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Reception and interpretation

The interpretation is understood as the set of procedures/techniques/ strategies, which help to discover the meaningful/semantic invariant of the text. The translator evaluates the text as a work of art - looking for the main idea, special features, "artistic images", and reflection of this in the use of language means (e.g. Hemingway's short sentences combined with "and" into long passages, or Steinbeck's long sentences, or J. Conrad's rhythmic side of his texts, etc.). He/she uses different sources: reference books on literature, history, comments of critics, studies of the author's life, etc. He/she has to make an effort to interpret the text as objectively as possible - especially the reflection of the author's intention on the translator. Proper interpretation depends on temporal, historical and philosophical context and is conditioned by the translator's knowledge and attitudes; sometimes, the interpretation may discover or underline certain hidden facts. This subjective attitude may influence the reception and interpretation.

It is important to realize that the starting point is the original (ST) which is static with its historic and individual specific conditions. Original text is definite. On the other hand, the translation is only one of the possible variants.

Conception (Forming a conception)

Interpretation is a part of reception - its subject and material is the original text, but it also influences the conception and reproduction phase. Conception is an idea or a plan how to deal with the material for translation. The translator forms his/her conception based on the interpretation of the original, which determines his or her next steps in choosing the strategies/procedures (techniques, methods) used in the reproduction of the original.

While the interpretation is focused on the source language and culture, in formulating the conception, however, the target language and culture and the reaction of the future reader are taken into consideration. The assessment of the knowledge and expectations of the TL reader play also an important role. The conception should not be identified with the reproduction, because it is based on the original, but at the same time it is directed towards the target language and target language reader.

The first point in forming the conception is an understanding the basic idea, a thorough knowledge of the text, its purpose, character, intention and both its ideological and aesthetic values. The translator in his/her conception has a certain freedom in that he or she can emphasize certain points (facts, ideas, and values). The translator's intention determines the choice of language material. Thus the translator's conception is influenced by his/her individual points of view, but also by general attitudes to translation in a concrete period (which are the result of current aesthetic and ideological views). The translator may decide between "modernization" (approaching the reader) and "historization" (approaching the author). In general, nowadays, "the modern" is connected with "lower styles" (informal), while the "old" is connected with "high styles" (formal). Individual subjective attitudes, by emphasizing certain points or imposing a translator's own views, may influence the new text positively or negatively (Compare Hviezdoslav's, Kot's and Feldek's translations of Shakespeare) - where the emphasis is on the idea and present-day language (intellect - not expressiveness) trying to avoid archaic (historic) language and expressive specialities.

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