The Translator's Pictorial Perspective. A Case Study of the Cognitive Factors Lied Upon the Translator


Academic Paper, 2021

18 Pages

Prof. Dr. Qasim Obayes Al-Azzawi (Author)


Excerpt

Table of Contents

Abstract

1. Introduction

2. Literature Review: The Interrelation between the writer vs. the translator
2.1. The Relation between the Writer & Translator
2.2. Factors Influencing the Work of the Translator
2.2.1. Interpretation
2.2.2. Intention
2.2.3. Context

3. Methodology
3.1. Research Design & Data Collection
3.2. Reliability of Data Source & Model of Analysis
3.3. Text Data
3.4. Data Analysis & Results
3.5.Discussion of the Study

4. Conclusions

5. References

Abstract

This paper is an attempt at investigating the relationship that occurs between the translator and the writer. It aims at revealing how the translator works within the conditions of cognitive factors, such as interpretation, intention & context, and how or even why the target text comes to have its final version. However, T.S. Eliot’s Journey of the Magi and its translation into Arabic are chosen here as the data of this study. The Arabic translation is made by Badr Shakir As-Sayyab published in his book, entitled Selected Pomes of the Modern World Poetry. However, this translation will be gauged in terms of natural cognitive factors that affect the translator during the process of translation.

Besides, The model of Analysis is proposed by Louise Cummings in his article entitled Theory of mind in utterance interpretation (2015: 100-112), cited in Airenti, Cruciani & Plebe (eds.) (2017). Two hypotheses have been included in this regard. First, since the translator has the control to manipulate, interpose, and recreate the text, he might become the writer of that text. Secondly, the linguistic repertoire (choices) and decisions made by the translator may be affected in terms of the cognitive factors mentioned above.

Keywords: Translation, Cognitive Factors, Translator & Writer.

1.

1. Introduction

Translation has always been based on the notions of “writer” and “translator”; the writer is the one who writes the text and the translator is the one who comes later and translates it into another language. The writer, on the one hand, has the authority to control the text that he writes and produces it in the way that best fits his thoughts and imagination. His authority also lies in his ability to enrich the culture to which he belongs with his ideology, philosophy, and fantasy, and the language in which he writes and develops it and expands its boundaries.

On the other hand, the translator is a key player in the process of translation, and during his act of translating he may use a certain amount of authority; he may manipulate the text or intervene in it creatively. This may cause the translator to be visible in the target text. This suggests that the translator may have an authority equal to that of the original writer, especially that the translator, for a great degree, enriches his culture and language the same as an original writer does.

Going to dig up a cognitive investigation and finding out the translator’s pictorial perspective, the problem the researcher aims to tackle might be formed in terms of the following basic questions:

1. What are the limits the translator should be engaged with?
2. Can the translator be a writer? If so;
3. What relates the translator of the target text to that writer of the source text? Are the cognitive factors taken into account by both?

2. Literature Review: The Interrelation between the writer vs. the translator

What makes the writer a writer? What is the task of the translator? What connects him to the so-called ‘the writer’? Can the translator be a writer? and vice versa. Raising the questions mentioned above might be of a great benefit to understand the islands that where both the writer and the translator are located in terms of writing and translating processes respectively.

In fact, all the questions above can lead to one simple question: Can the writer of the source text and the translator of the target text trade or exchange places? Hence, it is a matter of having two halves of one equation (Hokenson & Munson, 2014: 155). This equation, hopefully, will be tackled in the coming few pages.

2.1. The Relation between the Writer & Translator

Taking into consideration the fact that the writer is the one who writes the text, he can also control it, and becomes fully responsible for managing it. Still, the main aim of a writer is hanged with the ways of expressing and communicating different ideas. Donne once said “No man is an Island entire of [him]self,” rather, he lives, and adheres in a world of a mutual shared knowledge whereby he leans on others and is himself leaned (Wenell, 2012: 19).

Characterizing the text by encoding and decoding messages, the writer’s text, however, develops a further level in the ongoing process of communication. A. W. Schlegel affirms that all communicative acts that of speaking and writing are deemed as acts of translation. This can also be applied to the process of writing a text in literature (Bassnett, 2014: 283).

What is more, the writer might be in a qualified position to be engaged in translational process as a whole. This is because he is originally the one who writes a text, in which this text will be translated into another language by a translator. Following the belief that translation is an equation, it is, thus, a half-written by the writer of the source text; the other half is written by the translator of the target text (Hokenson & Munson, 2014: 155).

A translator can have the authority to manipulate not only the cultural or political aspects of the source culture, but also their acceptance in the target culture (Álvarez & Vidal, 1996b: 2, cited in Fischer & Jensen, 2012: 12). This indicates that the translator really has the authority over his target text because he can determine meanings of his final version of translation implicitly (ibid). Nowadays, translation, as it is widely accepted, has the belief of having cultural issues rather than having linguistic paradigms. In this regard, Dejica (2013: 23) views translation as having an identical identity of culture. Thus, translation is a cultural event and the translator can be a real author. This goes hand in hand with the ability of the translator who has the toolkit in determining meaning of the final target version, the target language culture, the original source version and its source language culture (ibid: 24).

