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khóa luận tiếng anh an investigation into the english translational versions of trinh cong son’s songs in terms of semantic and syntactic features

BỘ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO
TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC DÂN LẬP HẢI PHÒNG

-------------------------------

ISO 9001:2015

KHÓA LUẬN TỐT NGHIỆP
NGÀNH: TIẾNG ANH

Sinh viên : Nguyễn Tiến Thành
Giảng viên hướng dẫn: Th.S Đào Thị Lan Hương

HẢI PHÒNG - 2019


BỘ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO
TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC DÂN LẬP HẢI PHÒNG
-----------------------------------

AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE ENGLISH

TRANSLATIONAL VERSIONS OF TRINH CONG
SON’S SONGS IN TERMS OF SEMANTIC AND
SYNTACTIC FEATURES.

KHÓA LUẬN TỐT NGHIỆP ĐẠI HỌC HỆ CHÍNH QUY
NGÀNH: TIẾNG ANH

Sinh viên : Nguyễn Tiến Thành
Giảng viên hướng dẫn: Th.S Đào Thị Lan Hương

HẢI PHÒNG – 2019


BỘ GIÁO DỤC VÀ ĐÀO TẠO
TRƯỜNG ĐẠI HỌC DÂN LẬP HẢI PHÒNG
--------------------------------------

NHIỆM VỤ ĐỀ TÀI TỐT NGHIỆP

Sinh viên: Nguyễn Tiến Thành

Mã SV: 1312751036

Lớp: NA1801 Ngành: Tiếng Anh
Tên đề tài: An investigation into the English translational versions of
Trinh Cong Son’s songs in terms of semantic and syntactic features


NHIỆM VỤ ĐỀ TÀI
1. Nội dung và các yêu cầu cần giải quyết trong nhiệm vụ đề tài tốt nghiệp
( về lý luận, thực tiễn, các số liệu cần tính toán và các bản vẽ).
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2. Các số liệu cần thiết để thiết kế, tính toán.
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3. Địa điểm thực tập tốt nghiệp.
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CÁN BỘ HƯỚNG DẪN ĐỀ TÀI TỐT NGHIỆP
Người hướng dẫn thứ nhất:
Họ và tên: Đào Thị Lan Hương
Học hàm, học vị:Thạc Sĩ
Cơ quan công tác:Trường Đại Học Dân Lập Hải Phòng
Nội dung hướng dẫn: An investigation into the English translational versions
of Trinh Cong Son’s songs in terms of semantic and
syntactic features.

Người hướng dẫn thứ hai:
Họ và tên:
Học hàm, học vị:
Cơ quan công tác:
Nội dung hướng dẫn:

Đề tài tốt nghiệp được giao ngày

tháng

năm

Yêu cầu phải hoàn thành xong trước ngày tháng
Đã nhận nhiệm vụ ĐTTN

năm

Đã giao nhiệm vụ ĐTTN

Sinh viên

Người hướng dẫn

Hải Phòng, ngày ...... tháng........năm 2019
Hiệu trưởng

GS.TS.NGƯT Trần Hữu Nghị


CỘNG HÒA XÃ HỘI CHỦ NGHĨA VIỆT NAM

Độc lập - Tự do - Hạnh phúc

PHIẾU NHẬN XÉT CỦA GIẢNG VIÊN HƯỚNG DẪN TỐT NGHIỆP
Họ và tên giảng viên:

...................................................................................................

Đơn vị công tác:

........................................................................ ..........................

Họ và tên sinh viên:

.......................................... Chuyên ngành: ...............................

Đề tài tốt nghiệp:

...................................................................................................
........................................................... ........................................

Nội dung hướng dẫn:

.......................................................... ........................................

............................................................................................................................ ........
1. Tinh thần thái độ của sinh viên trong quá trình làm đề tài tốt nghiệp
..............................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................
2. Đánh giá chất lượng của đồ án/khóa luận (so với nội dung yêu cầu đã đề ra trong
nhiệm vụ Đ.T. T.N trên các mặt lý luận, thực tiễn, tính toán số liệu…)
..............................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................
..............................................................................................................................................

