Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/9557
Title: Translating punctuation (English-Italian/Italian-English)
Authors: Taylor, Christopher
Keywords: PunctuationNorms for translatorsTreatment of punctuationIdiosyncratic use of languageTranslating punctuationEnglish and Italian languages
Issue Date: 1987
Publisher: EUT Edizioni Università di Trieste
Source: Christopher Taylor, 'Translating punctuation (English-Italian/Italian-English)', in: SSLM - Annuario 1987, EUT - Edizioni Università Trieste, pp. 218-248.
Series/Report no.: SSLM - Annuario - Nuova Serie
2
Abstract: 
It would take a monumental task of statistical
analysis to try and establish a series of norms for
translators in their treatment of punctuation in all
possible cases and the results would probably not reward
the effort. This study has made some observations of what
causes translators to modify punctuations. In the general
sense, we can look to questions of syntax and style as
being the most important dictators of punctuation change.
Syntactically, the kind of choices that translators make
between commas and conjunctions, or combinations of the
two, the use or relative pronouns or participles and the
positioning of main and subordinate clauses seem to be
very important. The need to produce equivalent
effect or onomatopoeic effects through, for example,
alliteration will also influence a translator. Idiosyncratic
use of language or genuine mistakes on the part of
the source writer or, on the other hand, downright the
mistranslation on the part of the translator, will again result in modified punctuation. In the final analysis, the translator should need the words of Harry Shaw, writing for the NcGraw Hill "Handbook of English": 'Every mark of punctuation is effective if it helps the reader understand. The presence or absence of every mark is harmful if it impedes the flow of thought from your mind to the reader'. If the translator bears this in mind, then no matter how much he feels it necessary to rearrange the original text, he will fulfil his obligation to the reader.
Type: Book Chapter
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10077/9557
Appears in Collections:Annuario n. 2 (1987) Nuova serie

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