Tuesday, 22 October 2013

Translation Theory for Newbies

        This post deals with the question of Translation Theory's relevance to the professional practice of translation. Most of the practicing translators would think that it is not very important, especially the ad hoc translators and interpreters. Yet, I disagree with them on this point. It is true that practice makes perfect, however I believe that the new translators won't have time to make all the errors of their predecessors and colleagues or just of the fellow translators and interpreters in order to learn. Knowledge of translation theories is a must, it saves time and helps in achieving high-quality translations which fit for the purpose of the projects. 
        Here is a thread which might be enlightening to newbies. Professor As-Safi from Petra University surveyed most of the theories and provided an interesting account which might guide your search in this area. He pointed out that they were developed in four periods. The main theories are as follows:

- Philological Theories
- Philosophical Theories
- Linguistic Theories
- Functional Theories
- Text-type Theory
- Translational Action Theory
- Skopos Theory
- Socio-linguistic Theories
- Interpretative Theory
- Systems Theories
- Polysystem Theory
- Manipulation Theory
- Aesthetic Communication Theory
- Relevance Theory
              He also calls for a Comprehensive, Applicable Theory.
              What do you think?

Monday, 7 October 2013

What are the advantages of CAT tools?

          The term Computer-assisted Translation does not refer to Machine translation of texts which is provided for free by many engines and websites such as Google translate, Reverso and Bing. CAT refers rather to the human translation which is facilitated by desktop computers and the software installed on them. These software are called CAT tools. They have many features which cannot be ensured by a human being, so the translator uses them as tools to improve his performance and increase his daily out. Indeed, CAT tools have many advantages when working on big projects, especially technical ones, because they won't help much in literary or creative translation. 
               So, one may cite that:
1. CAT tools help the translator to keep track of his previous work by creating Translation Memories "TMs" which enable him to save time when translating recurrent expressions or similar ones.
2. CAT tools enable him to keep Term Bases "TBs" which enable him to be consistent in all the translated documents, i.e. using the same terminology along the project.
3. The translator can even use the client's TMs and TBs when required, consequently this will save him a great deal of research.
4. CAT tools enable the translator to have a machine translation from his workbench. All he has to do is to set his preferences when creating the translation project.
5. The translator can align his previously translated documents
6. They enable the translator to work on all types of formats and to save the translated documents in multiple formats.
7. Some CAT tools have servers which allow the translators to work on projects in teams.
8. Wordfast anywhere, for example, allows the translators to access the user-friendly environment wherever they might be and to share their TMs free of charge.

N.B: You can download free trial versions of these software and some of them are open-source.
More posts on CAT can be found here.