3. Ý kiến của giảng viên hướng dẫn tốt nghiệp
Được bảo vệ

Không được bảo vệ

Điểm hướng dẫn

Hải Phòng, ngày … tháng … năm ......
Giảng viên hướng dẫn
(Ký và ghi rõ họ tên)

QC20-B18


CỘNG HÒA XÃ HỘI CHỦ NGHĨA VIỆT NAM

Độc lập - Tự do - Hạnh phúc

PHIẾU NHẬN XÉT CỦA GIẢNG VIÊN CHẤM PHẢN BIỆN
Họ và tên giảng viên:

..............................................................................................

Đơn vị công tác:

........................................................................ .....................

Họ và tên sinh viên:

...................................... Chuyên ngành: ..............................

Đề tài tốt nghiệp:

......................................................................... ....................

....................................................................................................................................
....................................................................................................................................
1. Phần nhận xét của giáo viên chấm phản biện
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
2. Những mặt còn hạn chế
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
..........................................................................................................................................
3. Ý kiến của giảng viên chấm phản biện

Được bảo vệ

Không được bảo vệ

Điểm phản biện

Hải Phòng, ngày … tháng … năm ......
Giảng viên chấm phản biện
(Ký và ghi rõ họ tên

QC20-B19


ACKNOWLEDGEMENT
During the time of completing this graduation paper, I have received a lot
of help, assistance, guidance, encouragement and contributed ideas from my
teachers, family and friends.
I wish, first of all, to express my deepest gratitude and indebtedness to my
supervisor – Ms.Dao Thi Lan Huong, M.A - who has always been most willing
and ready to give me valuable advice, inspiration and supervision to finish this
study.
My sincere thanks are also sent to the teachers in the English Department
of Haiphong Private University for their useful lessons and whole-hearted
advice during four years studying here.
Last but not least, I would like to give my heartfelt thanks to my family
and my close friends, to whom I have never got enough words to express my
great gratitude for their encouragement and support.
This graduation paper is my sincere thanks to all of you.

Haiphong, November 1st 2018

Nguyen Tien Thanh

I


LIST OF ACRONYMS:
SL Source language
TL Target language
ADJAdjective
ADVAdverb

NNoun
NPNoun phrase
ProPronoun
PrepPreposition
QWQuestion word
SLSource language
ST

Source text

TLTarget language
TT Target text
V

Verb

VPVerb phrase

II


LIST OF TABLES

Table 4.1: The tokens and percentage of semantic strategies

37

Table 4.2: The tokens and percentage of syntactic strategies

47

III


LIST OF CHARTS

Chart 4.1: The percentage of semantic strategies ..........................................38
Chart 4.2: The percentage of syntactic strategies ..........................................48

IV


TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACKNOWLEDGEMENT .................................................................................... I

LIST OF ACRONYMS: ..................................................................................... II
LIST OF TABLES ............................................................................................ III
LIST OF CHARTS ............................................................................................ IV
TABLE OF CONTENTS ................................................................................... V
PART ONE: INTRODUCTION ......................................................................... 1
1.Rationale of the study: ...................................................................................... 1
2.Aims of the study ............................................................................................. 2
3. Scope of the study: .......................................................................................... 3
4. Design of the study .......................................................................................... 3
PART II: DEVELOPMENT................................................................................ 4
CHAPTER 1
LITERATURE REVIEW AND THEORETICAL BACKGROUND ........ Error!
Bookmark not defined.
1.1. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND.............................................................. 4
1.1.1 Translation definitions ............................................................................... 4
1.1.2 Equivalence in translation .......................................................................... 6
1.1.3 Types of equivalence .................................................................................. 8
1.1.4. Literary translation .................................................................................. 14
1.1.5. Vietnamese – English translation ............................................................ 15
1.2 TRANSLATION METHODS AND PROCEDURES ................................. 17
1.2.1. Translation procedures ............................................................................ 17
1.2.2. Translation methods ................................................................................ 22
1.2.3. Song translation ....................................................................................... 23
CHAPTER 2: METHODOLOGY ..................................................................... 25
2.1 Design of the study ...................................................................................... 25
2.2 Target .......................................................................................................... 25
2.3. Research methods ....................................................................................... 26
V


