After a brief account of the treatment of the concept of creativity in the literature on translation, in the first part some psychological models of creativity and decision-making are presented, e.g. Wallas' (1926) four stages of the creative process, and Festinger's (1957, 1964) cognitive dissonance theory, and compared with some creativity-related research in the field of interpreting.
The second part of the paper uses interpreters' strategies for rendering neologisms as an example of translational creativity. (The concept of strategy will be dealt with more thoroughly in a separate paper.) Four basic strategies for the interpreting of neologies are outlined: 1. omission; 2. use of existing term to denote "approximate" or "provisional" equivalent; 3. explanation of concept; 4. neologisms (loans, loan-translations and word creation). A pilot survey has been conducted to test the validity of these strategies, and the results are presented.
This study is carried out at the Department of Finnish, Stockholm University, and is part of a large, joint research project "Translation and Interpreting - a Meeting between Languages and Cultures" at the Universities of Stockholm and Uppsala, Sweden, financed by the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, Riksbankens Jubileumsfond (RJ).
Your comments and criticisms are most welcome! Please write to:
Institute for Interpretation and Translation Studies
S-106 91 Stockholm
Tel. +46 8 162927. Fax: +46 8 161396.
According to Gui translation is fundamentally creative for a number of reasons, e.g.:
- translation cannot merely transform an original text into a literal equivalent, but must successfully convey the overall meaning of the original, including that text's surrounding cultural significance;
- translators have to form source-text ideas into the structure of the target language;
- the process of searching out a target-language counterpart to a difficult source-language word or phrase is often creative.
Even technical translators must exercise some degree of creativity, and there is no fundamental difference between the work of translators and that of painters or writers (Gui 1995).
The concept of translational creativity has so far escaped any unitary definition. Wilss (1995) maintains that "the most competent translators possess a malleable and creative mind", which is part of the translators' "translation intelligence". Not all translation tasks need the same amount of this "intelligence" to be accomplished. To Wilss, translation is a "'re-creative' linguistic activity. Translation is never a creatio ex nihilo, but the context-bound reproduction of a given text". He continues:
Nida (1996), in discussing the notion of a "fully adequate"translation, suggests that translation is neither a science nor an independent discipline, but a creative technology with insights from several disciplines.
Snell-Hornby (1995) points out that language norms give the translator an "infinitive creative potential". The translator can make "creative extensions" of the norms; and Snell-Hornby concludes: "The language norm is in fact supremely flexible, it offers potential for creativity within the possibilities of the language system. This is of crucial importance for the translator, especially the literary translator". (Snell-Hornby1995:121.)
But there are other norms than linguistic which play a role in the work of the translator and interpreter, e.g. societal and professional norms of behaviour. Kovacic (1995) suggests that the teaching of subtitling, a new professional area, cannot be based on existing norms. Instead it is the purpose of training to give students sufficient knowledge about translation, language embedded in culture, language functions in human communication, and social attitudes towards language and language varieties. With this knowledge, students should be encouraged to think creatively about subtitling, thus participating in the evolution of norms for subtitling.
An interesting aspect to creativity in translation is described by Uzawa(1997) from the area of second language learning. 22 English as a second language students were asked to think aloud while translating from their first language into English, and translations and think-aloud protocols were analysed. Contrary to expectations, most subjects avoided translating literally when literal translations did not make sense. They paid attention to problematic correspondences and applied problem solving at both word and sentence levels. Results suggest that translation tasks enable learners to use the target language generatively and creatively in order to make them aware of correct correspondences in words and structures.
Wallas’ (1976; originally 1926) description of creative thinking, although derived from introspection and scattered observation rather than systematic empirical research, has been widely accepted by theorists and researchers of creativity. It is also used by Kussmaul (1993, 1995) in his investigation of the translation process, see section 1.3.3.
Wallas has developed a model in four stages (the description is based on Ruth 1984 and Wallas 1976):
|The need or the problem is perceived||The problem is perceived||Preparation||Creative association|
|The problem is defined||The problem is localised and defined||Incubation||Refinement|
|Available knowledge is examined||Presentation of proposals for solutions||Illumination|
|Solutions are shaped||Consequences are weighted||Verification|
|Solutions are examined critically||Solution is approved|
|New ideas are formulated|
|New ideas are tested and approved|
A. Openness to experience. This means, e.g.,
C. The ability to toy with elements and concepts. Associated with the openness and lack of rigidity under A is
|Association within the confines of a given matrix||Bisociation of independent matrices|
|Guidance by pre-conscious or extra-conscious processes||Guidance by sub-conscious processes normally under restraint|
|Dynamic equilibrium||Activation of regenerative potentials|
|Rigid to flexible variations on a theme||Super-flexibility (reculer pour mieux sauter)|
It is the human self, the I, which stands so to say in the middle between two competing forces, entropy (disorder) and order (which we achieve through knowledge). The human individual is able to perceive the wholeness, get the whole picture so to say, and thus has the ability to evaluate the results of this "competition" between entropy and order like Fig. 1 describes.
