Baker’s Strategies in Translation: A Lexico-Semantic Analysis of Four Luhya Dialects; Lukabras, Lwisukha, Luwanga and Lukhayo in Informative Text

Baker’s Strategies in Translation: A Lexico-Semantic Analysis of Four Luhya Dialects; Lukabras, Lwisukha, Luwanga and Lukhayo in Informative Text

Mudogo Benard Angatia

6.0 Abstract

There exist numerous strategies of dealing with the problem of Target Language Non-equivalence in the translation of different text types. In this regard, Baker’s proposed strategies for dealing with non-equivalence at the word level have been widely discussed in translation studies. Yet, no studies have ever applied her strategies simultaneously for describing and assessing the functional appropriateness in translating informative texts. This study is an attempt to compare the word-level translation strategies used in an informative text type, based on Baker’s suggested strategies for attaining Target Language Equivalence at the word level. Mulembe FM newscasts being an informative text, was selected for analysis. The main question is whether the translators’ word-level strategies used to attain functional Target Language equivalence in Mulembe FM newscasts can be described and assessed by Baker’s framework or not. To do so, some pre-recorded transcripts from the Luhya Mulembe FM newscasts broadcast by Lukhayo, Luwanga and Lwisukha presenters were selected, and then, they were compared with their corresponding functional equivalent versions of Lukabras listeners. Then, comparisons were classified and analyzed in terms of translating using a superordinate word, using loan word plus explanations, substitution, and using a specific word to find out which strategies were used, and to show the extent of the Target Language functional equivalence in the translation of the newscasts by the presenters. The investigation was motivated by the fact that although the Luhya dialects exhibit vast lexical mismatches, Mulembe FM hiring policy is that the presenters use their dialects in the newscast translation on the assumption that the dialects are mutually intelligible.  The study focuses on Lukabras listeners as representatives of Luhya listeners who have to be accommodated in the newscasts. The results showed that Bakers’s procedures are nearly comprehensive and worked well for describing and assessing the translation of informative text.

Key words: Word-level Translation Strategies, Functional Equivalence, Informative texts, Mulembe FM Newscast.

6.2 Introduction

The emergence of vernacular FM stations is one of the most effective ways of communication to many Kenyans, especially those who cannot communicate fluently in English and Kiswahili. However, in the translation of Mulembe FM Luhya newscasts, the presenters are constantly faced with the constraints of lexical choices appropriate for the heterogeneous Luhya listeners. This is because of the lexical mismatches exhibited by the Luhya dialects. Furthermore, as observed by Kebeya (1997), there are higher cases of divergence than convergence at the word level when speakers of the different Luhya dialects communicate with each other. Lukabras is one of the dialects of the Luhya language group spoken in Western Kenya. According to Marlo (2009), Luhya is an umbrella term for some nineteen language groups of Western Kenya with varying degrees of mutual intelligibility. He lists the dialects as: Lubukusu, Luwanga, Lunyore, Lusonga, Lutura, Lulogooli, Lukabras, Lutiriki, Lwisukha, Lwidakho, Lumarama, Lukhayo, Lushisa, Lumarachi, Lusamia, Lutachoni, Lutsotso, Lunyala East, and Lunyala West. Therefore, fact that Lukabras listeners of Mulembe FM newscasts receive Mulembe FM news translated from English by Luwanga, Lwisukha and Lukhayo presenters calls for attention to the word level strategies used by these presenters to render the English versions of the newscasts into the functionally relevant TL equivalent forms. There was need to ascertain whether there is a mismatch between what was announced by the presenters and the message understood by Lukabras listeners.

The translation of certain words and expressions from English into Luhya by Mulembe FM non-Kabras presenters has the potential to produce TL non-equivalent versions for the Lukabras listeners. However, the translations of different text types have often linked the function of the language of the specific text type to be the criterion of functionally relevant translation (Reiss 1989). Mulembe FM newscasts can be classified under informative the text type. Therefore, there was need to ascertain the whether the word level strategies used by the presenters were applicable in producing Lukabras relevant TL forms.