2.4. Data collection and description .................................................................. 26
CHAPTER 3: FINDINGS AND DISCUSSION ............................................... 27
3.1 SEMANTIC FEATURES OF WORDS AND PHRASES IN TRINH CONG
SON 'S SONGS. ................................................................................................ 27
3.1.1.Using omission to translate....................................................................... 27
3.1.1.1 Full omission ......................................................................................... 27
3.1.1.2. Partial omission .................................................................................... 30
3.1.2. Translation by using a more neutral/less expressive word ....................... 32
3.1.3. Translation by using a more general word ............................................... 33
3.1.4. Translation by using expansion................................................................... 35
3.1.5. Translation by using meronymy ......................................................................... 36
3.2. FREQUENCY OF SEMANTIC TRANSLATION STRATEGIES ........... 37
3.3. SYNTACTIC FEATURES......................................................................... 39
3.3.1. Structural – shifts..................................................................................... 39
3.3.2. Intra-system shifts ................................................................................... 42
3.3.3. Class – shifts ............................................................................................ 43
3.4. FREQUENCY OF SYNTACTIC TRANSLATION TRATEGIES ............ 46
3.5. Summary .................................................................................................... 47
PART III: CONCLUSION ................................................................................ 48
1. Summary of findings ..................................................................................... 48
2. Translation implications ................................................................................ 50
3. The study limitations ..................................................................................... 53
REFERENCES .................................................................................................. 54
APPENDIX ....................................................................................................... 56

V


PART ONE: INTRODUCTION
1.

Rationale of the study:
Trinh Cong Son (28 February 1939 - 1 April 2001) is a Vietnamese

musician. He is considered one of the great musicians of pop music, New
Vietnamese music with many popular works. There is currently no accurate
record of his work (estimated at no less than 600 songs) . However, his songs
are widely known for 236 songs (both lyrics and music). Trinh Cong Son's
music is performed by many singers, but most successful are Khanh Ly and
Hong Nhung. In addition, he is considered a poet, painter, singer and amateur
actor.
Son’s songs will be immortal in people’s hearts not only in Vietnam but
also in many countries like: France, Japan and America, etc. People love to sing
his songs. Many of those songs have been translated into many languages, most
of them are in English, French and Japanese with different versions. For
examples:
+ Biết Đâu Nguồn Cội (Unknown origin)
+ Lặng Lẽ Nơi Này (The quiet world of mine / So silent here)
+ Một Cõi Đi Về (My own lonely world / A realm of return / A place for
leaving and returning)
+ Cát bụi (Dusty sand / Sand and Dust)
+ Đời gọi em biết bao lần (Life has called you many times)
+ Em đến từ nghìn xưa (You’ve come a long time)
+ Gần như niềm tuyệt vọng (Something like despair)
+ Lời buồn thánh (Sad Sunday eve)
+ Tuổi đời mênh mông (In too large life)
As a fan of Trinh Cong Son’s music, I find it very interesting to study the
English translations of Son’s songs. However, up to now, just a few researches
on the lyrics of the English translational versions have been found.
1