Fig. 1-1 The holistic Self (after Åstrand 1992)
To describe this in terms of creativity, the creative thought is born out of the tension between order and disorder, as shown in Fig. 2.
Fig. 1-2 The birth of creative thought (after Åstrand 1992).
Before and after the decision is made, short term memory is used to handle the information about the alternatives while the decision maker evaluates the alternatives. The information is given by the senses (perception) and there may also be information available from long-term memory. This consists of general knowledge as well as more specific memories that enable good decision-making (Benthorn 1994).
Thus, the pre-decision situation is generally regarded as one in which the person experiences conflict. But the decision maker also has to justify the decision after it has been made. Pre-decision evaluation processes can be characterised as impartial and objective (this view is criticised as erroneous by Janis and Mann 1977), while post-decision evaluation is biased in favour of one alternative - the one chosen. According to Festinger’s theory, in the post-decision phase dissonance reduction processes begin which aim at increasing the differences between the chosen solution and the one(s) rejected (Benthorn 1994).
18.104.22.168 The Differentiation and Consolidation Theory (DCT)
The Differentiation and Consolidation Theory of human decision making(DCT) (described by Svenson 1992) postulates that before the decision is made there is a differentiation of the aspects of the promising alternative and its competitors. The change is mostly in favour of the promising alternative (Benthorn 1994:13). After the decision has been made, the decision maker continues the differentiation process - now as a consolidation process- in order to prepare for and avoid future threats to the prior decision. These post-decision processes may include, for example, increasing the attractiveness of the chosen alternative and decreasing the attractiveness of the rejected alternative.
Probability is one of the attributes in DCT (cf. Chernov’s "probability prediction mechanism" in section 1.3.1 below), and it also covers decision under risk (Benthorn 1994:15).
Interpreting researcher Chernov (1979, 1985) has pointed out that simultaneous interpreting is impossible without redundancy, and it plays a significant role in his model for simultaneous interpreting.
Chernov sees a strong correlation between language comprehension and the human ability to draw conclusions, i.e. our ability to extract the implications of a message after having heard part of it, through linguistic, cognitive, deictic (situational) and pragmatic inferences. According to Chernov, in order for this process to succeed in the highly complex simultaneous interpreting situation, the message must contain redundancy, the minimum level of which is higher than in written translation.
Another factor at work in this context is our innate ability to make predictions (our "probability prediction mechanism") and adapt instantaneously to changes in our external environment. Chernov has constructed a model for predicting probability in simultaneous interpreting, based on an increased redundancy from the i) syllabic level to the ii) word level and on the levels of iii) clause, iv) sentence, v) message, and vi) situation (communication). There is constant feedback and interaction among the various levels.
Chernov distinguishes between two kinds of redundancy in simultaneous interpreting: objective and subjective. Objective redundancy refers to language, i.e. to linguistic factors, while subjective redundancy is constructed from the inferences made by the interpreter on the basis of his or her knowledge of the source language, the situation, the person/people for whom s/he is interpreting, the subject, the time, the speaker’s target group, intentions etc.
Alessandra Riccardi (1998) asks the rhetorical question: Is the interpreter creative? Her answer is:
1. preparation (including text analysis, interpretation; involves "creative comprehension")
2. incubation (fluency of thinking, divergent thinking; involves emotions)
3. illumination (divergent production [See e.g. Guilford (1967)] ; shifts/transformations; cf. de Bono’s "lateral thinking" [See e.g. Bono (1970)] )
4. evaluation (entails convergent thinking)
An interesting finding in Kussmaul’s protocols was that in the evaluation phase sometimes innovative and very good solutions which had popped up in the illumination phase were abandoned in the evaluation stage, and a more "conventional" solution was adopted. This may be a result of the team-work: a compromise to suit all, which is a threat to creativity!
1.3.4 Action frame of the translator
The choice of creative strategies is dependent on both internal (relating to the individual interpreter) and external factors. From a system-theoretic point of view Hanna Risku (1997) has identified a number of factors which are crucial for the translation process and constitute the action frame of the translator. (These are effects of personal, situational and systemic qualities, not strategies.)
1. person - problem solver: the translator with his/her cognitive, emotional and motivational characteristics,
2. situation: socio-cultural and professional conditions, under which the translator accepts and works on assignments,
3. task - goal - skopos: case specific and dynamic goal of the translation act from the translator’s perspective,
4. system of the assignment and the target communication related to the original communication.
