on force (intended
meaning) rather than on message.
The conclusion to be drawn from here is that semantic translation is
personal, individual, searching for nuances of meaning; it tends to overtranslate, yet it aims at concision. On the other hand, communicative
translation is social, it concentrates on the message (the referential basis or the
truth of information is secured), it tends to under-translate, to be simple and
clear, yet it sounds always natural and resourceful (semantic translation may
sound awkward and quite unnatural to the target language reader as the language
used is often figurative). A semantic translation has to interpret, therefore it
does not equal the original. The problem of loss of meaning frequently arises in
this case. A communicative translation has to explain, it is more idiomatic and
it is often said to be better than the original. A semantic translation recognizes the
SLT authors defined authority, preserving local flavour intact. The tuning with
the SL author in semantic translation is marvelously rendered in the following
words:
The translator invades, extracts and brings home. (Steiner, 1975: 298)
Chomsky denied that language is primarily communicative and believed
only in the strict linguistic meaning without resorting to cultural adaptations. A
communicative translation is a recast in modern culture, shedding new light
on universal themes. Nida (1978), doing some pioneering work, clearly states that
translating is communicating. Nevertheless, the translators freedom seems to be
55

limited in both, as there is constant conflict of interests or loyalties. Although our


discussion constantly focuses on the translator and not on the interpreter, it is
worth remembering that the interpreters loyalties are divided in diplomacy and
there is a role conflict for the court interpreter (seating nearer the defence or
nearer the prosecution can affect the trust in his impartiality).
Translation Studies recommend that the overriding purpose of any
translation should be the equivalent effect, i.e. to produce the same effect (or one
as close as possible) on the readership of the translation as on the readership of the
original. This principle is also termed equivalent response or in Nidas words
dynamic equivalence. Dynamic equivalence can be equated with the readers
shadowy presence in the mind of the translator, and contrasted to formal
equivalence, i.e. equivalence of both form and content between the two texts.
Newmark (1981) sees the equivalent effect as the desirable result rather than the
aim of the translation. He argues that this result is unlikely in two cases:

if the purpose of the SL text is to affect and the purpose of the TL text is to
inform;
if there is a clear cultural gap between SL text and TL text (in fact, translation
merely fills a gap between two cultures if, felicitously, there is no insuperable
cultural clash.

The cultural gap is bridged more easily in a communicative translation as


it conforms with the universalist position advocating common thoughts and
feelings. Semantic translation follows the relativist position thoughts and
feelings are predetermined by the languages and cultures in which people are
born. Consequently, word or word-group is the minimal unit of translation in the
former case, the latter showing preference for the sentence.
Dealing with text-types, we may say that in the case of communicative
translation of vocative texts, the effect is essential, not only desirable. In
informative texts, the effect is desirable only in respect of their insignificant
emotional impact. The vocative thread in these texts has nevertheless to be
rendered with an equivalent purpose aim.
In semantic translation, the first problem arises with serious imaginative
literature where individual readers are the ones involved rather than a readership.
Not to mention, that the translator is essentially trying to render the impact of the
SL text on himself, his empathy with the author of the original. The reaction is
individual rather than universal.
The more cultural (the more local, the more remote in time and space)
a text, the less is the equivalent effect unless the reader is imaginative, sensitive
and steeped in the SL culture. Cultural concessions are advised where the items
are not important for local colour and where they acquire no symbolic meaning.

56

Communicative translation is more likely to create equivalent effect


than semantic translation. A remote text will find an inevitably simplified, a
version in translation.
The equivalent effect can be considered an intuitive principle, a skill rather
than an art. It is applicable to any type of text, only the degree of its importance
varies from text to text.

