Lexical analysis of the fiction books translated into Persian for children of age group of A&B Persian translation jobs
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Lexical analysis of the fiction books translated into Persian for children of age group of A&B


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Abstract

This study analyses the lexical items of the fiction books translated into Persian for children of age group of A&B. Six fiction books translated into Persian for children and some lexical items used in these books are selected at random. After that, it compares these lexical items and lexical items used in the standard educational books for children of that age group.
Some lexis are common and some do not exist in the standard books. The reference for standard books and lexis used in them are the Persian books of the first three grades of primary school. Then the percentage of the lexical items used in the six fiction books that do not correspond to the lexical items used in the educational standard books is calculated. In final, conclusion of this research is to be presented.

Key terms: Readability (text difficulty), Age group of A&B, Fiction books, Standard Educational Books, Translation Criticism, Readability Assessment.

1. Introduction

'One language cannot express the meaning of another; instead, there is a distinction between the meanings built in and the meaning that must be captured and expressed. In this sense, different languages predispose their speakers to think differently, i.e., direct their attention to different aspects of the environment. Translation is therefore not simply a matter of seeking other words with similar meaning but of finding appropriate ways of saying things in another language' (Thriveni 2001).

1.1.Correspndence of materials to reader's capability

Materials must be corresponded to reader's capability. Carrell (1987 : 21) writes '.... if materials are too easy, students are unchallenged and bored, and no learning occures, if materials are too difficult, students are frustrated and withdrawn and again no learning occures' (cited in Z. Tootoonchian, 1997:2)

1.2.Translation Criticism

Translation criticism has an important role in improving and developing translation and translating. Newmark (1981:181) indicates five purposes for translation criticism:
(a) to improve standards of translation;
(b) to provide an object lesson for translators;
(c) to throw light on ideas about translation at particular times and in particular subject-areas;
(d) to assist in interpretation of the work of significant writers and
significant translators;
(e) to assess critically semantic and grammatical differences between
SL and TL.

2. What is Readability?

Readability: Apparently in passages containing words which the students find difficult to read. e.g. unusual contracted forms used to record colloquial speech , unfamiliar proper nouns, long multi-syllabic words, and unknown or unheard words, the rate of readability decreases. This provides one source of difficulty. ( Farahzad 2003 : 33-34 )
Larson (1984:499-500) writes '....if he [the reader] stops and re-reads the sentence, this should be noted as it indicates some problem in readability. Sometimes the reader will simply look puzzled, as if he didn't understand why it was said that way. There will also be times when the reader will actually say something different than what is written in the translation.'

3. What is Readability Assessment?

Readability Assessment: 'As Lorge reports (1944), the history of text difficulty assessment can be traced back to 900 AD, when Talmudists suggested the use of word and idea counts for judging the difficulty of texts (Oller 1979). But according to Oller (1979), most readability formulas have been developed within the present century, some 30 before and several others after 1960 (Klare 1974), such as those developed by Dale and Chall (1948), Botel and Granowski (1972), Richards (1970) and Glazer (1979). The early formulas were mostly based on word counts, sentence lengths, number of unfamiliar words, and few other criteria (Oller 1979).' (cited in F. Farahzad, 2003:32)
' Readability estimates [formulas] have been developed to provide a match between the reading materials and the reader's capabilities.'
Tootoonchian (1997 : 3 )
Tajvidi (1384) indicates that two formulas for assessing the degree of readability are more known than other ones; (1) Flesch Readability Formula, and (2) Fog Index of Readability.

Flesch Readability Formula :

RE=206.835-0.846WL-1.015SL

RE : Reading Ease WL : Word Length SL : Sentence Length

Fog Index of Readability :

 
number of words
 
number of 3-syllable words
 
Text Difficulty =

+
* 40
 
number of sentences
 
number of words
 

But he admits that apart from the positive characteristics of these formulas, they are not exact and reliable.
Farahzad (2003) has a suggestion for assessing the Readability of texts. She has acquired experiences from her translation classes. (This will be treated later in Discussion and Conclution).

Age group of A&B: includes the children of 3-11 years old.
Fiction books: the same as Story books
Standard Educational Books: the books which the students study in the schools

4. Research Questions

Two questions could be propounded as the ultimate goals of this study:

Q1. Do the lexical items used in the books translated for children correspond to those used in the standard educational books used in the first three grades of the primary school?

