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«Lexical problems in translation»
Lexical Problems in Translation
What are the most common challenges of translation?
Translation is an activity that includes the interpretation of the meaning of a text in a language; and semantics refers to aspects of the meaning or interpretation of linguistic signs such as symbols, words, expressions or formal representations. Good translators should be able to adapt the message expressed in a text to a target language impregnated with the features of a totally different culture. As a result of this process, the recipient should not notice that he/she is faced with a translation. For this reason, the real success any translator can be proud of consists of being invisible to the eyes of a reader who regards the final text as a new construction and not as a product that has been under a transformation process, all this procedure can get a little harder for students and even professional in some cases. So In the present subject, the main problem is presented by students and their issues while doing text translations owing to lexical and semantic problems. There may be several drawbacks when carrying out a translation in English. In a general level, students who are in the process of learning a foreign language have to deal with semantic problems that differ according to the language; these problems include terminological variations, synonymy and antonyms, polysemy of some terms, lack of vocabulary and semantics in the writing.
Lexical Problems in Translation
Likewise, a problem has been identified that is due to the low performance of students in the realization of translations because of these obstacles in the lexicon and semantics, which are due to lack of knowledge of the vocabulary and variations in the distribution of the meanings and semantics of the texts, in addition to the other obstacles mentioned above It is necessary to establish strategies to improve this performance in students in order to overcome the obstacles established by confusions and lack of knowledge of the language, strategies that serve as a basis for students to overcome the obstacles posed. It can expose as main causes to this problem, the lack of practice, reading and prior research as well as the ignorance of topics and terms related to the text to be translated, different distribution of the components of meaning, compound words with different meanings, words that don’t count with an equivalent, different wording according to the lexical choice as well as other reasons that complicate the translation process in the students. The translator must try to capture the voice that speaks to him from the text, to transmit the rhythm, the modulations, the cadence of the style, the tone. There is much behind the words, such as irony, sadness, a whole host of reverberations and subtleties. The translator must also transmit the silences, the spaces between the words. Everything has semantic value. The language has a physical component, sensual, and another mental, or ideal. We must try to keep both. Certainly understand these lexical-semantic problems that include terminological alternatives, neologisms, semantic gaps, contextual synonymy and antonymic, semantic contiguity and lexical networks not only benefit the reader and the translator, but they bring peace of mind to the author who can be confident that his information will be transmitted in the most optimal way. A massive influx of anglicisms, neologisms, loans and transfers that come to us through new technologies and media (also by social networks) must be also included and must undergo phonetic and graphic changes. Lexical semantics could be defined as the ‘study of word meaning’, but in practice it is often more specifically concerned with the study of lexical (i.e. content) word meaning, as opposed to the meanings of grammatical (or function) words. This means that lexical semanticists are most interested in the open classes of noun, verb and adjective and with more ‘contentful’ members of the adverb and preposition classes (for instance over but not of). Lexical semantics is thus mostly exempt from considering issues that arise from the use of grammatical words, such as definiteness and modality. Since translation main objective is “meaning", it is very important to study about theory of meaning. Semantics is a branch of linguistics which studies it. Thus, we can see that semantics plays a very important role in translation. Moreover, lexemes are the main parts of speech that convey meaning: nouns, verbs, adjectives, and so forth. Function words hold the lexemes together like mortar might solidify the bricks in a wall. Lexemes express concepts; function words define grammatical functions such as number and plurality, past, present, future, tense, etc. Grammatical functions are often formed with prefixes and suffixes. Lexemes with simple and singular meanings are a translator’s dream. Polysemous words, lexemes with multiple meanings, not only cause confusion but can lead to improper translation, erroneous information, and cultural gaffes. The most common of these words are denoted as homophones, homographs, and polysemy. However, it is well known that language translation involves more than semantic correspondences. Social and cultural factors also play a role in (human) choices of translation equivalents. In translation there are some problems and mismatches associated with lexical semantic structures that make the job of the translator difficult when translating some texts; Words that doesn’t have an equivalent. This process is typical of English. The verbal lexeme is always one of the elements to participate in this construction, together with an adverb, an adjective, a preposition, etc. One of the greatest difficulties in learning a new language is mastering the idiosyncrasies of the vocabulary. This happens because a word in one language rarely means exactly the same thing as its closest counterpart in a different language. In other words, the "semantic space" of each word in a natural language is arbitrary — the result of centuries of evolution and accident. In effect, each word of a natural language has built-in irregularities that the student must learn. Overcoming lexical challenges when a source text is clean, clear, and unambiguous, and the target language is an excellent lexical match, then the translation process is quick and painless. When things are not quite so perfect, there are three essential skills your translator must have. The translator must be able to see the document as a whole and create the translation clarity that was missing in the source text. When many denotations of a polyseme are used, the translator must be able to identify the correct usages and ensure the translation is accurate. Lexical-semantic problems can be resolved by consulting dictionaries, glossaries, terminology banks and experts. These problems include terminology alternatives, neologisms, semantic gaps, contextual synonyms and antonyms (these affect polysemic units: synonyms and antonyms are only aimed at an acceptance which depends on the context to determine which meaning is correct), semantic contiguity (a consistency procedure which works by identifying semantic features common to two or more terms) and lexical networks. In addition, lexical semantics is also very necessary to be learned in translation study. It deals with synonymy, antonym, polisemy and hyponymy. Lexical semantic analyses necessarily involve more or less explicit considerations concerning the number of interpretational variants of a word form, i.e. identifying the lexical items associated with a lexeme. Bilinguals are able to provide second and third translations for some words, when requested to do so under these circumstances, translation choice seems to be sensitive to the lexical properties of the optional translations in the target language: bilinguals are more likely to choose translations that are rated as being more imaginable. Finally, the probability of selecting a specific translation, namely, its conditional probability given the ambiguous word in the source language, is related to the overall lexical frequency of the word.
What are the most common challenges of translation?
Most frequent difficulties in translation
Idioms, figurative meaning and slang.
Translating different language structures.
Words that don’t exist in the target language.
Words with multiple meanings.
Compound word translation.
Translating two-word verbs.
Lists of terms or expressions without contex.
While two decades ago terminological research was mostly conducted on paper—in dictionaries, same field texts, technical books, etc.—nowadays everything happens mostly on the Internet, an almost unlimited resource that is a mandatory work instrument for professional translators.
Translation work is mostly conducted in search engines such as Google, Bing, Ask, Yahoo or Duck Duck Go, but technical translation professionals also use terminology databases such as IATE, Proz or EUR-Lex.
Still, especially in technical translations, a physical library of reference works in specific technical fields is still an asset.
This goes to show that having skills in one language or even in both the source and target languages is not enough to produce a good translation. Translation is a complex process that involves multiple skills and sub-skills.
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