The art of translation requires a variety of skills. Throughout history, many scholars disputed about the aspects that could allow measuring the translation’s efficiency. Some of them paid attention only to the functional side of the language, while others preferred to emphasize the connotative and contextual sides of the texts. Although there are many controversial opinions on the nature of translation, the scholars who saw and described the relativity of the translation were the most right.
We will write a custom Essay on Language: the Art of Translation specifically for you
301 certified writers online
According to al-Jahid, the most important aspects of the translation’s success are the profound knowledge of the subject and a deep understanding of the original texts. It is important because language contains a large volume of cultural reality.
When a person knows a language well, it means that he or she also understands the cultural implications of the language: idioms, symbolic and poetic characters, mythological units, and other mental and cultural objects that affect the consciousness of the native speakers (Anghelescu, 2012).
Profound knowledge of the languages allows a translator to find equivalents for the variety of cultural implications and contexts comprised in the texts and to operate the methods of translation efficiently.
Al-Jahid claims in his work that translation is relative in nature. It is very difficult, or even impossible, to transmit all the meanings and implications of the original text into the text of the translation. Thus, it is possible to assume that the means of translation play a significant role in the translation’s success.
The methods and types of translation are many, and they depend on textual styles to a great extent. For example, the literal translation is more appropriate for the scientific texts because the number of denotative equivalents in the field of science is high due to its internationalism and objectivity (Husni & Newman, 2015).
But while translating poetry, just literal translation won’t be enough. Poetic language is figurative, eloquent, conceptual, and complex. Thus, a translator needs to mix different methods to transmit the original meaning of the text as fully as possible.
Knowledge of the languages on the advanced level is the crucial element for the translation’s success. Knowledge provides comprehension of both linguistic and cultural units of the language. Only with a thorough understanding of texts, it is possible to create a translation that transmits the original values of textual compositions. And thus, the ability to capture the original meanings and conceptions of the source texts in the texts of translation is the highest skill a translator can master.
Anghelescu, N. (2012). From Lexical to Grammatical: Nafs and Other Identifiers. In B. Orfali (Eds.), In the Shadow of Arabic: The Centrality of Language to Arabic Culture. (pp. 71-100). Leiden, Netherlands: Brill.
Husni, R., & Newman, D. (2015). Arabic-English-Arabic-English Translation: Issues and Strategies. New York, NY: Routledge.