spanish translation process

Explaining the Spanish Translation Process

Additional Insight into the Spanish Translation Process

So if you are still in need of some helpful literature about the Spanish translation process you re in luck. We have now written a second part to our original post about the Seven Steps of the Translation Process.

A Spanish translator needs to analyze the source text in order to understand its contents correctly and completely. According to an English dictionary, the word “text” is derived from a Latin word meaning, “one that is woven.” Similar to the texture of woven cloth, a written text has diverse patterns, some constructed better than others. The words and sentences that form a text document are entangled with each other to form a web. A Spanish translator therefore needs to be well versed in the Spanish language in order to completely grasp the text-based pattern that needs to be translated.

The Mechanics

During the mechanics of Spanish translation, the translation oriented text analysis covers all of the relevant text features and elements within the framework of the context and purpose for which the translation has been initiated. Regardless of the diverse approaches to Spanish translation, Spanish translators are expected to be able to justify every single assessment in terms of context. The analysis of a source text provides not only a full understanding of its meaning, but also an explanation of its linguistic, textual and discursive structures. It also reveals the relationship of these properties with the system and rules of the source language and source language culture. Based on this information, the Spanish translator can make each decision more effectively. This analysis acts as a frame of reference for the Spanish translator in the Spanish translation process so as to deliver a high quality target document.

Spanish translators need to have syntactic and semantic competence in the Spanish language, even if they are native Spanish speakers. Many times, native Spanish speakers lack fundamental knowledge of their own language, such as verbal, cognitive, situational and general socio-historical contexts of the Spanish language. In order to have a complete understanding of the Spanish language, translators must develop their understanding of these key areas.

Spanish Translation Process and Product

The act of Spanish translation implies two givens, a process and a product. The Spanish translation process involves converting the source language text into the target language text. The product refers to the target text. The Spanish translation process can be divided into two component functions, the ‘input´ function and the ‘output´ function. The input function is the first step in the  Spanish translation process. It refers to the act of comprehension, or understanding the source text, and is a relatively passive process. The output function is the second and last step of the process. It demands pro-activity on the part of the translator because it refers to the actual act of translating or expressing the meaning of the source text in the target language.

Comprehensive vs. Expression

For a translator, both the act of comprehension and the act of expression have very deep meanings. Comprehension or understanding should extend beyond the surface level of the words of the source text in order to include the context as well as the culture in which the source text has been produced. He or she must also attain proficiency in speaking and reading the source language.

Expression, on the other hand, focuses solely on the target language. The Spanish translator must be adept and skilful at expressing himself or herself in the target language. He or she should be familiar with the idioms, the customary expressions and the collocations that are typical of the target language.

The following suggestions might help a translator to improve his or her efficiency and effectiveness.

In the first place, he or she must have:

  • knowledge in a wide range of matters;
  • particular knowledge of the subject of translation;
  • respect for the author of the source text as well as his or her culture;
  • pleasure in the subject of the source text; and
  • the twin senses of motivation and satisfaction.

In the second place, he or she must remember that:

  • the words as well as the ideas of the source text must be communicated. One cannot be given preference to the detriment of the other;
  • the language of the target text should sound idiomatic;
  • stylistic originality is not forbidden, but it should not overshadow the style of the original author.

In conclusion, the Spanish translator would do well remembering that the Spanish translation process is a creative process instead of a mechanical one, and he or she will have to rely on rules as well as on ingenuity to make a success out of it.

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