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Peculiarities of Technical Translation

Defining the specificity of technical translation, special translation theory (if we talk about scientific-technical translation) studies three types of factors which must be taken into account while describing translations of certain type. First of all, the particular functional style of a source scientific or technical document itself can influence the type of translation process and require from technical translator use of special methods and ways. Secondly, such source orientation can predetermine stylistic characteristics of the translation text and, thus, necessity for choice of such means of language that characterize the same functional style in the target language during technical translation. And, finally, interaction of these two factors can result in appearance of translation peculiarities themselves which are connected both with common features and differences between linguistic signs of the same functional styles of source and target languages and with special conditions and tasks of technical translation from different languages.

Within each functional style we can distinguish some linguistic features which influence on the process and the result of translation is rather significant. For instance, in scientific-technical style, during technical translation these features are lexico-grammatical peculiarities of scientific-technical materials and, first of all, it is the leading role of terminology and special vocabulary.

Translation of technical texts is one of the most demanded services in the translation sphere. It’s connected with modern technical development and necessity of constant ensuring such development. Nevertheless, translation of technical texts is characterized by the range of peculiarities which dictate the specificity of translator’s activity while dealing with texts belonging to scientific-technical style which features we would like to describe.

Peculiar features of scientific-technical style (it is also applicable to technical interpretation) are its substantiveness, logicality (strict consistency, clear connection between main idea and details), accuracy and objectivity and subsequent lucidity and clarity. All texts of this type tend to use the language means that contribute to satisfaction of needs of this communication sphere.

On the vocabulary level technical translation, first of all, implies use of scientific-technical terminology and so-called technicalities. Terms must provide clear and accurate definition of real objects and phenomena, establish unambiguous comprehension of transmitted information by specialists. Uppermost, in translation of technical literature the term must be precise, i.e. it must have strictly determined meaning which can be developed by means of logical definition that removes the place of defined concept in the paradigm of this certain field of science or technique. For the same reason the term must be monosemantic and, in this regard, context-independent. In other words, it must have its own precise meaning which is determined by its definition in all its occurrences in any text, thus, person who uses the term doesn’t have to clarify its meaning in different contexts.

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