The written translation of technical materials
The translation of technical materials is a separate discipline which is based on linguistics, scientific and technical texts. This type of translation should be considered from the side of translation, scientific and technical positions. Over the past few years, a large number of linguistic studies of technical and scientific texts have been conducted. According to these studies, scientists came to the conclusion that the language and style of scientific and technical texts are based on the norms of written language, which have special characteristics.
The vocabulary of specialized literature can be distinguished by paying attention to the following features:
– the texts contain a large number of highly specialized terminology;
– the idea has the most accurate transmission with the help of correctly selected words and phrases;
– specialized words have a great impact, they should clearly express the author’s idea and provide logical connections with all elements of the utterance.
Characteristic features of the grammar of scientific and technical materials:
– only well-established grammatical norms are used;
– construction of word combinations that are used in specialized texts, most often are passive, impersonal and indefinite-personal;
– most often the sentences are compound and complex;
– the verb is presented in an impersonal form, the use of a large number of nouns and adjectives.
Scientists have proved that the personal forms of the verb in specialized literature are occurred twice less, while the presence of passive constructions increases to five-six times, as compared with the literary texts. This is connected with the fact that the scientific and technical texts are aimed to present and explain specific facts as accurately as possible, and texts with literary content are aimed at creating images.
The information in scientific and technical texts is presented via special ways:
– the main emphasis in the texts is directed to logical aspects, not emotional ones;
– the text is written not from the first person, but the “collegiate” style is used.
The main form of technical translation is an accurate written translation. Translator, working on technical texts in translation agency, divides all the work on several steps.
Step №1. Familiarization with the original
The translator should read the whole original text, using additional sources of information, such as dictionaries, specialized literature, reference books, etc., if he/she needs. If the translator knows the thematic directions of the text, he/she can start preparing for work before getting the original, by reading the special literature and consulting with professionals in this field of knowledge.
Step №2. Define the logical parts in original text. Divide the whole text into completed semantic passages.
The three factors influence on the determinable scale of each passage:
– unit has the semantic completeness. It can be a paragraph, a sentence, etc., but this passage must be completed in meaning;
– the content is difficult;
– interpreter’s memory capabilities, not everyone is able to memorize a huge number of specialized terms, the less such difficulties in the text, the better for the translator’s memory.
Step №3. Pre-translation of the text. At this stage, it is the duty of the interpreter to consistently work on the prepared and specific parts of the text. Having determined and understood the part of the original, the translator has to present it in his native language in writing form. The translator must follow the style, logic and semantic expression of the output material.
Step №4. Secondary reading of the source text. This is necessary in order to verify it with the completed translation and control the correctness of the content transfer. Perhaps, in the draft translation there were omissions or errors that can be corrected only if we compare the part of the translated text with the same part of the original. It is important not to lose the logical connection between parts of the translation.
Step №5. Final correction of the translation with necessary edition. Editing the translation you should remember that if the same idea can be represented by several ways you should choose the shortest one. Also, if there is a word in foreign language that can be replaced by an equivalent word from the target language without affecting the meaning, then it must be done. While translating you should remember about terms and names that should be unambiguous.
Step №6. Correct translation of the title. In order to correctly translate the title, taking into account all the specific features of the scientific and technical text, it should be done in the end. It is connected with the fact that the title should show the semantic content of the text.