In 1975 French lexicographer and terminologist Alain Rey published his Essai de définition du concept de néologisme, translated into English and printed in Rey (1995), where he gives a thorough theoretical treatise of processes of lexical neology and lays a theoretical foundation for systematic lexicological and terminological work in the area. Rey emphasises among other things the social and pragmatic aspects of linguistic neology. He quotes fellow French lexicographer Louis Guilbert (La créativité lexicale 1975): "The creation of a neologism cannot be dissociated from individual creators who are integrated into a community and use it in discourse for expressing themselves in a particular situation." (Rey 1995:66). Neologisms as a linguistic phenomenon can be seen from different aspects: time (synchronic), geographical, social and communicative. Thus neologism is
Neological / onomasiological needs according to Rey can be 1. subject related (thematic onomasiology), 2. semantic (componential onomasiology) or 3. translation related. A need for neologism may be language-internal, i.e. within one language area, or because of external pressure. One example of the latter case is diffusion of technical innovations, e.g. computer terminology from English to other languages (Rey 1995:79-90). This applies also to translation between the majority language and linguistic minorities within a country ("indigenous" minorities or immigrant languages). Here, it is often a question about social and cultural influence with subsequent lexicological and terminological problems.
In interpreting situations I think it is possible to distinguish two main types of neologisms: on the one hand source language terms and special language phrases used by the speaker, and on the other hand the possible neologisms that the interpreter uses to translate either these "new" terms or other, "old" terms which lack a direct equivalence in the target language.
The neologisms of the speaker can be either "accepted" neologies within the speaker’s discourse community, to use the terminology of Foucault (1970), or spontaneous, idiosyncratic, created in the heat of the moment: speaker’s creativity!
In interpreter training much time is used for work with this kind of terms. Even other linguists like translators, technical writers, journalists, home language teachers etc. discuss terminological questions with each other, and this often results in a kind of standardised translation of neologisms and culture-specific terms.
The problem with this "home-made" terminology is that there are hardly any authoritative organisations, e.g. language planning authorities, academies etc. who can advise and give directives for terminological and lexicographic development work. Nevertheless, "unauthorised" glossaries and dictionaries are continuously developed and distributed at seminars, interpreter training courses etc.
If there is no authorised, recommended or generally accepted translation of a source language term, the interpreter may have to resort to a temporary solution by creating ad hoc neologisms as a kind of "substitute equivalent". Quite often the interpreter also supplements "officially recommended" translations with an explication of the concept to make sure that the target language speaker really understands. And sometimes even the interpreter can make a slip of the tongue... The neologisms of the interpreter can thus be of the following types:
• standardised, authorised or generally accepted translations of neologisms
• more or less successful ex tempore / ad hoc-translations
• corrections or supplements of the speaker’s use of special terminology
• slips of the tongue, i.e. a kind of "pathological neologisms", see above.
2.3 Interpreting strategies
There is a lot of literature within translation studies about strategies for the translation of problematic terms and concepts. On the basis of, for example, a compilation by Williams (1990) we identified (Niska & Fröili 1992) the following strategies for the translation of source language terms (Swedish, Norwegian) into immigrant languages in dictionaries for interpreters produced in Norway and Sweden:
1. equivalent or at least "near equivalent"/"translation equivalent", when available;
2. loan translation - e.g. SV "folkhögskola" - EN "folk high school";
3. translation of explanation of concept - e.g. FR "le baccalauréat" - EN "the French secondary school leaving examination";
4. direct loan - foreign language terms are taken over "as is" or slightly modified, e.g. SV "know-how"; FI "skintografia"; DE "computer".
5. neologism, i.e. forming a new term or giving an old word a new meaning - e.g. SV "tillnärmning" [approximation]; SV "dator" [computer]; FI "tutka" [radar].
6. combination strategies, i.e. combining two or even three of the previous strategies.
1. Omission (the term is not translated. It may be translated at a later stage.)
2. Use of "approximate" or "provisional" equivalent
3. Explanation of concept (hypothesis: more usual in consecutive than simultaneous interpreting)
a) loan translation ("literal" translation of source language term)
b) direct loans / transfer (source language term is used as is or with some modification to make it fit into the target language phonology/morphology
c) coining of new word (hypothesis: unusual in interpreting; more usual in written translation).
Obviously, when needed all strategies can be combined or supplemented with other strategies. NB by "strategy" is meant only conscious choices, not e.g. unintentional omissions, "pathological neologisms". This does not necessarily mean that the interpreter is actually conscious that s/he is using a certain strategy in the situation itself. Interpreting entails a lot of "automatic processing"; cf. Gile (1997).
The strategies presented mainly concern interpreting between spoken languages. In sign language interpreting the preferences may be different; there may also be creative strategies involved which are specific to that modality of language use.
In conference interpreting the interpreter is usually not a subject expert, and his/her creative abilities are often put to test, especially when it comes to special terminology. However, since the conference participants are subject experts, the subject knowledge of the interpreter is often of less importance. In other types of interpreting the terminological problems are of another character. Within court interpreting and other forms of community interpreting participants are often talking about things that are unknown to one of the parties. Because of greater educational, social, and even cultural and linguistic differences between the interlocutors, the interpreter plays a more decisive role for the outcome of the encounter. One can assume that this also shows in the interpreting techniques that are used.
