Translation techniques

Translation techniques, that may seem countless, were condensed to just seven in a increasing order of complexity. They are used on their own or in combination.

The techniques analyzed in the workshop were borrowing, calque, literal translation,transposition, modulation, equivalence, and adaptation; the first three, called direct translation techniques, are used when structural and conceptual elements of the source language can be transposed into the target language.

The other four, called oblique translation techniques, are used when the structural or conceptual elements of the source language cannot be directly transposed without altering meaning or upsetting the grammatical and stylistics elements of the target language.

During the workshop, participants could see that oblique translation techniques require that the translator have an in-depth knowledge of both languages involved in the translation process. For instance, transposition requires that the translator know that it is possible tore place a word category in the target language without altering the meaning of the source text. Modulation, which is perhaps the most complex of all the techniques analyzed, requires that the translator know the mechanics of both source and target languages as well as their respective inherent qualities. Through modulation, the translator generates a change in the point of view of the message without altering meaning and without generating a sense of awkwardness in the reader of the target text. Modulation is often used within a samelanguage. The expressions “it is not difficult to show” and “is easy to show” are examples modulation.

They both convey the same meaning although they do not have the same stylistic value. This type of change of point of view in a message is what makes a reader say: “Yes, this is exactly how we say it in our language.”

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