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Manipulation in translation

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It is widely acknowledged that translation has played a major role in the dissemination of knowledge during the ages. Jianzhong (2005) mentions that scientific and technical translation includes all the practical fields but literary translation. Based on Williams and Chesterman (2002) scientific and technical translation covers the translation of many kinds of specialized texts in science and technology, and also in other disciplines such as economics and medicine. Considering the documentary (academic) nature of the source text included in this study, few attempts have been made so far to assess or evaluate the translations of such text and the study of manipulation of the translations in this genre have remained unnoticed. In addition, considering the significance of manipulation in the interpretation of the documentary texts and possible misunderstanding of the original message coded by the ST author, it seems necessary to study the strategies adopted by the translators of such documentary texts and see how these strategies have led to improvements or deficits in the TT. According to Byrne (2006) a very vivid description of the distinction between science and technology with regard to translation, stating that scientific translation relates to pure science in all of its theoretical, esoteric and cerebral glory while technical translation relates to how scientific knowledge is actually put into practical use, dirty fingernails and all.

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Lefever (1992) has been one of the major theorists in the formation of the notion of re-writing in TS. As mentioned above, manipulation has close relations with re-writing, although Lefevere’s primary concern was poetics. His notions made it possible to study manipulation in literary texts. One of the very essential matters of literary translation has been style. The minimal unit of stylistic analysis can start from word style. It was commonly believed, especially in linguistic theories of TS, that a translation should keep a very close style to the ST, even at word level. However, Lefevere (1992) theory clarified that literary products are re-writings of the original and are finally influenced by the target language and translator’s personal style.

The impetus for an examination of the concept of equivalence in scientific and technical translation (STT) is both theoretically and practically motivated, since these two aspects are closely interrelated. The research findings are expected to develop translation studies in terms of quality assessment and the related analyses and depicting an image of the frequency of the strategies implemented by the translators as a norm of comparison via conducting a comprehensive translational analysis of the scientific (academic) text under the study. Accordingly the present study gains significance at analyzing the translation manipulation approach to shed more light in this domain of translation study in keeping with the latest developments in this area.

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