Taking all what has been mentioned so far into account, it can be concluded that the translator is like the writer, who has the power and authority to manipulate the original text. The writer, at a first glance, has the control over his source text. He can write and manipulate the text in the way he would to fit what he has in mind. The translator, at a second glance, has the control over his target work. He, therefore, has the power to write the target text in the way that best fits the culture and language in which he aims to write. Supporting this argument, Ress (2015: 67) in his article, Neural Correlates of Visual Consciousness, states that rewriting a text means manipulating it either consciously or unconsciously. In other words, a writer controls his work, but a translator has a double work: controlling and manipulating his work (ibid).

2.2. Factors Influencing the Work of the Translator

Producing a translation is controlled and influenced by certain factors. These factors affect the work of the translator though , sometimes, some of them are not as effective as other factors. The effects of these factors, however, may also intertwine, and hence it would be difficult to draw a clear-cut distinction among them. These factors are listed below:

2.2.1. Interpretation

Being a translator, one should firstly be a reader of the source text. He should read more about the original text just like any other normal reader. Not to mention that he must enrich his literary knowledge of the text being read. Processing the text by reading, there happens to occur an interaction between the reader himself and the text he is holding. Such an interaction leads to make a particular interpretation. The latter, in turn, is of great effect on the translator’s task.

Accordingly, Ingarden (cited in Chrzanowska-Kluczewska, 2015: 4-5) mentions a very interested term, actualization, or concretization, which constitutes a work in terms of producing it intentionality. Actualization, in this sense, is described as the only thing one might produce about the source text when that text is read, and not the source text itself. For him, reading is concretizational process, ''as it were, the connecting link between the reader and the work and emerge when the reader approaches it cognitively and aesthetically'' (ibid: 5). Actualization provides a means for interpreting the source text in terms of its structure and interrelating it with readers (ibid).

As a result, reading draws the reader’s personal experience since it requires both skill and imagination. For this reason, no two actualizations are identical because no two readings are identical. Thus, different readers will reach at different perspectives and interpretations of the same source text and this will result in different translations of the text, as every translator will build his translation depending on his own interpretation of the original text (Rothstein, 2017: 37).

2.2.2. Intention

Tackling the most important factor , Hans J. Vermeer proposes the Skopos Theory 1970s, believing 'intention' affects the work of the translator. Skopos in Greek refers to an “aim” or a “purpose”. It is used by him for knowing what the purpose of translation and that of the action of translating is (Munday, 2001: 178-9).

The purpose of translation, however, determines the translational strategies and methods employed productively in their functional result within the target text. According to Vermeer, it is a challenge for a translator to know the reason behind why a source text has to be translated and what the function of the target text might be. This indicates that the same source text may be translated differently in terms of the purpose for which the target text is produced (Wendland, 2012: 432-3).

2.2.3. Context

A context should always be there, in which the translation takes place, always there should be a historical view from which a text emerges and into which a text is transposed (Bassnett, 2013: 347). Every text has a context of its own. This context must be designed in a rather effective way. The context of a text, whatsoever, should culturally be accepted in which it is received, the time in which it is published, the readers who receive it, and the language in which it is written. Translating the source text into the target one, translators must be fully aware of the context into which their translation is not the same of the source text. Rather, it is totally a different context (ibid).

3. Methodology

3.1. Research Design & Data Collection

In order to accomplish the entire study that the researcher starts, T.S. Eliot’s Journey of the Magi and its translation into Arabic will be used as the data of analysis. The latter is made by Badr Shakir As-Sayyab, published in his book Selected Pomes of the Modern World Poetry, 1955. However, this translation will be considered in terms of natural cognitive factors that affect the translator during the process of translation. Such a study aims at revealing how the translator works within the conditions of such factors as interpretation, intention & context, and how or even why the target text comes to have its final version.

3.2. Reliability of Data Source & Model of Analysis

Data reliability is accomplished via an authentic investigation. On the one hand, the researcher gained the latest revised edition of T.S. Eliot’s Journey of the Magi from the most authentic and reliable website (i.e., poetryarchive.org). On the other hand, As-Sayyab's translation is gained from an authentic Iraqi website (i.e., www.sotaliraq.com, 2019).

However, As-Sayyab's translation will be accounted in terms of the factors that influence the translator during his task . In other words, this paper is fully dedicated to reveal how the translator works within the conditions of the cognitive factors that may lie upon him, and how and why the target text comes to shape its final form. Thus, these factors are:

1. Interpretation: the way the translator interprets the source text;
2. Intention: the intentions the translator has;
3. The Context: the elements the translator has shed the light on (i.e., elements of language, audience/ readers, and culture).

Taking the factors mentioned above into account, the researcher adopted Louise Cummings' Theory of Mind in Utterance Interpretation (2015: 100-112), in Airenti, Cruciani & Plebe (eds.) (2017).

[...]

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Details

Title
The Translator's Pictorial Perspective. A Case Study of the Cognitive Factors Lied Upon the Translator
College
University of Babylon  (College of Education for Human Sciences)
Course
Ph.D.
Authors
Year
2021
Pages
18
Catalog Number
V1023663
ISBN (eBook)
9783346399700
ISBN (Book)
9783346399717
Language
English
Tags
Translation, Cognitive Linguistics
Quote paper
Prof. Dr. Qasim Obayes Al-Azzawi (Author)Abdul-Haq Abdul-Kareem Abdullah Al-Sahlani (Author), 2021, The Translator's Pictorial Perspective. A Case Study of the Cognitive Factors Lied Upon the Translator, Munich, GRIN Verlag, https://www.grin.com/document/1023663

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