MODELS OF TRANSLATION Naklada Lara, Zagreb, 2005.


When it comes to the issues of those parts of general and special theories of translation devoted to questions of analysing translation models – it is mostly overlooked and neglected topic even in most recent literature dedicated to the issues of translating, as all prior attempts to solve the problem of the possibility of setting up and deeper analysing translation models have failed to result in any tangible solutions – it is only natural that we face a whole string of questions raising up to us as translation theoreticians, but also to translators continuously facing a whole bunch of problems in real translation creations of various pairs of languages. Questions raising up when faced with translation models matters emerge from the very theory of translation, whether general or special, whether single or specialized, and from real-life translation practice. They can be mostly reduced to the following: What are the translation starting points creating the set-up and the analysis of translation models? How can we be sure the hypothesis of their establishment are of proper foundation and which areas they are foundations of – general or various special? What foundations of translation theories are the bases for translation models? Are translation models based on the hypotheses of general translation theory or do they raise from the analysis of concrete translation creations? Are translation models limited to certain forms and types of translating or are they universal? Can translation models be reduced to general foundations and on what principles? Translators, when faced with various translation models, may set up the following concrete questions: what is the practical value of translation models? Can translation models help learn the translating itself? Are concrete instructions given in order to achieve translation process? Are basic directions given for inter-subjective testing of the translation quality, along with objective standards for verification of the translation? What are they based on and how can we be sure they are always reliable and appropriate? Are they applicable to certain types of texts only or do they provide general rules regardless their genres we normally come across in our concrete translating practice? Hopefully we will be able to answer at least some if not all of the questions in the course of translation models analyses. Here we would only like to point to some of the guidelines we were governed by in establishing and analysing the following models as suggested – textual, genre-stylistic and communication. First, let’s try to establish the questions about the nature of translation models starting from theoretical presumptions. The first question arising from the field of the theory of translation is the question of theoretical starting points of establishing and analysing translation models. As it will turn up later, every translation model is based on a certain consistently set up system of theoretic starting points responding to fundamental theoretical question about the nature of translating in general, i.e. in every translation creation regardless the genre of the text translated. Theoretical presumptions on the nature of translating are borderline on both general and special theories of translation. In that respect, from the general theory they took the fundamental researching module in terms of categories of equivalency, adequacy and (un)translatability, as well as basic principles attempting to examine the nature of universal translating activities and its every form and type. From special translating theories, theoretical suppositions of translating models took the hands-on approach to analysing, which they are based on and they are applied to in analysing separate issues of achieving translation process act and creation, both written and oral, both in fiction and non-fiction, and in any other form and type of translating a translator can come across, without ignoring even the issues of algorithm-based, machine translating. Translation models are therefore two-fold in their nature: they are based on general insights and categories of general theory of translation, but in their execution they try to explain each of their separately identified translating principles through a concrete analysis of textual materials of relatively substantial volume, thus not leaving out a single form or a single type of translating. Partly they originate from the general translation theory as they excerpt fundamental insights into the nature of translating as a process, act and creation, incorporating certain comprehension of the categories of equivalency, adequacy and (un)translatability, and partly they are based on concrete analyses of special theories of translation – literary/fiction theory of translation, scientific and technical theory, information and media theory, written and oral translation theories. These are exactly the discourses the models are meant for as patterns of description, and partly also as a standardisation of translation flow stages and a criteria of the quality of translation creation. They also offer concrete ways in which most equivalency and adequacy can be achieved in translating. So the answer to the question whether the translation models originate from general or special theories lies in both equally. The understanding of the nature of translation as a process, act and creation is exactly what comprises the variations of fundamental suppositions that the models of translation stem from.