Tips and Tricks for Literary Translation

Tips & Tricks for Literary Translation

Definition of Literary Translation

A definition of literary translation is a translation when a translator has to be able to find appropriate words that express the message that the original writer is trying to put across. The translator can’t simply do a word for word translation but has to take into consideration style, tone and language of the source language before even attempting a literary translation.

Types of Literary Translation Include Translations of:

● Poems
● Plays
● Novels
● Short stories

Literary Translation Techniques Examples

There is no literary translation theory to follow but when translating a novel or any other types of literary translation work it is like being a writer. The translator needs to be competent in two languages and also needs to be a competent writer too. The translator has to be able to translate the creativity of the writer into a language that puts across the same type of creativity with the same message.

There is no literary translation theory for that. The translator also needs to consider the culture of the targeted audience so the translated literary works put across its message to the audience in a way it will be understood without having to detract too much from the message that the author intended. The translator needs to try and preserve the author’s own style, meaning, and tone.

There are certain characteristics of a literary translator that sets him or herself apart from other translators. This includes being well read in literary texts so that a clearer understanding can be reached of how a literary writer puts across an intended message. Developing writing skills to the utmost is a core characteristic of a literary text translator and leads. This means translation techniques examples can only be showcased after the translator has reached complete mastery of both the native language and the targeted language. Any literary translator won’t just take on the task of translating a literary text until he or she has studied other texts written by the author.

This ensures familiarity with the style and tone and writing skills the writer has used to complete the literary work. The translator will get a feel for the personality of the writer which permeates through any literary text. This is all part of the importance of literary translation.

The next most important point illustrating the importance of literary translation accuracy in relation to the techniques used by a literary translator is getting to know the culture of the intended audience for the translation. At times, a translation has to be adjusted so that it is culturally appropriate for the audience.

A non-literal translation of parts of a text are unavoidable with a literary translation and a literary translator who has managed to market these skills will be the most sought-after translator for these sorts of translating tasks.

Finding suitable words to substitute in a literary translation often requires a certain amount of creativity in order to solve this type of literary translation problems on the part of the translator. Too often in a literary works finding exactly the same words that convey the same meaning just isn’t possible. Simply because there is no exact words available in the target language to play with. When this situation arises the translator may have to use a specific phrase rather than a single word so that the true meaning is retained as much as possible.

On occasions, in an original literary text, there may be some information or a literary device that won’t make any sense if when translated it is put in the same place as in the original text. The translator has, in this case, to carefully review the original text and the target language and decide where the best place is to insert the information or literary device. This decision is referred to as compensating, because it is when the translator has to “compensate” for any loss that might be suffered by the original text if the translated text is kept in the original place, or, sometimes due to a decision made by the translator to omit it from the text altogether. A pun in the native language is a typical example of literary translation problems.

Literary translation, if done well, requires exceptional skill and attention to detail. But it goes beyond just that. A skilled translator must exhibit strengths in creative problem-solving and decision-making in the course of his/her work, making changes as necessary but always retaining the author’s style and meaning. This is the key importance of literary translation whatever types of literary translation are being translated.

Literary Translation Problems and Solutions

The translation of literary texts differs so much from any other form of translation. For example, being able to recreate poetry into a new language and not lose any of the beauty and message transmitted in the original work is the biggest challenge faced by a translator.

In order to overcome these translation barriers, the translator has to toy more over appropriate words and phrases until the right ones are found that suit the intended meaning conveyed by the writer. There is not necessarily a complete solution to overcoming barriers of literary translation problems when translating a literary text but sometimes compromises have to be made that have the least effect on the original meaning of the original text. At least this helps to deal with literary translation problems.

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