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Meaning and Translation

Part 1: Meaning

Series:

Tomasz P. Krzeszowski

Since translation cannot be approached in isolation from meaning, anything that is said about translation must necessarily be placed in the context of meaning. Accordingly, the first volume of the book concerns this necessary context, while the second volume will view translation in terms of the semantic framework presented in the first volume. Both volumes are to a large extent consistent with major tenets of cognitive linguistics. The work is addressed primarily to students pursuing translation studies but also to all those persons who are interested in semantics and translation for whatever other reasons. The main aim of the book is to provide the prospective reader with a quantum of knowledge in the two areas. A subsidiary aim is to tidy up the metalinguistic terminology, replete with such deficiencies as polysemy, whereby one term is laden with a number of senses, as well as synonymy, due to which one sense is connected with more than one term.

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Introduction 15

Extract

Introduction Almost everything that one claims about meaning is likely to be questioned or disputed. Translation studies also abound in numerous controversies. Therefore, juxtaposing meaning and translation under one title appears to be a very risky enterprise indeed. Yet, this risk must be undertaken since both these subjects are taught in numerous departments of modern languages and applied linguistics, as well as in schools of translation and in other institutions where linguistics and translation studies, sometimes also called translatology, are taught. Despite all the controversies, there are several truths which appear to be unshakable. One of them concerns the very theme of the present book viz. that translation entails meaning. This means that whenever one talks about translation, one must neces- sarily talk about meaning even if the opposite may not be true. One can approach meaning in abstraction from its possible relation to translation. The fact that trans- lation evokes meaning results from another unshakable fact, namely that transla- tion is a specific form of communication which rests on meaning. In Leech’s words “Semantics (as the study of meaning) is central to the study of communica- tion.” (Leech 1974: ix). It follows that translation cannot be approached in isola- tion from meaning and anything that is said and claimed about translation must needs be placed in the context of meaning. Accordingly, the first volume of the present book concerns this necessary context, while the second volume views translation in terms of the semantic framework presented in the first volume....

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