57

Bibliografie minimal
Bell, R.T. (1991). Translation and Translating. London: Longman.
Hansen, G., Malmkjr, K., Gile, D. (eds). (2004). Claims, Changes and
Challenges in Translation Studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Publishing Company
Hatim, B., Mason, I. (1997). The Translator as Communicator. London:
Routledge.
Jaworski, A., Coupland, N. (1999). The Discourse Reader, London & New York:
Routledge.
Kuhuwiczak, P., Littau, K. (eds). (2007). A Companion to Translation Studies.
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Munday, J., 2001, Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications,
London: Routledge.
Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. Prentice Hall International (UK)
Ltd.
Snell-Hornby, M. (1995). Translation Studies. An Integrated Approach,
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Tosi, A. (2003). Crossing Barriers and Bridging Cultures. Clevedon: Multilingual
Matters Ltd.
Venuti, L. (1992). Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology,
London: Routledge.
Vermeer, H. (1996). A Skopos Theory of Translation, Heidelberg:
TEXTconTEXT.
Vlceanu, T. (2003). Translation. The Land of the Bilingual, Craiova:
Universitaria.
Wolf, M., Fukari, A. (eds). (2007). Constructing a Sociology of Translation.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

58

EVALUARE
Comment on the translation method with each text type:
1.
For hundreds of years its very name has been a synonym for the most
place on earth, but today, Timbuktu faces a new kind of extremity. From the 13th
century onwards this forbidden city has carried on an impenetrable existence in
the heart of Africa. But to its inhabitants and those merchants able to converge on
this crossroads of the ancient caravan routes, the town on the fringes of the desert
was a haven from the unyielding harshness of the Sahara, a place of rich grazing
for cattle and camels, a university town, a revered centre of worship and a market
place of both commercial and cultural exchange.
During the last two decades, however, the desert has been reclaiming
Timbuktu. There has been drought here for the past 15 years; for the past four
years it has been increasingly severe and this year the area has had only half as
much rain as in the previous year. The sands are moving south. Every year the
encroachment continues.
Now the desert has swept around the town and surrounded it entirely.
Occasionally it is possible to glimpse beneath the dust the baked clay surface of
what was once a fertile loam. But that is rare. Huge dunes of sand are creeping
onwards, thousands of tons at the rate of 20 miles a year. The fine white dust falls
imperceptibly from the heavens. There is an apocalyptic quality to living with the
earth above your head for so long.
Twenty years ago it was possible to arrive in Timbuktu by boat along a canal dug
from the Niger river. Today, the channel is entirely dry, its side cracked and
crumbled, with heaps of old rubbish on its bed. Even the mighty Niger dries up; in
a good year it now flows for only seven months.
Method:
Readership expectations: ...

Text specificities in translation (linguistic difficulties/gaps and cultural load/gaps):

2.
I had thought I was the only foreigner on the train. I was wrong. I should
have known the moment I saw his cut-off dungarees, his full beard, his ear-ring,
his maps and rucksack, that he was a fellow-traveller.
He looked contemptuously at my drip-dry shirt, my leakproof shoes, my
sunglasses.
Youre a tourist? he said.
59

Like you, I said in a friendly way.


I am travelling, he said, forcing the distinction.
Five months I have been travelling! Five. I left Paris in October. I spent one
month in New York City."
Travelling in New York City? This stung him.
(Paul Theroux: The Old Patagonian Express)
Method:
Readership expectations: ...

Text specificities in translation (linguistic difficulties/gaps and cultural load/gaps):

3.
Guests are courteously reminded that no visitors are permitted in the rooms after
10 p.m.
We apologize for the interruption. Normal transmission will be resumed as soon
as possible.
Light showers may be expected in the early afternoon. In the north-east, these may
develop into thunderstorms, possibly accompanied by hail.
Prams and push charts must be folded and carried on the escalator.
Notice: Bathing and fishing strictly prohibited.
Right of admission reserved.
No parking at any time - Your car may be removed.
Please check your change, as mistakes cannot be later rectified.
If you have any complaint concerning this product it should be returned, together
with the receipt, to the manufacturer.
Rooms are to be vacated by midday at the latest.
For official use only. Nothing to be written in the space below.
Note: Airport tax is not included in the price of the fare, and must be paid locally
on arrival or departure.
Helmets must be worn on site.
This is a place of worship. Silence is requested during services.
This garment should not be washed by machine.
We regret that goods cannot be exchanged after purchase.
Please note: a service charge will be automatically added to your bill. This is done
in order to discourage the practice of tipping. Staff have strict instructions that no
gratuities or other forms of remuneration are to be accepted.

