The Translator 's Dilemma Of A Translator

1335 Words Jun 18th, 2015 6 Pages
Ages ago, Cicero summed up the translator’s dilemma in the following words:
“If I render word for word, the result will sound uncouth and if compelled by necessity I alter anything in the order or wording, I shall seem to have departed from the function of a translator” (qtd. in Bassnett 43). Translation in the first place, is transference of meaning from the Source Language (SL) to the Target Language (TL). But what matters is not a translation of words from SL to TL, for exact equivalence of words of the former is hard to get in the latter. Translation is both linguistic and cultural activity and it is concerned with communication of meaning. It is not merely lexical equivalent of words of one language to that of another, but much more. Since each word is charged with memory, associations and literary echoes, it is difficult to find full equivalence of a SL word in another word in TL. That is why, total or full translation is a myth.
The translator has to make a balance between maintaining close fidelity to the original and utter freedom it. Sri Aurobindo is in favour of taking liberty with the original. He states that “a translator is not necessarily bound to the original he chooses; he can make his own poem out of it, if he likes, and that is what is generally done”(2). Translation is neither “transliteration” nor “transcreation” and it has to and it has to guard against the danger of word for word literal translation as well as taking too much liberty. In the name…
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