Monday, 14 May 2018

Translation Techniques According to Molina and Albir

Learn Translation

Translation technique is defined as the realization of translation process i.e. method and strategy of translation. According to Molina & Albir (2002, p.508), it refers to translation product and works for the micro unit of the text. However, translation technique constantly misunderstood with the term of method and strategy translation due to the confusion between translation process and translation product. Furthermore, Molina states that over-lapping terms make it difficult to be understood as well,

“Terminalogical diversity and the operlaping terms make it difficult to use these terms and to be understood. The same concept is expressed with different names and the classifications vary, covering different areas of problems. In one classification one term may oper-lap another in a different system of classification. The category itself is given different names, for example, Delisle uses procedure, translation strategy, etc.”
                                                            ___(ibid., p.506)

However, there is a clear distinction to distinguish method, strategy, and technique of translation (The writer merely emphasizes the definition of translation techniques and a little bit explanation about method to make it clearer). It is mentioned by Molina & Albir (ibid.), “The translation method affects the way micro-unit of the text are translated: translation techniques (p.508).” It means that translation method and technique are connected each other. The translation technique can be seen and analyzed by which translation method used by the translator, for example: literal or adaption method which is used by the translator. The translator who uses adaptation method somehow leads to translation techniques which tend to be figurative or adapted, for example discursive creation. It works the opposite if the translator employs literal method which leads to more literal translated texts e.g. literal translation.

According to Molina & Albir (ibid., p.509), translation techniques have five basic characteristic, they are:

a.       They affect the result of the translation
b.      They are classified by comparison with the original
c.       They affect micro-unit text
d.      They are by nature discursive and contextual
e.       They are functional

In the light of the above, there are 18 translation techniques proposed by Molina & Albir (ibid., p.509-511):

1. Adaptation

This technique is used to replace a source text (ST) cultural or social element with one from target text (TT) which more familiar for target readers, e.g. to change biscuit (UK) to cookie (US).

2. Amplification

This technique is employed to introduce details that are not formulated in ST by adding some words (addition) or information, paraphrasing, making it explicit, or creating footnote to make the translation clear and help target readers understand the text. In detail Molina states, “This includes SCFA’s explicitation (Vinay & Darbelnet), Delisle’s addition, Margot’s legitimate and illigitimate paraphrase, Newmark’s explicative paraphrase and Delisle’s periphrasis and paraphrase. Footnotes are a type of amplification. Amplification is in opposition to reduction.”

ST       : Doing her thesis, she drinks a cup of coffee.
TT       : Sambil mengejakan skripsinya, dia meminum secangkir kopi.

3. Borrowing

This technique is used to take a word or expression straight from another language. There are two types of borrowing i.e. pure and natural borrowing. Pure borrowing refers to word of ST which purely loaned by TT without any change e.g. keyboard (English) to keyboard (Indonesian). A translator uses pure borrowing frequently because no equivalence found in TT for the word. Meanwhile, the natural borrowing means the word in ST is naturalized by the spelling rules in TL. It aims to make the translated word more acceptable and common in TL.

ST       : The medical forum will discuss about Tourette syndrome this week.
TT       : Forum medis akan membahas tentang sindrom turette minggu ini.

4. Calque

It is literal translation of foreign word or phrase and it can be lexical or structural.

For example:
ST       : The Ministry of Defense takes responsibility for the terrorist attack in Jakarta.
TT       : Menteri Pertahanan bertanggungjawab atas serangan teroris di Jakarta.

5. Compensation

This technique is to introduce a ST stylistic effect or element of information in another place in the TT because it cannot be reflected in the same place as in the ST.

ST       : A flock of bird flies to the north.
TT       : Sekawanan burung terbang ke arah utara,

6. Description

This technique uses description to describe word or expression from ST which is not understood in TT.

ST       : Gado-gado
TT       : A traditional cuisine of Indonesia that consists of vegetables and special local ingredients.

7. Discursive Creation

This technique is employed to establish a temporary equivalence which is totally different, unpredictable, and out of context. It commonly used for translating book title or any sort of literary texts.    

ST       : Love is an open door.
TT       : Cintamu yang indah.

8. Established Equivalent

This technique applies recognized term or expression in dictionary or language use as an equivalence in TT. The meaning and style of ST are the same as TT.

ST       : Cold
TT       : Dingin

9. Generalization

This technique is employed to use neutral or more general term e.g. to translate Indonesian terms becak, bajaj, bemo, delman into vehicle in English. This technique is in opposition to particularization.            

10. Linguistic Amplification

This technique is used for adding linguistic elements. It is frequently employed in consecutive interpreting and dubbing. It is in opposition to linguistic compression.

ST       : Absolutely right!
TT       : Ya, itu benar sekali!

11. Linguistic Compression

It is opposed to linguistic amplification, hence its use is for suppressing linguistic element to make it brief due to the consideration of time and space. It is commonly employed in subtitling and simultaneous interpreting.

ST       : Let it go
TT       : Bebaskan

12. Literal Translation

This technique is used to translate words, terms, or expressions word for word. This technique will be properly applied when the form coincides with the word and meaning.

ST       : Your smile as sweet as the honey.
TT       : Senyummu semanis madu.

13. Modulation

This technique is employed to change the point of view, focus, or cognitive category in relation to the TT.

ST       : Watch your step!
TT       : Awaslah!

14. Particularization

It is the opposite of generalization, therefore this technique creates TT more specific, concrete, and precise than ST e.g. to translate vehicle in English to becak, bajai, bemo, delman in Indonesian.

15. Reduction

This technique is opposed to amplification which signifies that it suppresses information items of ST into TT. This is including omission and implicitation.

ST       : I’ve been searching my whole life.  
TT       : Seumur hidup.

16. Substitution

This technique is used to substitute paralinguistic element (signs, gestures, etc) into linguistic element or vice versa.

ST       : (A nodding head). (Hindi)
TT       : No. (English)

17. Transposition

This technique is employed to change grammatical categories. It is including shift of class, unit, structure, and level/rank. The following example is changing the word class from noun peace (eng) into verb berdamai (Ind).

ST       : I make peace with the past.
TT       : Aku berdamai dengan masa lalu.

18. Variation

It refers to the change of linguistic or paralinguistic elements (intonations, gestures) which affects linguistic variation, such as style, changes of textual tone, social and geographical dialect, etc. For example: change of dialectal indicators for characters when translating for the theater.

ST       : The party talking or the chocolate fondue

TT       : Sebabkan pesta ataupun makan coklat itu.

For further reading, I suggest you to read a journal by Molina and Albir:

Translation Techniques Revisited: A Dynamic and Functionalist Approach (2002)