Omissions are not always to be seen as "errors"; often they are highly conscious choices at times when the interpreter has to convey the basic information and there is no time to interpret all details. But at times the speaker uses expressions which the interpreter does not immediately understand - often because the speaker has expressed himself ambiguously or unclearly - or which the interpreter cannot translate right away. The missing term can often be translated later, when the interpreter has found an adequate translation.
In the training of conference interpreters quite a lot of time is spent on teaching techniques for handling such situations, e.g. by using a superordinate concept, e.g. "flowers" for "dandelions", another expression with approximately the same meaning, a "nonce" word like "thing", "measure", "the person" etc. depending on the situation etc. (cf. Makarova 1994:207-210).
Sometimes the interpreter does not have this opportunity. In the next
example the interpreter has a problem with the Swedish term "matrilinjal"
(= EN matrilineal), which the speaker introduces - with some problem. At
first the interpreter does not interpret the term at all, but the next
time the speaker uses it, the interpreter introduces (and uses twice) the
non-existing word "*matriaalinen" (EN approx. *matrial) and the last time
the speaker uses the term, the interpreter decides to choose the existing
word "matriarkaalinen" (= EN matriarchal), but which is also wrong. To
use the table above, the interpreter goes from strategy 1 (omission) to
strategy 2 (near equivalent) via strategy 4c (coining of new term).
|Original||Translation of original||Interpretation||Translation of interpretation|
|...han beskriver den prehellenistiska världen // som ju va en värld / eeh en matria_ matrilinjal värld / en värld en matriar_ en värld / som ni vet / som man tror / dyrkade den stora gudinnan / ...||--- he describes the prehellenistic world // which was a world / eh a matria_ matrilineal world / a world a matriar_a world / which as you know / as we believe / worshipped the great goddess /||...hän kuvaa tätä prehellenististä ai_ maailmaa / maailmaa / eeh jossa / maailma / kuten te tiedätte / tai ainakin / kuvitellaan näin / siinä palvettiin / eeh suurta jumalatartanta /||...he describes this prehellenistic ti_ world / a world / eh where / a world / as you know / or at least / so we believe / there they worshipped / eh the great goddess /|
|......men de gick på den matrilinjala linjen och / och mannen flyttade ju till kvinnans hem / allt de här som ni säkert känner till å / å de e ju etnografiska fakta att / att den matrilinjala eeh / världen den finns ju fortfarande kvar på sina håll||... but it followed the matrilineal line and / the man moved to the woman’s house / all this that you probably know and / and these are ethnographic facts that / that the matrilineal eh / world it still does exist in some places /||....mutta kaikki kulki tässä matriaalisella linjalla ja / eeh ja mies muutti naisen kotiin ja niin edelleen / eeh se tämä maailmahan on edelleenkin olemassa / tietyillä alueilla /||... but everything followed the matrial line and / eh and the man moved to the woman’s house and so on / eh it this world does still exist / in some areas /|
|... på tvåtusentalet // kom / eeh dom första / stammarna / norrifrån å österifrån // som eeh eeh började / överta den matrilinjala grekiska prehellenistiska / världen / ...||... in the second millennium // came / eh the first / tribes / from the north and from the east // which eh eh started to / take over the matrilineal greek prehellenistic world / ...||... kaksi eeh / tuhatta luvulla / ensimmäiset eeh / heimot / tulivat / pohjoisesta ja idästä / ja nämä / ottivat haltuunsa tämän prehellenistisen matriaalisen maailman // ...||... in the second eh / millennium / the first eh / tribes / came / from the north and from the east / and these / took over this prehellenistic matrial world // ...|
|....stadier i övergången från modergudinnan å till dom manliga gudarna å från hela den organisationsform som e / de matrilinjala / systemet till de patri_ / p_ patrikala / patriarkala /||... stages in the transition from the mother goddess and to the male gods and from all of this form of organisation which is / the matrilineal / system to the patri_ / p_patrichal /||....vaiheista jossa siirrytään äitijumalasta / miesjumaliin / ja koko tästä matriarkaalisesta eeh järjestelmästä / tähän patriarkaaliseen järjestelmään /||.... stages where they change from the mother god / to male gods / and from the whole matriarchal system / to this patriarchal system /|
Fig. 2-1 The term "matrilineal" in different guises. (After Niska 1998)
Apparently, however, in the example above the interpreter is not overwhelmed by the attractiveness of the alternative she chose. This possibly shows already in the fact that she omits the term once again the third time the speaker uses it, but quite definitely a revaluation has taken place before the last utterance, where the interpreter introduces a completely new translation.
