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In The Poem Behind the Poem , Barnstone argues that poetry "can't be made to sing through a mathematics that doesn't factor in the creativity of the translator". A notable piece of work translated into English is the Wen Xuan , an anthology representative of major works of Chinese literature. Translating this work requires a high knowledge of the genres presented in the book, such as poetic forms, various prose types including memorials, letters, proclamations, praise poems, edicts, and historical, philosophical and political disquisitions, threnodies and laments for the dead, and examination essays.

Thus the literary translator must be familiar with the writings, lives, and thought of a large number of its authors, making the Wen Xuan one of the most difficult literary works to translate.


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Translation of a text that is sung in vocal music for the purpose of singing in another language—sometimes called "singing translation"—is closely linked to translation of poetry because most vocal music , at least in the Western tradition, is set to verse , especially verse in regular patterns with rhyme.

Since the late 19th century, musical setting of prose and free verse has also been practiced in some art music , though popular music tends to remain conservative in its retention of stanzaic forms with or without refrains. A rudimentary example of translating poetry for singing is church hymns , such as the German chorales translated into English by Catherine Winkworth.

Translation of sung texts is generally much more restrictive than translation of poetry, because in the former there is little or no freedom to choose between a versified translation and a translation that dispenses with verse structure. One might modify or omit rhyme in a singing translation, but the assignment of syllables to specific notes in the original musical setting places great challenges on the translator.

There is the option in prose sung texts, less so in verse, of adding or deleting a syllable here and there by subdividing or combining notes, respectively, but even with prose the process is almost like strict verse translation because of the need to stick as closely as possible to the original prosody of the sung melodic line. A sung translation may be considerably or completely different from the original, thus resulting in a contrafactum.

Translations of sung texts—whether of the above type meant to be sung or of a more or less literal type meant to be read—are also used as aids to audiences, singers and conductors, when a work is being sung in a language not known to them. The most familiar types are translations presented as subtitles or surtitles projected during opera performances, those inserted into concert programs, and those that accompany commercial audio CDs of vocal music. In addition, professional and amateur singers often sing works in languages they do not know or do not know well , and translations are then used to enable them to understand the meaning of the words they are singing.

An important role in history has been played by translation of religious texts.

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Such translations may be influenced by tension between the text and the religious values the translators wish to convey. For example, Buddhist monks who translated the Indian sutras into Chinese occasionally adjusted their translations to better reflect China 's distinct culture , emphasizing notions such as filial piety.

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One of the first recorded instances of translation in the West was the rendering of the Old Testament into Greek in the 3rd century BCE. The translation is known as the " Septuagint ", a name that refers to the supposedly seventy translators seventy-two, in some versions who were commissioned to translate the Bible at Alexandria , Egypt. According to legend, each translator worked in solitary confinement in his own cell, and, according to legend, all seventy versions proved identical.

The Septuagint became the source text for later translations into many languages, including Latin , Coptic , Armenian and Georgian. Still considered one of the greatest translators in history, for having rendered the Bible into Latin , is Jerome — C. For centuries the Roman Catholic Church used his translation known as the Vulgate , though even this translation stirred controversy.

By contrast with Jerome's contemporary, Augustine of Hippo — C. Jerome's colorful Vulgate translation of the Bible includes some crucial instances of "overdetermination". For example, Isaiah 's prophecy announcing that the Savior will be born of a virgin, uses the word ' almah , which is also used to describe the dancing girls at Solomon 's court, and simply means young and nubile. Pope Francis has suggested that the phrase "lead us not into temptation", in the Lord's Prayer found in the Gospels of Matthew the first Gospel, written c. Higgins [98] in showed that among the earliest Christian authors, the understanding and even the text of this devotional verse underwent considerable changes.

These ancient writers suggest that, even if the Greek and Latin texts are left unmodified, something like "do not let us fall" could be an acceptable English rendering. Higgins cited Tertullian , the earliest of the Latin Church Fathers c. A later author, Ambrose C. Augustine of Hippo — , familiar with Jerome's Latin Vulgate rendering, observed that "many people In C.

How to Stop Translating in Your Head and Start Thinking in English [9 Tips]

The periods preceding and contemporary with the Protestant Reformation saw translations of the Bible into vernacular local European languages—a development that contributed to Western Christianity 's split into Roman Catholicism and Protestantism over disparities between Catholic and Protestant renderings of crucial words and passages and due to a Protestant-perceived need to reform the Roman Catholic Church.

