The definition of translation


Catford claims that “translation may be defined as follows: the replacement of textual material in one language (source language) by equivalent textual material in another language (target language”). According to Fedorov: “to translate means to precisely and completely express by means of one language the things that had been expressed earlier by the means of another language” It needs to be acknowledged that translation  is a process and a outcome of this process, a type of communication and an ability at the same time. There exists a system of constitutive traits of translation activity (CTTA):

1) translation is a process and a outcome of this process,

2) translation is a socially focused interlingual communication,

3) translation is an interlingual act of communication with a mediator (sophisticated communication act),

4) translation is  an approximation of a multilingual communication to a monolingual one.

There are several attributes that perfect translation has to include- it must be exact as to the meaning and natural as to the receptor language forms used. Moreover, the translation must be easily understood by its target audience (readers).  Ability to abstract the meaning of a text form, which is written in source language and reproduce this meaning with the very different forms of the target language lays the theoretical grounds for the translation theory. Therefore, the translation process itself can be seen as a two-level phenomenon. Initially, the full analysis of the lexicon, communication situation, grammatical structure and cultural context of the original language text needs to be accomplished as its meaning needs to become clear to the translator. In addition, reconstruction of the identical meaning needs to be performed with the usage of the lexicon and grammatical structure which are most applicable in the target audience language and its cultural context.