UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Certains aspects des problemes de la traduction du Français en Anglais Chowne, Jacqueline


Even though English and French are spoken by people who have shared very similar cultural influences, that of the western European area, and have borrowed words from each other repeatedly for a thousand years or so, their modes of expression reflect basic differences in their conception of reality so that translation from one language into the other becomes a very intricate process. It appeared to us that the most useful guideline and best starting point for assessing where French and English differ, where they resemble each other, and the inherent problems encountered in translating from one language into the other, was outlined in Vinay and DarbeInet’s Stylistique comparée du francais et de l'anglais—Méthode de traduction. Practical applications of this method are illustrated throughout this thesis by translation analyses from selected passages of certain works by Albert Camus which were translated both into British English and into American English. This study therefore uses that method as its basic framework and borrows from it its outline in three main sections. These are, in Vinay and Darbelnet's French terminology: "le lexique", "l'agencement", and "le message". Words do not have a meaning by themselves; their signification is assigned to them by the people who use them. There seldom is a one-to-one relationship between a given word and a particular meaning. The meaning of words is determined by the context of the sentence or utterance in which it is found. There are a variety of ways of interpreting and therefore of translating a given word, groups of words as well as idiomatic expressions and others which, having become part of the language over the centuries, will require the use of certain techniques for their rendering into the other language; this will be the subject of the first section: "le lexique". In most instances, furthermore, sentences cannot be translated without undergoing some change in their structure; this will be examined in the second section: "l’agencement". Finally, once the sentences are organized into paragraphs, there remains for the translator the most delicate task of all, that of ascertaining that all possible hidden meanings can be sensed in his version as they are in the original, that the tone of the latter has been respected in order to achieve total meaning—these questions will be dealt with in the third section: "le message". In their work Stylistique comparée du frangais et de l'anglais, Vinay and Darbelnet have concluded, after an extensive and methodical comparison of the various means by which French and English speaking people express themselves, that most of the differences between the two systems of expression can be classified into seven categories, for each of which they provide a technique of translation. The first three are extremely simple: "l'emprunt", "le calque" and "la traduction littérale"; the other four are progressively more complex: "la transposition", "la modulation", "l'equivalence" and "l'adaptation. While this method does not answer all the problems that may face the translator in translating from one language into another, it provides a useful beginning as illustrated through the analyses in this study.

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