Difficulties of the translation of scientific and technical texts | Статья в журнале «Молодой ученый»


Рубрика: Педагогика

Опубликовано в Молодой учёный №13 (147) март 2017 г.

Дата публикации: 04.04.2017

Статья просмотрена: 1190 раз

Библиографическое описание:

Раджабова Д. А. Difficulties of the translation of scientific and technical texts // Молодой ученый. — 2017. — №13. — С. 595-599. — URL https://moluch.ru/archive/147/41270/ (дата обращения: 19.01.2019).

Among the urgent problems of modern translation, the development of such a field as the translation of scientific and technical texts takes an important place, in connection with the accelerating scientific and technical process this type of translation is becoming more and more in demand. The translation of a foreign language text is always associated with many difficulties that arise in the way of an interpreter. When translating, all the subtleties of a foreign language must be taken into account. The task of an interpreter is to feel the style of the article, to convey all the subtleties of the translated material without distorting the original source. One of the most complicated types of translation is a scientific and technical translation, since for an adequate interpretation of a material in another language, not only linguistic but technical knowledge is required as well. Technical translation is the translation of texts of technical subjects, in particular, documents of different specialization, all kinds of reference literature, dictionaries, product conformity certificates, operating instructions, engineering plans, scientific and technical articles, business contracts and other commercial technical proposals.

Authors of scientific works avoid the usage of many expressive means of language, in order not to violate the basic principle of the scientific and technical language — the accuracy and clarity of the presentation. From the point of view of the vocabulary, the main feature of technical translation is the maximum saturation of the special terminology that is characteristic of a given branch of knowledge.

The main difficulty in translating artistic texts is the need to interpret the author's intentions, preserve his literary style, psychological and emotional elements. However, the task of the translator of the scientific and technical text is simpler: to convey the author's thought accurately, preserving the features of his style. As already indicated above, in order to understand the scientific and technical text correctly, knowing this subject and related terminology is very important.

Technical text can not be a free retelling, even if the meaning of the translated document is preserved. Such text should not contain any emotional statements and subjective assessments. The main features of translating scientific and technical texts are manifested in the compulsory knowledge of all terms relating to a specific technical field of translation by the translator. A specialist working with a scientific and technical text should understand not only the meaning of translated words, but also take into account all the nuances of their application. A translator working with a scientific and technical text have to deal with not only linguistics, but also technical disciplines. When translating scientific and technical literature, one should always maintain the style of the original document. Usually all documents of a scientific and technical nature have the main features. Among them, it is worth noting the clear and concise character of the exposition, the strict exposition of technical terminology, the clear logical sequence of information and concreteness in interpreting the facts. A variety of epithets are excluded while translating scientific and technical text, technical translation from one language to another should be accurate and logically aligned. It is very important not only to convey the essence of the text, but also to avoid minor inaccuracies.

For example, a minor mistake in the translation of the technical instruction on the operation of the equipment may prevent a successful start-up or lead to improper use of this equipment. The translator who is carrying out the technical translation into English should be fluent in both Uzbek or Russian and English, also should be well versed in technical terminology, inherent in this or that field of activity, be able to work with information sources. Quite often, while translating technical texts, there are problems associated with a lack of translators who are proficient in technical terminology and developed linguistic abilities. Therefore, to eliminate the shortcomings of the translation of the text and to maximize its translation to the text of the original document, before the actual practical use, the translated text is additionally tested by specialists in the field of technical translation and by linguistic specialists. Scientific and technical texts require an accurate translation using the appropriate lexical equivalents in the target language. As a rule, only in emergency cases synonyms and translations of descriptive nature are used. Correct translation of safety rules or instructions for the use of technical means assumes great responsibility, as there are always strict limitations, non-observance of which can lead to serious injuries or consequences. It is possible to stop the work of a large enterprise if translate the material without understanding the specifics of the technological process. Significant difficulties in translating technical documentation or scientific works arise if the word has several meanings. Choosing something that does not distort not only the meaning of the translation, but also gives the correct interpretation of the term for a particular technical case — this is the skill of an interpreter. After all, sometimes technical terminology can put a person with an engineering education in a difficult situation as well, especially if different meanings of the same word are used in different technical fields. It is often necessary to take into account regional semantic differences for different countries, the same term may sound different. Another important problem is the presence of abbreviations in the text, which are not always clear even to technical specialists.

These abbreviations can be an insurmountable barrier to qualitative translation. A lot of difficulties arise with the translation of new technical words, which have not taken root in our country yet. In this case, the specialist has to look for and choose a variety of suitable thematic Russian or Uzbek words that fully correspond to the original source. For scientific and technical translations, a certain manner of presentation is a characteristic feature. This is due to the fact that specialists who use the translated texts should without much difficulty, understand the information or guidance for action and should not be distracted by the form of information submission. The author of the scientific and technical article tries to exclude the possibility of an arbitrary interpretation of the studied subject, as a result in the scientific literature there are hardly any expressive means such as metaphors, metonymy and other stylistic figures, which are widely used in art works for giving a living, imaginative character. Authors of scientific works avoid using these expressive means, in order not to violate the basic principle of the scientific and technical language — the accuracy and clarity of the presentation of thought. Scientific and technical translation is always free of emotionality and imagery and must be carried out in scientific style.