Q2. What is the degree of correspondence between the two sets of lexical items?

5. Hypothesis

The lexical items used in the fiction books translated for children do not fully correspond to those used in the standard educational system of the first three grades of primary school. Consequently, it causes Readability problem.

6. Methodology

I selected six fiction books translated for children at random, then selected lexical items of these books. I compared the lexis of standard educational books and lexis used in the fiction books translated for children of age group of A&B. My materials for this research were the books of "Persian" in the first three grades of primary school and six fiction book translated into Persian. I gathered the content words of the three grades and content words used in the translated fiction books. Comparing the lexis, I found out that the lexical items used in the fiction books translated for children do not fully correspond to those used in the standard educational system of the first three grades.
I calculated the percentage of the lexical items that did not exist in the educational standard books.

7. Data Analysis

There are five lists of lexical items: list1 includes the content words in the first grade, list2 – the content words in second grade, and list3 – the content words in the third grade of primary school. My materials are, as noted above, the Persian books of the first three grades of primary school. List4 includes the content words which are selected from translated fiction books (خرچنگ و مرغ ماهيخوار-سيندرلا-آرايشگر جسور-ماربدجنس- كلاغ سحرآميز-الاغ خوب من) and list5 includes the lexical items used in the translated books that do not exist in the standard books.

7.1. list1: the content words used in the Persian book of the first grade of primary school

آب-آبي-آبشار-آبگير-آموزنده -اره ماهي-ابر -اذان- بابا-بادكنك-باغ-بستان-بزازي-بهار-پرچم-پل-پاينده-پر-پستچي-پژمرده-پاكيزه -پاييز-تابستان-تيرانداز-جوراب-جويبار-چمن-چوپان-چراگاه-چشمه-چادر-دست-دريا-داور-درخت-دلپذير-درو-دلسوز-روستا-رودخانه-زمستان-سرو-- سرباز- سواركار- ستاره-سپاس گزار-شاه-شاليزار-صدف-ظلم-علف-فصل-فرشته- قايق-قارچ- قوچ-كلاس-كيف-كفش-كتا ب-كلاه-كوه-كوهسار-كشتزار-كوسه-گل -لانه- مادر-ماه-مسجد-مدرسه-مدير-مداد-ميز-ميهن-منقار-مهتابي-نيمكت-نهنگ-ورزشكار-وزنه بردار-وضو-هواپيما-هشت پا-

7.2. list2: the content words used in the Persian book of the second grade of primary school

آهنگ ساز-اعضا-استخوان-آموختن-آيينه كاري-آزمايشگاه-آهني-اتفاقا-افسانه-باسليقه-باسواد-با حوصله-بامزه-بااهميت-باحجاب-بانشاط-بازيگري-بي حوصله-بي سليقه-بي نظم-بوته-پيشنهاد- پر بركت- پيله- پرفريب- پاورچين - تصميم - جستن-جادويي -جاگذاشتن -چلچراغ-چاپخانه-چوبي-چمنزار-حرم-حشره-حيلت ساز-خوشبخت-خوش رفتارـ خواهش -خرم-خاطره- خوش آواز -خوش خوان-داروخانه -درستكار -دعا-دقت -دونده -رنج -رنگارنگ-زاغ-زيارتگاه-زيارت-سردخانه-ستمكار- سبزه-سينما-سفالگر-سحرآميز-ساعت ساز-سرسبز-شمعدان-شاپرك-شهد-شاهنامه-شكوفه-شنونده -صحن-صدف-طعمه-عجم-عجله-علف خوار-قصه دار-فريب-فرش باف-قلم مو-قله-كار گرداني-كوهنوردي-كوچ-گهواره-گروه-گياه خوار -گوشت خوار -گياهان -معلوم-مجله- مناسب-مواظب-مزرععه-مراقب-مواظبت-منظم -مجسمه ساز-موسيقيدان-مددكار-نامناسب -ناتمام-نا آشنا-نامرتب-نادرست-نويسنده-نمايشگاه-نيكوكار-نقل-نقشه-هنرمند-يخبندان-

7.3. list3: the content words used in the Persian book of the third grade of primary school

