Pronomial arguments in translation: a case of translating between English and Kiswahili
Kamundi, Henry M
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This research appreciates that understanding linguistic structure of a translator's working languages is key to producing a quality translation. Therefore, this study was set out to investigate issues involved in the translation of pronominal arguments between English and Kiswahili. The general claim of the study is that pronominal arguments cause difficulties to translators between English and Kiswahili Languages such as vagueness and redundancy. Five translators were each given six Kiswahili units to translate and five others were given six English brief expressions or group of relatively short expressions (referred in this research to as units) to do the same. Each unit contained particular arguments targeted for testing. In English-into-Kiswahili translations, I wanted to see how much difficulty (if any) is encountered in translating gender-encoding pronominal arguments from English into Kiswahili. I also wanted to see whether English-into-Kiswahili translators effectively utilize pro-drop Kiswahili structure. The Kiswahili-into-English translations, on the other hand, aimed to test the strategy employed in translation of Kiswahili r-expressions into English. The Kisw-into-English translations also aimed to see if translators face difficulty in rendering case into English. The translated units from translating respondents were put together and the analysis done manually by observing and counting, for instance, the number of times a particular pronominal argument was rendered vaguely; the number of times a particular Kiswahili expression was pronominalized in English; the number of times an English-into- Kiswahili translator pro-dropped a pronominal argument; and finally, the number of times a Kiswahili-into-English Translator rendered grammatical case inappropriately into English. Totals, averages, rates and percentages were calculated accordingly leading to the conclusions of the study. The research in the end shows that indeed pronominal arguments are challenging to translators working between English and Kiswahili. Firstly, the research more particularly established that third person gender encoding pronominal arguments pose significant challenge to translators in English-into-Kiswahili translations. The research also established that Kiswahili-into-English translators retain Kiswahili r-expressions instead of pronominalizing them in English. The study has also shown that most Englishinto- Kiswahili translators employed pro-drop strategy in their translation of pronouns from English into Kiswahili. Finally, it was evident from the research that out of every 15 grammatical cases to be translated from Kiswahili into English, 10 would be inappropriately translated. For the purpose of this study, the first chapter gives an introduction 'to the area being investigated. The problem of the study is stated as the objectives and hypotheses are set. The scope and delimitation are also clarified. Literature review is done in this chapter as well. The theoretical framework of the study is explained as binding principles and prodrop parameter are explained since they form the theoretical base of the research. The theory of equivalence and correspondence is also explained while setting the boundaries of its use. Chapter two deals with the concept of pronominal arguments and other related concepts. As such, textual and contextual meaning of pronouns is discussed as well as the meanings of anaphors and antecedents. Agreement and case are other concepts discussed in this chapter to lay proper foundation on the research. Chapter three contrastively looks at both English and Kiswahili pronouns. In doing so, types of pronouns are discussed as major structural Umorphological differences between English and Kiswahili pronouns are highlighted. Chapter four of this study delves into the collection and analysis of the collected data. Ten translators are given questionnaires focusing on particular sentence arguments. The data collected is then organized, analyzed, and interpreted in this chapter. And finally, in the fifth chapter, the conclusions about the study and recommendations are made.