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Reproduction of the original or Production of a new text

It is the last stage - the culmination of the whole process. While the previous phases were preparatory this is a creative phase, the result of which is the new text. This phase is the result of translation competence which includes linguistic competence (knowledge of both languages, SL and TL, and their norms), sociolinguistic competence (ability to produce utterances in appropriate context), discourse competence (combining the ability to achieve integrity/unity of the whole text, i.e. based on cohesion, coherence,), intercultural competence (knowledge of both cultures), and strategic competence (the appropriate use of translation strategies and procedures). (See also Popovič et al, 1983, Gromová 1998)

In concrete translation, we can find situations and cases of language means with direct correspondence or without it. It means the text can be reproduced according to acknowledged/institutionalised principles of equivalency (translation proper, especially in general or technical texts - sometimes called "parallel translation"): He'll always be the Judge, Forrest. Have you talked to him? (J.Grisham) - On bude vždy Sudca, Forrest. Hovoril si s nнm? (A.Redlingerová). When a nucleus of uranium-235 is hit by a neutron, it splits into two smaller nuclei... (OCE) - Keп do jadra uránu-235 narazн neutron, jádro sa rozdмlн na dve menšie jadrá... When the language means of the original have no direct equivalents, or when the function of the equivalent is different from the original - the translator uses substitutes, based on the identity of function and context ("interpretive translation" - especially in literary texts): Livingston, this is part of your education and you know what they say: If you don t like the heat, get out of the kitchen. (E. Segal) - Livingston, je to sъčasќ vašej výučby, ako sa hovorн: kto sa bojн, nech nejde do lesa. (Slobodnik - Chorvátová). However, we must add here that the linguistic context is not always sufficient - the context of situation is necessary. The translator has some possibilities and he/she must decide which one to choose. There is invariably a certain reduction - i.e. there is always a difference between the translation and the original and this is not necessarily considered as misinterpretation (distortion). This is one of the reasons why there are different versions of the same work (text). For example compare the more communicative character of the translations of Shakespeare's works with the originals.

In conclusion we can say that using individual approaches in translation is based on the previous steps/phases of the translational process. The translator's decisions depend also on the cultural context, conventions, norms and the future reader and his expectation and knowledge. Simply, the translation of literary text is not purely a technical language problem but it is a part of the whole complex of inter-literary and intraliterary relations (relation with the native TL literature, and the reader) and the translator is the mediator between two cultures.


Suggestions for further reading

Gromová 2003, Hochel 1990, Popovič et al., 1983, Vilikovský 1984


5.2 Naturalization and exotization

In translation two cultures are in contact. Substitution of the language material does not remove any connection with a place and time in which the work was created (the new situation is different in comparison with the author's situation). The translator has to decide how far he/she will go in confrontation with the foreign language (SL) reality, the meaning of which may not be clear in the new context. In this connection we can speak about:

- Peculiarities (culture-specific concepts) connected with naming extra linguistic reality (different expressions naming the facts of extra linguistic reality, institutions... FBI, CIA, NHL).

- Peculiarities (culture-specific expressions) connected with the use of language (names, social phrases, idioms, proverbs, dialects, slang bhn, vow; take care, cool, see you..., dobru chuќ, kick the bucket) - language specific elements.

- Peculiarities (culture specific expressions) connected with the facts/examples of social and cultural context (allusions, hints - esp. literary, cultural, political views... Lost Generation, angry young men, Redstockings). Compare Vilikovský (1984)

The translator must decide whether to transfer foreign (culture specific) concepts/ elements (exotization), substitute them by the native concepts/elements (naturalization), try to find a balance - a mixture of two cultures/languages (sometimes called creolization).

Naturalization (domestication, naturalizing translation strategy)

In the reproduction of culture specific concepts of the original text we preserve the function but use TL elements. The original text is reproduced by means of TL, and functional TL equivalents are used. It means that substitution procedures are used in naturalization. The border line is determined by common function and content. A balance/ connection between foreign and native elements is observed especially in higher units (paragraphs, structure of dialogues, direct speech). However, sentence structure is reconsidered according to the TL native patterns (syntactic rules). Naturalization tendencies can be seen especially in individual lexical (and idiomatic) expressions (culture specific notions, greetings, etc.). Here the principles of analogy and local (TL) interpretation are applied. The positive feature of naturalization is that the text is semantically/communicatively clear. However, we have to be careful in translation from English, for example when using such culture specific expressions as: krpce, valaška (Hviezdoslav). The negative side of naturalization is that it removes the original atmosphere - expressions connected with the country and time of its creation. Here the practical principle can be applied: the use of neutral, unmarked expressions.

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