During the translation, I found the approach of ‘contrastive linguistics’ helpful. I will further explain this using this example: ‘…la polémica que levantaron los partidos de derecha y ultraderecha contra las manifestaciones…’. A direct translation would read: ‘one year after the controversy that raised right and far-right parties against the protests’. The subject of the verb ‘raise’ is right and far-right parties. I employed a ‘contrastive linguistics’ perspective. I found the sentence hard to decipher because of the word order ‘levantaron los partidos…’. In Spanish, in contrast to English, it is common for the verb to come before the subject. I am used to a SVO (Subject-Verb-Object) word order. By reading the Spanish in this way it caused confusion.
However, it was not as simple as switching the word order around. Further changes needed to be made. I was not happy with the translation: ‘ A year after right and far -right parties raised controversy…’. Firstly, the verb ‘raise’ did not work in English. To understand the intended meaning, I did research on the events of last year’s protests. I read an article in the online newspaper Foreign Policy, which explained that right-wing politicians blamed the feminist rallies for spreading Covid-19. Hence the controversy was caused by the criticisms made by Right-wing politicians. Moreover, it is very uncommon to use the passive voice in Spanish, whereas in English it is frequently used; another contrasting element. Therefore, I opted for the translation: ‘One year after the controversy caused by right and far-right parties due to their criticism of last year’s International Women’s Day’s protests. ‘This reads far more naturally in the target language. It was necessary to explain what caused the controversy: their criticism because in contrast to Spanish the words ‘controversy’ and ‘against’ do not work in collocation together, unlike the ST ‘la polemica…contra…’. Hence, the benefits of ‘contrastive linguistics’ is evident, it allowed me to gain a clear perspective of the reason why I was having trouble in understanding the ST, this clarity made it easier to find an equivalent in the target text (TT).
Nord (1997) talks about the different translation problems encountered when translating a text: pragmatic, intercultural, interlingual and text specific. I want to examine a text-specific problem: idioms. The Spanish idiom ‘poner el grito en el cielo’ proved challenging. Due to the use of this idiom, the tone of the text became more informal. I wanted to maintain this in the TT. I looked on WordReference, to see if there was an equivalent idiom, it gave the translation ‘hit the roof’ or ‘scream blue murder’. I thought ‘scream blue murder’ was disproportionate to the level of anger conveyed in the TT. I looked at the sentence as a whole rather than the individual code-units and took some time to reflect. After thinking of other phrases in English to convey anger and consulting my lecturer, Dr. Helena Buffery, I decided not to use ‘hit the roof’. It was too abstract and not precise enough. Instead, I chose the phrase ‘raise one’s voice’, it is idiomatic, and thus in line with the ST, it pinpoints the message more effectively than the other options, in a clear, coherent manner.
I faced interlingual problems when translating, mainly around syntax. The meaning of ‘diana’ in the following sentence proved problematic ‘…la ultraderecha cuyo objetivo principal tiene como diana…’. My initial translation conveyed the opposite meaning to that of the ST: ‘The far- right whose principal target was women’s rights…’. This indicated that far-right parties want to advance women’s rights, but they are targeting women’s rights. Jean-Paul Vinay and Jean Darbelnet’s (1995) theory of transposition, changing one word category to another word category, was helpful. In the ST ‘diana’ is a noun, by changing it to a verb form ‘targeting’, it was possible to convey the intended meaning.
A pragmatic problem I had was translating: ‘estar debajo de un paso (de Semana Santa)’. I looked at the word ‘paso’, looking it up in bilingual dictionaries, SpanishDict and Collins, it means ‘a step’, ‘a path’, ‘a stay/time’. There are multiple meanings but none which made sense in the ST. So, I conducted a Google Image search of ‘paso de Semana Santa’ where I found what ‘paso’ means in the context of Holy Week; the floats of a parade. It is a culture bound term which expresses a concept. Google Images as a resource aided me greatly in my translation.