What does the communicative translation mean

Translation types

The term "translation" describes both the process and the result of a process in which a text or a communicative unit is transformed from the source language or source language into the target language.

Translation is actually a long and time-consuming process, because translation studies is a complex science that combines several areas, including cultural anthropology, language, literature and cognitive science.

Since translation studies is so complex, it can be classified into the following groups from a methodological and procedural point of view.

Classification by type of translation:

  • written translation (translating)
  • Oral translation or interpreting
  • VBÜ - translating from sight, also spontaneous translation or impromptu translation (translation at sight)
  • synchronization
  • Subtitling
  • Machine translation (MT)
  • computer-assisted translation

However, if we are based on content-related aspects, the following types result:

  1. Interlinear translation
  2. Literal translation
  3. Philological translation
  4. Communicative translation
  5. Editing translation

The interlinear translation

Interlinear translation is primarily about translating the text word for word. This translation follows the structure of the source text, but is often incoherent and not cohesive. This means that the text in the target language has a lot of grammatical errors and becomes incomprehensible. This translation method should only be used if you need a quick overview of the text in the target language. The text translated using this method can only be understood with the help of the source text. Here is an example of interlinear translation where the source language is German and the target language is English.

Example:

English: Buy the pig in a poke.

English: The cat in sack to buy.

Here you can see that the form is the same in the target and source language. This helps the reader understand the translation of various individual words. This means: It is clear to the reader that the word “cat” is translated into English as “cat”. However, the translation into English is grammatically incorrect and makes no sense.

The literal translation

Literal translation is when the source text is translated word for word into the target language. As with the interlinear translation, the same applies here that this translation becomes incomprehensible in some cases. When translating literally, grammatical rules are taken into account, which is why the target text is linguistically understandable, but its meaning and function are not necessarily.

Here is an example of the literal translation where the source language is German and the target language is English.

Example:

English: Buy the pig in a poke.

English: To buy a cat in a sack.

The form is not the same for the literal translation in the source and target language. In contrast to the interlinear translation, the translation is now grammatically correct, the meaning is also translated, but only word for word. If you understand the German sentence literally and not figuratively, then the English translation is also correct. The figurative, idiomatic meaning of this sentence, however, means to buy something without checking it beforehand. If you want to translate this meaning too, you have to use a different method.

The philological translation

The philological translation serves to illustrate the form and content of the source text. Such texts have many culture-specific elements that are unknown to the target culture or work a little differently than in the source culture. This type of translation very often contains various notes or explanations in footnotes that explain the meaning and function of the source elements.

Here is an example of the philological translation where the source language is German and the target language is English.

Example:

English: Buy the pig in a poke.

English: To buy a cat in a sack *

* This is the German way of expressing the idiom: to buy a pig in a poke.

The communicative translation

Communicative translation is mainly about the meaning, culture, style and function of the source text. The translation is grammatically correct, but has a different form than the source text. The translator's task is to express the meaning of the original text clearly and understandably so that the translated text also works in the target language.

Here is an example of communicative translation where the source language is German and the target language English.

Example:

English: Buy the pig in a poke.

English: To buy a pig in a poke / to do a blind bargain.

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