Lexical and grammatical peculiarities of scientific-technical texts

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1. Theoretical issues of translation

1.1 Development of translation notion in linguistics

1.2 Equivalence of translation

1.3 Types of translation

1.4 Pragmatics of translation

2. Lexical and grammatical peculiarities of scientific-technical texts

2.1 The characteristic of the scientific and technical language

2.2 Analysis of terminology in scientific-technical style




At present time there is a great necessity to emphasize scientific-technical translation not only as a special kind of translation activity and special theory that investigates this kind of activity but as to assign scientific-technical translation a status of independent applied science. From the linguistic viewpoint peculiarities of scientific-technical are spread on its stylistics grammar and lexics. The main task of scientific-technical translation is a possibly clear and precise bringing of the information to the reader. This can be achived by logical interpretation of actual material without explicit emotionality. The style of scientific-technical materials can be identified as formally logical.

Scientific-technical texts reveal a great number of grammar peculiarities. The most typical lexical feature of scientific-technical materials is terms and terminology saturation as well as presence of lexical structures and acronyms. A special place in such materials are the texts oriented not only for this group language speakers but for representatives of a certain professional group with certain extralinguistic knowledge.

The aim of this term paper is devoted to peculiarities of scientific-technical translation.

The following tasks were set up to identify translation peculiarities of technical materials:

1. Reveal and describe common linguistic basis of translation identify what peculiarities of language systems and functions are the foundations of translation process.

2. Classify main kinds of translation activity.

3. Research peculiarities of scientific-technical materials.

4. Study specific English terminology required for professional translation.

5. Analyse grammatical and lexical peculiarities of scientific-technical texts.

The object of this research is some scientific-technical texts representing manuals for electric devices. The subject of this research is the translation of scientifi-technical materials.

The paper consists of introduction two chapters and conclusion. It is also provided with bibliography list.

The introduction explains the urgency of the research theme its theoretical and practical value it identifies the object subject aim and tasks of the work.

The first chapter of this research is devoted to the review of theoretical issues of translation classification of translation and description of certain kinds of translation as well as types of texts being translated.

The second chapter ivestigates scientific-technical terminology morphological structure of terms (simple compound term phrases) it analyses the main approaches of their translation into English (use of equvalents analogues calking and transliteration) structure of scientific-technical terms translation of full items acronyms company items and difficulties related to structure differences of compared languages.

Methodology of the research. The aim achivement of the research and implementation of the set up tasks outlines the need in a number of theoretical and emperical methods of research (theoretical research concretization modelling studying of specific literature manuals dictionaries).

Theoretical value of the research results. The ivestigation detalization of the issues studied theoretical value of the received results leads to the conclusion that this research finds out the necessity to emphasize scientific-technical translation as an independent applied science.

The results of the research are submitted in the conclusion of the work.

1. Theoretical issues of translation

Translation is the interpretation of the meaning of a text in one language and the production in another language of an equivalent text that communicates the same message. Translation must take into account a number of constraints including context the rules of grammar of the two languages their writing conventions their idioms and the like. Consequently as has been recognized at least since the time of the translator Martin Luther one translates best into the language that one knows best. Traditionally translation has been a human activity though attempts have been made to computerize or otherwise automate the translation of natural-language texts (machine translation) or to use computers as an aid to translation (computer-assisted translation). [1; 48] Perhaps the most common misconception about translation is that there exists a simple “word-for-word” relation between any two languages and that translation is therefore a straightforward and mechanical process. On the contrary historical differences between languages often dictate differences of expression. Hence source and target texts may differ significantly in length. In addition translation is always fraught with uncertainties as well as the potential for inadvertent “spilling over” of idioms and usages from one language into the other producing linguistic hybrids for example "Franglais" (French-English) "Spanglish" (Spanish-English) and "Poglish" (Polish-English). [2; 31]

The translation of technical texts (manuals instructions etc). More specifically texts that contain a high amount of terminology that is words or expressions that are used (almost) only within a specific field or that describe that field in a great deal of detail. The translation of scientific research papers abstracts conference proceedings and other publications from one language into another. The specialized technical vocabulary used by researchers in each discipline demand that the translator of scientific texts have technical as well as linguistic expertise.

1.1 Development of translation notion in linguistics

Among multiple problems that modern linguistics studies an important role is played by studying of lingustic aspects of cross-language speaking activity that is called translation or translating activity. Translation is an ancient human’s activity. Due to groups of people appeared in the history of mankind had different languages the bilinguals became urgent as they helped communication between groups with different languages. Then writing appeared and along with oral interpreters written translators became urgent as well. They translated different texts of official religious and business issues. From its very beginning translation played a significant social function allowing people of different languages communicate. Spreading of written translations gave people access to cultural achivements of other people and it made interacting and intersaturation of literatures and cultures feasible. Knowledge of foreign languages allows reading books originally written in those languages [3; 562].

The first theoreticals of translation were the translators themselves who tried to generalize their own experience. Translators of ancient world discussed the issue of proximity degree to the source text. In early Bible translations or translations of other materials that were considered to be sacral and exemplary we can find word for word approach of the source text interpretation that sometimes lead to partly or even full misunderstanding of translations. That is why later translators tried theoretically approve the right of translator for reasonable variety in subject to the source text that meant the interpretation of meaning and the impression of the source text instead of word for word coping [4; 124].

