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~ -

-`=
-- - - -=- - - - _- = - -=
~ - Considering this notion from a product-oriented point of view as "the TT unit
that can be mapped onto a ST unit" (Baker, 200! 2"#$, the researcher%s main
concern is to investigate a hierarch& of units of trans'ation ((Ts$ proposed b&
)ewmark (**! ##-#"$ inc'uding word, phrase, c'ause, sentence, and paragraph in
the 'iterar& trans'ations+ ,t the pre'iminar& stage, two -uestions were raised to
detect the most fre-uent (T adopted b& the professiona' 'iterar& trans'ators, and to
e.p'ore the re'ationship between the (Ts and the free-'itera' dichotom& in terms of
the occurrence of unit/rank shifts+ To this end, a corpus of three famous 0ng'ish
nove's (origina''& written in 0ng'ish b& the renowned authors$ and two best-se''ing
trans'ations of each (done b& professiona' trans'ators$ were chosen to be ana'&1ed+
Through a contrastive ana'&sis, two hundred and ten coup'ed pairs of ST-TT
segments were e.tracted from the first ten pages of each nove' and its two
trans'ations based on estab'ishing re'ations of e-uiva'ence between the ST-TT
segments and adopting sentence as the ma2or unit of ana'&sis+ The (Ts adopted in
the ST-TT segments were then identified+ The obtained resu'ts of the (T categories
demonstrated that the most fre-uent (T adopted b& the professiona' 'iterar&
trans'ators was sentence+ The unit-shifts app'ied in the (Ts were a'so signified+ The
statistica' ca'cu'ation of fre-uenc& of unit-shifts in each trans'ator%s (Ts proved that
the more fre-uent is the occurrence of unit-shifts in the (Ts of the trans'ator, the
more deviated is his trans'ation from the forma' correspondence, the more different
the si1e of his (Ts is, and fina''& the freer his trans'ation wi'' be .
Key Words! Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS), units oI translation, Iree-literal
dichotomy, unit/rank shiIts, equivalence, Iormal correspondence .
1 . Introduction
Translation Studies is a new discipline which is concerned with the study oI theory
and phenomena oI translation. A classical concern Ior translation theory which is
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Irequently mentioned in older literature on the subject is the level at which
equivalence should be established, i.e. what units oI translation one should choose
during the translation process. CatIord (1965:21) suggests that the goal oI translation
theory is to deIine the nature oI translation equivalence. To him ,
The central problem oI translation practice is that oI Iinding TL translation
equivalents. A central task oI translation theory is that oI Iinding the nature and
conditions oI translation equivalents .
In translation studies, much discussion in the translation literature has Iocused on
identiIying what should be equivalent in a translation. For example, with regard to
the linguistic Iorm, discussion in translation literature has Iocused on whether
equivalence is to be pursued at the level oI words, clauses, phrases, sentences,
paragraphs, or the entire text. Accordingly, this has given rise to the emergence oI
the concept oI Translation Units which is one oI the key concepts in translation
theory that has exercised translation theorists over a very long period. In the Iield oI
translation, Irom a product-oriented approach, a translation unit is a segment oI a
target text which the translator treats as a single cognitive unit. The translation unit
may be a single word, or it may be a phrase, a clause, a sentence, or even a larger
unit like a paragraph .
In translation studies, the issue oI UT is Irequently raised in conjunction with that oI
translation equivalence. As Sager (1994: 222) puts it, both 'lie at the heart oI any
theoretical or practical discussion about translation. This is because theorists,
consciously or unconsciously, take the UT as a compartment in which what they
believe to be 'translation equivalence materializes .
There is a point in establishing equivalence, Toury believes, only insoIar as it can
serve as a stepping stone to uncovering the overall concept oI translation underlying
the corpus it has been Iound to pertain to; besides, the notion oI equivalence may
also Iacilitate the explanation oI the entire network oI translational relationship and
the individual coupled pairs as representing actual translation units under the
dominant norm oI translation equivalence (1995: 86). In this regard, one oI the tasks
oI the researcher wishing to probe into the translation units is to establish the
equivalent relationships between the coupled pairs of ST and TT segments which
can pave the way Ior the identiIication and classiIication oI units oI translation at
diIIerent levels. In other words, to investigate unit(s) oI translation that the translator
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chooses during the translation process, one needs to establish a relation oI
equivalence between the ST and the TT .
In earlier work on translation equivalence, CatIord (1965: 20) deIines translation as
"the replacement oI textual material in one language (SL) by equivalent textual
material in another language (TL)". He distinguishes textual equivalence Irom
Iormal correspondence, which are respectively called by Nida as dynamic
equivalence and Iormal equivalence .
, forma' correspondent is "any TL category (unit, class, structure, element oI
structure, etc.) which can be said to occupy, as nearly as possible, the "same"
place in the "economy" oI the TL as the given SL category occupies in the SL ."
, te.tua' e-uiva'ent is "any TL text or portion oI text which is observed on a
particular occasion. to be the equivalent oI a given SL text or portion oI text"
(ibid: 27 ( .
It is worth mentioning, however, that departures from formal correspondence
between the source and target texts denote Translation Shifts (ibid: 73), the
investigation oI which has a long-standing tradition in translation studies. In other
words, shifts are deviations or changes that occur at every level during the
translation process as a result of the systemic differences between the source and
target languages .
There has been a great argument among theorists about the length (size) oI unit oI
translation. For most oI them, the length oI translation units is an indication oI
proIiciency, with proIessional translators working with larger units (sentence,
discourse, or text) and moving more comIortably between diIIerent unit levels. This
controversial argument about the length oI unit oI translation is, according to
Newmark (1988: 54), a concrete reIlection oI an age-old conIlict between Iree and
literal translation: The Ireer the translation the longer the UT, the more literal the
translation; the shorter the UT, the closer to the word. ThereIore, despite major shiIts
oI viewpoint on translation, one oI the oldest as well as the most decried conIlicts in
translation has been the concept oI literal versus Iree translation, or the distinction
between word-Ior-word translation and sense-Ior-sense translation. The controversy
over literal versus free translation has a long history, with convincing supporters
on each side .
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In this research, the issue oI units oI translation is approached Irom a product-
oriented viewpoint to seek answers Ior the two Iollowing two questions :
RQ
1
: What is the most Irequent UT among the proIessional translators oI the
Iamous English novels ?
RQ
2
: What is the relationship between the UTs and the kinds oI translation,
i.e. Iree vs. literal, adopted by the proIessional literary translators in terms oI
the occurrence oI unit-shiIts ?
2 . Theoretical Discussions
2.1Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS (
A branch oI Translation Studies, developed in most detail by Toury (1995), that
involves the empirical, non-prescriptive analysis oI STs and TTs with the aim oI
identiIying general characteristics and laws oI translation (Hatim and Munday, 2004:
338). According to Munday (2001: 10-11), DTS is a branch oI 'pure' research in
Holmes's map oI Translation Studies and has three possible Ioci: examination oI the
product, the Iunction, and the process .