استقلال-امرا-انبوه- افسر - البته- اطراف-اوقات-احوال پرسي-انتظار-استعداد-آرامگاه- افسوس -آزاده -آموزنده - آلودگي- افتخار- بلوط- باربر- بازرگان- به هرحال- بخشنده-بزرگوار-بي دليل-پرتو-پرشكوه-پشتيباني-پيشرفته-پژمرده-پيغام-پيمان-پشته-تاسف -تزيين-تناور-تاب-تپه-تعاون-تغيير-تكثير-تولد-تكليف-جاودانه-جراحي-جوانه-جان فشاني-چادر- حواس-حاجت- حلقه-حاصل-حديث-حضرت- حيف -خليج- خيره- خلاصه -خاطرات-خوشنويسي- خشكيده- درس خوان-دقيق-داستان نويسي-دلگشا-دوردست-دامنه ي كوه-دامنه -دفاع-ذوق -رضا -رستگار- راي- روزنامه -روييدن - زرين- زوزه- زرنگ-سراغاز-سفالگري- سينه سرخ- سوختگي -سربلندي- سخت كوش- سپهر -سماط -سمي -سرزمين-سهم- سيراب- شايسته- شگفت زده - شلوغ- شعله-شوق-شناور-شاخسوار-شجاع-صبور-صفات-ضروري-عادل- علاوه بر- عهده- عهد -عرق ريزان-عضو-غول پيكر-غرش-غلغله-فعاليت- فداكار-فضا ـ فضا نورد-فواره-فراهم-فراقت-فاكس-فهرست-قرباني-قفسه-قطار-كتابخانه -كاردستي -كارخانه-كندو- كلافه -كتابدار-كپسول- كرات-كوهستان-گردش-گزارش-گرفتار -گنديده- گنبد- لذت بخش- موجودات-مشترك - مسئول -مسدود-مرگ حتمي- منتظر -مخصوصا-منقار-موقع-مناظر-مانع-ملي-مواد-مذهبي-مهلت-معطل- منظم- نظر- نم نم- نخلستان- نيكوكار- نيلگون- نشاط-نهال-نمايشگاه-وسيع-واقعا-وسايل-همت- يادگاري-

7.4. list4: the content words used in the six fiction books ( خرچنگ و مرغ ماهيخوار - سيندرلا - آرايشگر جسور -مار بدجنس - كلاغ سحرآميز- الاغ خوب من ) translated into Persian for children of age group of A&B

آشيانه-آشفته-آرامش-ارباب-ازقضا- اهالي- اتفاقا-اعمال -افسرده -بدجنس-بلا-باشكوه-بركه-باغچه- پاره پوره- پيشواز -پرندگان- پس انداز- پاداش- پسنديدن- پيشه-پرواز-پيچ-تشويق-تاسف-تعجب- تغذيه -تصور- تمسخر- تعمير-تكه -تبر- تنبيه- تابلو- تشكر-تعقيب-تصميم-جانور-جواهر-جسور-جزيره-جبران-جادوگر-جارچي-چماق-حفظ-حمله-حرفه-حكيم-حاكم-خرم-خريداري-خوشحال-درخت-دشمن-دهكده-درمان-درستكار-دعوت نامه- دل شكسته- روپوش -رفيق نيمه راه-روزگار-زراعي-ژوليده-سوگواري-سزا-سفارش-سابق- سبكبال- سرزمين- سراسر- سبقت- شاداب - شكاري- شيرواني- شيهه- شيرده-شر-صدمه-صخره-ضرر- طبابت- ظالم- عقاب- عاقبت- عزيز دردانه- عروسي- عاقلانه- عميق-غمگين-فروشنده-فرود-فريبكارانه-فوت كردن-فرشته-فريب-قربان-قصر-قطعه-قدر داني-قراول-كمك-كاركنان-كشتي-كالا-كنده-كالسكه-كالسكه ران-كلفت-گردنبند-گرانبها-گوناگون-گمان- لانه- لذا- مشورت- ماجرا- مبدل-موافقت- منقار- مزد-مخارج-مزرعه-معامله- مهره- نقشه- نامادري- نجيب- نواخت -نگران- ناجوانمرد- ناگهان- وحشت-والس-وفادار-همراه-همدردي-يتيم-

7.5. list5: the lexical items used in these fiction books translated for children of age group of A&B that do not exist in the standard educational books for children

ارباب-از قضا- بدجنس-به سرقت رفتن-پيشواز-تغذيه كردن-تمسخر-جسور-چماق-حرفه-رفيق نيمه راه-رقص والس- ژوليده- سرنوشت- سوگواري - سزاي اعمال - شر-فوت كردن

(مردن)- قدرداني - قطعه- قراولان -كالا - مبدل - معامله - منصرف كردن- مخارج زندگي-مندرس-نجيب-وحشتناك-

After gathering and comparing the content words used in the books, I calculated the percentage of the lexical items used in the six fiction books translated for children of age group of A&B that did not correspond to the lexis used in the educational standard books originally written for the children of that age group to the all content words used in those six fiction books.