|[. . .] jo jag skulle alltså lägga
till följande, att hennes situation är mycket allvarlig och det
kan jag bedöma e::: korrekt. alltså hon måste - hon känner
sig så pass dålig att hon måste till och med byta jobb,
hon är egentligen pedagog, men hon sku- måste alltså byta
till ett lättare jobb, och det var dessutom tal om invaliditet. e:::
måste jag förklara att i Sovjet så är det flera grader
av invaliditet, det vill säga
[. . .] yes, that is I would like to add the following, that her situation is very serious and this I can judge er::: correctly. that is she has to - she feels bad to such an extent that she even had to change her job, actually she is a teacher, but she was- that is had to change to an easier job. and moreover there was discussions about disability eh::: *here I have to explain that in the USSR there are several degrees of disability, that is
|ett slags förtidspensionering, då
man får ett- ersättning från staten och slipper då
vissa svårare jobb.* alltså det var tal om hennes invaliditet.
alltså hon skulle invalidiseras. inte behöva... arbeta men det
- det enda som stoppade oss den här gången det - det är
den sovjetiska byråkratin den byråkratiska...
a kind of disability pension, when you get a- compensation from the state and are let off from more difficult jobs* that is there were discussions about her disability. that is she was about to be disabled. not have to... to work but the- the only thing that stopped us this time it- it is the Soviet bureaucracy. the bureaucratic...
Fig. 2-2 Explanatory footnote in interpreting (after Wadensjö 992:248-9) [English version = original translation.]
The use of "disability" for a kind of early retirement pension that the patient talks about is not known in Sweden. To avoid misunderstandings, the interpreter chooses, besides using the word "disability" as an approximate equivalent according to strategy 2, to give an extra explanation to give the actual meaning of the term (strategy 3). The phrase "she was going to be disabled. not have to ... work" will thus hopefully be understood correctly.
For the individual, some words may be unknown without necessarily being neologisms. A special term that the interpreter does not understand is not automatically a neologism. It is part of the linguistic competence and general knowledge of the interpreter that s/he is able to determine whether a term is "new" or just unknown to him-/herself.
In the following example the interpreter (T) is evidently uncertain about the correct term in Swedish and decides to "test" a word by making a loan translation and combine it with an explanation. (P1 = patient)
121 T. ¿Preguntas eso? (P1 nods.) All right. I would like to ask a question, maybe you know. We were once talking about if there are such, eh, what could you call them, organ banks, that is where you can give your organs for transplantation, do they have those here?
In the language of linguistic minorities / immigrants direct loans, i.e. direct transfer of a word more or less unchanged from the majority language to the minority language, are probably a very usual form of neologism. In their training, interpreters learn to shun such word; they are often seen by language planners and other purists as "careless" or "bad" language. One may therefore assume that interpreters actively try to use the more or less established translations that are available for source language terms that are missing in the other language. However, there will probably develop a kind of "grey zone" where one chooses to use a direct loan to make communication smoother. Here are some comments from interpreters, collected during the work on this paper (cf. Appendix 1):
"Sometimes the correct term is so much longer than in the source language that a direct loan is more suitable - especially in the case of terms a client is likely to have encountered first in the source language. An example might be "probation" in English, which is liberta vigilita in Italian and becomes very long in certain cases when the probation service/ officers/ pre-sentencing reports etc. are concerned. This can make use of the correct term/an explanation followed by a direct loan the most effective choice. On other occasions a direct loan might be unsuitable because it has false friend associations in the target language, making a neologism preferable." (Court interpreter, England)
The interpreting strategies that I have presented above are based on both theoretical considerations and analyses of authentic interpreting situations. To check the adequacy of the strategies, to see if they are really used and to what extent, I made a preliminary study at the beginning of January 1998.
The study consisted of a survey in two parts, first a "free form" part where the interpreters gave their comments on the strategies, and after that a short survey with multiple choice questions where the interpreters rated their preferences for the different strategies.
In the first part of the study, I sent out a letter to the Internet mailing lists Lantra-l (translation and interpreting), Linguist (all areas of linguistics), translat (translation studies), Terps-l (sign language interpreting) and Courtinterp-l (court interpreting), where I presented "my" strategies and asked for comments. Within a few days I received about a dozen replies and comments - and in addition to that, some of the comments had started small discussion "threads" on Lantra-l, the most active of the groups.
The comments are in appendix 1.
On the basis of the comments I removed the last strategy, coining of a new word. My initial hypothesis that this is not a feasible alternative was corroborated by the comments I received. This left me with the following five strategies:
2. near equivalent
4. loan translation
5. direct loan
I published a simple questionnaire on a Web page and sent another letter to the above-mentioned mailing-lists, where I presented the questions, the alternative answers and the URL of the Web page.
This time, I narrowed the target group to court interpreters. Within about 10 days a total of 30 people had responded to the survey. All answers were anonymous, but the e-mail addresses of respondents were automatically registered. Almost all respondents were court interpreters active on the mailing lists mentioned, most of them living in USA or Canada.
The questionnaire of the court interpreter survey is in appendix 2.
