Translation Essay

1557 words - 7 pages

Translation Process Paper
The process of translation is a detailed and time consuming practice. Some argue it should be rooted in both the language and the culture of the original language, and in the targeted language. Many translators engulf themselves in the culture of a source language in order to truly understand and translate a piece. This was the advice of poet and translator Ammiel Alcalay who read here at Queens College the semester.
It isn’t a process that’s just a word to word method but an image to image, tone to tone, and sense to sense translation. While working on my translation project I realized that there’s a huge benefit of knowing the language and culture even though ...view middle of the document...

This piece was a type of translation that dealt with reading in between the line of what someone was saying. I of course read it one way while someone else would have read it another. I also translated my translated segment into 15 different languages to show that lying and reading in between the lines are found in all languages. Furthermore, they can also be detected in body language, the pitch in our voices, and the way we breathe. This was also the case in the infamous baby killer Susan Smith. Police started doubting her story due in part to her body language; however, this isn’t an exact science.
Researchers do believe people who constantly smile while they are speaking tend to be hiding something. Also, a person who constantly looks around and refuses to make eye contact appears to be dishonest. Moreover, crossing the arms is a symbolic barrier especially when one feels defensive. All these things translate into some form of guilt or deception which can be read.
The next part of my project contained a drawing by an abused child made during a therapy session. The child was asked to explain or translate what the picture meant. The child said it was his father hitting and laughing at him. Pictures and paintings are excellent ways to translate a feeling, thought or idea. This practice dates back to the cavemen ear; they drew on the walls things they did or saw during their time on earth. “A picture is worth a thousand words” is more than a statement it’s a promise. People who draw can accidently tap into their subconscious minds and translate thoughts and feelings that they themselves are not aware of. This is an incredible form of unconscious translation.
In the next section of my project I translated the famous quote by William Makepeace Thackeray which reads, “Mother is the word for God on the hearts and lips of all little children”. I first only translated this into Spanish which wasn’t a big problem for me so then I decided to translate it into 21 different languages just to see the difficulty in doing so. Yes, they were complicated however, the Japanese and Chinese stood out the most to me because they were symbols not letters.
From all the translation blogs I read on these languages mostly all of the translators who were native to the language stated the same thing, “the worst part of learning this language was drawing out/spelling of words”. The most I could figure out was that there are two basic writing styles in Japanese the desu/masu (です・ます調)" and the "da/dearu (だ・である調)".
The problem with the desu/masu is that the language requires a longer structure sentence to achieve what you are trying to convey from a shorter sentence. But on the other hand, according to some translators this style has more of a modest and polite sound to it which gives a friendlier impression and sense of security. Da/dearu on the other hand sounds professional and persuasive but can also sound assertive, arrogant, and can be perceived by...

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