The standard of good translation [Archives:2005/849/Culture]

June 9 2005

By Sameer A. Haq
Senior Specialist-Office
of the Prime Minister

One can state that a good meaningful translation is the one that carries within it all the concepts and ideas of the original text as well as its structural and cultural features. In this regard, a good understandable translation will convey the meaning of the original text.

The knowledge of grammar in both languages plus the knowledge of vocabulary and idiomatic usage shall make the translator capable of his activity. In general the translator faces translation problems such as linguistic and cultural problems.

The linguistic problems include grammatical lexical ambiguity and vocabulary ambiguity. The cultural problems refer to different situational features. Any translator should have a supremacy over morphology, syntax, textual differences, rhetorical differences, pragmatic factors.

Translation is basically a process of establishing a particular type of correspondence between the source text and the target text. Then in this sense the goal of any translation process is to give what is called a semantic and lexical equivalent in the target text having the same power of the source text and looks natural in the target language as perfect as possible.

Around the middle of the first century, and as part of the role translation had played in the dialogue between nations, as we mentioned in the previous article, Buddhism which was originated in India, started penetrating China by translating its scriptures from Sanskrit into Chinese. The translation till the fifth century was being carried in a very literal manner which made it very hard to understand.

The problem is to realize that translation process is the mechanism of transferring the core of ideas; it is to understand the text from different angles. The solution for translation problems is to concentrate on understanding the idioms, terminology, vocabulary and linking words in any communication or article or essay.

The ideal translation will be accurate as to meaning and understanding as to the receptor language. Another approach of translation was the literal translation or what we call word for word translation literal translation focuses on form of language and it sometimes misses some of the meaning of those forms. Internet mechanism translation also is not perfect or suits the meanings provided within each context. So it is not depended upon in any meaningful translation .Office Translation in Yemen requires a re-establishment on sound basis as followed in other countries. A good translation must have certain qualities, proficiencies experiences and wide knowledge in almost every branch of knowledge. Office permits for opening offices should depend on certain measurement so as to produce some good translation.

The translator should be accredited and approved by the concerned authorities.

I feel that there are lapses and gaps in the process of translation. The seal of the office is not sufficient to approve good translation. The office is not to be turned into a business only; it should meet all the requirements of the profession. I suggest opening big publishing houses for translation to work as center under supervision of Sanaa University to guide the whole process of translation movement in Yemen.