The relationship between the meaning and the situation in the analysis of the translation model
The language is presented to perform many functions. When all these functions are performed, the language is determined situationally. In order to convey a certain meaning, it is necessary to choose linguistic elements determined by the elements of the situation in which these elements are used.
The relationship between the meaning and the situation causes significant consequences, the first of which is the need to take into account the situational variables in determining the meaning of the source text. The second implication is as follows. In addition to the influence of the situation on the comprehension of meaning, some of this meaning is displayed by the linguistic organization of the language, on which this meaning is embedded. In general, we can safely say that if the context of the situation changes, changes inevitably occur in the linguistic structure. Conversely, if the shift is done at the linguistic level, this context of the situation will also change.
If we take into account the aforementioned generalization, then it is necessary to understand the meaning in a broader semantic context. This expanded notion of meaning applies to all types of texts in general and to those that have figurative semantic relationships, in particular (literary texts). Translators are no longer limited to the idea that meaning is concentrated in words or even in grammatical situations. To date, every translator knows that everything in the source language from sound symbols to complex rhetorical structures makes sense.
In written messages, even the format makes sense. Even color matters. For example, most people do not perceive the yellow cover of the Bible, but the golden-covered Bible is very popular.
In other words, the analysis of semantic shifts will be performed taking into account the situation in which the language is used.
Consequently, only the paradigmatic relations can be considered in the semantic component of the macro-level of analysis. This is due to the fact that such relations are actually semantics. Other types of relationships because of their textual and stylistic values will be taken into account within independent components at the same level.
Paradigmatic relations: synonymy and semantic domains
The meaning of synonymy as a paradigmatic semantic attitude to translation is stated as follows: “Translation is nothing but a problem of synonymy”. Obviously, in this statement, synonymy is represented in its broadest sense and means in translation the search for an equivalent meaning at all linguistic levels. However, translation, strictly speaking, can not be perceived as a simple task of random correspondence of lexical units of the source language with their equivalents in the target language. Any person can do this by relying on a bilingual dictionary. In contrast, the translator must analyze the meaning of the lexical units of the source language before attempting to find equivalents in the target language for these items. In his search for effective lexical equivalents in the target language, the translator in a translation agency should play the role of a competent representative on behalf of his readers. He/she must determine the areas of cultural overlap and linguistic interference between the two languages. Its problems begin at this stage: identical symbols in these two languages do not necessarily convey the same value.
Much worse is the difference in people’s experiences and the variation of conceptual boundaries from one language into another, it challenges the fundamental explanation. Knowing that lexical objects are vehicles in which people’s experience is encoded and their concepts are expressed, it can be concluded that shifts in interlingual synonymy are inevitable phenomena in translation.
In addition to the problem of designation in the study of synonymy, Nida (1964) captures the structural specification of words as another source for semantic changes in this field. In this regard, he states:
The area of the cultural specification, however, is likely to provide the greatest difficulties for the interpreter. In translating a text that represents an area of a cultural specification in the source language, but not in the receiver’s language, the translator must often create all kinds of descriptive equivalents to make it understandable something that is rather external to the receiver.
As for the relationship between lexical units and their referents, which are the core of their reference value, the translator is likely to address three situations. The first is “the existence of a term (and its corresponding referent) in the language of the receiver, but with an equivalent function performed by another referent.” The second situation is “the existence of a referent in the language of the receiver, but with a different function from what it has in the original language”. The third situation is “the non-existence of a referent in the language of the receiver and no other referent with a parallel function.”
About all the situations discussed above, the translator is required to adopt some strategies to eliminate these semantic gaps. Where there is a shortage, the terminology can be qualified and strengthened by credit words or loan transfers or semantic shifts, and finally by rounding.