Strategies to Translate Allusions

Names, that are defined by Richards in 1985 – 86 as, names of specific person, thing or place, and spelled always with a capital letter, play a vital role in a literature work. For example, let us think of personal PNs. Sometimes they may refer to their setting, nationality of characters and social status, and in fact, demand attention while rendered into another language.

There exist some models for PNs rendering in translation. One of the models is given by Hervey and Higgins in 1986, and they believe that two strategies for PNs translation exist. They highlighted, whether a name can be considered over unchanged from ST to TT, or can be taken to confirm the graphic/phonic conventions of the target language.

In 1986, Hervey and Higgins, refer to an ex as exotism, the term is equivalent to literal translation and does not involve cultural transposition, the latter is a transliteration. Though they proposed another alternative or procedure, and they named it as cultural transplantation. By considering it as the extreme level of cultural transposition, the term cultural transplantation is thought to be a method in which source names are replaced by native target names. They are not exactly their literals, but have same cultural connotations, said by Hervey and Higgins.

About the translations of PNs, Newmark asserts that, usually, first and sure names of people are transferred, thus preserve nationality and assume that names do not have connotations.

The method of transference cannot be declared as effective where implied meanings and connotations are significant.  Certainly, there are some Persian names which bear connotations as well as require a particular strategy for translation. Newmark mentioned the solution of this problem as “ the first translate SL name into Target”, and then neutralize back the translated word into SL proper name”. Though, there is a drawback in this strategy. As it can be seen, it is useful only for personal PNs, as Newmark, ignored the noneducated reader’s right to enjoy the translated text. It can be used merely, while the name of the character is not current among a well-educated TL leadership.

There is a set of strategies to translate allusions, proposed by Leppihalme (1997 – 1979):

Preservation of the name:

  • Use the name as it is.
  • Use the name, and add some guidance.
  • Use the name, and add a detailed explanation i.e. a footnote.

Replace the name by another:

  • Replace the name by any other SL name.
  • Replace the name by another TL name

Excluding the name:

  • Omit the name; transfer the sense using another mean, for example, a common noun.
  • Omit both the name and allusion.

There are another nine strategies to translate key phrase allusions, proposed by Leppihalme as follows:

  • Use a standard translation.
  • Do minimal changes, that is, an accurate translation without contextual or connotative meaning.
  • Add extra allusive guidance in the text.
  • Use footnotes, endnotes, explicit explanations, and other translator’s notes that are not present in the text but given as extra information explicitly.
  • Internal marking or stimulated familiarity that is, adding up intra-allusive allusion.
  • Replace by a TL term.
  • Reducing the allusion to sense.
  • Recreation, use of fusion techniques, creative production of passage that hints the connotation of the allusion and other special effects.
  • Omit the allusion.
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Maryum is a freelance writer and IT Professional living in Pakistan. Her technical and transcription blogs about software solutions have been published on various websites. With her hands on experience in translation tools like CATMATE, OMEGAt and TRADOS and advisor of technological tools for big transcription and translation projects. Maryum has the capability of delivering high-quality knowledge in just a few words on her articles and blogs.

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