2.2 Translation Units
According to Baker (2001: 286), the term 'unit oI translation', considered Irom a
product-oriented approach, is deIined as "the TT unit that can be mapped onto a ST
unit ."
Newmark (1991: 66-68) assumes the main translation units to be a hierarchy: text,
paragraph, sentence, clause, group, word, and morpheme .
2.3 Equivalence
Baker (2001: 77) deIines equivalence as the relationship between a ST and a TT that
allows the TT to be considered as a translation oI the ST in the Iirst place. Vinay and
Darbelnet view equivalence-oriented translation as a procedure which "replicates the
same situation as in the original, whilst using completely diIIerent wording" (cited in
Shuttleworth and Cowie, 1997: 51 ( .
2.4 Dynamic/Textual equivalence vs. ormal equivalence
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DeIined by Nida (1964, cited in Bassnett, 1980: 33), the Iormer (also known as
Iunctional equivalence) is "the closest natural equivalent to the source-language
message" (ibid: 166) and attempts to convey the thought expressed in a source text
(at the expense oI literalness, original word order, the source text's grammatical
voice, etc., iI necessary); while the latter (also known as Iormal correspondence)
attempts to render the text word-Ior-word (at the expense oI natural expression in the
target language, iI necessary). Also, deIined by CatIord (1965: 27), the Iormer (also
known as textual equivalence) is "any TL text or portion oI text which is observed
on a particular occasion to be the equivalent oI a given SL text or portion oI text"
and the latter is "any TL category (unit, class, structure, element oI structure, etc.)
which can be said to occupy, as nearly as possible, the same place in the economy oI
the TL as the given SL category occupies in the SL ."
2.5 S!i"t
As Iar as translation shiIts are concerned, CatIord (1965: 73) deIines them as
"departures Irom Iormal correspondence in the process oI going Irom the SL to the
TL", i.e. if translational equivalents are not formal correspondent. According to Al-
Zoubi and Al-Hassnawi (2001: 2), shifts should be defined positively as the
consequence of the translator's effort to establish translation equivalence (TE)
between two different language systems. To them, shifts are all the mandatory and
optional actions of the translator to which s/he resorts consciously for the purpose of
natural and communicative rendition of an SL text into another language (ibid ( .
2.6 Unit/ran# s!i"t
CatIord (1965: 79) deIines unit/rank shiIts as those departures Irom Iormal
correspondence in which "the translation equivalent oI a unit at one rank in the SL is
a unit at a diIIerent rank in the TL ."
2.7 $iteral Translation
Literal or word-Ior-word translation is deIined by Robinson as "the segmentation oI
the SL text into individual words and TL rendering oI those word-segments one at a
time" (1998, cited in Baker, 2001: 125). A literal translation can be deIined in
linguistic terms as a translation "made on a level lower than is suIIicient to convey
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the content unchanged while observing TL norms" (Barkhudarov, 1969, cited in
Shuttleworth and Cowie, 1997: 95). In a similar vein, CatIord also oIIers a deIinition
based on the notion oI the UT: literal translation takes word-Ior-word translation as
its starting point, although because oI the necessity oI conIorming to TL grammar,
the Iinal TT may also display group-group or clause-clause equivalence (1965: 25 .(
2.8 ree Translation
Also known as sense-Ior-sense translation, it is a type oI translation in which more
attention is paid to producing a naturally reading TT than to preserving the ST
wording intact (Shuttleworth and Cowie, 1997: 62). Linguistically, it can be deIined
as a translation "made on a higher level than is necessary to convey the content
unchanged while observing TL norms" (Barkhudarov, 1969: 11, translated, cited in
ibid). In other words, the UT in a Iree translation might be anything up to a sentence
(or more) even iI the content oI the ST in question could be reproduced satisIactorily
by translating on the word or group level (ibid). Besides, according to CatIord (1965:
25), it is a prerequisite oI Iree translations that they should also be unbounded as
regards the rank (or level) on which they are perIormed. Free translations are thus
generally more TL-oriented than literal translations .
3 . Methodology
Through conducting this research, an attempt has been made to investigate the
argument about the problematic nature oI units oI translation in relation to Iree and
literal translations adopted in English-Persian literary translations regarding the unit-
shiIts. Put it in another way, the present research seeks to study translation units that
the proIessional literary translators adopt in the process oI translating Iamous novels
Irom English into Persian, and it is carried out by establishing a relation (oI
equivalence) between the coupled pairs of ST and TT segments (that is to say, to
ascertain whether the translated literary texts are the closest natural equivalent to the
original message (Nida's deIinition oI translation, 1964: 166), i.e. dynamically
equivalent, or Iormally equivalent), while taking into account the dichotomy oI Iree-
literal approach to translation in terms oI the occurrence oI unit-shiIts in the UTs. So
the approach is limited inasmuch as the researcher has looked at Units oI Translation
only Irom the angle oI the product oI translation .
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As a consequence, this research is placed within the Iramework oI Pure Translation
Studies-in Holmes's map oI translation studies (Toury, 1995: 10, cited in Munday,
2001: 10-12) -which actually has Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS) as one oI its
major branches. In Iact, DTS embarks upon examination oI the product, the Iunction
and the process as three Iocal points among which the Iirst one is highlighted in the
course oI this research. Since this study is concerned with the product oI translation
and is a comparative analysis oI several TTs oI the same ST, it is a "Descriptive"
research. Stated by Farhady, "Through descriptive method, researchers attempt to
describe and interpret the current status oI phenomena" (2001: 144). Descriptive
research is deIined by Birjandi and Mosallanejad (2002: 184-86) as the basis Ior
qualitative research that deals with what is happening now .
So the design oI this research is "descriptive" content analysis. Moreover, this
research goes under the heading oI "Qualitative". A qualitative research explains
how all parts work together to Iorm a whole. Patten deIines qualitative research as
"an eIIort to understand situations in their uniqueness as part oI a particular context.
It is not attempting to predict what may happen in the Iuture, but to understand the
nature oI the setting" (cited in Birjandi and Mosallanejad, 2002: 76-7 ( .
Moreover, through several subcategories Farhady (2001: 144, 154) represents Ior
descriptive method oI research, "Casual-Comparative" method which is, in turn, a
subcategory oI "interrelational" methods seemed the most appropriate to the
researcher to conduct this research. The research is by nature comparative in that it is
aimed at comparing and contrasting pairs of ST and TT segments so as to find the
most frequent UT among the professional literary translators and to trace and
discover the relationship between their UTs and the kinds of translation, i.e. free vs.
literal, applied by them in terms of the occurrence of unit-shifts in UTs in the move
Irom the ST to the TT. Thus, it can be found out that this study falls under a
comparative category for research method .
