An Observation of Translation
The formations of Translation Studies
The study of translation, sometimes referred to as translatology, is the study of the literal translation, interpretation, and loacalisation of a text. Translation is, as you may know, the translation of words from one language into another. Interpretation is the explanation of a meaning. For example, the literal translation of the French phrase mon petit chou is “my little creampuff.” An interpretation of this phrase shows that in this instance chou does mean creampuff. It is used as a term of endearment. Calling someone your petit chou is very similar to saying “sweetie” or something similar in English. Finally, localisation is, in a linguistic context, the adaptation of words to a specific country. Think slang and the local lingo. Instead of asking, “How are you?” the way we do in English, localisation of the phrase in Korean would be meogeosseoyo (먹었어요)? Which literally means “have you eaten?”
Any good translator takes all 3 terms into account. They will need to be able to translate the literal words. They will need to be able to interpret what may be awkward terminology or phrasing. Lastly, the translator should be able to understand and properly use the local jargon and linguistic customs. This is why we like to use native speakers for our translations, as they have a firm grasp on their languages’ oddities and customs.
The 4 Text Types
With expressive text types, the mind of the writer or speaker is of great importance. Expressive texts include authoritative, political, legal, and academic documents. Interpretation plays a large part here.
Informative text types include textbooks, news articles, scientific papers, meeting agendas and the like. In this case, the facts are most important. Literal translation is typically the most used for these texts.
Vocative texts address the reader in inflected language. The way words are used can change the meaning of the entire text. Examples of vocative texts include notices, instruction, propaganda, and persuasive writing. Localisation plays a large part here, as well as interpretation.
Aesthetic text types are, in other words, poems. Texts that use concepts such as alliteration, rhyme, metre, and onomatopoeia. They require the use of all 3 aforementioned components of translatology: translation, interpretation, and localisation.