Awareness and Assimilation Are The Important First Steps of Correct Italian Translation

The art of translation is not only concerned with restituting meaning. In the first place, it does not aim at creating a text that is more fluid or elegant than the original. Frankly speaking, meaning must not be favored for the sake of grammar and syntax. Without any doubt, to translate a text means to restitute its meaning. All in all, in order to transfer a particular idea, the translator must try to stay as close as possibly to the original text. It would not be wrong to argue that the most instant meaning of a text must be preserved in the target text translation. The translator is forced to labor hard on every individual letter in order to render the target text without it being naturalized, denatured or assimilated. French Translator theorist Berman points out that the translating language can be overwhelmingly distorted by the translator. According to Berman, who is a distinguished translator himself, language must be transformed in a way that the translator can adapt it to his or her made up world. This world can be a setting, place or event in conflict with the objective reality, which ranges from the intentional deferral of disbelief of fictional universes to the alternating realities that come as a result.

With translation being a sort of interpretation, the first challenge that every translator has to face is to read the text and assimilate it in order to make sense. During this process, the written text is translated into the reader’s mental language. This happens when the reader reads a text in his or her own native language. Thought is transformed into an internal code which generates an internal dialogue understood inside the mind, as psychologist and Russian to English Translation worker Wygotsky demonstrated in his study of infants. Another scholar, Pierce, claims that in the process of reading a text a series of interpretants is created. Each sign refers to an object, which may be external or internal. As the interpretant is a psychical sign, it is subjected and linked to the experience of the person through the words and, respectively, through the concepts connected to those words.

Moreover, Bruno Osimo, an Italian Translator ideologist argues that the language in which we think is not a natural code, but a very particular language that can be defined as a multi-code language. Consequently, the image that creates inside the mind of the reader throughout the reading process may not coincide with the one created inside the mind of the writer. When translating from one language into another, the problem becomes even more complex because one must find a graphic sign in another language. For instance, if a novel by an Australian writer talks about a tea tree along the gravel bed of a river, the images in the minds of the Australian reader and the British reader will be totally different – the former will think about a Melaleuca of a paperbark tree, while the latter will imagine the shrub or low tree whose dried leaves form the tea of commerce. If the translator is unfamiliar with this difference, when he or she proceeds to the second phase of the translation process – that is when the translator encodes his or her own mental language into the code of the translated text – something will be lost, and most probably the translation will be incorrect.

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