A Brief introduction to Translation

I. Definition

Translation, speaking, implies rendering from one language into another of something written or spoken. It is, essentially the faithful representation, in one language of what is written or spoken in another. It is the replacement of textual material in one language (SL-the source language) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL-target language).

II. Qualifications of a translator

1) A translator must be well acquainted with the source language. We are inclined to feel too confident of our comprehension when we are reading foreign literary works. We think we know it from A to Z, yet, when we start translating it we find it difficult and there are many points misunderstood. We are playing the fool with ourselves because of careless reading. Therefore, translation serves as the best possible approach to the study of foreign languages.

2) A translator must be well acquainted with the target language. Let's take Yan Fu for instance: When Yan Fu, a famous translator in the Qing Dynasty, was translating "Evolution and Ethics and other Essays", the title turned out to be the crux that caused him to cudgel his brains day and night and look pale for it. His wife worried very much and thought about the representation of the title for quite time and eventually had it translated into《天演论》which has since deserved high praise up till now.

3) A translator must be armed with necessary professional knowledge.

4) A translator must be armed with the ability to live his part. As famous play writer Maryann pointed out: "a translator must enter into the spirit of character (regard himself as one that plays a role in a play). That is to say, he seems
1. present at the very spot.
2. involved in the very occurrence.
3. witnessing the very parties concerned.
4. interating the very utterances.
5. experiencing the very joy and annoy.
6. sharing the very weal and woe.
7. partaking of the glee and grief.
1. 亲临其境
2. 亲临其事
3. 亲睹其人
4. 亲道其法
5. 亲尝其甘,亲领其苦
6. 亲享其福,亲受其哀
7. 亲得其乐,亲感其悲

5) A translator must be armed with the excellent ability of expressiveness and vivid imagination. "Toiling yourself and endure hardship for obtaining a well-chosen word" just as the famous poet Du Fu did "Never give up until an amazing poetic masterpiece is gained".
一个好的译者必须具备出色的表达力和生动的想象力。“为求一字稳,耐得五更寒” ,好的译者还需要像诗圣杜甫那样具有“语不惊人死不休”的精神与毅力。