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Idioms, the interpretation and translation of idioms - Реферат


Реферат на тему:
Idioms, the interpretation and translation of idioms
Plan
I. Introduction……………………………………………………..3
II. The interpretation of idioms…………………………………...4-6
III. The translation of idioms:…………………………………….7-9
III.1. The strategies in the translation of idioms………………….9
III.1.1) Using an idiom of similar meaning and form…………….9-10
IV. Conclusions…………………………………………………...11
V. Bibliography…………………………………………………...12
I. Introduction.
No teacher can begin to implement the Lexical Approach without a clear understanding of lexis; this involves one important theoretical principle, but principally it means a clear view of the essential concepts of Collocation amd Expressions.
Every teacher is familiar with the difficulty when a student asks "Can you say…?" and you reply "Well, you could say that, but you wouldn't". The students asks "Why?", only to receive the apparently unsatisfactory answer "It just doesn't sound right". However unsatisfactory that answer and lies at the very heart of a lexical understanding of language. A clear understanding of why this is so is indispensable for all language teachers; it is also helpful if learners themselves gradually develop an understanding of why it is that their apparently simple question receives such a see-mingly unhelpful answer. "You could, but you wouldn't" could almost be a slogan for the lexical Approach. Why?
The single most fundamental principle of linguistics is the arbitrariness of the sign. The importance of this principle cannot be over-emphasized. A particular thing is called a pen in English, while another thing is called a book, but you cannot usefully ask why these particular words are used for these particular objects. What is conventionally called a pen could be called a book, but then that name would be unlikely to be used in the way we now use it for books, as too much confusion would almost certainly result. Homophones do occur - sole, soul - but the meanings are usually so widely separated that there is little danger of any misunderstanding in context. When they ask "What is the English for…?", learners are usually content to record the word in their vocabulary notebook; they do not ask "Why is that the word for…?". But when we consider multi-word items, the classroom becomes more difficult for the teacher unless she has truly internalized the concept of the arbitrariness of the sign. When learners ask why, teachers have an understandable desire and tendency to explain - but that leads to difficulties if the explanation is theoretically unsound.
All lexical items are arbitrary - they are simply the consensus of what has bun institutionalized, the agreed language which a particular group do use, selected from what they could use, actual language as apposed to theoretically possible language. Pat, pet, pit, pot and put are all English words, with totally different meanings; sat, set, sit, sot are also English words, but sut is not a standard item in the lexicon; it could be used as an English word, but it isn't. Happy Christmas, Merry Christmas, Happy Birthday are all standard but Merry Birthday is not.
Many important linguistic phenomena are arbitrary, for example, irregular plurals (there is nothing wrong with childs but children is standard), or past tenses (went, but we could accept goed). Students frequently ask why the language behaves in a certain way, and are unhappy to be told English is like that, but unfortunately that is only accurate answer.
II. The interpretation of idioms.
Although most idioms resist variation in form, some are more flexible than others. For example, a BBC radio reporter once quoted a conference speaker as saying "There was to much buck passing" (Baker and McCarthy, 1988). The common form of the idiom is pass the buck (refuse to accept responsibility for something). And get, we would not expect to hear There was to much way giving for give way (,allow someone to do something you disapprove of').
A person's competence in actively using the idioms and fixed expressions of a foreign language cannot hope to achieve the same sensitivity that native speakers seem to have for judging when and how an idiom can be manipulated. This lends support to the argument that translators should only work into their language of habitual use or mother tongue. The Code of Professional Ethics of the Translators' Guild of Great Britain states:
"A translator shall work only into the language (in exceptional cases this may include a second language) of which he has native knowledge. ,Native knowledge' is defined as the ability to speak and write a language so fluently that the expression of thought is structurally, grammatically and idiomatically correct.
(quoted in News, 1981:278; my emphasis)
Assuming that a professional translator would, under normal circumstances, work only into his/her language of habitual use, the difficulties associated with being able to use idioms and fixed expressions correctly in a foreign language need not be addressed here. The main problems that idiomatic and fixed expressions pose in translation relate to too main areas: the ability to recognize and involved in rendering the various aspects of meaning that an idiom or a fixed expression conveys into the target language. These difficulties are much more pronounced in the case of idioms than they are in the case of fixed expressions.
As far as idioms are concerned, the first difficulty that a translator comes across is being able to recognize that she is dealing with an idiomatic expression. This is not always so obvious. There are various types of idioms, some more easily recognizable than others. Those which are easily recognizable include expressions which violate truth conditions, such as It's raining cats and dogs, throw caution to the winds, storm in a tea cup, jump down someone's throat and food for thought. They also include expressions which seem ill-formed because they do not follow the grammatical rules of the language, for example trip the light fantastic, blow someone to kingdom come,
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