60

Method:
Readership expectations: ...

Text specificities in translation (linguistic difficulties/gaps and cultural load/gaps):


..

61

UNITATEA DE NV ARE IV

POLICING THE CULTURAL INTERTRAFFIC.


DEFINING CULTURE SPECIFIC ITEMS AND RELATED
TRANSLATION STRATEGIES

Obiective
Contientizarea aspectelor complexe legate de conceptualizarea i utilizarea
unitii minimale n traducere (traductemul);

Asimilarea i operaionalizarea procedeelor de traducere cu referire la


textele expresive, informative i conative;

nelegerea, internalizarea i operaionalizarea culturemelor i a tehnicilor


de management al intertraficului cultural.

Timp alocat: 4 ore

62

POLICING THE CULTURAL INTERTRAFFIC.


DEFINING CULTURE SPECIFIC ITEMS AND RELATED
TRANSLATION STRATEGIES
The structural view of language as consisting of elements that could be
defined both syntagmatically (showing affinities) and paradigmatically (showing
substitutability within the system) has affected agreement on the unit of
translation. Admittedly, scholars speak of sentence and sentence lower-level
components (phrases, words) as the unit of translation when applying
translation procedures and of whole texts pertaining to translation methods.
The most influential study seems to be Vinay and Dalbernet (1958) to
which several authors make constant reference (Newmark, 1988). For our current
purpose, only a checklist of translation procedures is useful:
1. literal translation, further subdivided into word-for-word and oneto-one translation the primary meaning of the word gains overall importance
alongside with the norms of the SL grammar. Therefore, the procedure is useful as
a draft translation since there is no 1:1 lexical or grammatical correspondence
between the two languages.
Literal translation is further subdivided into word for word translation and
one to one translation. Word for word translation can be accounted for when
dealing with simple sentences.
Ro.
Engl.

El merge la birou in fiecare diminea.


He goes to his office every morning.

The procedure seems to be more productive when two languages


belonging to the same family are involved. Formally, English makes a distinction
between the simple and the continuous aspect (with progressive value); hence
there is no exact correspondence between the following sentences:
Ro.
Engl.

El merge la birou acum.


He is going to his office now.

This is not a singular occurrence; some other example concerns the use of
phrasal verbs in English, which have no direct grammatical counterpart in
Romanian and in French. One to one translation does not consider words in
isolation, dealing with collocation and derived meanings.
Engl.
Ro.

make a decision
a lua o decizie
63

2. transference / emprunt / loan word / transcription / adoption / transfer


posits the problem of necessary and fancy borrowings from the SL into the TL;
as suggested by the name, the procedure implies the direct transfer of a word
from the source language into the target one.
Loan words are motivated in the case of lexical and cultural gaps. For
example, there is no word for snow in tropical Africa and no word for heat in the
polar region due to their weather conditions. When the translator resorts to
transfer, s/he can complement it by another procedure, namely the cultural,
functional or descriptive equivalent, giving rise to a doublet as far as kulturems
(culture-specific items) are concerned. For example, feedback is transferred in
Romanian and French being doubled sometimes by retroaciune and rtroaction,
respectively. The following categories are often transferred in translation:
- anthroponyms except the names of historical figures and of classical authors
which are anglicised:
Engl.
Ro.

