The Role of Translation Theory
Trans•late verb to turn into one’s own or another language (Webster)To define translation is rather simple; to explain what translation entails is quite another matter. Explaining this phenomenon has been the subject matter of translation theory throughout history.
SIL’s commitment to scholarship in language development includes research in translation theory and practice in order to promote greater understanding of the process of translation. This research then informs the practical work of translation teams. In many places, SIL works in partnership with language communities to facilitate the translation of books and booklets for educational programs, stories related to culture and folklore, health and community development resources and Scripture texts.
Quality translation of these important materials should be:
- accurate: representing the meaning of the source text as faithfully as possible;
- natural: using the receptor language in ways appropriate to the text being translated; and,
- communicative: expressing the meaning in an understandable way to the intended audience.
SIL’s approach to translation theory is multidisciplinary, involving Translation Studies, Cognitive Linguistics, Relevance Theory, Discourse Studies, and other related fields.