3.1 %orpus Selection &rocedure
In order Ior the samples oI this research to meet the representativeness criterion, i.e.
to be representative oI the whole population, the selection oI materials was based on
a non-random samp'ing criterion which is described by Farhady (2001: 212) as a
process oI choosing research population when random sampling is not possible. For
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the sake oI choosing certain English-Persian literary works, both the source texts and
the target texts were selected based on a purposive samp'ing which is, according to
Farhady (ibid: 212), a procedure Ior selecting a non-random sampling, and deIined
by him as "the procedure directed toward obtaining a certain type oI members with
predetermined characteristics" (ibid ( .
Taking all these criteria into account, the novels and the translations oI each were
meticulously selected. These were then supposed to be segmented, compared and
contrasted Irom the viewpoint oI units oI translation. Indeed, the corpus used in this
study is a para''e' corpus, that is to say, original English source texts and their
translations in Persian. A parallel corpus is defined by Olohan (2004: 24) as "a
corpus consisting of a set of texts in one language and their translations in another
language ."
The English novels were selected based on purposive samp'ing to IulIill the
Iollowing selection criteria ,
Originally written in English ,
Being regarded as masterpieces ,
Closely related to each other in terms oI genre, and
Written by renowned authors .
Persian translations were also selected based on purposive samp'ing to include those
consistent with the Iollowing certain criteria :
Best-selling Persian translations ,
Being considered as the pick oI the numerous existing translations, and
Done by proIessional translators .
The Iinal samples are presented in Tables 1 & 2 .
Table 1 The list oI English novels
No . Novel Title Author Year oI the First
Edition
Selected
Pages
1
Heart oI Darkness Joseph Conrad
1899 1-10
2
Lord oI the Flies William olding
1954 1-10
3
Cry, the Beloved
Country
Alan Paton
1948 1-10
8
The list oI Persian Translations Table 2
Persian Translations oI Heart oI Darkness
No . Title Translator Year oI the
First Edition
Year oI
Publication
Selected
Pages
1 - - - 1985 2001 1-10
2

- 1986 1986 1-10


Persian Translations oI Lord oI the Flies
No . Title Translator Year oI the
First Edition
Year oI
Publication
Selected
Pages
1 - - =

(.)
1984 1984 1-10
2
(~)
1984 1984 1-10
Persian Translations oI Cry, the Beloved Country
No . Title Translator Year oI the
First Edition
Year oI
Publication
Selected
Pages
1 = -- 1972 1982 1-10
2 -

-=
-~

1983 2004 1-10

3.2 Data %ollection &rocedure
In order to manage the process oI data collection, the Iirst ten pages oI each novel
and their Persian translations were selected. Then, to make a thorough comparison
between the STs and their selected TTs possible, the Iirst two hundred and ten
sentences Irom those ten pages oI each novel were extracted. The extracted
9
sentences oI each novel were then matched with their two translations. In this way,
the ST-TT segments were speciIied Ior each novel based on the established
equivalent relations. The ST-TT segments extracted Irom each novel and its two
translations were then included in the separate tables related to each novel. Here, a
point to mention is that the researcher had to adopt a unit oI analysis to make it
possible to speciIy ST-TT segments and later to make it Ieasible to identiIy the UTs
applied in each segment and, hence, to discover the occurrence oI unit-shiIts in those
UTs .
1 ( So, the Iirst stage was to speciIy the ST segments. For that matter, sentence was
basically adopted as the major unit oI analysis. Because it is mainly regarded as a
meaningIul unit that conveys the message completely. Besides, among the language
levels the sentence is where sentence linguistics and text linguistics overlap, and
decisions made at any other language levels will be duly reIlected within the contour
oI the sentence, the primary building block Ior TL text construction (Hewson and
Martin, 1991: 86). However, the researcher encountered some rare cases in each ST
(novel) where a complete message was conveyed through a word or phrase, so she
considered word or phrase as the minor units oI analysis. Moreover, in order to
speciIy the ST segments the researcher had to stick to a punctuation mark to separate
the units oI analysis; thereIore, she essentially used Iull stops to separate the ST
sentences. Because among punctuation signs that operate to (con)textualize, Iull
stops are the most signiIicant marks since they signal the Iull sentential
independence oI a language segment (Zhu, 1996: 438 .(
2 ( Yet, aIter speciIication oI the ST segments as mentioned above, the two
translations oI each ST segment were speciIied in the next stage. Since the
translations were supposed to be speciIied based on the established equivalent
relation between the ST and the TT, the translation column in the tables is entitled
equivalent translation, which is to CatIord (1965: 27) 'an empirical phenomenon,
discovered by comparing SL and TL texts. Also, it was important to the researcher
whether the translation was Iormally equivalent, i.e. directed more towards the Iorm
oI the ST or Iormal correspondence, or dynamically equivalent which is described as
"the closest natural equivalent to the source-language message" (Nida, 1964: 166).
The researcher actually regarded it as a basis to later enable identiIication oI the
occurrence oI unit-shiIts in speciIied UTs .
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3.3 Data 'nalysis &rocedure
AIter speciIying the ST-TT segments, they had to be analyzed to see what UT(s)
were applied in them by each translator. One source oI inspiration Ior choosing the
units oI translation was Newmark (1991: 66-68)'s statement that assumes the main
translation units to be a hierarchy: text, paragraph, sentence, clause, phrase/group,
word, and morpheme. Yet, in order to increase the degree oI manageability oI the
research, an attempt was made to select those UTs which are Irequently preIerred as
basic working UTs by the translators. ThereIore, in ascending order, word, phrase,
clause, sentence and paragraph were selected as categories oI UT .
3.3.1 (nvesti)atin) Units o" Translation
3.3.1.1 Word as UT* It is clear that, despite its apparent convenience, the word on its
own is unsuitable Ior consideration as the basis Ior a unit oI translation. Further,
although the researcher has been mostly concerned with the sentence as unit oI
analysis, there were in Iact some rare cases in each story where the researcher had to
regard word as UT, because the translator could have successIully conveyed the
message to the reader through one word in TT, as in the Iollowing cases :
Heavens =
That's right . . -
Tomorrow, she said . .
3.3.1.2 &!rase as UT* Hatim and Mason (1990: 180) maintain that there is no doubt
that translators work with phrases as their raw material, and equivalence cannot truly
be established at these levels. Phrase is considered as "two or more words that
Iunction together as a group" (Swan, 2005: xxii) and conveys a thorough message
per se, as in the Iollowing cases :
Old knitter oI black wool . - --
" Sucks to your ass-mar " . `
This letter, Stephen . - - - .
3.3.1.3 %lause as UT* Syntactically clause Iorms a part oI a sentence and has a
subject-predicate structure which is not complete by itselI and is semantically
11
dependent (Richards and Platt, 1992: 52-53); thereIore, it is not a meaningIul unit
and should be completed by another sentence. So this UT has not been separately
observed. In Iact, the clauses were taken into account in the Iorm oI sentences
incorporating them, i.e. comp'e. sentences- which contain one or more dependent (or
subordinate) clauses and an independent (or main) clause- and compound-comp'e.
sentences- which contain two or more independent clauses and one or more
dependent clauses (Frank, 1972: 1 ( .