It is clear that the strategies 1. omission and 5. direct loan are the least popular strategies. The strategies that the interpreters prefer are 3. explanation and 2. approximate equivalent.
2.4.3 Comparison: Swedish community interpreters
To further test the strategies and get a stronger basis for future research, we translated the survey into Swedish and presented it to a group of 34 community interpreters participating at a training course at Åsa Community College in January 1998.
In the following we show the results of that survey, and to show the differences and similarities between the earlier court interpreter survey and the Swedish one, we have combined the two results in the same graphs.
In order to make the tendencies clearer, we have reduced the number of alternatives for each strategy. The alternatives never/almost never and seldom have been combined to seldom, the alternative occasionally has been retained, and the alternatives often and almost always/always have been combined to the alternative often.
åsa = community interpreters at the Åsa community college
court = court interpreters of the WWW survey
Strategy 1, omission: The results are just about equal; omission is the least popular alternative both among court interpreters and the Swedish community interpreters. No one has reported using this strategy more than "occasionally".
When it comes to strategy 2, approximate equivalent, there is a slight difference in preference, in that the Swedish interpreters avoid this strategy to a somewhat higher extent than the court interpreters.
For strategy 3, explanation, the answers show a considerable difference between the Swedish community interpreter and the court interpreters. The latter report to a much higher extent that they prefer this strategy.
Strategy 4, loan translation - here one can again see a rather clear tendency; this time it is the court interpreters who avoid this strategy much more than the Swedish interpreters do.
Finally strategy 5, direct loan. This strategy is quite controversial among the "Internet interpreters" according to the comments from the preliminary study. It is interesting to see that the Swedish community interpreters as opposed to the court interpreters seem to use direct loans to a rather high degree.
There are some interesting differences in the results of the court interpreter survey and the survey of community interpreters. One factor that may have been crucial is the apparent difference in professionalism between the groups: the court interpreters were probably highly motivated, active professionals - their activity on the Internet mailing-lists gives proof of that - whereas the interpreters at the Swedish training course were mostly relatively new in the profession, and some were in fact attending their first training course ever.
Another influential factor may be the lexicographic tradition in the linguistic / cultural area from where the interpreter comes. According to Bahumaid (1992) and Didaoui (1996) "arabisation" in the form of loan translation, direct loan or transliteration is the most usual way of introducing foreign, normally English or French, terms in Standard Arabic. Other languages, e.g. French and lately the "new" languages in former Yugoslavia, have a more puristic tradition and prefer the creation of new terms. It is possible that these different backgrounds may show in the interpreters' attitudes towards different interpreting strategies when it comes to neologisms.
Another aspect that would be interesting to explore is the possible impact of interpreters’ personalities on their ability or aptitude as term creators, cf. section 1.2.2. Personality tests and special tests of creativity are available, but very few such tests have to our knowledge been made on interpreters and translators. Such examples are Henderson’s (1985) comparison of extroversion and introversion in interpreters versus translators and Cauti’s (1988) investigation of creativity in left-handed versus right-handed translators and interpreters.
In any case, from the interpreters’ comments to the questionnaire (cf. section 2.3.4) it seems clear that at least more experienced interpreters have a rather nondogmatic and flexible attitude towards the norms or conventions regarding what is considered "correct" interpreting of neologisms. The communicative function seems to be of overriding importance:
"Sometimes the correct term is so much longer than in the source language that a direct loan is more suitable."
What is the attitude of interpreters towards official and "quasi-official" terminology in e.g. immigrant/minority languages which have been developed and recommended by authorities, organisations etc. and to what extent do the interpreters use these terms in their work? In other words, to what extent can interpreters be used as assistants or agents for spreading standardised or newly created terms? And what education do interpreters have for that task? These and other questions which are related to the terminological aspects of creativity are explored in a separate study (Niska forthcoming b.)
Banhamida (1989) made a study of francophone translators and interpreters, living outside France, as adopters and agents of planned lexical innovations promoted by the French government. One of the research questions was whether there are relationships between sociocultural, sociolinguistic, and socioprofessional variables and (a) adoption, (b) variable adoption, or (c) rejection of planned innovations. Indicators of the sociolinguistic profile of individuals were found to be good predictors of adoptive usage. While the majority of respondents are members of the group which believes translators and interpreters should be active agents of diffusion, missing data on this item suggest that it is controversial. Mother-tongue French and years of experience were good discriminators of group membership.
Benhamida suggests that translators and interpreters, schools training them, and terminological organisations could be powerful agents of diffusion of planned lexical innovations primarily through their many links with francophones world-wide. Evidence of some of the difficulties in implementing the planning of an international language by a national government, such as loyalty to regional sources of authority or client demands, was found in the data analysis.
The list of strategies in this survey is tentative, very general and incomplete, not taking into account every possible situation where interpreters work. Further research in this area - including a comparison between simultaneous and consecutive interpreting, and taking into account sign language interpreting- would help to refine the theoretical basis and the method itself.