Once again it should be emphasized that scientific and technical translations are distinguished by accuracy, a clear sequence of presentation, conciseness, by the logical construction of phrases, clarity and objectivity. From the point of view of the vocabulary, the main feature of the scientific and technical text lies in the extreme saturation of the special terminology that is characteristic of this branch of knowledge. Every professional translator of scientific and technical literature should have at hand a whole arsenal of auxiliary tools. This includes scientific and technical, and reference literature of various thematic focus, and specialized, and linguistic dictionaries, which will help the translator to avoid inaccuracies and stylistic errors in both languages. Technical translation involves not only translating words from one language to another, but also applying a whole set of knowledge, both linguistic and highly specialized. In addition to linguistic education, certain knowledge in the field of technology is also required from specialists engaged in scientific and technical translation.

For a proper technical translation, the interpreter needs to understand the meaning of the text fully, if he does not understand it, the translator can not reliably and correctly translate this text. The complexity of scientific and technical translation lies in the fact that most words are polysemantic, and their meanings in different languages often does not coincide, and without knowledge of the subject it is impossible to choose the right version of a technical translation correctly. In addition, translators should know not only the theory of the subject of translation, but also practical experience as well, the ability to navigate well among different types of technical translation, including oral technical translation, translation of headings, abstract translation, abstract and complete translation. The most difficult is oral simultaneous interpretation, since the specialist does not have the opportunity to refer to dictionaries and encyclopedias in the translation process. Based on the mentioned above, it is possible to formulate the purpose of this article, which is to study the features of the translation of scientific and technical texts, to consider the importance of translating scientific and technical literature as a way of exchanging and disseminating information in the world community.

In connection with the accelerating scientific and technological progress, every possible technique is an indispensable attribute of a person's daily life. Emergence of technical innovations in the world that make our life more comfortable and convenient, and the production making it more efficient and economical, requires a high-quality technical translation of all documentation accompanying this technology. The translator of scientific and technical literature should constantly improve his lexical stock, understand the terms and know their meaning. The complexity of the scientific and technical translation is that the translation must be carried out in the manner of the presentation adopted in this field. Any deviation from the adopted formulations and terms becomes obvious, therefore replacement of the specified language expressions by synonyms is inadmissible. It is generally accepted that the technical literature is characterized by a neutral way of presenting the material or a neutral style when the author of the scientific and technical article tries to exclude stylistic figures, which are used in artistic works giving speech a vibrant, imaginative character.

However, according to A. V. Fedorov, the concept of «neutral style», that is, a style of dry, lack of figurativeness and emotionality, is a relative concept, the absence of these properties constitutes a clear, although a negative stylistic sign. In this case there is also a positive characterizing attribute [1]. Since the scientific and technical text is a logical, formal, almost mathematical presentation of the material, this presentation formally can be called -logical. Many criticize this style of presentation, forgetting that technical texts are intended for professionals with relevant knowledge, and for which a departure from the usual way of presenting the material makes it difficult to understand the facts. The style of a language is understood as a complex intertwining of two factors — what is said and how it is said. Retsker gave the first definition of style. In his opinion, «style is a lexico-grammatical unity in the variety of texts that turns out to be characteristic of a certain category of texts» [2].

The style of contemporary English technical literature is based on the norms of English written language with certain specific characteristics in vocabulary, grammar, and also in the way the material is presented. A large number of special terms and words that are not of Anglo-Saxon origin are not used in the lexicon. Words are selected with great care for the most accurate transmission of thoughts. The abbreviation as a special type of nominative signs is considered to be important. In grammar, only grammatical norms that are firmly established in written speech are used. Mostly compound sentences are used, in which the substantive, adjective and non-finite forms of the verb predominate. Logical allocation is often achieved by deviating from the solid word order. «The common denominator between art and the scientific method is logic», says V. N. Kommissaro. The writer of technical topics has already learned to think during the preparation for a specialty. For him writing means only an extension of the scope of this quality» [3].

This means that the main task of scientific and technical translation is providing accurate and clear information to the reader. This task is achieved by substantiating the actual material logically, without the use of emotionally colored words, expressions and grammatical constructions. The characteristics given are inherent in scientific and technical texts. These texts differ from each other not only in the field of science or technology to which they relate, but also in the degree of their specialization. One of the features of scientific and technical texts is that texts of technical reference books, catalogs, product descriptions, technical reports, specifications and instructions may sometimes contain sentences in which there is no predicate or subject. As already has indicated, the main feature of the scientific and technical text is terminology.

