Theories of Translation


Do you know what are the theories which drive translation from one language to another? In this article, we will spill the beans about different theories of translation. Also, you will be acquainted with the role that these theories play in shaping the translation process.

The same language cannot work across cultures. Also, the meaning and the intent of the words might vary across languages. This resulted in framing certain theories that make the translated script intelligible.

Let us now discuss the theories of translation, need, and types in a detailed manner.

  • The ability to learn and use a language is our prerogative. But, translation across languages requires great expertise.
  • The translation process involves two languages i.e. Source Language and Target Language.
  • Consequently, translation is an amalgamation of stylistic approaches, linguistic knowledge to ensure exactness.

Why do we need different Theories of Translation?

Basic Purpose of Translation theories:

Theories of translation were introduced to give translators the idea of how to perform translation. In fact, some of these theories can be the thumb rules for this process of translation.

Some important features that specify the need for translation theories are:

  • To make sure that the meaning of the original text remains unchanged.
  • The order of text has proximity to the original work.
  • The nature of the thoughts remains intact.
  • Although the correction of defects is acceptable, the translator must refrain from altering the original style.

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4 Types of Translation Theories

Various proficient theories of translation exist and are in practice across the globe. Subsequently, each of these theories has its own significance. Let us throw light on them one by one.

1.Linguistic Theory of Translation

  • To be specific, this theory stresses the structure of language text.
  • It states that the fundamentals of source language should be the main focus point.
  • Accordingly, the major considerations of translators should be the words, sentences, and their relationship.

2.Contemporary Theory of Translation

This theory of translation is driven by the following approaches:

  • Sociolinguistic Approach: Driven by the socio-cultural norms of the society. In fact, the translator must abide by the social background rules and translate accordingly.
  • Communicative Approach: It stresses the meaning of what the writer wants to say.
  • Semiotic Approach: Indeed, it focuses on maintaining the close collaboration between sign, interpreter, object.
  • Hermeneutic Approach: This implies that human translation is of great importance. Hence, the translator must clearly interpret the meaning of the source language.

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3.Western Theory of Translation

  • In this theory, no more stress is laid upon verbal accuracy.
  • However, the Style of expression and its translation were dominant factors.
  • Even though the style is given importance, later on, the accuracy of translation was of much importance

4.Literal Translation Theory:

This theory focuses on preserving the literal meaning of a translation. Two important rules come under this theory.

4.1) Formal Correspondence:

  • It includes one to one translation.
  • As a result, it stresses interpreting the same word in the target language
  • Also, maintaining a good sense of the structure of the original text.

4.2) Dynamic Equivalence:

Dynamic equivalence follows a simple rule ” The effect of translation on the new reader should be the same as on the original reader.

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To summarize, it is very crucial to understand the concept behind every theory of translation. Moreover, what may work for you might not work for the other person. Furthermore, to establish the efficacy, one should approach a Profession Translation service, for example, Global translation Help.

We are a team of proficient translators and can provide you with good assistance in certified translation activities.