It is clear that there are many difficulties for translators to translate Trinh
Cong Son’s songs into English. Practically, clarifying the syntactic and semantic
features helps us have a clear view about Son’s songs and their English
equivalences and find out another better way to translate Trinh Cong Son’s
songs with full ideas of writer obtained.
Theoretically, more than 70 of his songs were translated into English, and
many studies in the lyrics and melodies of Trinh Cong Son’s songs have done so
far. However, researches on the syntactic and semantic features of English
versus Vietnamese versions of Trinh have not been carried out. Therefore, it is
necessary to do a research on this matter to have a total view about translating
Trinh Cong Son’s songs into English. “A STUDY OF THE ENGLISH
TRANSLATIONAL VERSIONS OF TRINH CONG SON’S SONGS IN
TERMS OF SEMANTIC AND SYNTACTIC FEATURES” has been carried
out for the reasons listed above.
In theory, more than 70 of his songs have been translated into English, and many
studies on the lyrics and melody of Trinh Cong Son's songs have been
performed so far. However, studies on the syntactic and semantic features of
English compared to the Vietnamese version of Trinh have not been performed.
Therefore, we need to study this issue to get an overview of the translation of
Trinh Cong Son's songs into English.
2.Aims of the study
Starting from the framework based on the semantic features of lexicon and
syntactic features of phrases and sentences between English and Vietnamese,
this research will take Trinh Cong Son’s English translated versions versus their
originals in Vietnamese to investigate the similarities and differences when
those songs are translated from Vietnamese into English in order to come to the
generalizations of how the translating methods are rendered.

2


3. Scope of the study:
This study deals with investigating the procedures used in translating
the semantic features of lexicon and the syntactic features of phrases and
sentences in Trinh Cong Son’s songs taken from Trịnh Công Sơn – The
collection of everlasting songs. Music press 1997. (Trịnh Công Sơn –
Tuyển tập những bài ca không năm tháng. Nxb Âm Nhạc 1997) and
website http://www.tcs-home.org/songs-en/songs.
4.

Design of the study
My graduation paper is divided into three parts :

The first part is the Introduction, including: the rationale, aims, scope, method
and design of the study.
The second part is the Development with 3 chapters:
 Chapter I: Theoretical background: It focuses on the concepts of
translation, terms relating to songs, including the popular construction of
terms and some strategies applied in translation

 Chapter II: Methodology: This chapter was aimed to clarify the
methodology of the research which includes two interrelated phrases. In
this chapter, the design of the study, the sample description, the methods
and procedures of data collection and analysis would be fully explained .
 Chapter III: Finding and discuss: this chapter is divided into 2 parts:
+ Section 1: The semantic features of lexicon in Trinh Cong son’s
songs when being translated from Vietnamese into English.
+ Section 2: The syntactic features of phrases and sentences in Trinh
Cong Son’s songs when being translated from Vietnamese into English.

The last part is the Conclusion in which the author summary what have been
discussed in chapter 4 with some comments on the limitations of this study and
make suggestions for future studies.
3


PART II: DEVELOPMENT
CHAPTER 1: LITERATURE REVIEW AND
THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1.1 THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
1.1.1 Translation definitions
Translation has many different definitions. We can find the simplest way
is to transfer text from language A into B language.

Over time, this

understanding has started to become wider and deeper depending on the position
of the researchers, though. Usually, although not by any means, it is expressing
the meaning of the text into another language in the way that the author intended
the text. General psychology tells us that this should be simple, because one
must be able to say something in this language as well as another language.
The translation is primarily discussed in terms of conflict between free
and literal translation, and the contradiction between its inherent impossibility
and its absolute necessity. A translator must be an interpreter or an orator. A
good translation is one in which the merit of the original works is completely
translated into another language to be understood and strongly felt by a native
speaker of the language in which the language belongs. . of original work.
Proposed literal translation of the syntax as well as the words, it is said that this
sentence is a wall to prevent the language of origin, while the word to translate
words is arcade.
Before, people thought that translation is the replacement of a textual
material in one language (source language – SL) by equivalent textual material
in another language (target language – TL). The equivalent here is the
grammatical factors between the SL and the TL. Therefore, at the time with this
4


