Significance which allow the translator to choose the general

Significance of Text Types in Translation


The object of translation as a process and result is the text. However, the text studies in translation not only as a kind of certain linguistic phenomena, but also as an independent phenomenon. This phenomenon which allow the translator to choose the general strategy of translation. The development of special rules for the translation of various texts is known from ancient cultures, both in antiquity and in the middle Ages. However, basically the idea of the relationship between the features of the text and the specifics of translation, formed on the basis of practical experience, contains only the most general, scientific and technical translation, artistic translation or even artistic translation and non-fiction translation.

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In recent years the concept “translation product” has been widened to include consideration of cultural differences between source and target languages and the purpose of translated messages. Since text types have been recognized as determiners of the global purpose of the text, it may be defined form various points of view. It may be perceived, for instance, as an organized whole that meets seven standards of textuality, that is: cohesion, coherence, intentionality, acceptability, informativity, situationality and intertextuality (Beaugrande, Dressier 1990:58); as an orderly sequence of linguistic elements which can altogether perform a communicative function (Dobrzyriska 1993:287); as a basic unit of linguistic communication (Gajda 1992:9); as an integrated whole of semiotic character, having a beginning and an end, and conveying information that is complete form the sender’s point of view (Mayenowa 1976:291-296).

All types of text share certain basic structures. These apply at the sentence level, the chapter level and the section level. They include comparison and contrast, sequence, cause and effect, problem and solution, and descriptive. Authors of factual texts can inform, persuade or entertain, while the primary purpose of a literary work is usually entertainment.

For the needs of identifying the purpose of communication the texts can be classified into certain types: narrative, descriptive, directive, expository, argumentative.

Text types have linguistic and practical notion and are not to be distracted with text mold (advertisement, editorials, poems, novels and etc.).

Descriptive text uses to form an expressive influence of individual, place, item or happening to depict and define why it is distinctive and depict the most important person as well. Descriptive writing is usually used to help a writer develop an aspect of their work, to create a particular mood, atmosphere or describe a place so that the reader can create vivid pictures of characters, places, objects etc.

The basic purpose of narrative text is to entertain, to gain and hold a readers’ interest. However narratives can also be written to teach or inform, to change attitudes/social opinions. The types of narrative are can be imaginary, factual or a combination of both.

Expository texts identify and characterize phenomena. They include text forms such as definitions, explications, summaries and many types of essay. Expository texts may be subjective (essay) or objective (summary, explication, definition), may be analytical.

Sager (1997:30) remarks that text types developed as patterns of messages for certain communicative situations. When writing a specific message, a person first of all thinks about the text type that would be appropriate for the given occasion as well as for the content of the message, and only then formulates the message itself. Repetitions of messages in certain circumstances have created particular expectations and conventions of what is appropriate for the given occasion. Text types derive from abstract communicative situations between the author and the reader as they are capable of conveying messages unambiguously.

As per Trosborg (1997:13) the speaker, listener, and the linguistic material are the primary components of communication process. The text will be expressive when the focus is on the speaker, persuasive when the focus is on the listener, literary when the focus is on the linguistic code, referential when the aim is to represent the realities of the world. The situation and the features of text composition help the reader to recognize the text type.

However, as Trosborg (1997:16) points out, most discourse employs multiple views of reality, therefore encompassing more than only one type. She observes that pure narration, description, exposition and argumentation rarely occur. Therefore, a certain genre may employ several text types (also referred to as modes of presentation), but usually one of them is identified as the dominant type. Hence, she suggests that a two-level typology of text types is needed: text type at a macro level, that is the dominant function of a text type exhibited in or underlying a text, and micro level text types that result from the process of textualisation determined by the producer’s strategy. For instance, an argumentative text type may be realized by means of narration, instructions – by description, etc. However, a dominant text type is usually recognizable. Hatim and Mason (1990:146-148) account for the existence of blends of various text types, which they refer to as “hybridization”, emphasizing the need for translators to be aware of this phenomenon.