In the present study, the clauses have been taken into consideration under two
broader constituent categories, i.e. complex sentence or compound-complex
sentence. Also, the number oI both complex sentences and compound-complex
sentences is considered as indicative oI clause as UT .
3.3.1.3.1 %lause as UT* %omplex Sentences* As deIined by Frank (1972: 1),
complex sentence contains one or more dependent (or subordinate) clauses and an
independent (or main) clause. For example :
They were men enough to Iace the darkness . - - -~ -
.~ -
" I expect there's a lot more oI us scattered about . - - =
.~ `
There is a lovely road that runs Irom Ixopo into the hills . - - ---
.
3.3.1.3.2 %lause as UT* %ompound+%omplex Sentences* DeIined by Frank (1972:
1), compound-complex sentence contains two or more independent (or main) clauses
and one or more dependent (or subordinate) clauses. For example :
It was the biggest thing in the town, and everybody I met was Iull oI it .
.~ _`= ` -` ~ ~ - - --
When he gets leave he'll come and rescue us . = - - -= -- =-
.
For there there is a multitude oI buses, and only one bus in ten, one bus in twenty maybe, is
the right bus . . - - - - ~ -- - - - =
- -
12
3.3.1.4 Sentence as UT* According to Richards and Platt (1992: 330), sentence is
the largest unit oI grammatical organization within which parts oI speech (e.g.
nouns, verbs, adverbs) and grammatical classes (e.g. word, phrase, clause) Iunction,
and a sentence normally consists oI one independent clause with a Iinite verb. Also,
according to Frank (1993: 220), a sentence is a Iull, independent prediction
containing a subject plus a predicate in the Iorm oI independent clause. Elsewhere he
deIines the independent clause as a Iull prediction that may stand alone as a sentence
|222|. Based on the independent clause(s) consisting sentences, the sentences can be
generally classiIied into two types: simple and compound, both oI which contain
independent clause as their only building block. So this UT was treated in simp'e
sentences and compound sentences, and the number oI both simple sentences and
compound sentences is reckoned as indicative oI UT as sentence .
3.3.1.4.1 Sentence as UT* Simple Sentences* To Frank (1972: 1), simple sentence
contains one Iull subject and predicate and can take the Iorm oI a statement, a
question, a request, or an exclamation. Such a sentence has only one Iull prediction
in the Iorm oI an independent clause (Frank, 1993: 222). For example :
His remark did not seem at all surprising . - - -
.- -=
Piggy bore this with a sort oI humble patience . -- - - - =
. =
It is not an easy letter . .
3.3.1.4.2 Sentence as UT* %ompound Sentence: As stated by Frank (1972: 1),
compound sentence contains two or more sentences joined into one by punctuation
alone, punctuation and a conjunctive adverb, or a coordinate conjunction; when such
sentences are joined coordinately, they are each called independent clause. Such
sentences have two or more Iull predictions in the Iorm oI independent clauses (ibid,
1993: 222). For example :
I gave my name, and looked about . . - - - -
Ralph giggled into the sand . = -
.--=
She took the letter and she Ielt it . . ~=

13
3.3.1.5 &ara)rap! as UT* DeIined by Richards and Platt (1992: 262), paragraph is a
unit oI organization oI written language, which serves to indicate how the main ideas
in a written text are grouped. In text linguistics, paragraphs are considered as macro-
structure oI a text and they group sentences which belong together and deal with the
same topic. Consequently, a paragraph, as a macro-structure, usually consists oI a
group oI related sentences such as simple, compound, complex, or compound-
complex which together incorporate a whole unit. Yet, in this study, paragraph as
UT was Iound to be exclusively implemented in the both translations oI 3eart of
4arkness by the same number, and no cases oI such UT were Iound in the both
translations oI the two other stories. For example :
And at last, in its curved and imperceptible Iall, the sun sank low, and Irom glowing white
changed to a dull red without rays and without heat, as iI about to go out suddenly, stricken
to death by the touch oI that gloom brooding over a crowd oI men .
~- - - - = ~= -
~ - - = - =-- - ~- = ` - _ - =
.- -
3.3.2 (nvesti)atin) Unit+s!i"ts in t!e UTs 'pplied ,y t!e Translators
Based on the categories mentioned above, the UTs applied in the ST-TT segments
were identiIied. Concurrently, while identiIying the UTs in the ST-TT segments,
unit/rank shiIts or those departures Irom Iormal correspondence in which "the
translation equivalent oI a unit at one rank in the SL is a unit at a diIIerent rank in the
TL" (CatIord, 1965: 79) were also sought aIter. The unit-shiIts were speciIied to
later gauge the relationship between the UT and the Iree-literal dichotomy .
Apparently, according to CatIord, shiIt is not Iormally equivalent. In Iact, iI the SL is
imitated exactly in the TL, the result is called Iormally equivalent translation which
is awkward or unnatural, more directed towards the Iorm oI the ST, and basically
source-oriented. However, to avoid such a translation, the translator may deviate
Irom the ST and move away Irom close linguistic equivalence, so a shiIt occurs and
the resulting translation distancing Irom Iormal correspondence (equivalence) is
called dynamically (textually) equivalent translation which is described as "the
closest natural equivalent to the source-language message" (Nida, 1964: 166 ( .
14
The kind oI shiIt which is taken into account in the current study is unit/rank shift
that is a subdivision oI category shiIt and is deIined by CatIord (1965, cited in
Munday, 2001: 61) as the shiIt "where the translation equivalent in the TL is at a
diIIerent rank to the SL", as in the Iollowing cases :

ShiIt UT Equivalent Translation English
yes
Phrase ~ s.s . .- - = Dead in the centre .
yes s.s. ~ cx. s . - -
.-~ -`
For a moment he looked
interested .
yes s.s. ~ cd. s . - - Look at it .
