Showing posts with label translations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label translations. Show all posts

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Learning Translation-2: The Building Blocks

We just spoke about kernel sentences. In the translation process, we could look at simple sentences when we begin. Those are the easiest to translate for the beginner. But the moment, you add few things to that simple sentence, your beginner translation student starts getting fidgety and doesn't know where to turn.

Ok, let us look at few examples. We are going to use Hindi examples as an illustration. I'll write Hindi in Unicode, so, it would be easily accessible. I'll also try to give a transliteration as far as possible.

1. A simple S-V-O sentence would be: I am a teacher. The Hindi would be मैं एक शिक्षक हूँ [Transliteration: main ek shikshak hun] --where the sentence is written in Hindi as 'I (Subject) a teacher (Object) am (Verb)'.

Now, we can complicate issues a bit. Let us look at the simple sentence: I am a teacher and now, let us add one more sentence to it.

2. The new sentence would be: I am a teacher and my name is Roomy. This is still not a very difficult sentence to translate but it is more difficult than the earlier one. The Hindi would be मैं एक शिक्षक हूँ और मेरा नाम रूमी है [Transliteration: main ek shikshak hun aur mera naam Roomy hai]--where the sentence is written in Hindi as 'I -- a teacher --am --and --my name -- Roomy -- is.'

The second sentence is still not a difficult one. But we can further complicate issues now. So, let us add few things more to the second sentence and see how the third one looks to us.

3. The new sentence would be: I am a teacher and my name is Roomy and I was named after Rumi.. This is slightly difficult than the earlier one. But there is some ambiguity inbuilt here. The Hindi would be मैं एक शिक्षक हूँ और मेरा नाम रूमी है और मेरा नाम रुमी के ऊपर रखा गया था [Transliteration: main ek shikshak hun aur mera naam Roomy hai aur mera naam Rumi ke upar rakha gaya tha]. Of course, the audience should be aware of Rumi.

Now, we can make the sentence even more difficult. Let's look at the next one.

4. The fourth sentence would be: I am a teacher and my name is Roomy and I was named after Rumi, the great poet and Sufi and I am quite proud of my name. This is getting difficult now. This is the point when the beginner translation student would normally throw up his/her hands in despair. The Hindi would be: मैं एक शिक्षक हूँ और मेरा नाम रूमी है और मेरा नाम रुमी के उपर रखा गया था, जो एक बड़े शायर व सूफ़ी थे और मुझे अपने नाम पर गर्व है [Transliteration: main ek shikshak hun aur mera naam Roomy hai aur mera naam Rumi ke upar rakha gaya tha, jo ek bade shaayar v sufi the aur mujhe apne naam per garv hai].

I'm going to publish this post but I'm going to further illustrate the same point in another post soon. I would like to further complicate the fourth sentence.

Learning Translation--1: Kernel Sentences

I am going to fulfill my promise of writing about translation and about teaching it through this blog. Before you start translating, there is the problem of understanding the structure of languages. English has the S-V-O (Subject-Verb-Object) structure but Hindi and Indian languages tend to have the S-O-V (Subject-Object-Verb) structure. This can make the syntax go awry for the beginner. But more on it later.

Right now, some little nuggets on a kernel sentence. This comes from Chomsky to begin with. But I would like to post few links on the idea of the kernel sentence and then talk about translation issues a bit later.

A kernel sentence can be defined as a bare minimum sentence. Let's check the links on kernel sentences and their importance in language acquisition:

1. https://share.ehs.uen.org/node/843 -- Utah Electronic High School has a list of sentences
2. http://www9.ocn.ne.jp/~bigarden/g04et/g04e-25.html -- Masaya Oba's Learner's English Grammar
3. http://golum.riv.csu.edu.au/~srelf/SOTE/EML504/Chomsky.htm
4. http://www.ncldtalks.org/content/interview/detail/2387/
5. http://twohandsapproach.org/2HAteacherbook/pdf/ImportanceSentence.pdf

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Posts on Actual Translation

The great English critic, I. A. Richards would call it 'practical criticism'-- use critical thinking on a particular, individual text. I would like to attempt something similar here. Talk about the tools and the mechanics of the translation process. Also, discuss short passages and talk about the translation process.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Calling Beginners to Participate in Translations

I would like to invite young people who are budding translators to contact me / post their translations and I would be glad to discuss them either by email or here. I know three languages, English, Gujarati and Hindi pretty well and if young Indians would like to discuss their translations in these languages, they are welcome to send me text in both the source language as well as their translations. I shall be very happy to train more translators. If there are others, who work in say, German to English, they can send me their English translations and I could evaluate their English and tell them if there is something lacking in the translation process. For those, who are wondering where to look for online materials in Hindi and Gujarati, there's a lot of stuff that's available on the Internet. In the next couple of days, I'll be posting information about Hindi and Gujarati materials online.