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The Application of House's Model on a Scientific Text

Abstract

This study is going to apply one of the models of translation quality assessment on a scientific or technical text. Firstly, the translation quality assessment model of Juliane House is defined and elaborated. Then, this deemed model is applied on a scientific text in terms of overtness and covertness.

Key terms

Translation Quality Assessment Models, Scientific Texts, Overt and Covert Translation.

Introduction

Javad Heidary photoInterestingly, translation evaluation is among the most addressed research topics in translation studies. During recent years, there has been a crucial increase on the study of translation quality assessment. Various methods came on scene. These methods are based on scientific theories. All these methods express at least one aspect of translation quality assessment namely House's method is applied on a psychological text as a scientific text. In Comparison with various investigation over translation evaluation, there are a lot of studies which were dedicated to the translation of Scientific texts. Scientific translation has been regarded by many translation Scholars, most of whom pay their attention to the most controversial and problematic issues in translation of scientific text. Two problematic areas in technical or scientific translation are grammar and vocabulary.

Scientifically, the importance of the vocabulary in technical texts has been widely indicated. Baker (1988) divided the vocabulary in technical texts in to six categories. However, the most important dichotomy in Baker's study can be drawn as the semi- technical vocabulary Vs the technical or core vocabulary. Semi-technical words are the words which are used both in general texts and Scientific or technical texts. On the other hand, technical words are the vocabularies which exist in technical or scientific texts e.g. Carbon Cycle in chemistry texts.

According to Baker (1988), in terms of grammar, technical texts include five controversial- specific areas. They are verb and tense, voice, modals, articles and nominalization. These grammatical structures are frequently used in their proper forms. Regarding verb and tense, there are some more probable tenses simple present, and simple past. The dominant form of the voice is passive form. Modals like may, might, could and would are used very much in technical texts. The choice of adding or deleting articles affects the technical jargon. Last but not least, nominalization which is the use of verbal nouns ending in suffixes like -ation, -ment and -ness is used so much in technical or scientific texts.

In this research, after following literature review, or overview of the study, a Scientific text namely psychological text will be evaluated based on House's model of translation quality assessment.

Literature Review (Overview of the method)

As far as translation concerned, the evaluation is inseparable part of translation- oriented studies. To understand the relation between translation and evaluation, Firstly, it should be stated that after defining translation in one way or another, next question that crosses scholars, mind is whether any framework exists for the assessment of the translation. Here, translation runs into the quality upon which any translation part is judged.

In terms of good translation, scholars refer to the theories of translation which should be qualitative enough in order to help the process of assessment feasible and plausible.

Almost all translation theories, somehow, refer to the most controversial and problematic center of translation which is equivalence. Equivalence is the major part of the translation studies. It has been viewed from different angles. There are three main categories for the division of the equivalence. The first one considers translation according to equivalence relation, Scholars like Catford, Nida, Taber and Toury are the theorists of this category. They totally believe in the adequacy of equivalence for any kind of translation. As apposed to this group, second group not only refute the relevance of equivalence in translation studies, but also regard it even damaging. Among the scholars of this category, Snell-Hornbuy and Gentzler can be stated here. There is also a moderate place between these two extremes. It is a place situated in between. This theory of equivalence postulates that translation can be helpful. Baker is a scholar of translation who approves this position for translational equivalence. So far, there is no efficient definition for translation. However, translation scholars explain equivalence in accordance with their own perspective e.g. Koller regard five types of equivalence in translation i.e. referential, connotative, text-normative, formal and pragmatic equivalence. Nida and Catford have their own category of formal Vs dynamic equivalence and formal correspondence Vs textual equivalence respectively. As it was mentioned, there are various definition types for equivalence and almost all of them clarify their own way of describing and defining equivalence.

One of the most practical definition types for equivalence was stated by House. Having considered meaning as the core of any kind of equivalence, House expanded her theory.

Theoretically, there are three significant approaches towards the meaning for translation equivalence. They are mentalist view which regards meaning as a psychological and subjective notion and it was rejected, response-based view (behavioral and functional views) which was refuted ,too ,due to the fact that there is no device for measurement in behavioral perspective and there is not any clear-cut purpose or Skopos in response- based theory and, finally, discourse- based view which was accepted as a scientific method. The discourse- based view is subdivided in to three branches. They are literature- oriented view (target- based approach), deconstruction view and linguistic- based view. The linguistic- based view is also called functional –pragmatic view. The third perspective namely linguistic- based viewpoint comprises some other subcategories, however, the most crucial subcategory is functional- pragmatic model. This model was proposed by Juliane House. Juliane House proposed a model for assessing translation. It is a functional- pragmatic model. It considers both equivalence and function, then these notions were mixed to be used as a functional equivalence which is going to match target text equivalence both symantically and pragmatically.

