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Translation – Art or Science?

It’s like the age-old question “Which came first? The chicken or the egg?” We often tend to forget that in order to build a fluent and natural text, the translator must have deep knowledge and attention towards the way the words interact, how they sound in reference to one another, how the writing of a word in the context of a specific idea and theme leads to the use of another world, which in turn leads to using a third one and so on.

The “organic” sentence has to sound natural, logical, and its elements need to be consistent. This way, the translation, the “manipulation” of words of a given language, with the purpose to transform them into logical and beautiful equivalent sentences into another language is really art.

It seems as if we, people, have intuition about what is beautiful, pleasant and esthetical. Whether it is about music or lyrics, we unintentionally evaluate its elements like rhythm, rhyme, diction, tone, movements, style and millions other factors that make us define and classify everything we see, hear, and read.

If a given element of the construction doesn’t match our ideas of aesthetics, we feel uncomfortable and frustration.

Every language out there follows certain rules that control articulation, relationship between the elements, etc. It is quite possible that this connection and logical structure can be transferred to another language but it often happens that some items from the source cannot create a clear logical structure in the target language.

Every language consists of fine nuances of meaning and its own overwhelming logic about the way words connect and “vibrate” together. However, phrases in any language can be translated in a way that the target language can reflect the exact idea, so it sounds natural and nice.

On the other hand, scientists are in the process of searching the “theory of everything” to present a unitary way of expressing, describing all features of the world around us. All of this, of course, is expressed more through abstract concepts and conceptual language.

 

mitraTranslation – Art or Science?

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