4 . Discussion of Findings and Conclusions
While analyzing the collected data, it seemed logical to calculate the Irequency and
percentage oI units oI translation applied in the three novels as well as the Irequency
and percentage oI unit-shiIts in the UTs adopted by the proIessional translators oI
those novels. Based on the Iindings oI the analysis, the results oI the statistical
analysis are presented in the Iollowing tables :
Table 3 Frequency and Percentage oI Units oI Translation in 3eart of 4arkness,
5ord of the 6'ies, and Cr&, the Be'oved Countr&
Total
Percentage

Percentage Total
Frequenc
y
Frequenc
y
Sub-
categories
oI
Units oI
Translation
Units oI
Translation
1.81 1.81 24 24 Word
3.27 3.27 44 44 Phrase
43.18 29.48
580
396 Complex
Sentence
Clause
13.70 184 Compound-
complex
sentence
51.45 31.19
691
419 Simple
Sentence
Sentence
15
20.25 272 Compound
Sentence
0.29 0.29 4 4 Paragraph
As Table 3 reveals, the most Irequently applied unit oI translation among the literary
translators is the sentence which remarkably includes the majority oI samples, the
highest Irequency as well as the highest percentage which ranks sentence as the top
list category and the Ioremost adopted unit oI translation. In addition, clause
covering a wide range oI samples and having an approximately high Irequency and
percentage occupies the second prominent position among the applied units oI
translation. Lastly, phrase, word and paragraph are respectively other applied units
oI translation whose Irequency and percentage are not highly signiIicant. A summary
oI the statistical Iindings obtained in this section is presented in the Iollowing chart :
Units Of Translation
43.18
51.45
1.81
0.29
3.27
sentence
Paragraph
Word
Phrase
Clause
This leads to the conclusion that successIul literary translators are mostly concerned
with the sentence as their unit oI translation to Iind the closest natural equivalent to
the source-language message and to best convey the message to the TL reader .
Table 4 Frequency and Percentage oI shiIts in the UTs in 3eart of 4arkness, 5ord
of the 6'ies, and Cr&, the Be'oved Countr&

Novels Translators Frequency 7ercentage
Hosseini's Translation 88 41.90
16
3eart of
4arkness
Hajati's Translation 97 46.19
5ord of the 6'ies
Azad's Translation 75 35.71
Ardekani's Translation 98 46.66
Cr&, the Be'oved
Countr&
Daneshvar's Translation 77 36.66
HaIezipoor's Translation 88 41.90
Since the occurrence oI unit-shiIts, as departures Irom Iormal correspondence in the
UTs in the move Irom SL to TL, is the Iocus oI study in this section, here the
Irequency and percentage oI shiIts occurred in the UTs oI each translator have been
calculated separately to make the comparison possible. As indicated in Table 4, unit-
shiIt has occurred most Irequently in Ardekani's translation oI 5ord of the 6'ies, so it
contains the highest percentage. Also, in Hajati's translation oI 3eart of 4arkness a
nearly similar number oI unit-shiIts has occurred. It can be representative oI the Iact
that these two translators are highly oriented towards deviating Irom the ST,
applying translation units oI a size diIIerent Irom the ST, and, thus, their translations
tend to be Ireer. The obtained results have been displayed in the Iollowing graph :
17

It can be inIerred that, as Iar as the product-oriented view oI the UTs is concerned,
the more Irequent is the occurrence oI shiIts in the UTs oI the translator, the more
deviated is his/her translation Irom the Iormal correspondence, the more diIIerent the
size oI his/her UTs is, and Iinally the Ireer his translation will be. Thus, there is a
direct relationship between the number oI occurrence oI shiIts in the units oI
translation (i.e. unit-shiIts) and Iree translation. Besides, although Irequency oI the
occurrence oI unit-shiIts is closely related to a Iree translation being produced and it
may make a translation Ireer, it may change the size oI the UTs to a longer or shorter
UT; so Ior the UTs it is the matter oI either/or .
5 . inal Words
The Iindings, theoretical discussions, as well as practical evidences oI this research
can provide guidelines Ior the novice translators who need to gain the initial
knowledge to take the preliminary steps. Also, the results oI this study may introduce
some usable hints on the application oI the most appropriate UT in the literary
translation Ior university students majoring in translation and translation courses.
Since the most Irequently applied UT among the literary translators proved to be the
'sentence', grammar exercises and translation tasks on grammatical structures can be
used in translation classes. For IulIilling such a purpose, teachers had better use a
grammar-oriented approach in their translation classes, especially in courses such as
translation principles and methodology, as well as translation oI simple texts in
general and literary texts in particular. This is due to the Iact that the ST segments
can have a deep structure and a surIace structure whose identiIication can help apply
the UT that is true equivalence oI the ST and best Iits the translation oI literary texts .
Furthermore, based upon the relationship Iound in this research between the UTs and
the Iree-literal dichotomy in terms oI the unit-shiIts, the translation trainees can be
instructed that application oI unit-shiIts in the process oI going Irom the ST to the
TT helps them to achieve a Iree translation and that the literary translation needs to
undergo deviations Irom the Iormal correspondence to meet this requirement .
At the end, given the importance oI application oI the most appropriate UT in the
literary translations, a need is Ielt Ior IulIilling Iurther researches into the domain oI
UT and it is hoped that this study paves the way Ior other studies in this area .
18
Wor#s %ited
Al-Zoubi, M. Q. and A. R. Al-Hassnawi (2001). Constructing a Model Ior ShiIt
Analysis in Translation. Trans'ation 8ourna'+ Retrieved December 10,
2006 Irom the World Wide Web:
http://accurapid.com/journal/18theory.htm
Baker, M. (2001). The 9out'edge 0nc&c'ooedia of Trans'ation Studies. London:
Routledge .
Bassnett, S. (1980/1991). Trans'ation Studies. London and New York:
Routledge
Birjandi, P. and P. Mosallanejad (2002). 9esearch :ethods and 7rincip'es.
Tehran, Iran: Shahid Mahdavi Publications .
CatIord, J. C. (1965): , 5inguistic Theor& of Trans'ation. London: OxIord
University Press .
Farhady, H. (1995). 9esearch methods in app'ied 'inguistics+ Tehran: Payame
Noor University .
Frank, M. (1972). :odern 0ng'ish! 0.ercises for non-native speakers, 7art ;;.
United States oI America: Prentice-Hall .
) ------- 1993 .( :odern 0ng'ish! , 7ractica' 9eference <uide. United States oI
America: Prentice-Hall .
Hatim, B. and I. Mason (1990). 4iscourse and the Trans'ator. London and
New York: Longman .
Hatim, B. and J. Munday (2004). Trans'ation! ,n advanced resource book+
Routledge: New York .
Hewson, L. and J. Martin (1991). 9edefining Trans'ation! The =ariationa'
,pproach. London and New York: Routledge .
19
Munday, J. (2001). ;ntroducing trans'ation studies! theories and app'ications+
London & New York: Routledge .
Newmark, P. (1988). , Te.tbook of Trans'ation. New York, London: Prentice
Hall .
) ------ 1991 .( ,bout Trans'ation. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters .
Nida, E. A. (1964). Toward a Science of Trans'ating+ Leiden: E. J. Brill .
Olohan, M. (2004). Introducing Corpora in Translation Studies. London and
New York, Routledge .
Richards, J. C., J. Platt and H. Platt (1992). 4ictionar& of 5anguage Teaching
and ,pp'ied 5inguistics. reat Britain: Longman .
Sager, J. (1994). 5anguage 0ngineering and Trans'ation Conse-uences of
,utomation. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins .
Shuttleworth, M. and M. Cowie (1997). Dictionary oI Translation Studies.
Manchester: St. Jerome .
