Sep 9, 2020 in Literature

Comparative Literature

Passage One

The passage is fiction; it is a work of fiction which is a non-realistic capture of real life experience but a created narration employing massive descriptive eloquence and gigantic powers of stage adoration to capture the attention of the reader and creating a long-lasting picture of the scenario as they unfold throughout the story. The passage is derived from the Arab and Indian setting having borrowed a cloud of these nations’ dialect from the names to specific words masterfully used to convey the message smoothly. The fiction part of it makes the message flexible and versatile enough to picture the relevant life occurrence and experience without the fear of stigmatization or reproach. The passage has a myriad of stylistic methods as well as linguistic aspects of narration as discussed below.

Vivid description: The frit and ugly woes that erupt when Maimunah stamps on are divisively described. A mysterious semi-human, ghost-like creature comes into the vicinity with the following words: “on his horns, each four thousand four hundred and eighty cubits in length, and his eyes were where his nose should have been.” The reader would not have captured the monstrous figure of the character if it were not this distinctive and encompassing description.

Personification: Although there are human characters in the passage bearing human names, for example Maimunah, human features and characteristics have been attributed to non-human characters in the narration. The monster has the features of people, for instance, the presence of eyes and limbs alongside non-human elements such as horns.

Local dialect: Local words from the regional community or setting have been used in the passage to help locate the place of the narration in the story efficiently and, by these means, embed it into the context, too. The choice of words by the author to distinctively communicate his message is of great importance to the narration as far as its analysis is concerned. The passage might have been translated from its original Arabic language, but the choice of words has made it look like more authentic.

Although the passage is very brief, it is lengthy in thoughts and tries to convey to the reader the point of how the art and culture of translation are conceded. It is a section of the story that has been translated into English from the Arabic language; however, it is still true and stands the litmus test of authenticity regarding setting and intention of the author and his original message.

To begin with, the passage sets a stage for a theoretical application of the various aspects that can be used in the art and culture of translation. According to Jorge L Borges, the translation should not be limited to the transfer of texts from one language to another but must be the transformation of a text or passage from one language to another instead. The logic has been preserved in this passage successfully. We may not have had the access to the original script of the passage in Arabic, but the text has been transformed. The logic of Jorge is the method of translation where there is the literal changing of the word after word from one language to another. However, it does not refer to the transfer of the message with minimal distortion of the intention of the author. If translation involved changing words directly to another language, the phrases and languages, the loss of authenticity would be inevitable as the grammatical composition also would be altered with the statements disjointed and unable to pass the initial message. Finally, the whole body of the narration would be distorted meaning no sense or reason for the translation when the receiver cannot decode the message being communicated even in his native language or a language affiliated with such messages. 

Jorge argues that translation enriches the text or message in question. This, in essence, is the case where the translator employs other valid skills such as stylistics to nourish the information being passed in the process of translation without losing the initial captivating value. The enrichment may lie in the description, additional funny phrases, use of similes, proverbial phrases among other precious narrative skills. Did the translated text lack proper nourishment, it would automatically distort the originality of the former text because it will be impossible to attach value to it in comparison to the original passage. 

Thus, the text given above adheres to the law of enrichment through vivid description, suspension, and similes among other devices. The description in the passage gives a picture of a monster going forth to create a ghostly picture in the mind of a reader creating suspicion and feelings of sigh that glues the reader to the text with the motive of deciphering what follows. Although the text has been translated, the nourishing done during its translation adds more value to the script making it more original and authentic that a few would realize it is not the initial work of the author. The translation has transferred the message cordially and in harmony with intentions of the creator preserving all efforts geared towards capturing the same message and relaying it to the target audience with minimal alterations. This makes it more reliable, agreeable, valuable, and authentic.

Second Passage

The passage is derived from the ritual or religious setting. The mood of the surrounding where the passage has been derived is somehow tensed and spiritual. It is in the morning hours, and according to the norms of the religious setting of this extract, early prayers are in the offing. The religious institution could be a mosque for the Muslims because of the mentioning of Allah which corresponds to the God’s name of the Muslims. That also reminds the reader that the passage is the product of the Arabic people.

The story could be fictitious or not-fictitious because the setting on stage could both apply to fiction kind of narrations as well as real life experiences through it relatively slides into the fantastic part of it. By applying this technique, the author can distinctively bring the religious attachment or culture based agenda with the delicacy of his or her own as he is supported and protected by the religious or cultural setting, institutions which are known to possess the powers of sanction behavior. 

Just as the previous passage, this text employs a rich tinge of stylistic elements used by the writer to enrich his message. Vivid description: at the beginning, one could not discern whether the characters are in a religious apartment or not. It is until the full and conclusive description of the arrangement of the place is granted to us here: … and looking around about him, he beheld a pavilion whose walls were adorned with gold and ultramarine silk hanging before the doors. The description helps the reader not only to locate the origin of the story but also assists in join the activity on stage setting a religious mood of the reader which makes him or her get in line with the tone of the narration.

The writer’s choice of words is quite significant when not only setting the mood and tone of the story but also identifying the setting of the narration to an extent that one would easily believe that it’s the original work of the writer and not a translated narration. The presence of female slaves and eunuchs makes the story religious, too. The appearance of the gold-like compartment of the building is typical for the Muslims’ mosque compartment.

Although the passage is translated from an original work of art which is an Arabic text into English, it possesses more strength that can make it an independent original version. Even though it may have lost a slight tinge of its authenticity in the process of translation, it still delivers the intended message of the author religiously. It is in tandem with the various theories supporting the art and culture of translation as discussed before. According to Fredrick Schleicher, in his journal Different Methods of Translating, he argues that translation is like a cultural embassy. By this he meant that through translation, one's culture can be transferred from one setting to another, from original setting of the author to that of the reader. Additionally, through the art of translation that in essence reveals that the translator must be versatile enough to be at peace with the two cultures: the reader’s culture as well as the author’s culture to deliver a clear message to the targeted audience without violating the norms and language of both the parties. In summary, the translator must be well conversant with both the language and the culture of both the audience and the author to limit distortion of the source passage. 

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The story has achieved the theory of cultural embassy with the translator as the ambassador. The narration is almost like the original work to an extent that an English-speaking the reader can effortlessly capture the line of the story without victimization being captivated and wishing to learn more about the foreign culture as it has been enriched to boost the message of the author with less retrogression.

The passage has borrowed from Jorge’s methods used in translation to convey the message of the writer. First, eliminating elements of redundancy in the original text: it is evident that the translator did not transfer word to word or phrase from the original Arabic text but rather simplified the message in a less tiresome description that would directly reach the author without going into redundant details adding little value to the plot of the story as well as intention of the author. In typical Arabic setting, one expects servants to bow in the presence of their lords or when addressing them. Therefore,  we can assume that in the original text, the act of bowing has been communicated in writing mostly in brackets. However, the translated text has no details as such because they add little value to the target message of the author. This is the probable reason of such additional phrases being omitted in the translated text.

Finally, by sporadically including literal translation from one text or word to another, it is not very easy to selectively translate because some words would not make substantive meaning if translated to suit the order of the language used for translation. For example, “... and a maid said to him our Lord.” This held to deliver the message as much original as can be. 

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