House (1976) defines translation as the process of preservation of meaning across two languages. Furthermore, she introduces three types of meaning namely semantic, pragmatic and textual. In addition, she emphasizes two key term i.e. equivalent function. She defines function of the language or function of the text as the application or use which the text has in the context of a situation. In order to reach the textual or linguistic function, linguistic evidence should be broken in to its Components. They are syntactic component, lexical component and textual component. In his interesting study, she regards two types of translation namely overt Vs covert translation. Moreover, she says an overt translation is a kind of translation in which the addressees are not directly addressed. On the other hand, the covert translation is a kind of translation that enjoys the status of an original source language in the target language. In this model, the cultural filter is a device by which the cultural differences is going to be verified and mitigated. Two important versions are defined. The overt version which is the justified application of cultural filter on the other hand, the covert version is the unjustified application of cultural filter. Juliane House describes two source text types namely historically- based texts like a political speech at a specific time and timeless text types like a literary work. House exemplifies her two rendering kinds of translation as follows: Overt translation which comprises text types like literary texts, religious texts, political speech, … etc. Covert translation includes text types like journalistic texts, scientific texts, magazines, … etc. She also regarded the dimensions of language use and users under the category of situational dimensions. Dimensions of language Users are geographical origin, social class and time. Dimensions of language use are medium, participation, social role, social attitude and province.

Methodology

Model of Analysis

The model of analysis adopted in this study is Houses's model of translation quality assessment which is going to be applied on a psychological text (as a scientific or technical text) based on Baker's taxonomy of grammar and vocabulary within scientific or technical texts.

Procedures and Data Collection

Since the study is a descriptive- analytical one, the original text with its translation was comparatively analyzed as in the following steps:

1 - Reading translation and the original text

2 - Marking thirty (30) problematic paragraphs according to their translations (population)

3 - Selecting five (5) paragraphs to be analyzed based on House's model. (Sample)

4 - Tabulting features of paragraphs in accordance with House's model and regarding Baker's taxonomy of characteristics of scientific texts.

5 - Concluding from analyzed and organized data

Data analysis

Text one

Neurosis

A neurosis is a chronic or recurrent non- psychotic disorder characterized mainly by anxiety, which is experienced or expressed directly or is related through defense mechanisms. It appears as a symptom such as an obsession, a compulsion, a phobia or sexual dysfunction.

«ترجمه متن اول»

نوروز

نوروز به اختلال غیر سایکوتیک راجعه یا مزمنی اطلاق می شود که خصوصیت عمده آن اضطراب است. این اضطراب یا به طور مستقیم ابراز شده است یا فقط تجربه می شود و یا به کمک مکانیسم دفعی تغییر می یابد. این بیماری نشانه مثل اسرار و اجبار ترس یا اختلال سکسی دارد.

Table one

Covert

Overt

TT

ST

 

 

-

Overt

translation

نوروز

Neurosis

Technical Words

Vocabulary

-

Overt

translation

غیر سایک وتیک

Non- psychotic

-

Overt

translation

مکانیسم

Mechanism

Covert translation

-

اختلال

Dysfunction

Covert translation

-

مزمن

Chronic

Non- technical words

 

-

Overt

translation

اسرار

Obsession

-

Overt

translation

راجعه

Recurrent

-

Overt

translation

Present

Present

Tense

grammar

-

Overt

translation

Passive

Passive

Voice

-

Overt

translation

اسرار

Obsession

Nomina-lization

 

Overt

translation

اجبار

Compulsion

-

-

-

-

Modal

-

Overt translation

Deletion of

"a"

a

Article (effective)

-

Overt translation

Deletion of

"an"

an

 

For the following four (4) paragraphs Only the number or frequency of each feature will be considered within tabulation. It means the written form of features are not indicated.

Text Two

Acting out

Behavioral response to an unconscious drive or impulse that brings about temporary partial relief of inner tension. Relief is attained by reacting to a present situation as if it were the situation that originally gave rise to the drive or impulse common in borderline states.

ترجمه متن دوم

برون ریزی یا کنش نمایی

پاسخ رفتاری به یک سائق یا تکانه ناخودآگاه که سبب تسکین نسبی و موقت تنش درونی می شود. بیمار برای دستیابی به تسکین به موقعیت موجود واکنش نشان می دهد به گونه ای که انگار این موقعیت در اصل سبب بروز سائق یا تکانه مزبور شده است. در حالات مرزی شایع است.

Table two

 

 

ST

TT

Overt

Covert

Vocabulary

Technical words

3

3

Overt

translation

-

Non- technical words

2

2

Overt

translation

-

Grammar

Tense

Present

Present

Overt

translation

-

Voice

Active

Active

Overt

translation

-

Nominalization

1

1

Overt

translation

-

Modal

-

-

-

-

Article

(effective)

2

2

Parallel

Structures

Overt

translation

-

Text three

Blocking

Abrupt interruption in train of thinking before a thought or idea is finished. After a brief pause, the person indicates no recall of what was being said or was going to be said (also known as thought deprivation or increased thought latency). Common in schizophrenia and severe anxiety.

ترجمه متن سوم

انسداد

قطع ناگهانی رشته افکار قبل از اینکه فکر یا عقیده ای به نقطه پایاه برسد.