Pope John Paul II; Michael the Brave;


Papa Ioan Paul al II-lea, Richard-Inim- de Leu

- brand names: McIntosh, Compaq (nevertheless, the names of products are


translated: computer calculator in Romanian). A special mention concerns the
names of parity products, with different brand names in different countries, which
are transferred.
- toponyms (apart from those which are already translated and enjoy wide
circulation: Bucureti Bucharest (Engl.), Romnia Romania (Engl.));
- names of periodicals: Adevrul, The Times;
- titles of books and films which have not been translated and acknowledged
as such: Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bront, Ion by Liviu Rebreanu;
- addresses: 13 A.I. Cuza Street, Craiova, Dolj, Romania
- kulturems: cowboy, kilt, whisky, hor, uic etc.
3. naturalisation is concerned with the compliance with the target
language phonological, morphological, and stylistic specifications.
Ro.

meci, fotbalist

At the morphological level, the terms can be determined by the definite


article ul; There is also an almost complete adaptation to the phonological
specifications in Romanian.
64

4. cultural equivalent the recognition of similar cultural values within


the two cultural frameworks, a kind of universal currency to which different labels
are attached; it is defined as a rough approximation of a culture-specific item
or kulturem in the source language, whenever there is a high degree of cultural
correspondence:
Engl.
Ro.

high school, A level or graduation exam, Law School;


liceu, bacalaureat, Facultatea de Drept

5. functional equivalent the focus is finding culture-free items; implies


the neutralisation of kulturems, which are provided indirect equivalents via the
change of the referent. For instance, cricket and Encyclopaedia Britannica mean
for the British what cyclisme and Larousse mean for the French.
6. descriptive equivalent provides an explanation for the term belonging
to the source language. Morpho-syntactically, this definition resembles the ones
encountered in explanatory dictionaries (a noun phrase). For example, nursery
rhymes / silly rhymes / mother goose rhymes is equated to poezioare or cntecele
pentru copii de vrst precolar in Romanian.
7.
bilingual / lexical synonymy intended to capture specialization of
meaning;
En.
Ro.

kind/nice person,
puny effort;
persoan amabil;
efort mic

8.
through translation / calque / loan word mostly concerned with the
translation of the names of international organizations:
Engl.
Ro.

European Commission; NATO (The North Atlantic


Treaty Organisation)
Comisia European; NATO

9. shift / transposition the procedure comes into play at the


morpho-syntactic level. One possible generalization concerns the position of
adjectives (in English the adjective is generally preposed, in Romanian the
adjective is preposed only in emphatic structures). Yet, the number of
morphosyntactic changes in translation is hard to define.
We shall focus on the following examples:
Engl.

No smoking; Wet paint; Slippery when wet


65

Ro.

Fumatul interzis; Proaspt vopsit; Carosabil umed

Engl.
Ro.

Working with you is a pleasure.


mi face plcere s lucrez cu tine.

Engl.
What is interesting is that / The interesting thing is that / The
interest of the matter is that
Ro.
Ceea ce este interesant este faptul c / Interesant este c
10.
modulation implying a change of perspective (the two languages seem
to partition reality from a different point of view):
-

abstract concrete:

Engl.
Ro.
-

effect cause:

Engl.
Ro.
-

He shut the door in my face.


Mi-a trntit ua n nas.

pars pro pars:

Engl.
Ro.
-

You are quite a stranger.


Nu te-am mai vzut de mult.

pars pro toto:

Engl.
Ro.
-

to sleep in the open;


a dormi sub cerul liber;

from cover to cover;


din scoar n scoar

reversed perspective:

Engl.
Ro.

Yield right of way


Prioritate de dreapta

11.
compensation omission of some irrelevant or inappropriate
information at the moment of decision may be supplied later in the translation
and vice versa;
12. componential analysis (CA) the search for semantic primes or
primitives (semes) in the attempt to find the proper equivalent; For example, the
lexeme girl:
66

- is described as: [+person], [+female], [adult];


- is defined as 1. a female child, from birth to full growth.
2. a young, immature woman, esp., formerly, an unmarried one.
3. a daughter: My wife and I have two girls.
4. sometimes Offensive. a grown woman
5. girlfriend; sweetheart.
(The New International Websters Comprehensive Dictionary of the English
Language, 1996)
13. reduction and expansion the former if the information seems redundant
or recurrent, the latter if there is further need for clarification; they imply a
quantitative difference in translation:
Engl.
Ro.