view the grammatical equivalent became one of the criteria for assessing the
quality of a translation.
Later, according to Newmark (1980) [17, p7], “translation is a craft
consisting in the attempt to replace a written message and/or statement in one
language by the same message and/or statement in another language”. So, the
textual material now changes into the message – more communicative.
Based on the generalized grammatical translation theory, translators need
to go beyond clear text structures and should see the text as a mere comparison
of the respective structures. This leads to another important awareness, language
is really a general device, helping translators form in their minds the technique
of text analysis. This is not only a technique used to decode source text but also
a procedure to select the appropriate structures that are appropriate in the target
language.
In addition, translation is a term covers on three distinguishable meanings.
That is “translating”, the process (to translate), the activity rather than the
tangible object. “A translation” is the product of the process of translating (e.g.
the translated text), and the “translation”, the abstract concept which
encompasses both the process of translating and the product of that process. [1,
p13]
Furthermore, translation is also a communication bridge of two languages.
Obviously, language is various and different from country to country as the
sameness cannot exist between two languages.
Danica Seleskovitch (2009) [7], a brilliant interpreter and writer, has said:
“Everything said in one language can be expressed in another one - on
condition that the two languages belong to cultures that have reached a
comparable degree of development”. The condition she makes is false and
misleading. Translation is an instrument of education as well as of truth
precisely because it has to reach readers whose cultural and educational level is
5


different from, and often “lower” or earlier, than, that of the readers of the
origin. Beside that, translation has been instrumental in transmitting culture,
sometimes under unequal conditions responsible for distorted and biased
translations, ever since countries and languages have been in contact with each
other.
As a means of communication, translation is used for multilingual notices,
which have at least appeared increasingly conspicuously in public places; for
instructions issued by exporting companies; for tourist publicity, where it is too
often produced from the native into the “foreign” language by natives as a
matter of national pride; for official documents, such as treaties and contracts;
for reports, papers, articles, correspondence, textbook to convey information,
advice and recommendations for every branch of knowledge. As a technique for
learning foreign languages, translation is a two-edged instrument: it has the
special purpose for demonstrating the learner’s knowledge of the foreign
language, either as a form of control or to exercise his intelligence in order to
develop his competence.
1.1.2 Equivalence in translation
Vinay and Darbelnet (1995) view equivalence-oriented translation as a
procedure which replicates the same situation as in the original, whilst using
completely different wording.
With regard to equivalent expressions between language pairs, Vinay and
Darbelnet claim that they are acceptable as long as they are listed in a bilingual
dictionary as full equivalents. However, later they note that glossaries and
collections of idiomatic expressions can never be exhaustive. They conclude by
saying that the need for creating equivalences arises from the situation, and it is
in the situation of the SL text that translators have to look for a solution. Indeed,
they argue that even if the semantic equivalent of an expression in the SL text is

6


quoted in a dictionary or a glossary, it is not enough, and it does not guarantee a
successful translation.
Roman Jakobson's (1959) [12] study of equivalence gave new impetus to
the theoretical analysis of translation since he introduced the notion of
'equivalence in difference'. On the basis of his semiotic approach to language
and his aphorism 'there is no signatum without signum' [12, p232], he suggests
three kinds of translation:
Intralingual

(within one language, i.e. rewording or paraphrase)

Interlingual

(between two languages)

Intersemiotic

(between sign systems)

Jakobson claims that, in the case of interlingual translation, the translator
makes use of synonyms in order to get the ST message across. This means that
in interlingual translations there is no full equivalence between code units.
According to his theory, translation involves two equivalent messages in two
different codes. Jakobson goes on to say that from a grammatical point of view
languages may differ from one another to a greater or lesser degree, but this
does not mean that a translation cannot be possible, in other words, that the
translator may face the problem of not finding a translation equivalent. He
acknowledges that whenever there is deficiency, terminology may be qualified
and amplified by loanwords or loan-translations, neologisms or semantic shifts,
and finally, by circumlocutions. Jakobson provides a number of examples by
comparing English and Russian language structures and explains that in such
cases where there is no a literal equivalent for a particular ST word or sentence,
then it is up to the translator to choose the most suitable way to render it in the
TT.
There seems to be some similarity between Vinay and Darbelnet's theory
of translation procedures and Jakobson's theory of translation. Both theories
stress the fact that, whenever a linguistic approach is no longer suitable to carry
out a translation, the translator can rely on other procedures such as loan7


