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  1. #1
    fariba_sabok is offline Newbie
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    Default loss and gain in translation studies

    Hi. Can someone help me with Loss and Gain in Translation Studies? what's that?

  2. #2
    Rover_KE is offline Moderator
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    Default Re: loss and gain in translation studies

    In what context did you find that phrase?

  3. #3
    fariba_sabok is offline Newbie
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    Default Re: loss and gain in translation studies

    LOSS AND GAIN

    Once the principle is accepted that sameness cannot exist between two languages, it becomes possible to approach the question of loss and gain in the translation process. It is again an indication of the low status of translation that so much time should have been spent on discussing what is lost in the transfer of a text from SL to TL whilst ignoring what can also be gained, for the translator can at times enrich or clarify the SL text as a direct result of the translation process. Moreover, what is often seen as ‘lost’ from the SL context may be replaced in the TL context, as in the case of Wyatt and Surrey’s translations of Petrarch (see pp. 60–1; 105–10).

    Eugene Nida is a rich source of information about the problems of loss in translation, in particular about the difficulties encountered by the translator when faced with terms or concepts in the SL that do not exist in the TL. He cites the case of Guaica, a language of southern Venezuela, where there is little trouble in finding satisfactory terms for the English murder, stealing, lying, etc., but where the terms for good, bad, ugly and beautiful cover a very different area of meaning. As an example, he points out that Guaica does not follow a dichotomous classification of good and bad, but a trichotomous one as follows:

    (1) Good includes desirable food, killing enemies, chewing dope in moderation, putting fire to one’s wife to teach her to obey, and stealing from anyone not belonging to the same band.

    (2) Bad includes rotten fruit, any object with a blemish, murdering a person of the same band, stealing from a member of the extended family and lying to anyone.

    (3) Violating taboo includes incest, being too close to one’s mother-in-law, a married woman’s eating tapir before the birth of the first child, and a child’s eating rodents.Nor is it necessary to look so far beyond Europe for examples of this kind of differentiation. The large number of terms in Finnish for variations of snow, in Arabic for aspects of camel behaviour, in
    English for light and water, in French for types of bread, all present the translator with, on one level, an untranslatable problem. Bible translators have documented the additional difficulties involved in, for example, the concept of the Trinity or the social significance of the parables in certain cultures. In addition to the lexical problems, there are of course languages that do not have tense systems or concepts of time that in any way correspond to Indo-European systems. Whorf ‘s comparison (which may not be reliable, but is cited here as a theoretical example) between a ‘temporal language’ (English) and a ‘timeless language’ (Hopi) serves to illustrate this aspect.

  4. #4
    SoothingDave is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: loss and gain in translation studies

    What so you have trouble understanding in that passage? Languages do not map one-to-one in words or in ideas. Sometimes the word you translate to doesn't quite contain the full meaning of the original language's word. Sometimes the translated word adds meaning that is not in the original. You lose and you gain.

  5. #5
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: loss and gain in translation studies

    Fariba, where did you get this text from? What's the source?

  6. #6
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    5jj is offline VIP Member
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    Default Re: loss and gain in translation studies

    Please do not edit your question after it has received a response. Such editing can make the response hard for others to understand.


  7. #7
    Tdol is online now Editor, UsingEnglish.com
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    Default Re: loss and gain in translation studies

    I don't think that looking on the loss, which is more common than the gain, proves the lowly status of translation. I am going through a Dumas phase- I simply couldn't get through hundreds of pages of 19th century French, so I don't think that translation has a lowly status. The premise of this text seems dubious to me- it's natural to wonder what is lost, but most readers of translations don't worry too much about it. When translations are seen to have added to the text, they become known for it. It's generally a question of balance.

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