We are not only the members of our country, we are the members of the world community, and this means we have our own voice and place in it. Together with our rights we have our responsibilities too. Therefore, it is quite natural for us to take better care of the world and contribute in solving the world's problems. One of the most important tools in our struggle for the better life and prosperity is «language», which is socially determined.
The role of language in today’s fast changing world become actual through «translating», and since critical language study is concerned with the processes of producing and interpreting texts and with the way these cognitive processes are socially shaped, it can be considered as an alternative approach to translation studies.
The world is becoming smaller and smaller as the systems of communication and information are developing and becoming more and more complicated. In the process of such a rapid exchange of information and for the purpose of improving cultural contacts between the people of the world, one thing is inevitable, and that is «translating». That is why there is a need for competent translators and interpreters. We all know that today computers are doing a lot of things people can, but they cannot replace a human, as the man is the only creature with the ability to think and analyze.
Thinking of these facts in mind, we feel proud, but at the same time, we take that responsibility and challenge these profession demands of translators. Is it possible to become a good translator? What does it demand of person? What skills are needed to promote translating ability?
The first and the most necessary step is extensive reading: reading of any kind, reading in both mother and the target languages. It is the basis of all other skills. Keep reading different translations of different kinds of texts, since translating requires active knowledge, while analyzing and evaluating different translations demands passive knowledge. Therefore, receptive skills should be developed before the productive ones; i.e. by reinforcing their passive knowledge, students will eventually improve their active knowledge.
Comprehensive knowledge of both source and target languages is demanded from a good translator to meet its requirements. Students should read different genres in both source and target languages including modern literature, contemporary prose, newspapers, magazines, advertisements, announcements, instructions, etc. Being familiar with all these genres and all the spheres of life is highly important, since they implicitly transfer culture-specific aspects of a language.
The second, but as important as the first step is developing writing skills, i.e. the ability to write fluently and properly in both origin and target languages. Writing should be accepted as one of the primary jobs of a translator. Students should be familiar with different styles of writing and techniques and principles of editing and punctuation in both languages. A good translator should be a good writer too. Only a writer can transfer the meaning from one language into another. We know a lot of writers who masterly translated the works of art of world famous writers.
What is more, the students preparing to become translators should have an ability to listen to both source and target languages; i.e. they should be alert to pick up various expressions, patterns, idioms, and specific vocabulary and their uses, and preserve them in their memory to be used later.
One of the most important points to consider in the act of translating is understanding the value of the source text within the framework of the source-language discourse. To develop this understanding, the translator must be aware of the cultural differences and the various discourse strategies in the source and target languages. A good translator should be familiar with the culture, customs, and social settings of the source and target language speakers. This socio-cultural knowledge can improve the quality of the students' translations to a great extent. According to Hatim and Mason (1990), the social context in translating a text is probably a more important variable than its genre. The act of translating takes place in the socio-cultural context. Consequently, it is important to judge translating activity only within a social context.
When a student achieves a good competence in both source and target languages and good knowledge in understanding of the two nations in their characteristic features, the act of translating may begin. Do you think, this is enough to start translation process? Do you think, you are now a translator? Remember, there is a middle stage between the competence-developing stage and actual translating: it is becoming aware of various information-providing sources and learning how to use them. These sources include: different monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, encyclopedias, and the Internet.
Being able to dictionaries is a technical skill in itself. Not all students know how to use dictionaries appropriately. Words have different meanings in different contexts; in this case monolingual dictionaries have highest importance for the student in his translation. Moreover, students need a great deal of practice to find the intended meaning of words in a particular context, using monolingual dictionaries or reading and comparing the usage of this or that word in different articles, texts or any other form of publications.
Translation needs to be practiced in an academic environment in which trainees work on both practical tasks under the supervision of their teachers and theoretical aspects to enhance their knowledge. Only a sophisticated and systematic treatment of translation education can lead to the development of successful translators. And the most difficult part of the activity starts when translation trainees face the real situation to do the translation and be responsible for his work.
In short, translator recreates a text in another language, trying to keep a considerate balance between keeping the thoughts and intents of the source writer and at the same time using all his effort to make his translation natural, as if it had been created in this language, not in another one. If the reader of the translated piece accepts it as natural, if he can feel all the thoughts of the characters and never finds oddity in the content- this is the mastery of the translator. In other words, a translator unlocks the prison of language, as Ms. Lesser said, and helps a text break free of its limited original language, culture, and audience.
All these demands seem rather hard to achieve, but knowing excellent translators and writers well-known in this field, we see it is not impossible. There are, many excellent practitioners, also among the students, who try to fulfill these heavy requirements doing practicing all the time. Nowadays, the number of translated books published in Uzbekistan is growing. This proves the fact that more and more people are taking up this challenging and stimulating work. It means, they are contributing their huge assistance in the great deal of the society, giving new generation a chance to read masterworks in their mother tongue and broaden their mind. If only more people would join the ranks of translators and help unlock the prison of language.
- Azabdaftari, B. 1997. Psychological Analysis of Translation Process. Motarjem Journal, Mashhad, Iran. 21 & 22: 7–12 (Translation).
- Hatim, B. & I. Mason. 1990. Discourse and the Translator. London: Longman.
- Lotfipour, S.K. 1985. Lexical Cohesion and Translation Equivalence. Meta, XLII, 1, 185–92.