It provides a precise, concise, and comprehensive linguistic description and analysis of what a good translator does in the act of translation. Like good criticism, this book makes one aware of the seemingly mystifying things that go on in translating from one language to another. The concepts are basic to linguistics and the examples are well chosen.
Drawing from more than two hundred examples representing twenty-two languages of wide genetic and typological variety, the author guides the reader through a broad collection of situations encountered in the analysis and practice of translation. This enterprise gains structure and rigor from the methods and findings of contemporary linguistic theory, while realism and relevance are served by the choice of "naturalistic" examples from published translations. Coverage draws from a variety of genres and text-types (literary works, the Bible, newspaper articles, legal and philosophical writings, for examples), and addresses a thorough selection of structural-functional aspects. These range from discrepancies between source and target languages in sentence construction, to dfiferences between source and target poetic traditions with respect to meter and rhyme.
Joseph L. Malone is Professor of Linguistics and Departmental Chair at Barnard College, Columbia University.