Lasting effects on the religions, cultures, and languages of their respective countries were exerted by such Bible translations as Martin Luther 's into German the New Testament , , Jakub Wujek 's into Polish , as revised by the Jesuits , and William Tyndale 's New Testament, and revisions and the King James Version into English Efforts to translate the Bible into English had their martyrs.

William Tyndale c. Debate and religious schism over different translations of religious texts continue, as demonstrated by, for example, the King James Only movement. Such fallibility of the translation process has contributed to the Islamic world's ambivalence about translating the Quran also spelled Koran from the original Arabic , as received by the prophet Muhammad from Allah God through the angel Gabriel incrementally between and C. During prayers, the Quran , as the miraculous and inimitable word of Allah, is recited only in Arabic. However, as of , it had been translated into at least languages.

A fundamental difficulty in translating the Quran accurately stems from the fact that an Arabic word, like a Hebrew or Aramaic word, may have a range of meanings , depending on context. This is said to be a linguistic feature, particularly of all Semitic languages , that adds to the usual similar difficulties encountered in translating between any two languages.

Muslims regard any translation of the Quran as but one possible interpretation of the Quranic Classical Arabic text, and not as a full equivalent of that divinely communicated original. Hence such a translation is often called an "interpretation" rather than a translation. To complicate matters further, as with other languages, the meanings and usages of some expressions have changed over time , between the Classical Arabic of the Quran , and modern Arabic. Thus a modern Arabic speaker may misinterpret the meaning of a word or passage in the Quran.

Moreover, the interpretation of a Quranic passage will also depend on the historic context of Muhammad's life and of his early community. Properly researching that context requires a detailed knowledge of hadith and sirah , which are themselves vast and complex texts. Hence, analogously to the translating of Chinese literature , an attempt at an accurate translation of the Quran requires a knowledge not only of the Arabic language and of the target language , including their respective evolutions, but also a deep understanding of the two cultures involved.

Science fiction being a genre with a recognizable set of conventions and literary genealogies, in which language often includes neologisms , neosemes , [ clarification needed ] and invented languages , techno-scientific and pseudoscientific vocabulary, [] and fictional representation of the translation process, [] [] the translation of science-fiction texts involves specific concerns.

Translation of science fiction accounts for the transnational nature of science fiction's repertoire of shared conventions and tropes. More recently, the international market in science-fiction translations has seen an increasing presence of source languages other than English.

Technical translation renders documents such as manuals, instruction sheets, internal memos, minutes, financial reports, and other documents for a limited audience who are directly affected by the document and whose useful life is often limited. Thus, a user guide for a particular model of refrigerator is useful only for the owner of the refrigerator, and will remain useful only as long as that refrigerator model is in use.

Similarly, software documentation generally pertains to a particular software, whose applications are used only by a certain class of users.


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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about language translation. For other uses, see Translation disambiguation.

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Translation activities in the language classroom | TeachingEnglish | British Council | BBC

For other uses, see Translator disambiguation. For article translations in Wikipedia, see Wikipedia:Translation. Not to be confused with Transliteration.


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This section needs expansion. You can help by adding to it. March Further information: Chinese translation theory. Main article: Dynamic and formal equivalence. Main article: Interpreting. Main article: Computer-assisted translation.

On Translation (Thinking in Action)

Main article: Machine translation. Further information: Bible translations and Quran translations. Main article: Technical translation. While omzetting may still be found in early modern literary works, it has been replaced entirely in modern Dutch by vertaling. You may think you do, but you don't. So get to work translating. Cohen observes: "Scientific translation is the aim of an age that would reduce all activities to techniques. It is impossible however to imagine a literary-translation machine less complex than the human brain itself, with all its knowledge, reading, and discrimination.

Francis de Sales 's " Treatise on the Love of God " consistently omits the saint's analogies comparing God to a nursing mother, references to Bible stories such as the rape of Tamar, and so forth. Antes de Babel. The Afrikaans for "translation", derived from the Dutch, is vertaling. Cohen, "Translation", Encyclopedia Americana , , vol. LXIII, no.

LXII, no. LXIV, no. Retrieved 27 April Jr Language. Retrieved 30 September Communicate Winter : 5. Archived from the original PDF on 20 May Retrieved 20 November Journal of Clinical Research Best Practices. Archived from the original PDF on 5 May Retrieved 1 February Ward ed. Springfield Mass.

Retrieved 18 May Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group. XXXI, nos. Powell , University of California Press , , pp. LXV, no. Merlin , edited by Michael Wiegers , Copper Canyon, pp. Retrieved 9 October The Economist. Archived from the original on 17 May Retrieved 1 May Digital Journal. The Washington Post. ClientSide News Magazine.