Swan, M. (2005). 7ractica' 0ng'ish Usage. 3
rd
ed. New York: OxIord
University Press .
Toury, . (1995). 4escriptive Trans'ation Studies and Be&ond. Amsterdam and
Philadelphia: John Benjamins .
Zhu, C. (1996). 'Climb Up and Look Down: On sentences as the key
Iunctional UT (Unit OI Translation) in text translation, 7roceedings of
the >th ?or'd Congress of the 6@d@ration ;nternationa'e des
Traducteurs (6;T$, February 1996, Vol. 1, Melbourne, AUSIT, pp. 322-
343 .
20
It can be representative oI the Iact that the deviations Irom the ST have been
considerably high in these two translations, UTs oI a diIIerent size Irom the ST have
been applied, and they tend to be Ireer .
This study sets out, amid the points already mentioned, a method Ior the comparison
oI ST and TT pairs: identifying the relationships between the coupled pairs of ST
and TT segments and establishing equivalence and attempting generalizations about
the underlying concept of unit of translation to explore what UT is most Irequently
adopted by the proIessional literary translators and to argue the relationship between
the UTs and the Iree-literal dichotomy in terms oI the occurrence oI unit/rank shiIts
or changes in the UTs in the move Irom the ST to the TT .
21
Hence, in line with Newmark's hypothesis, this product-oriented descriptive
translation research intends to enrich the theory oI describing the phenomenon oI
English-Persian literary translation Irom the viewpoint (perspective) oI units oI
translation: to investigate the most Irequent unit oI translation applied by the
proIessional literary translators, and to inquire into the relationship between the UT
and the kind oI translation, i.e. Iree vs. literal, adopted by the literary translators in
terms oI unit shiIt .
This paper tries to draw a clear picture oI the notion oI Unit oI Translation as a key
concept in translation studies. In so doing, it is argued by the researcher that the
development oI the issue oI UT inevitably involves a theory oI equivalence, which
can be said to be the central issue in translation. It also sheds light on the distinction
between literal translation and Iree translation, which is an important and ever
debated point in the literature oI translation, in terms oI the occurrence oI unit/rank
shiIts or changes in the UTs in the move Irom the ST to the TT, and in a corpus oI
literary translations Irom English into Persian (outstanding novels originally written
in English and their successIul translations done by proIessional translators ( .
To this end, the researcher has been mainly concerned with comparing the SL and
TL texts (certain literary translations with their original texts) so as to highlight the
diIIerences between proIessional literary translators concerning the two points noted
above. The comparison oI texts in two diIIerent languages Ior the purpose oI
speciIying units oI translation inevitably involves a Iocus on equivalence which is
the central issue in translation. So this study also aims to ascertain whether the
translated literary texts are Iormally equivalent, i.e. directed more towards the Iorm
22
oI the ST or Iormal correspondence, or dynamically equivalent which is described as
"the closest natural equivalent to the source-language message" (Nida, 1964: 166 ( .
To achieve the above-mentioned goals, the researcher aims to look into three Iamous
English novels considered as masterpieces and to compare and contrast ten pages oI
each novel with two oI its successIul translations done by proIessional translators.
Through conclusions which will be drawn at the end oI the analysis and implications
which will be provided Ior Iurther studies, it is hoped that new insights can be
oIIered to the literary translators
Individual translators, with diIIerent Ioci oI attention, may preIer diIIerent units as
their basic working UTs .
It is widely agreed to be the case that translation and translation studies have never
had it so good. Over the last two or three decades, translation has become a more
proliIic, more visible and more respectable activity than perhaps ever beIore. And
alongside translation itselI, a new Iield oI academic study has come into existence,
initially called Translatology (but not Ior long) which is now changed into
Translation Studies, and it has gathered remarkable academic momentum .
The concept oI UT (unit oI translation) has been an essential issue not only in
translation theory over the last years, but also in modern translation studies
In this light, Vinay and Darbelnet (1958/95) maintain that Ior any science, one oI the
essential and oIten the most controversial preliminary steps is deIining the units with
which to operate (cited in Hatim and Munday, 2004: 137). This is equally true oI
translation .
23
It is axiomatic that, despite its apparent convenience, the word on its own is
unsuitable Ior consideration as the basis Ior a unit oI translation .
According to Newmark (1988: 30-31), normally you translate sentence by sentence
(not breath-group by breath-group), running the risk oI not paying enough attention
to the sentence-join. II the translation oI a sentence has no problems, it is based
Iirmly on literal translation, plus virtually automatic and spontaneous transpositions
and shiIts, changes in word order, etc. He Iurther argues that "since the sentence is
the basic unit oI thought, presenting an object and what it does, is, or is aIIected by,
so the sentence is, in the Iirst instance, your unit oI translation, even though you may
later Iind many SL and TL correspondences within that sentence" (31 .(
.
Unit oI translation is an issue that has exercised translation theorists over a very long
period, indeed. The issue oI unit oI translation is oI a paramount importance in the
study oI translation in general and the translation oI literary works in particular :
It might illustrate the kind oI translation adopted in the process oI translating, i.e.
Irom the dichotomy oI literal-Iree translation which has dominated translation theory
Ior a very long time; it helps to explore the nature oI the notion oI equivalence, a key
concept which is basic to any linguistically oriented translation theory, in that every
translation has to stand in some kind oI equivalence relation to the original and this
equivalence relation, which is anything but clear-cut and predictable, is the outcome
oI the workings on Units oI Translation; it can also be indicative oI the translation
shiIts or changes that take place in the move Irom ST to TT and the perception oI
which triggers a sort oI adjustment mechanism that ensures the correct interpretation
oI the message .
It is generally deIined as the study oI the theory and phenomena oI translation. It is,
according to many researchers in the Iield, an emerging discipline, yet to gain the
status oI an independent and distinct discipline in the academia around the world .
Translation studies, as an umbrella term, maniIests that translation has been
practiced Ior thousands oI years, and debates on the nature oI translation have been
part oI translation practice Ior almost as long. The debates on translation practice go
back to the very deIinition oI what translation is .
SL emphasis TL emphasis
Word-Ior-word translation Adaptation

24
Literal translation Free translation
FaithIul translation Idiomatic translation
Semantic translation Communicative translation
Figure 2.1. Types oI Translation according to Newmark (1988: 45 (
His model shows that word-Ior-word translation, Ior example, is the closest in Iorm
to the original structure oI the source text; whereas adaptation puts the most
emphasis on the Iluency oI the target text. He Iurther sheds light on each oI these
translation methods as Iollows :
Stated by Hatim and Munday (2004: 255), it is Peter Newmark's 'semantic
translation' that has come closest to what Iormal equivalence might entail. In
semantic translation, the translator attempts, within the bare syntactic and semantic
constraints oI the TL, to reproduce the precise contextual meaning oI the author
(1988: 22, cited in ibid ( .
