Thursday, March 20, 2014

/literary translation problems supported with examples

Literary translation and examples


Mosul- Iraq  

No doubt, literary translation has difficulties more than the scientific translation and the journalistic translation; because it has excessive and adhesive direct relations to nations' culture, therefore poetry and literature need much qualifications and experience to prompt dealing with the tackling text.
The figurative of speech such as simile, metaphor, conceit personification, metonymy, synecdoche, and irony, in addition to idioms, proverbs, and other rhetorical styles make the literary translation complex more and more, thus even though we omit rhyme and metric systems, i.e. the musical devices. Yet we face additional requirements on our translation beyond of our variant understanding to the meanings and the equivalents sources we need to adapt perhaps our translation becomes acceptable and understandable by readers.  
Of course, every nation has its own culture written by its own writers, by their own unique words, and many times the difficulties ensue because of the difference into understanding and the difference into finding the equivalent expressions, which at least could apply the low range of acceptable translation. Dealing with variant texts even may occur on the same translated literary work that has been achieved by many translators.

To whom do you translate?
The most problem of all is to know the characteristic of the target language (TL) other than source language (SL), because target language is the language you translate for it and your aim is to transmit your culture to a new language, therefore the translator must know the point of failures on the target language as he knows his language.

What is the advantage of your translation if the readers of the language you translate for do not understand what you write?
It is worth nothing and you may ask yourself to whom I translate! If you translate the Arabic poem to English for example to Arabic readers, I think the Arabic –poem original is better to be understood and achieving the goal of tasting more than to be translated for foreign languages.
 When your translation is awkward cannot be understood and lacks the characteristic of the new language it is indeed the perplexing problem.
Types of translations according to the method of Rank
1- Word to word
 2- Literal translation
 3- Literary translation: or the free translation or the dynamic translation
Yes, we need the dynamic translation in literary translation because it includes both of the communicative approach and the semantic approach.
The semantic approach transmits the expression as it is written on its original message and therefore it is more loyal to the SL. Look to this example:
الكلب يعض ------ semantic ( dog bites)
الكلب يعض -------communicative approach ( be aware from the dog)
Therefore and especially in literary translation when we cannot find equivalents in TL we need to turn away sometimes in our original message's shift to derive a new word for example in order that our translated work is acceptable from TL readers.

Look to these Arabic verses and their translation into English and by your own easy experience you can distinguish the lacking of the translation.

Notice this (ينجمها  ) = for use as stars. He makes stars!
For use as stars, what does it mean? Does English reader really understand this expression?
Using as stars it is neither semantic nor communicative.
The meaning of ينجمها ) ) is to donate.
ينجمها أي يهبها ويعطيها سخاءً وذلك كي يدفع الشر الناجم فيعطي الدية كما ورد في بيتي القصيدة المتداولة البحث

The authentic translation
تـُعـْـفى الكـُلومُ بالمِئينَ فأصْـبَحتْ
 يـُنـَجـّمُها مـَنْ ليس فيـها بمُــجْـرم ِ
22. Through such pedigree camels, wounds are fully healed (21)
For use as stars (22) by those (23) who to no crime did yield.
For example, if he rendered it as:
 Those who generously donate are never crime breed.
 Alternatively, those chivalry-men
Thus, I see the subtle meanings must be taken into considerations
الاعتراض هنا كما في ترجمته يستخدمها كما النجوم
يـُـنجـّمـُها قومٌ لـِقـوم ٍ غـَرامَة ً
 ولم يـُهـَريَـقـوا بَـينـَهـُمْ مـِلءَ مِـحْـجـَم ِ
23. Those who the blood money assess for the war dead
Have not bloodletting cupful of blood had shed.
(Here on this way it is good)
Look to the bad translation of this!
Alas is about the translation.
سَـئِمــتُ تكاليفَ الحياة ِ ومَن يَعـِشْ
لا ابـــــا لكَ يســـأم ثمانــينَ حَـــولاً
Notice the language please!
46. Of life’s hardships weary, I’ve grown. Who lives to see
Eighty years, sans father, will weary of life be.
Damn! Who lives eighty years surely will weary

لا أبا لك  = sans father! i.e. without father! Fatherless\ orphan
فهل كان المعني ببيت القصيد يتيما لا أبوين وما المصطلح لا أبا لك إلا سخرية كما نقوله في عاميتنا الدراجة لا أبقاك الله.. قصف عمرك وهكذا هو ترجمها حرفيا لا أب له   
Does this translation seem acceptable?
We say like this word even in our colloquial language:
May God not protect thee! May God not give thee additional age? Damn is upon thee and so on.
The most awful thing, which motivating me analyzing and analyzing this translation, is that I heard that it was trusted and authentic translation for foreign readers because it is the best one between all applied translations and its translator is the sheikh of all translators.
I am not doctor I am not like thou
I don’t budge my heronry birth wherever I go
Curse is to tyrant wherever they sleep
 You are neither my pal nor I am thy foe.