Terminology is the core of a technical text, the last, the most inner circle, the most significant feature of the science language. It can be said that the term embodies the main features of a technical text and is extremely relevant to the tasks of scientific instruction. A term is a word or phrase that accurately refers to an object, phenomenon or concept of science that reveals its content. A scientifically constructed definition lies in a term. M. M. Glushko states that «a term is a word or phrase for the expression of concepts and designation of objects, which, due to its strict and precise definition, has clear semantic boundaries and is therefore monosemantic within the appropriate classification system» [4]. The term should be part of a strict logical system. The meanings of terms and their definitions must obey the rules of logical classification, clearly distinguishing objects and concepts, avoiding ambiguity or contradiction. The complex relationship between the words of everyday language and terms makes it difficult to identify the terminology of certain branches of technical literature.

The systematization of the existing English terminology is complicated by the fact that the same term has different meanings in different fields of technology or even within the same industry, as well as the emergence of a large number of new terms. In each article on a technical specialty the number of terms does not exceed 150–200 units. With the development of science and technology, stepping by leaps and bounds, monosemantic special terms can have additional meanings and become polysemantic, and polysemantic terms may lose their meaning and become monosemantic. Due to the complex evolution of the English language, synonymy is widely developed, including the lexical one: the same concept can be expressed in different words, mainly words of Anglo-Saxon or Latin origin. The technical literature mainly uses words of Latin origin. For example, instead of the verb to clean (для очистки), the verb to purify is used, instead of the verb to say (сказать), the verbs to state (настаивать), to assert (утверждать), to reply (объявлять) are used. This is necessary for more precise differentiation of individual processes, as well as giving the language of technical literature a specific language color.

Auxiliary words play a significant role in the technical literature that create logical links between individual elements of utterances. These are prepositions and conjunctions, such as on, upon, before, beside, instead of, in preference of, from, except for, in addition, together with, owing to, due to, thanks to, by means of, in connection with, for the purpose of, in order to, and others. In addition, scientific technical literature often uses adverbs like also, now, however, thus, again, which are indispensable elements of the development of logical reasoning. The main ways of the formation of English scientific and technical terms are syntactic, semantic and morphological, as well as borrowings from other languages and branch terminologies. Borrowing of new words and new terminology is natural for any language. Such words as «computer», «barter», «interface» and others were borrowed from English. Replenishment of terminology with new units occurs constantly.

Proceeding from the above, we can conclude that the translation of a foreign text is always associated with a lot of difficulties that arise in the way of the translator. Prospects for further research in this direction are the fact that a professional translator must take into account all the subtleties of a foreign language, the language of technical literature, because a quality translation is not a simple set of words in a sentence, it has its own style and syllable. For adequate interpretation of scientific and technical material, not only linguistic, but also technical knowledge is required. The translator must reliably communicate the information, translating the text from the native language to a foreign one or vice versa, to withstand the style of the document, to give a logically meaningful interpretation, taking into account all the specifics of the terminology. D. V. Ranni said that in the process of translation the structure of the language of scientific and technical literature should be governed by logic, and clarity should regulate its individual elements. The chosen words should be simple enough and convenient to attract the attention of the reader and the meaning should be understandable [5, p. 75] In accordance with the basic requirements, such as consistency, conciseness, objectivity, style, the scientific style of the English language shows only its inherent universal style features. Specialists who use the translated texts should understand the information without much difficulty and not be withdrawn to the form of its submission. Translated scientific and technical texts must accurately convey the meaning of the original, be as close as possible to the original form.

Translation of scientific and technical texts is impossible without the use of sources of linguistic and technical information, in which the translator must be well-oriented and should use it. In conclusion, repeating the words of T. R. Levitskoy and A. M. Fiterman, one can say that the theoretical preparedness and art of an interpreter is expressed in the ability to find the right solutions to the difficulties, and also in the ability to use the accumulated practical experience [6]. Only having versatile and special knowledge, the translator can achieve a full-fledged translation, completely transfer the contents of the translated form in the corresponding original form, without violating the norms of the language to which the translation is done.


  1. Федотов А. В. Основы общей теории перевода / А. В. Федотов — М.: Философия Три; СПб: Филологический факультет СПбГУ, 2002. — 416 с. 2.
  2. Рецкер Я. И. Методика технического перевода / Я. И. Рецкер — М.: Дрофа, 2007. — С. 14–20.
  3. Комиссаров В. Н. Современное переводоведение: учеб. пособие / В. Н. Комиссаров. — М.: Учебное пособие. ЭТС, 2001. — 424 с.
  4. Глушко М. М. Функциональный стиль общественного языка и методы его исследования / М. М. Глушко. — М.: Наука, 1974. — 215 с. Glushko M. M. (1994).
  5. Ranni D. W. The Elements of Style. (An Introduction to Literary Criticism) / D. W. Ranni. — London, 1951. Ranni, D.W. (1951), «The Elements of Style», London, England.
  6. Левицкая Т. Р. Теория и практика перевода с английского на русский / Т. Р. Левицкая, А. М. Фитерман — М.: Изд-во л-ры на иностранных языках, 1963. — 125 с.


Социальные комментарии Cackle
Задать вопрос