birth-control pills; occupational therapy


anticoncepionale; kinetoterapie

14. paraphrase the practice is encouraged only if the translator finds it


impossible to cater a single equivalent word / phrase; may be defined as
explanation or restatement; literature recommends that paraphrase should be the
translators last resort. Nevertheless, there are cases when no optimal equivalent is
found as for example: a go-slow (En.) - grev n care se ncetinete ritmul muncii
(Ro.).
15. equivalence the term is restricted to the idiomatic use of language; in a
narrow sense, applies to idioms, proverbs, or, to use an umbrella term, to
standardised language in order to be functionally adequate.
Engl.
Ro.

Open to the public;


Intrarea liber

16. adaptation presumably, the most difficult problem for the translator to
solve as there is no correspondence of situation in the two languages (the
referential base is not secured). Roughly speaking, the following elements are
adapted in translation:
-

units of measure:

Engl.
Ro.

mile;
kilometru, leghe;

Engl.
Ro.

1.7 fl.oz.
50 ml;
67

Engl.
Ro.

four oclock in the afternoon;


patru dup amiaza;

- meals: In UK and in Romania, soup is served for lunch, but there are different
recipes;
-

names of institutions that cannot be equated directly:

Ro.
Engl.
-

Facultatea de Litere ;
The Faculty of Letters;

social life:

Engl.
Ro.

residential areas ;
cartiere rezideniale

68

Bibliografie minimal:
Hansen, G., Malmkjr, K., Gile, D. (eds). (2004). Claims, Changes and
Challenges in Translation Studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Publishing Company
Kuhuwiczak, P., Littau, K. (eds). (2007). A Companion to Translation Studies.
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Munday, J. (2001). Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications,
London: Routledge.
Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. Prentice Hall International (UK)
Ltd.
Snell-Hornby, M. (1995). Translation Studies. An Integrated Approach,
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Tosi, A. (2003). Crossing Barriers and Bridging Cultures. Clevedon: Multilingual
Matters Ltd.
Venuti, L. (1992). Rethinking Translation: Discourse, Subjectivity, Ideology,
London: Routledge.
Vermeer, H. (1996). A Skopos Theory of Translation, Heidelberg:
TEXTconTEXT.
Vlceanu, T. (2003). Translation. The Land of the Bilingual, Craiova:
Universitaria.
Vlceanu, T. (2008). Intercultural Communication Prerequisites for Effectiveness
and efficiency. Craiova: Universitaria.
Wolf, M., Fukari, A. (eds). (2007). Constructing a Sociology of Translation.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

69

EVALUARE
1. Identify culture-specific items and related translation techniques in the
following excerpts:

I walked towards Pevensey (Pevensey Bay being the spot where William
landed his army in 1066) and decided that anyone who came ashore at Cooden
Beach would find himself face to face with the quintessential England not just
coastal, seaside holiday, retirement England, but secretive, rose-growing, dogloving, window-washing, church-going, law-abiding, grumpy, library-using, teadrinking, fussy and inflexible England.
(Paul Theroux: The Kingdom by the Sea)

Farmers (in Ethiopia) are to be given greater freedom to sell any additional
surplus to the highest bidder, and the Government plans to establish a system of
licensed free-market traders in order to move crops from the areas of surplus to
drought-affected regions more easily.

Noise levels at the Austerlitz rail terminus, Paris, have been greatly
reduced by
the application of sound-absorbing tiles of synthetic rubber. The tiles are oilresistant, fire-resistant, and flexible enough to be applied on uneven concrete
surfaces.

70

From the spring of 1665 The Great Plague had raged in London. Never
since the Black Death in 1348 had pestilence spread such ravages.