In this light, Munday (2001: 44) maintains that Newmark's description oI
communicative translation resembles )ida%s d&namic e-uiva'ence in the eIIect it is
trying to create on the TT reader, while semantic translation has similarities to
)ida%s forma' e-uiva'ence. Yet, Newmark keeps himselI away Irom the Iull principle
oI equivalent eIIect, since that eIIect "is inoperant iI the text is out oI the TL space
and time" (1981: 69, cited in ibid). He Iurther indicates that semantic translation
diIIers Irom literal translation in that it 'respects context', interprets and even
explains; on the other hand, literal translation means word-Ior-word translation
which sticks very closely to ST lexis and syntax (1981: 63, cited in ibid).
Nevertheless, he considers literal translation to be the best approach in both semantic
and communicative translation :
Translation may be deIined as the replacement oI textual material in one language
(SL) by equivalent textual material in another language (TL). The central problem oI
translation practice is that oI Iinding TL translation equivalents. A central task oI
translation theory is that oI deIining the nature and conditions oI translation
equivalence (CarIord, 1965: 21). Chesterman (1989: 99) notes that equivalence is
obviously a central concept in translation theory. To Kenny (1997: 77), equivalence
is supposed to deIine translation, and translation, in turn, deIines equivalence .
25
As stated by Bassnett (1980: 32-33), Albercht Neubert, who distinguishes between
the study oI translation as a process and as a product, stresses the need Ior a theory
oI equivalence relations as the missing link between both components oI a
complete theory oI translation, while Raymond van den Broeck challenges the
extensive use oI the term claiming that the precise deIinition oI equivalence in
mathematics is a serious obstacle to its use in translation theory
However, according to the concept oI this Iundamental translation term, which is
somehow diIIerent Irom that oI the linguistic term oI 'correspondence', translating is
not merely replacing the words oI the ST with their corresponding words in the TL.
In this respect, Munday (2001: 49) quotes Bassnett as saying :
Translation involves Iar more than replacement oI lexical and grammatical items
between languages ... Once the translator moves away Irom close linguistic
equivalence, the problem oI determining the exact nature oI the level oI equivalence
aimed Ior begin to emerge (Bassnett, 1980/91: 25 ( .
CatIord (1965, cited in Shuttleworth and Cowie, 1997: 51) views equivalence as
something essentially quantiIiable- and translation as simply a matter oI replacing
each SL item with the most suitable TL equivalent .
This perception has led some scholars to subdivide the notion oI equivalence in
various ways. Thus, some have distinguished between the equivalence Iound at the
levels oI diIIerent units oI translation, while others have Iormulated a number oI
equivalence typologies, such as Nidas (1964) inIluenced dynamic and Iormal
equivalence, Each oI these individual categories oI equivalence which will be
elaborated through the upcoming paragraphs encapsulates a particular type oI ST-TT
relationship .
Pointed out by CatIord (1965: 27), and Sarhady (Trans'ation Studies, 7 & 8 (2004 &
2005): 67-68), Irom a linguistic approach, a distinction must be made between
textual equivalence and Iormal correspondence. A textual equivalence is any TL text
or portion oI text which is observed on a particular occasion to be the equivalent oI a
given SL text or portion oI text. A Iormal correspondence, on the other hand, is any
TL category which can be said to occupy, as neatly as possible, the same place in the
economy oI the TL as the given SL category occupies in the SL. Since every
language is a unique system, it seems that Iormal correspondence is approximate. To
CatIord (ibid), the degree oI divergence between textual equivalence and Iormal
26
correspondence may be used as a measure oI typological diIIerences between
languages .
Eugene Nida (1964) distinguishes two types oI equivalence, Iormal and dynamic,
and proposes them as two basic orientations in translating .
In Iormal equivalence, the Iocus oI attention is on the message itselI, in both Iorm
and content, and one is concerned that the message in the receptor language should
match as closely as possible the diIIerent elements in the source language. Thus, it is
basically source-oriented; that is it is designed to reveal as much as possible oI the
Iorm and content oI the original message. Such a translation in which one is
concerned with such correspondences as poetry to poetry, sentence to sentence, and
concept to concept is called by Nide a 'gloss translation', which aims to allow the
reader to understand as much oI the SL context as possible (Nida, 1964, cited in
Venuti, 1995:136 ( .
To have a Iormal equivalence, one attempts to reproduce several Iormal elements,
including grammatical units, consistency in word usage, and meanings in terms oI
the source context. ThereIore, correspondence in grammatical units, such as
translating nouns by nouns, verbs by verbs, etc., keeping all phrases and sentences
intact, and preserving lexical concordance are oI the characteristics oI Iormal
equivalence (ibid ( .
However, in dynamic equivalence, the Iocus oI attention is directed, not so much
toward the source message, as toward the receptor response. A dynamic equivalence
translation may be described as one concerning which a bilingual and bicultural
person can justiIiably say, "That is just the way we would say it". One way oI
deIining the dynamic equivalence translation is to describe it as "the closest natural
equivalent to the source-language message" (ibid ( .
It is assumed by Hatim and Munday (2004: 44) that :
The more Iorm-bound a meaning is., the more Iormal the equivalence relation will
have to be. Alternatively, the more context-bound a meaning is ., the more
dynamic the equivalence will have to be .
FE Meaning ~~~~~~~DE
FORM- BOUND CONTEXT- BOUND
Figure 2.6 Formal (FE) vs. dynamic (DE) equivalence (ibid ( .
Accordingly, Iormal equivalence presupposes matching SL- and TL- content, which
is a very reasonable requirement iI it is supposed to hold Ior suIIiciently large units,
27
and at the same time matching Iorms- the most IaithIul rendering possible oI the
word order, parts oI speech, grammatical constructions and also genre-determined
Iorm (meter, etc) oI the SL-text (Pederson, 1988: 18 ( .
To Hatim and Mason (1990: 7), although Iormal equivalence is a means oI providing
some degree oI insight into the lexical, grammatical or structural Iorm oI a source
text; orientation towards dynamic equivalence, on the other hand, is assumed to be
the normal strategy. As claimed by Nida (1964: 160, cited in ibid), "the present
direction is toward increasing emphasis on dynamic equivalences. Indeed, he deIines
the goal oI dynamic equivalence as seeking the "closest natural equivalent to the
source-language message" (Nida, 1964: 166, Nida and Taber, 1969: 12 ( .
Viewing the UT as a language level on which translation equivalence is to be
established is a misguided conception based on three unwarranted belieIs: (a) UT is a
Iormal unit in nature and can be treated in isolation; (b) language units are automatic
UTs; and (c) complete equivalence is achievable (Zhu, 1996: 433 ( .
reveals Newmark's apparent vacillation about the range oI the UT. Elsewhere he has
stressed the importance oI the sentence, conspicuously absent in the above
deIinition, as the "natural" or primary UT, while those below the sentence are "sub-
units oI translation" (Newmark, 1988: 31, 65 ( .
