AWEJ. Special Issue on Translation No.3 May, 2014                                                                     Pp. 147-154

 Abstract PDF

 Full Paper PDF

  Translating into L2- the Unachievable Perfection

Mourad Meftah Baachaoui
Higher Institute of Human Studies- Kef
University of Jendouba, Tunisia

This paper tackles the problem of translating into the second language and how hard it is to reach a perfect translation.  The issue of directionality in translation has caused a controversy that has not been conclusively settled.  The superiority of one direction over the other largely depends on the very purpose of the translation itself; that is, on what the translator wants to achieve in his translation task.  If the translator’s aim is to produce a natural looking text, then the scale will tilt in favour of translation into the mother tongue.  On the other hand, if the value of the translation lies in the accuracy of the transferred information, particularly in cases of non-literary, informative texts, then priority will go to the correct rendering of the source text.  The paper propounds another requirement for a perfect translation, namely specialisation in the topic which must be one of the factors that has to be taken into account when commissioning translation jobs.

Keywords: translation directionality, linguistic competence, cultural competence, language superiority, language interference


Mourad Meftah Baachaoui holds an MA in Translation-University of Salford, United
Kingdom. Current position: Teacher of Translation (English/Arabic) at the Higher Institute of
Human Studies, Kef, University of Jendouba, Tunisia.