The Russian-language tourist brochure produced by Essex County Council


for Soviet seamen who come ashore at Tilbury has had to be rewritten. The first
draft invited them to escape to Essex, with predictable results. The brochure
now merely suggests that they explore beautiful Essex.

2. Provide two examples for every translation procedure with reference to


English and Romanian.
Word for word translation

71

One to one translation

Transference
anthroponyms

brand names

toponyms

names of periodicals

titles of books and films which have not been translated and acknowledged

addresses

kulturems

Naturalisation

Cultural equivalent

Functional equivalent

Descriptive equivalent

72

Bilingual / lexical synonymy

Trough translation

Shift / transposition

Modulation
abstract concrete

effect cause

pars pro toto

pars pro pars

reversed perspective

compensation

Componential analysis

Reduction and expansion

73

Paraphrase

Equivalence

Adaptation
units of measure

meals

names of institutions

social life

74

Bibliografie general
Alvaraz, R.,Vidal, M.C-A. (eds). (1996). Translation, Power, Subversion,
Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Anderman G., Rogers, M. (1997). What is Translation For? A Functional View
of Translation Assessment from a Pedagogical Perspective: A Response to
Hans G. Hnig . In Current Issues in Language and Society , vol. 4, no.
1, pp. 56-63.
Baker, M., (1992). In Other Words. A Coursebook on Translation, London:
Routledge.
Bassnett-McGuire, S. ([1980]/1991). Translation Studies. London: Methuen.
Bassnett, S., Lefevere, A. (1995). Constructing Cultures. Essay on Literary
Translations. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters Ltd.
Beaugrande, R., Dressler, W. (1981). Introduction to Text Linguistics, London:
Longman
Bell, R.T. (1991). Translation and Translating. London: Longman.
Boase-Beier, J. (2004). Saying What Someone Else Meant: Style, Relevance and
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2, Oxford: Blackwell Publishing, pp. 276- 287.
Catford, J.C. (1965). A Linguistic Theory of Translation. Oxford: OUP.
Chesterman, A. ([1997] 2000). Memes of Translation. The Spread of Ideas in
Translation Theory. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Van Dijk, T.A. (2008). Discourse and Context. A Sociocognitive Approach.
Cambridge: CUP
Duarte, J. F., Rosa, A. A., Seruys, T. (eds.). (2006). Translation Studies at the
Interface of Disciplines. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing
Company.
Gile, D. (1995). Basic Concepts and Models for Interpreter and Translator
Training.Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
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Hansen, G., Malmkjr, K., Gile, D. (eds). (2004). Claims, Changes and
Challenges in Translation Studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins
Publishing Company
Hatim, B., Mason, I. (1997). The Translator as Communicator. London:
Routledge.
House, J., (2001). Translation Quality Assessment: Linguistic Description
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75

Responsibility-Finnish Perspectives. Helsinki: Helsinki University Press.


Kuhuwiczak, P., Littau, K. (eds). (2007). A Companion to Translation Studies.
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Lodge, D. (1997). Meserie! (transl. Radu Paraschivescu) Bucuresti: Univers.
Lungu-Badea, G. (2004). Teoria culturemelor, teoria traducerii. Timioara:
Editura Universitii de Vest
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Munday, J. (2001). Introducing Translation Studies. Theories and Applications,
London: Routledge.
Newmark, P. (1988). A Textbook of Translation. Prentice Hall International (UK)
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Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Tosi, A. (2003). Crossing Barriers and Bridging Cultures. Clevedon: Multilingual
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Trosborg, A. (2000). Discourse Analysis as Part of Translator Training. In
Current Issues in Language and Society, 7: 3, 185 228.
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London: Routledge.
Vermeer, H. (1996). A Skopos Theory of Translation, Heidelberg:
TEXTconTEXT.
Vlceanu, T. (2003). Translation. The Land of the Bilingual, Craiova:
Universitaria.
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and efficiency. Craiova: Universitaria.
Wolf, M., Fukari, A. (eds). (2007). Constructing a Sociology of Translation.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

76