Åstrand, Anders 1992. Informationskunskap: en introduktion. Liber.
Bahumaid, Showqi Ali 1992. Terminological problems in Arabic. In: de Beaugrande, Robert, Shunnaq, Abdulla & Mohamed Helmy Heliel (eds.) Language, Discourse and Translation in the West and Middle East. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjmanis Publishing Company.
Beardsley, Monroe C. 1976. On the Creation of Art. In: Rothenberg & Hausman 1976:305-311. Originally printed in Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, Spring 1965, No. 23.
Benhamida, Laurel 1989. Translators and Interpreters as Adopters and Agents of Diffusion of Planned Lexical Innovations: The Francophone Case. PhD dissertation, Univ. of Illinois, Urbana. Facsimile from UMI, Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Benthorn, Lars J. 1994. On Post-Decision Processes. Lund: Department of Psychology, University of Lund / Reflex förlag.
Bono, Edward de 1970. Lateral thinking: A Textbook of Creativity. London: Ward Lock Educational.
Bylard-Ozeroff, Ann, Králová, Jana & Moser-Mercer, Barbara. (eds.) 1998. Translators’ strategies and creativity. Selected papers from the 9th international conference on translation and interpreting, Prague, September 1995. Amsterdam / Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Cauti, C. 1988. Creativitá e preferenza manuale in interpreti é traduttori. Un contributo sperimentale. Unpublished dissertation, SSLM, Trieste. Cited in Gran (1998).
Chernov, G. V. 1979. Semantic aspects of psycholinguistic research in simultaneous interpretation. In: Language and Speech, 22, 3, 277-296.
Chernov, G. V. 1985. Interpretation Research in the Soviet Union: Results and Prospects. In: Bühler, Hildegund (ed.). Der Übersetzer und seine Stellung in der Öffentlichkeit. Kongreßakte. X. Weltkongress der FIT. Wien: Wilhelm Braumüller.
Danks, Joseph H., Shreve, Gregory M., Fountain, Stephen B., & McBeath, Michael K. (Eds) 1997. Cognitive Processes in Translation and Interpreting. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage
Didaoui, Mohammed 1996. Translators as Terminologists. Paper read at the seminar series Translation Theory and Applications, Second Seminar, 15 April 1996. Organized by Translation and Editorial Service, United Nations Office at Vienna. <http://www.un.or.at/tes/seminar/2trnstrm.htm>
Englund Dimitrova, Birgitta 1991. När två samtalar genom en tredje. Interaktion och icke-verbal kommunikation i medicinska möten med tolk. Rapporter om tvåspråkighet 7. Stockholms universitet/Centrum för tvåspråkighetsforskning.
Festinger, Leon 1957. A theory of cognitive dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Festinger, Leon (ed.) 1964. Conflict, Decision and Dissonance. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press.
Foucault, Michel 1970. The order of discourse. In: Shapiro, Michael (ed.) Language and Politics. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
Gile, Daniel 1997. Conference Interpreting as a Cognitive Management Problem. In: Danks & al., pp 196-214.
Gran, Laura 1998. In-Training Development of Interpreting Strategies and Creativity. In Bylard-Ozeroff &al. (1998).
Gui, Gianyuan 1995. Das Wesen des Übersetzens ist kreativ. In: Babel 1995, 41, 3, 129-139.
Guilbert, Louis 1975. La créativité lexicale. Paris: Larousse. Cited in Rey (1995).
Guilford, J.P. 1967. The Nature of Human Intelligence. New York: McGraw-Hill, Inc.
Henderson, John 1985. Language Performance, Context and the Personality of the Interpreter. In: Doble, G., Ed. & Griffiths, B. T., Ed. Oral Skills in the Modern Languages Degree. Proceedings of a Conference at the University of Bradford (Bradford, England, January 3-6, 1984).
Hornung, Bernd 1995. Glossary definitions; two reports incorporated in Web Dictionary of Cybernetics and Systems <http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ASC/indexASC.html>.
Janis, I.L. & Mann, L. 1977. Decision making: A psychological analysis of conflict, choice and commitment. London: Collier Macmillan.
Koestler, Arthur 1976. Bisociation in Creation. In: Rothenberg & Hausman 1976:108-113. Reprinted from Koestler, Arthur 1964. The Act of Creation. London: Hutchinson Press.
Kovacic, Irena 1995. Reinforcing or Changing Norms in Subtitling. In: Dollerup, Cay, & Appel, Vibeke (Eds) Teaching Translation and Interpreting 3: New Horizons: Papers from the third Langauge International Conference, Elsinore, Denmark, 9-11 June 1995. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, pp 105-109.
