Sentential consideration in French translation

Sentential consideration in French translation refers to the way words are arranged in a text, and how the translator can transfer the given word order from the source text into the target text. The way the words are arranged in a text plays a role in communicating the purpose of the text. By altering the word order, the writer can alter the communicative purpose of the text. The three words he’ is’ and reading’ can be put together in at least two different ways. They can be put together as He is reading’, which is a statement that works as the presentation of a fact. It can also be put together as Is he reading?’ which is obviously a question aiming at finding out about a fact. Similarly, by manipulating a single set of words, one grammatical arrangement can be made to convey wonder and enthusiasm, and grammatical arrangement information. Sentential level refers to the level at which the grammatical arrangement of words in a sentence is studied not for its grammar, but for the purpose it fulfils.

In order to analyze sentential consideration in French translation, it is important to study a text as a body of sentences that follow each other in a logical and causal fashion. A sentence is a group of words combined together to convey a meaning. By virtue of its definition, a sentence is also complete and self-contained, that is, it is self-sufficient and can stand by itself. A sentence may or may not contain a verb. Each sentence is written with a purpose; the purpose is conveyed through the prosodic features of the sentence, its sequential focus, or the illocutionary particles that exist within it.

Prosodic features in a sentence refer to is intonation and stress. Intonation and stress are easier to convey and manipulate in spoken language. In written language they have to be conveyed through punctuation and typography. Sometimes, punctuation is ineffective and the translator has to introduce a word to describe the tone (for example, sneered, exclaimed, etc.) so that the sentential consideration in French translation is preserved. Illocutionary particles often serve a similar purpose by showing the reader/listener how to interpret the tone of the text.

The ultimate advantage of illocutionary particles is that they are easier to translate than prosodic features. However, the French ‘bien’ is a particularly flexible illocutionary particle that is not easy to render into English. Sequential focus, that is, which part of the sentence receives the stress, differs in French and English. As an aspect of the sentential consideration in French translation it is useful to remember that French sequential focus can be replaced by English idiomatic expressions.

In conclusion it is necessary to stress that the sentential consideration in French translation should always be regulated by context. Additionally, the translator should maintain the integrity of the text by refraining from introducing inappropriate prosodic features or illocutionary particles.


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