The Number of all content words used in the six fiction books translated into Persian for children = 141

The Number of the lexical items used in those six fiction books that do not correspond to the content words used in the educational standard books = 30

 
the number of the lexical items used
in the six fiction books that do not
correspond to the standard lexis
 
the Percentage =

* 100
 
the number of all content words used in
the six fiction books
 


 
30
 
the Percentage =

* 100
 
141
 

the Percentage = 21/27 %

8. Discussion and Conclusion

To assess lexical difficulty, Farahzad (2003: 41- 42) writes: '....it seems rather improbable, if not at all impossible, to suggest an exact mathematical formula for assessing the degree of difficulty in all types of texts. But the following holistic and rough estimation has proved helpful in my classes: to assess lexical difficulty, the number of words / terms which are thought to be difficult for the students, in terms of either comprehension or translation (i.e. the words which have to be looked up), are estimated per 100 words of the text. If the number of such words is between 1 and 5, this part of the text is not usually difficult for the students. If it is between 5 and 10, the part usually is of medium difficulty, and if it is 10 or more, the part is difficult at the lexical level.'
Tajvidi (1384), as Farahzad (2003), believes that the current formulas (Flesch Readability Formula and Fog Index of Readability), apart from their positive advantages in assessing the difficulty of the texts, could not be the most exactly formulas for assessing of the degree of readability.
Based on Farahzad's suggestion, I calculated the Percentage of the lexical items used in the fiction books translated into Persian to the lexical items which were in these books but did not exist in the standard educational books. It is very important to remind that I had limitations in this research. The most important limitation was my disability in recognising the total content words stated in the materials. Although the Percentage might not be the most exactly, but I tried as possible to present a reliable conclusion. However: the Percentage was nearly 20% meaning that almost 20% of lexical items used in the fiction books translated for children do not exist in their standard educational books.
In other words, the lexical items used in the fiction books translated for children do not fully correspond to those used in standard educational books of the first three grades which are supposed to be the standard books for that age group.

9. Materials

خرچنگ و مرغ ماهي خوار-ترجمه:آويشارحيم لو-دانشگر؟ - 1

سيندرلا-ترجمه:زرين رحيم بخش-انتشارات مه1382 - 2

آرايشگرجسور-ترجمه:آويشارحيم لو-دانشگر1380 - 3

ماربدجنس-ترجمه:آويشارحيم لو-دانشگر1378 - 4

كلاغ سحرآميز-ترجمه:فاطمه كوثري-دانشگر1378 - 5

الاغ خوب من-ترجمه:فاطمه كوثري-دانشگر1377 - 6

كتابهاي فارسي اول‚دوم وسوم دبستان - 7

10. Works cited

1. Farahzad, F.(2003), 'Sequencing Texts on the Basis of Difficulty in a Translation Programme', in translation Studies 1 (1):31-44.

2. Larson, M. L. (1984) 'Meaning-Based Translation:A Guide to Cross-Language Equivalence' , Lanham, New York and London: University Press of America.

3. Newmark, P . (1981), 'Approaches to translation', London, Pergamon Press.

4.Thriveni,C. (2001), 'Cultural Elements in Translation, The Indian Perspective', Available at: http://accurapid.com/journal/19culture.htm

5.Tootoonchian, Z. (1997) , 'on The Validity of Readability Estimates' ( M.A. Thesis ). Tehran : University for Teacher Education. Available at: www.irandoc.ac.ir

6-تجويدي، غلام رضا(1384) " رده شناسي متن،سطح دشواري متن و ترجمه:

رهيافتي براي انتخاب متون ترجمه" فصلنامه مطالعات ترجمه، سال

سوم، شماره دوازدهم (زمستان 1384) : 29-47 .









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