Krippendorff, Klaus 1986. A Dictionary of Cybernetics. Incorporated in Web Dictionary of Cybernetics and Systems <http://pespmc1.vub.ac.be/ASC/indexASC.html>
Kussmaul, Paul 1993. Empirische Grundlagen einer Übersetzungsdidaktik: Kreativität im Übersetzungsprozess. In: Holz-Mänttäri, Justa & Nord, Christiane (Hrsg.) Traducere navem: Festschrift für Katharina Reiss zum 70. Geburtstag. Tampere: Univ.-Bibl.
Kussmaul, Paul 1995. Training the Translator. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Levý, Jirí 1967. Translation as a decision process. In: In Honour of Roman Jacobson, Vol. II. The Hague: Mouton, 1171-1182.
Mackenzie, Rosemary 1998. Creative Problem-Solving and Translator Training. In: Bylard-Ozeroff &al. (1998:201-206.
Makarová, Viera 1994. Whose line is it anyway? or Teaching improvisation in interpreting. In: Dollerup, Cay, & Lindegaard, Annette (eds) Teaching Translation and Interpreting 2: Insights, Aims, Visions. Papers from the Second Language International Conference, Elsinore, Denmark 4-6 June 1993. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 207-210.
Montgomery, H. & Svenson, O. 1989. A think-aloud study of dominance structuring in decision processes. In Montgomery H. & Svenson O. (eds.) Process and structure in human decision making. Chichester: Wiley.
Neubert, Albrecht 1997. Postulates for a Theory of Translatio. In: Danks & al., pp 1-24.
Nida, Eugene A. Translation: Possible and Impossible. In: Translation Perspectives 1996, 9, 7-23.
Niska, Helge 1998. Text-linguistic models for the study of simultaneous interpreting. Stockholm: Department of Finnish, Stockholm University.
Niska, Helge (forthcoming a). Text-linguistic models for the study of simultaneous interpretation. Paper read at the 32nd International Colloquium on Linguistics, Kassel, 17-19.9.1997. Lang Verlag.
Niska, Helge (forthcoming b). The interpreter as language planner. Roles, attitudes and aptitudes of interpreters in the creation of new terminology. In: Working papers of the Department of Finnish, Stockholm University.
Niska, Helge & Jorunn Frrili 1992. Tolkordlistor på invandrarspråk. In: Fjeld, Ruth (red.) Nordiske studier i leksikografi. Rapport fra Konferanse om leksikografi i Norden 28 - 31 mai 1991. Oslo: Nordisk Forening for Leksikografi / Nordisk språkråd.
Rey, Alain 1995. Essays on Terminology. Translated and edited by Juan C. Sager. Introduction by Bruno de Bessé. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Riccardi, Alessandra 1998. Interpreting Strategies and Creativity. In Beylard-Ozeroff &al. 1998:171-179.
Risku, Hanna 1997. Übersetzen als komplexes Problemlösen: kognitive Anforderungen. In: TEXTconTEXT, Vol. 11 = NF 1, 1, 59-71.
Rogers, Carl R. 1976. Toward a Theory of Creativity. In Rothenberg & Hausman 1976:296-305. Reprinted from ETC. A Review of General Semantics, Vol. 11, No. 4, 1954.
Rothenberg, Albert & Hausman, Carl R. (eds.) 1976. The Creatvity Question. Durham, N.C.: Duke University Press.
Ruth, Jan-Erik 1984. Luova persoona, prosessi ja tuote [The creative person, process and product]. In: Haavikko, Ritva & Ruth, Jan-Erik 1984. Luovuuden ulottuvuudet [The dimensions of creativity]. Espoo: Weilin+Göös, 13-35.
Shannon, Claude & Weaver, Warren 1949. The Mathematical Theory of Communication. University of Illinois, Urbana.
Snell-Hornby, Mary 1995 (2nd ed.) Translation Studies: An Integrated Approach. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
Svenson, O. 1992. Differentiation and Consolidation theory of human decision making: A frame of reference for the study of pre- and post-decision processes. Acta Psychologica, 80, 143-168.
Uzawa, Kozue 1997. Problem-Solving in the Translating Processes of Japanese ESL Learners. In: The Canadian Modern Language Review/La Revue canadienne des langues vivantes 1997, 53, 3, Apr. 491-505.
Wadensjö, Cecilia 1992. Interpreting as Interaction. On dialogue-interpreting in immigration hearings and medical encounters. Linköping: Linköping University.
Wallas, Graham 1976. Stages in the Creative Process. In: Rothenberg & Hausman 1976:69-73. Reprinted from Wallas, Graham 1926. The Art of Thought. London: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich, Inc.
Wande, Erling 19 . Metaphor and Cognitive Conflict. In: Fenno-Ugrica Suecana, 12, 101-114.
Williams, Jennifer 1990. "The Translation of Culture-Specific Terms". In: Lebende Sprachen, No. 2/90, 55-58.
Wilss, Wolfram 1996. Knowledge and Skills in Translational Behavior. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Back to Helge Niska's home page