The foundations of scientific theory of translation started to be develped in the middle of XXth century when the problematics of translating appeared to be urgent amongst linguists. Before that period it was thought that translation is not the issue of linguistic range. Translators themselves considered linguistic aspects to be non-significant but totally technical role. The translator was supposed to be fluent both in source and target languages but knowledge of the language was just a preliminary condition and did not cover its meaning.

By the middle of XXth century the attitude to translation activity had changed and its systematic studying commenced. During this period the translation of political commercial scientific-technical and other texts was of great priority. In those types of translation the features of individual writer’s style were not important. Due to this fact more and more attention was paid to the main difficulties of translation related to different structures and functioning of languages in this process.

The meaning of language units was emphasized by more precise requirements for the translation. During the translation of such materials it was not enough to get “general” translation as the translation was supposed to provide information transmission in all details up to the meaning of single words. It was required to identify linguistic meaning of this process and what factors identified it and what range they have for information transmiting. [4 5; 37 12]

1.2 Equivalence of translation

So there are always two texts during translation and one of them is initial and is created independently on the second one and the second text is created on the basis of the first one with the help of some certain operations - the inter language transformations. The first text is called “the text of original"; the second text is called “the text of translation". The language of the text of original is called “ the source language” (SL). The language of the text of translation is called “ the target language” (TL). [10; 97]

We need to define the most important thing: why do we consider that the text of translation is equivalent to the text of original? For example why do we speak that the Russian sentence “Мой брат живет в Лондоне" is the translation of the English sentence “My brother lives in London" while the Russian sentence “Я учусь в университете” is not the translation of the English sentence given above - to say in other words - is not equivalent to it? Obviously the replacement of the text in one language by the text in the other language is not always the translation. The same idea can be expressed in the other way: the process of translation or the inter language transformation is realised not arbitrary but with the help of some certain rules in some strict frameworks. And if we do not observe this rules we have already no rights to speak about translation. To have the rights to be called the translation the text on TL should contain in it something that the text on SL contains. Or else while replacing the text on SL by the text on TL it is necessary to keep some certain invariant; the measure of keeping of this invariant defines by itself the measure of the equivalence of the text of translation to the text of original. So first of all it is necessary to define what is the invariant in the process of translation that is in the process of transformation of the text on SL in the text on TL. [10; 176]

At the decision of this problem it is necessary to take in account the following. The process of translation directly depends on bilateral character of a mark as it is called in a mark systems science - semiotics - It means that any mark can be characterised from two sides or plans the plan of expression or form and the plan of contents or meaning. It is known that the language is a specific mark system that is why the units of language are also characterised by the presence of two plans both form and meaning. Thus the main role for translation is played by that fact that different languages contain different units and this units differ from each other in the way of expression that is by the form but they are similar in the way of the contents that is by the meaning. For example the English word "brother" differs from Russian word “брат" in the way of the expression but coincides with it in the way of the contents that is has the same meaning. [11; 312]

The English word "brother" has not only the meaning “брат" but also some meanings expressed in Russian language by the words “собрат" “земляк" “коллега” “приятель" etc. And the Russian word “брат" in the combination “двоюродный брат” corresponds not to the English word "brother" but to the word "cousin" which means not only “двоюродный брат” but also “двоюродная сестра". This phenomenon namely the incomplete concurrence of systems of meanings of units in different languages complicates the process translation. Taking in account this fact we can say that if we replace the English word "brother" by the Russian word “брат" the process of translation takes place here as these words differing in the way of expression that is by the form coincide or are equivalent in the way of the contents that is by the meaning. Actually however as the minimal text is the sentence the process of translation is always realised in the limits of minimum one sentence. And in the sentence as a rule the discrepancy between the units of different languages in the way of the contents is eliminated. Proceeding from this we can give now the following definition of the translation:

The translation is the process of transformation of the speech product in one language into the speech product in the other language by keeping the constant plan of the contents that is the meanings.

About “ the keeping of the constant plan of the contents” it is possible to speak only in the relative but not in the absolute sense. During the inter language transformation some losses are inevitable that is the incomplete transference of meanings expressed by the text of the original is taking place. [10; 29]

So the text of translation can never be complete and absolute equivalent of the text of original; the task of the interpreter is to make this equivalence as complete as it is possible that is to achieve the minimum of losses. It means that one of the tasks of the theory of translation is the establishment of the order of transference of meanings. Taking into account that there are various types of meanings it is necessary to establish which of them have the advantages during the transference in the process of translation and which of them it is possible “to endow" so that the semantic losses would be minimal while translating.

To finish the consideration of the question about the essence of translation it is necessary to answer one question yet. This question arises from the definition of translation equivalence based on the keeping of the constant plan of the contents that is the meaning given above. It was already marked that the opportunity of keeping of plan of the contents that is the invariance of meanings while translating assumes that in the different languages there are some units that are similar in the way of meaning.

The divergence in the semantic systems of different languages is a certainty fact and it is the source of numerous difficulties arising before the interpreter in the process of translation.

That is why many researchers consider that the equivalence of the original and the translation is not based on the identity of expressed meanings. From the numerous statements on this theme we shall quote only one belonging to the English theorist of translation J.

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