translations, neologisms and the like. Both theories recognize the limitations of a
linguistic theory and argue that a translation can never be impossible since there
are several methods that the translator can choose. The role of the translator as
the person who decides how to carry out the translation is emphasized in both
theories. Both Vinay and Darbelnet as well as Jakobson conceive the translation
task as something which can always be carried out from one language to
another, regardless of the cultural or grammatical differences between ST and
TT.
Nida argued that there are two different types of equivalence,
namely formal equivalence - which in the second edition by Nida and Taber
(1969/1982) [20] is referred to as formal correspondence - and dynamic
equivalence. Formal correspondence 'focuses attention on the message itself, in
both form and content', unlike dynamic equivalence which is based upon 'the
principle of equivalent effect' [20, p159]. In the second edition (1982) or their
work, the two theorists provide a more detailed explanation of each type of
equivalence.
1.1.3. Types of equivalence
Based on Nida’s theory, equivalents are divided into two kinds: formal
equivalent and dynamic equivalent. Formal equivalent focuses attention on the
message in form. The message in the receptor language should match as closely
as possible the different element in the source language.
Dynamic equivalent, or function equivalent follows the principle of
equivalent effect, that is, the relationship between the receptor and the message
should aim at being the same as that between the original receptor and the
source language message. It attempts to render receptor’s words from one
language to another, and caters to the receptor’s linguistic competence and
cultural needs.
According to Koller (1979), there are five types of equivalents:

8


Denotative equivalent: the SL and the TL words refer to the same thing in
the real world. It is an equivalent of the extra linguistic content of a text.
 Connotative equivalent: This type of equivalent provides additional value
and is achieved by the translator’s choice of synonymous words or expression.
 Text-normative equivalent: the SL and the TL words are used in the same
or similar context in their respective languages.
Pragmatic equivalent: With readership orientation, the SL and TL text have
the same effect on their respective readers.
Formal equivalent: This type of equivalence produces an analogy of form in
the translation by either exploiting formal possibilities of the TL, or creating
new forms in TL.
Although equivalence translation is defined with different point of view of
theorists, it is the same effective equivalence between SL and TL.
Dynamic equivalence is defined as a translation principle according to
which a translator seeks to translate the meaning of the original in such a way
that the TL wording will trigger the same impact on the TC audience as the
original wording did upon the ST audience. Roman Jakobson introduced the
notion of 'equivalence in difference'. He suggests three kinds of translation: •
Intralingual (within one language, i.e. rewording or paraphrase) • Interlingual
(between two languages)

• Intersemiotic (between sign systems) Jakobson

claims that, in the case of interlingual translation, the translator makes use of
synonyms in order to get the ST message across. This means that in interlingual
translations there is no full equivalence between code units. According to his
theory, 'translation involves two equivalent messages in two different codes' One
can easily see that Nida is in favor of the application of dynamic equivalence, as
a more effective translation procedure. This is perfectly understandable if we
take into account the context of the situation in which Nida was dealing with the
translation phenomenon, that is to say, his translation of the Bible. Thus, the
product of the translation process, that is the text in the TL, must have the same
impact on the different readers it was addressing. Only in Nida and Taber's

