THE THEORY OF TRANSLATION Ladina, Dubrava, 1998.


The contemporary analysis of the theory of translation has proven, from all of the mentioned sources, and proven it to be quite obvious, that the fundamental problem of situating theoretical issues about the nature of the translation processes and acts is bordering onto several dichotomies, sometimes firmly intertwining, but sometimes leading into opposing postulations in categorized apparatus of the theory of translation itself. All such dichotomous questions are focusing on only one important question of a complete autonomy of the theory of translation or, on the other hand, on its positioning as an applied branch of one of basic fields it is connected with – linguistics or literary theory, as well as other interdisciplinary-related sciences. The foundations of dichotomy arise from distinguishing general and special translation theories which further branch out into special theories of translation, as well as dichotomies between general principles and specific demands set for theoretical processing by the translation practices. Furthermore, dichotomy between literary and oral translations in special theories brings about the focusing on the translation as a process or as an act, on the linguistic splitting analysis of atomic relations between the units of the work translated, or contemplating over the nature of the translation process as a creative and sub-creative act in the process of re-shaping the original message. Every dichotomy brings out various models of translation which are attempting to respond to the integral “translating situation”, mostly yet following only some of its aspects. Thus the defining and limiting objects of the theory of translation end up in a continuous dichotomy of its own foundations, reaching for their dialectic unification into a wholesome concept of the nature of the translation process.


The book is trying to point to all of the dichotomies and to offer a unified definition of the translating, implying also a positive process of limiting the interdisciplinary research subject. Since every model of translation shows a consistency in separating core message from the formal wholeness of the message, the book is attempting to show that a genre-stylistic dominant is one of the spots with a perspective of attaining wholeness as a response to particular requests of particular forms and types of translating. Excerpting a genre-stylistic dominant from the utterance can respond to the demands of both written and oral translating and offer a unique model with a potential of uniting textual, functional and communicational models of translating – it equally respects a dichotomy of a lingual sign in terms of the content and the form, as well as its semantic core and the foundation of shaping up translation wholeness of a text. Here the supposition is that the wholeness of a text is a basic translation unit, although the translating process introduces a sentence as the most convenient and basic unit. Whereas merely pointing to singular aspects is typical for any other model, genre-stylistic theory of translation can unify different interpretations of fundamental categories of adequacy and equivalency as well as literary-theoretical and linguistic presumptions of the research into the nature of translation process and act. Whereas functional model stresses out fundamental functions and respectively types of adequacy of equivalency levels attained, focusing on a single textual function, a communication model mostly respects interdisciplinary position of the translation theory itself and thus primarily inspects into the social and psychological elements regarding the inspection of subjective elements of translation as the primary consideration. Textual model, on the other hand, does not pay so much attention to a translator nor to their lexical conditioning and psychological domain of habits and translation skills but puts a focus on determining translation as an exchange of textual material from the source into the target language, considering various linguistic levels of achieving translation acts, almost completely ignoring their dynamic and processing nature. Thereof the communication model obviously reflects the connection with oral translation, whereas functional model is attempting to unite these two basic models, as well as to address particular demands translating is faced with.The introduction of the concepts “desiderative” and “voluntative adequacy” however made it clear that even the functional model can satisfy only certain types of translating, while it remains rather powerless when it comes to explaining higher levels of achieving adequacy of translations. Only the introduction of excerption of core message at semantic levels enabled all three models to be examined in their interconnectivity and limitations in terms of translating, whereas genre-stylistic theory is the only one that can respond to the dichotomic nature of the translating itself as well as bring all three models to appropriate levels of achieving translating process and act. Genre-stylistic theory, needs to be said, does not comply with special theories of translation, but instead it strives to forge fundamental principles and offer unique translating concepts capable of synthesizing general principles and individual demands to every particular type of translation. In that respect it is possible to establish both universal and concrete enough model of translation, and at the same time to limit the subject matter which is essential for setting up the theory of translation as an independent discipline, equally respectful of literary-theoretic and linguistic presumptions of the research.