Importantly, Newmark (1988: 66-7) makes the crucial point that "all lengths oI
language can, at diIIerent moments and also simultaneously, be used as units oI
translation in the course oI the translation activity". While, as mentioned by Hatim
and Munday (2004: 25), it may be that the translator most oIten works at the
sentence level, paying speciIic attention to the problems raised by individual words
or groups in that context. However, to Newmark (1988: 69), the longer the unit, the
rarer one-to-one translation in which each SL word has a corresponding TL word .
As distinctly pointed out by Newmark (1988: 30-31), since sentence is the basic unit
oI thought, so it is your unit oI translation, even though you may later Iind many SL
and TL correspondences within that sentence. Normally you translate sentence by
sentence (not breath-group by breath-group), running the risk oI not paying enough
attention to the sentence-joins. Indeed, primarily you translate by the sentence, and
in each sentence, it is the object and what happens to it that you sort out Iirst.
Additionally, he (ibid: 65) insists that the sentence is the 'natural' unit oI translation,
just as it is the natural unit oI comprehension and recorded thought .
28
Newmark (1991: 66-68) assumes the main descriptive units to be a hierarchy: text,
paragraph, sentence, clause, group, word, and morpheme .
Hatim and Mason (1990: 180) maintain that there is no doubt that translators work
with words and phrases as their raw material, and equivalence cannot truly be
established at these levels .
Sometimes the translator is compelled to translate a part oI his/her material with a
change/shiIt in the unit oI translation such as the time when s/he encounters cases oI
untranslatability in which a number oI items are Iound in the text Ior which there is
no corresponding equivalence or even the nearest equivalence in the TL and decides
to render those parts using a Iree or communicative method oI translation. Texts tend
to be identiIied as translations when shiIts Irom source-language text are perceived.
The perception oI these shiIts triggers in the addressee a sort oI adjustment
mechanism which ensures the correct interpretation oI the message .
Actually, CatIord was the Iirst scholar to use the term in his , 5inguistic Theor& of
Trans'ation (1965, cited in Hatim and Munday, 2001: 26). In CatIord's own words,
translation shiIts are "departures Irom Iormal correspondence in the process oI going
Irom the SL to the TL" (1965: 73 .(
According to Munday, CatIord (1965: 20) Iollows the Firthian and Hallidayan
linguistic model, which analyzes language as communication, operating Iunctionally
in context and on a range oI diIIerent levels (e.g. phonology, graphology, grammar,
lexis) and ranks (sentence, clause, group, word, morpheme, etc.) (Munday, 2001:
60 ( .
Baker (2001: 226-227) deIines shiIt as changes that occur in the process oI
translating. ShiIts are deemed as required, inevitable, and indispensable changes
which result Irom attempts to deal with the systemic diIIerences which exist between
source and target languages and cultures. ShiIts allow the translators to overcome
such diIIerences .
Also, Venuti (2000: 148) regards shiIts as 'deviations' that can occur at such
linguistic levels as graphology, phonology, grammar, and lexis. Further, he clariIies
that when Anton Popovic asserts that "shiIts do not occur because the translator
wishes to change a work, but because he strives to reproduce it as IaithIully as
possible", the kind oI "IaithIulness" he has in mind is "Iunctional", with the
translator locating "suitable equivalents in the milieu oI his time and society"
(Popovic, 1970: 80, 82, cited in ibid ( .
29
As Iar as the product-oriented view oI shiIts is concerned, Popovic (1970: 79, cited
in Baker, 2001: 228) deIines shiIts Irom a descriptive point oI view :
All that appears as new with respect to the original, or Iails to appear where it might
have been expected, may be interpreted as a shiIt .
Popovic also comments that shiIts represent "the relationship between the wording
oI the original work and that oI the translation" (Popovic, 1970: 85, cited in
Shuttleworth and Cowie, 1997: 153 ( .
As pointed out by Newmark (1988: 85, 285), 'shiIt' also termed by Vinay and
Darbelnet as 'transposition' is a translation procedure involving a change in the
grammar Irom SL to TL .
Within the Iramework oI a linguistic theory oI translation, CatIord (1965: 27)
distinguishes between Iormal correspondence and textual equivalence, which was
later to be developed by Koller :
' "ormal correspondent is "any TL category (unit, class, structure, element oI
structure, etc.) which can be said to occupy, as nearly as possible, the "same" place
in the "economy" oI the TL as the given SL category occupies in the SL ."
' textual equivalent is "any TL text or portion oI text which is observed on a
particular occasion. to be the equivalent oI a given SL text or portion oI text ."
Munday (2001: 60) maintains that textual equivalence is thus tied to a particular ST-
TT pair and Iocuses on the relations that exit between elements in a speciIic ST-TT
pair. While Iormal equivalence has to do with general, non-speciIic and system-
based relationships between a pair oI languages or elements in two languages. When
the two concepts diverge, a translation shiIt is deemed to have occurred. To Haim
and Munday (2004: 28), a shiIt occurs iI, in a given TT, a translation equivalent
other than the Iormal correspondent occurs Ior a speciIic SL element .
MT!"D"#"$%
, there is considerable disagreement among translation theorists investigating the
notion oI units oI translation on the level at which equivalence should be established,
i.e. what units to choose as Units oI Translation. In the Iield oI translation, Irom a
product-oriented approach, a translation unit is a segment oI a target text which the
translator treats as a single cognitive unit. The translation unit may be a single word,
or it may be a phrase, a clause, a sentence, or even a larger unit like a paragraph .
30
This controversial argument about the length oI unit oI translation is, according to
Newmark (1988:45), a concrete reIlection oI an age-old conIlict between Iree and
literal translation. The Ireer the translation, the longer the UT; the more literal the
translation, the shorter the UT, the closer to the word .
The present research seeks to study translation units that the proIessional literary
translators adopt in the process oI translating Iamous novels Irom English into
Persian and it is carried out by establishing a relation (oI equivalence) between the
coupled pairs of ST and TT segments (that is to say, to ascertain whether the
translated literary texts are the closest natural equivalent to the original message
(Nida's deIinition oI translation, 1969: 19), i.e. dynamically equivalent, or Iormally
equivalent), while taking into account the dichotomy oI Iree-literal approach to
translation in terms oI the occurrence oI unit-shiIts in the UTs. So the approach is
limited inasmuch as the researcher has looked at Units oI Translation only Irom the
angle oI the product oI translation .
As a consequence, this research is placed within the Iramework oI Pure Translation
Studies-in Holmes's map oI translation studies (Toury, 1995: 10, cited in Munday,
2001: 10-12) -which actually has Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS) as one oI its
major branches. In Iact, DTS embarks upon examination oI the product, the Iunction
and the process as three Iocal points among which the Iirst one is highlighted in the
course oI this research :
1 . &roduct'oriented DT( intends to describe or analyze the existing translations
and address a single ST-TT pair or a comparative analysis oI several TTs oI the same
ST .
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