9


edition is it clearly stated that dynamic equivalence in translation is far more
than mere correct communication of information.
Despite using a linguistic approach to translation, Nida is much more
interested in the message of the text or, in other words, in its semantic quality.
He therefore strives to make sure that this message remains clear in the target
text.
Catford's (1965) [5] approach to translation equivalence clearly differs
from that adopted by Nida since Catford had a preference for a more linguisticbased approach to translation and this approach is based on the linguistic work
of Firth and Halliday. His main contribution in the field of translation theory is
the introduction of the concepts of types and shifts of translation. Catford
proposed very broad types of translation in terms of three criteria:
The extent of translation (full translation vs. partial translation);
The grammatical rank at which the translation equivalence is
established (rank-bound translation vs. unbounded translation);
The

levels

of

language

involved

in

translation

(total

translation vs. restricted translation).
In rank-bound translation an equivalent is sought in the TL for each
word, or for each morpheme encountered in the ST. In unbounded
translation equivalences are not tied to a particular rank, and we may
additionally find equivalences at sentence, clause and other levels. Catford finds
five of these ranks or levels in both English and French, while in the Caucasian
language Kabardian there are apparently only four.
Thus, a formal correspondence could be said to exist between English and
French if relations between ranks have approximately the same configuration in
both languages, as Catford claims they do.
One of the problems with formal correspondence is that, despite being a
useful tool to employ in comparative linguistics, it seems that it is not really
10


relevant in terms of assessing translation equivalence between ST and TT. For
this reason we now turn to Catford's other dimension of correspondence, namely
textual equivalence which occurs when any TL text or portion of text is
observed on a particular occasion to be the equivalent of a given SL text or
portion of text. He implements this by a process of commutation, whereby 'a
competent bilingual informant or translator' is consulted on the translation of
various sentences whose ST items are changed in order to observe what changes
if any occur in the TL text as a consequence.
House (1977) [9] is in favour of semantic and pragmatic equivalence and
argues that ST and TT should match one another in function. House suggests
that it is possible to characterize the function of a text by determining
the situational dimensions of the ST. In fact, according to her theory, every text
is in itself is placed within a particular situation which has to be correctly
identified and taken into account by the translator. After the ST analysis, House
is in a position to evaluate a translation; if the ST and the TT differ substantially
on situational features, then they are not functionally equivalent, and the
translation is not of a high quality. In fact, she acknowledges that a translation
text should not only match its source text in function, but employ equivalent
situational-dimensional means to achieve that function.
Central

to

House's

discussion

is

the

concept

of overt

and covert translations. In an overt translation the TT audience is not directly
addressed and there is therefore no need at all to attempt to recreate a second
original since an overt translation must overtly be a translation. By covert
translation, on the other hand, is meant the production of a text which is
functionally equivalent to the ST. House also argues that in this type of
translation the ST is not specifically addressed to a TC audience.
House's theory of equivalence in translation seems to be much more
flexible than Catford's. In fact, she gives authentic examples, uses complete texts
11


and, more importantly, she relates linguistic features to the context of both
source and target text.
New adjectives have been assigned to the notion of equivalence
(grammatical, textual, pragmatic equivalence, and several others) and made their
appearance in the plethora of recent works in this field. An extremely interesting
discussion of the notion of equivalence can be found in Baker (1992) [1] who
seems to offer a more detailed list of conditions upon which the concept of
equivalence can be defined. She explores the notion of equivalence at different
levels, in relation to the translation process, including all different aspects of
translation and hence putting together the linguistic and the communicative
approach. She distinguishes between:
Equivalence

that can appear at word level and above word level, when

translating from one language into another. Baker acknowledges that, in a
bottom-up approach to translation, equivalence at word level is the first element
to be taken into consideration by the translator. In fact, when the translator starts
analyzing the ST s/he looks at the words as single units in order to find a direct
'equivalent' term in the TL. Baker gives a definition of the term word since it
should be remembered that a single word can sometimes be assigned different
meanings in different languages and might be regarded as being a more complex
unit or morpheme. This means that the translator should pay attention to a
number of factors when considering a single word, such as number, gender and
tense.
Grammatical

equivalence, when referring to the diversity of grammatical

categories across languages. She notes that grammatical rules may vary across
languages and this may pose some problems in terms of finding a direct
correspondence in the TL. In fact, she claims that different grammatical
structures in the SL and TL may cause remarkable changes in the way the
information or message is carried across. These changes may induce the
translator either to add or to omit information in the TT because of the lack of
12


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