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American Annals of the Deaf

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Toward a Deaf Translation Norm

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Thematic enrichment explicitly states the agent of an event in the TL when compared with the SL. The impoverishment occurs when the agent is purposefully lost and becomes implicit in the TL. The TL is still understood, and the implication should not be an error but a decision made by the translator for reasons of naturalness and efficiency over effectiveness.
A cada impulso sonaba un diminuto crujido [SL text]

With every push it crackled a little [suggested translation]

With every gust of wind it crackled a little [TL text]

. . . the degree of explicitness has been changed . . . [the] interlingual enrichment [is] based on information which had not been linguistically encoded in the original but merely suggested, but which is linguistically encoded in the translation. (Sequeiros 2002, 1081–82)

The source thematic enrichment occurs when the TL makes explicit the point of origin of an event or entity.
El agua salía hirviendo, y eso compensaba la falta de sol y de aire.

The water [from the tap] was boiling hot, and this compensated for the lack of sun [light] and [fresh] air. (Sequeiros 2002, 1083) [my additions indicate enrichments]

The possessor thematic enrichment occurs when the TL builds into the linguistic code the possessor of an entity described in the utterance. Even though this may be a grammatical necessity, it still falls within a strict definition of enrichment with respect to the SL.
Ruti sonrió con melancolia. Le puso una mano en el hombro.

Ruti smiled sadly and put his hand on the old man’s shoulder.

The English version includes the possessor of the shoulder, namely, the old man and also the possessor of the hand, namely, Ruti. These two pieces of information are merely suggested in the Spanish original. (Sequeiros 2002, 1084)

This example highlights different motivations for the construction of the TL text. The hearer of the Spanish will enrich the logical form of Le puso una mano en el hombro to mean Ruti’s hand and a man’s shoulder as this is how Spanish linguistically encodes the possessive. In English the possession is explicitly marked in the linguistic code so the translation into English requires that a possessive be used. While the process involves an enrichment of the logical form from the Spanish, the translator has no choice in how this is translated with regards to the possessive markers, although the addition of old relies on contextual assumptions in the text. As described, there are different categories of enrichments and impoverishments, shifts that the interpreter or translator can choose to make and those that are obligatory.

The enrichment shifts based on discourse relations occur when the TL makes explicit the connections between two clauses or utterances.

El calor pegajoso le humedecía la camisa, adhiriéndosela al cuerpo.

The sticky heat made his shirt damp, so that it clung to his body.

. . . the Spanish has two clauses . . . . Between the two clauses there is a discourse relation [sic] relationship of consequence. . . . This connection is left implicit in the original but in the translation it is encoded linguistically by adding the connecting expression so that. (Sequeiros 2002, 1085)

This enrichment shift from Spanish to English would not be necessary from BSL to English, although there could be a need for a causal connective such as BECOME. It is also important to examine the features one would expect from an unwritten language (Ong 1982, described later). As BSL is an active language, events generally occur in chronological order and follow a logical order of cause and effect, all of which may create translation shifts toward both enriched and impoverished forms.

A further category may have to be developed, as the previous categories do not cover the situations when the contextual assumption is due to visual information and the potential for BSL to linguistically encode locational information.

Car drive cl-move-Left-hand-side-of-road

the car is driven on the left hand side of the road


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