پس از مکثی کوتاه، شخص از آنچه مورد بحث بود یا قرار بود در مورد آن صحبت کند چیزی به خاطر نمی آورد (محرومیت فکر یا افزایش سکون فکر نیز نامیده می شود). در اسکیزوفرنی شدید و اضطراب شدید یافت می شود.

Table Three

 
 

ST

TT

Overt

Covert

Vocabulary

Technical words

2

2

Overt

translation

-

Non- technical words

2

2

Overt

translation

-

Grammar

Tense

Present

Present

Overt

translation

-

Voice

passive

passive

Overt

translation

-

Nominalization

1

1

Overt

translation

-

Modal

-

-

-

-

Article

(effective)

3

3

Parallel

Structures

Overt

translation

-


Text Four

Ambivalence

Coexistence of two opposing impulses toward the same thing in the same person at the same time. Seen in schizophrenia, border line states and obsessive- compulsive disorders (OCDS). Its causes are like diseases like ailurophobia, ageusia and ergophobia.

ترجمه متن چهارم

دوسوگرایی

وجود دو تکانه متضاد همزمان در یک شخص نسبت به یک چیز در اسکیزوفرنی، حالات مرزی و اختلال وسواس جبری دیده می شود. دلایل آن مانند بیماری های ترس از گربه و تخریب حس چشایی و ناگویی است.

Table Four

 
 

ST

TT

Overt

Covert

Vocabulary

Technical words

4

4

Overt

translation

-

Non- technical words

3

3

Overt

translation

-

Grammar

Tense

Present

Present

Overt

translation

-

Voice

Active

Active

Overt

translation

-

Nominalization

1

1

Overt

translation

-

Modal

-

-

-

-

Article

(effective)

2

2

Parallel

Structures

Overt

translation

-

Text Five

Agnosia

Inability to understand the importance or significance of sensory stimuli.It can not be explained by a defeat in sensory pathways or cerebral lesion. The term has been also used to refer to the selective loss or disuse of knowledge of specific objects, because of emotional circumstances as seen in certain schizophrenic, anxious, and depressed patients. It occurs with neurological deficit.

ترجمه متن پنجم

ناشناس

ناتوانی در درک اهمیت یا برجستگی محرک حسی که بر اساس نقضی در مسیرهای حسی یا ضایعه مخ قابل توضیح نیست. این اصطلاح همچنین در موارد نقصان انتخابی یا عدم بکارگیری دانش مروبوط به اشیاء بخصوص به دلیل شرایط هیجانی به کار می رود که این حالت در برخی بیماران مبتلا به اسکیزوفرنی و مضطرب و افسرده دیده می شود بر اثر نقص عصبی ایجاد می شود.

Table Five

 
 

ST

TT

Overt

Covert

Vocabulary

Technical words

2

2

Overt

translation

-

Non- technical words

4

4

Overt

translation

-

Grammar

Tense

Present

Present

Overt

translation

-

Voice

passive

passive

Overt

translation

-

Nominalization

-

-

-

-

Modal

1

1

Overt

translation

-

Article

(effective)

2

2

Parallel

Structures

Overt

translation

-

Combination Table

(Table one, two, three, four and five)

 
 

ST

TT

Overt

Covert

Vocabulary

Technical words

15

15

14

1

Non- technical words

14

14

13

1

Grammar

Tense

All present

All present

Overt

-

Voice

3P

2A

3P

2A

Overt

-

Nominalization

5

5

Overt

-

Modal

1

1

Overt

-

Article

(effective)

11

11

Overt

-

Conclusion

According to all tables, a percentage table can be calculated as follows:

 
 

Overt

Covert

Vocabulary

Technical words

93%

7%

Non- technical words

93%

7%

Grammar

Tense

100%

 

Voice

100%

 

Nominalization

100%

 

Modal

100%

 

Article

(effective)

100%

 

In accordance with the above- tabulated percentage table, it can be concluded that (regarding House's translation quality assessment and Baker's taxonomy of features of the scientific texts) this psychological text of the book namely "Synopsis of Psychiatry" written by Sadock was translated overtly. However, as it was explained previously (In literature review part), any type of scientific text should be translated covertly. Therefore, the translation of this book (Synopsis of Psychiatry) should be covert.

All in all, based on House's model of translation quality assessment, this book (Synopsis of Psychiatry) should be translated covertly; however, it is proven that it was translated overtly. In addition, It is a case of mistranslation.

References

Baker, M. (1988). Categories of Vocabularies, In Jerry, L. (eds.) Language Issues in ESP. Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

House, J. (1976). A model for Assessing Translation Quality. Retrieved from: www.Google.com

Sadock, B. J. and Sadock, V. A. (2007). Synopsis of Psychiatry. Philadelphia: Lippincott Williams & Wolters Kluwer Business.

 

منابع فارسی

رضاعی.فرزین.1387.خلاصه روانپزشکی کاپلان.تهران.ارجمند



Published - July 2009










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