Problems of Collocations Translation:
As collocations are always determined by
the company they keep, each language has its own characteristics; these may be
based on its culture. Such language features appear in collective nouns.
Examples are: Pack of dogs and wolves, swarm of bees, shoal of fish, choir of
singers, panel of experts, and stack of books. Besides, there are some special
animal sounds like gibber of apes, screech of bats, buzz of bees, coo of doves,
and scream of eagles.
Foreign or non –native language learners
usually commit a lot of errors while translating collocations , however, these
mistakes are justifiable due to several reasons such as: Scarcity of collocations
learning sources like specialized dictionaries, and textbooks, indirect
meanings of some collocations due to objective disparities among languages
owing to different linguistic, syntactic ,semantic and cultural backgrounds.
Fakhouri , (1995:1) affirms ”Collocations can be an area where
students err frequently in the process of translation and interpretation”.
These errors can be attributed to several
causes: 1-Absence or scarcity of collocation bilingual dictionaries . 2- Unpredictability of such collocations
in the target language. 3- Cultural and linguistic differences between the
source (SL) and the target language (TL). 4-Finally, some errors are related to
the process of learning vocabulary that encompasses semantic collocations and
structural collocations .
Such differences lead to difficulties
which usually encounter foreign language learners ,because a word often
collocates with several words. It is a
fixed rule that single words or sets of words are not replaced in collocation
with their synonyms. For example, we can say the tree/ shrub/plant/dried or
dried up , but we do not say the tree/shrub/plant passed away though both words
indicate the meaning of death or extinction . Thus, it is not always plausible
to say the oak tree has passed away , because there are restrictions on the use
of a set of words that have semantic relation.
Harmer (2001:99) clarifies an error as ”A
mistake students cannot correct themselves and which therefore needs an
Precise and right selection of a
collocation and then using it may cause some problems to second or even native
speakers of a language. Evident case can
be extracted from Arabic native speakers as in: To suspend a meeting ,
some may inaccurately translate it into:????
???????? /?????? instead of ????
???????? /?????? which is correct and accurate translation.
Nord , (1991:151) defines a translation
problem as ”An objective problem , which every translator …….has to solve
during a particular task”.
Hatim and Mason (1990:204) state ”There
is always a danger that , even for experienced translators , source language
interference will occasionally escape unnoticed and unnatural collocation will
flaw the target text”.
Newmark (1988:32) explains ”The
chief difficulties in translating are lexical, not grammatical –i.e. words ,
collocations , and fixed phrases or idioms” .
Baker (1992:46) states ”The main
challenge which the translator faces while translating collocations , idioms,
and fixed expressions consist of achieving an equivalence above the word level”.
Therefore, translators must get rid of or at least minimize translation loss to
a standard or satisfactory level.
Newmark (1988:213) argues ” Translation is sometimes a continual
struggle to find appropriate collocations , a process of connecting up
appropriate nouns with verbs and verbs with nouns , and, in the second
instance, collocating appropriate adjectives to the nouns , and adverbs or
adverbial groups to the verbs; in the third instance, collocating appropriate
connectives or conjunctions (the prepositions are already in the adverbial
Collocation Translation Strategy :
Beekman and Callow (1974:163) indicate ”
Translating collocations is a fascinating aspect in the work of translators and
a measure of their overall competence in translation ”. Thus , when
translating collocations , a high degree of attention should be paid , since
there is usually little or even no correspondence or equivalence among
collocation ranges across languages , exactly as there are intra –lingual differences in the collocation range of
equivalents of the same language .
Asqlan (1991:4) points out ”The
higher the rate of these strategies , the less effective the translation is
……..consequently, the less natural the intended communication will be ”
In their study on collocations
translation , Shakir and Farghal (1991:13) found thirteen M.A Translation
students followed the following strategies in their collocations translations :”
1-Reduction (generalization , deletion , and message abandonment ), 2-Synonymy , 3-Compensation , 4-Paraphrase ,
and 5-Transfer /calquing ”
1-Loan Words (Borrowing):
Is the borrowing of words directly from
source language through transliteration or transcription . Some translators
borrow words when equivalents in target language are not available. Vinay &
Darbelnet ,(1995:31) indicates ” introduce the flavor of the SL culture
into a translation ”. Examples include: Caffeine: ?????? ,cholesterol: ????????
Vitamin: ???????, carbohydrate: ??????????
1-Literal Translation: Sometimes also
referred to as word –for –word translation. Vinay & Darbelnet (1995:33)
defined this method as the ” direct transfer of a source language text into
a grammatically and idiomatically appropriate target language text in which the translator’s task is
limited to observing the adherence to the linguistic servitudes of the TL”