Due to the lexical divergence among the Luhya dialects, it may require great skills to find standard equivalent terms for English items to accommodate all the Luhya speakers. In the view of this, Kebeya (1997) observes that there is more divergence than convergence among the speakers of the different dialects of the Luhya language group during the communication process. In her study of linguistic accommodation between two Luhya dialects: Lulogooli and Lwitakho, Kebeya (1997) observes that both the Lulogooli and Lwitakho speakers tend to have loyalty to their individual dialects, hence higher cases of divergence than convergence. Given this, the study investigated the strategies used by Mulenbe FM presenters to bridge the communication gaps that may result from such divergence. It was only after such an enquiry was done that the valid conclusions could be made concerning the appropriateness of the word-level translation strategies used by the non-Kabras presenters of Mulembe FM newscasts.

6.2.1 Reiss Framework on Functional Equivalence in Translation

The Skopos theory was advanced by Reiss (1989) was concerned with establishing a correlation between text type and translation method. Skopos is a Greek word meaning purpose, aim, goal, finality, objective or intention (Reiss 1989). Reiss classifies texts types under the following categories; audiomedial texts, such as films a operative text, operative texts such as visual and spoken advertisements, expressive texts such as literary texts and informative texts. Mulembe FM newscasts fall under the informative text type. The Skopos theory therefore holds the view that the criteria for assessing a satisfactory translation vary according to the text type. Reiss (1989) considers the function of the language of a specific text type to be the criterion of a satisfactory translation. With the assistance of this, the translator can be offered a general rule for their translation according to the text type.

Translating an informative text is a complicated act, and to this effect, there is no definite correct translation, yet there is an appropriate translation according to certain criteria or from a certain perspective. What the translator must do, therefore, is to “first determine the function of the SL system and then to find a TL system that will adequately render the function” (Bassnett, 2002: 199). For the present study, the informative function of Mulembe FM newscasts must therefore be given priority. Here to determine the function of the source language requires the non-Kabras presenters’ knowledge of the functional Lukabras equivalence in Mulembe FM newscasts. Such knowledge guides these presenters to consider the way in which individual words and phrases are rendered in Mulembe FM newscasts. Such translator’s criterion is “the function” of the source language system, according to Bassnett (2002: 115).

A functionally relevant translation is that which caters for the response of the audience for which it is designed. Since Lukabras listeners are part of the target audiences of Mulembe FM newscasts, they need to be accommodated in the English-Luhya translations. According to Nida (1964:144), dynamic equivalence (DE) tackles difficulties in decoding through “newness of forms, new ways in rendering old truths, new insights into traditional interpretation, and new words in fresh combinations”. Because DE depends on both function and meaning, it is susceptible to change according to socio-cultural norms of the receptor in a process that unfolds at the moment of transfer and restructuring. This implies that DE can be applied by translators in selecting appropriate strategies of attaining TL equivalence. For the current study, there was need to establish how these strategies were applied. Moreover, the lexical differences between the TL and the dialects of the non-Kabras presenters posed the question on whether the non-Kabras presenters would use relevant strategies to attain the applicable TL equivalent forms.

6.2.2 Baker’s strategies in attaining Functional Target Language Equivalence

Baker’s (1992) strategies of dealing with TL non-equivalence complements Reiss (1989) framework in attaining functional Target Language Equivalence in translation. In this regard, she proposes some strategies to solve non-equivalence at word level in different text types. These strategies are: translation by more general word, translation by more neutral and less expressive word, translation using a loan word or loan word plus explanation, translation by cultural substitution, translation by paraphrase using a related or non-related word and translation by omission. Furthermore, the functional view of translation “recognizes the translator works in a professional situation, with complex obligations to people as well as to texts” (Pym, 2010: 56); namely, it bears in mind a wide range of factors that can impinge on the translator’s choices rather than the SL and TL. In the present study, the researcher investigated the equal value of SL and TL at the word level; by considering the equivalence of the text type – especially the informative text type – to be central to the assessment of qualities of informative translation.

6.2.3 Translation by a more specific term

Baker (1992) notes that translation by using a general word is one of the most commonly applied strategies in dealing with various kinds of non-equivalence at the word level. According to her the translator usually uses a more general word (superordinate) or a more commonly known to replace the more specific one. However, as argued by Pham (2010) the possibility of relative ease of rendering a problematic specific concept with a more general one may result in excessive generalization and eventually in oversimplification and loss of meaning in the translated text. In the translation of Mulembe FM newscasts, it may not be appropriate to use a more specific word to translate an English word into any of the Luhya dialects. This is because using a more specific term may compel the presenter to choose among several different Luhya words, as there may be many different words from different Luhya dialects for the SL word which may correspond to the general category or meaning expressed by English word.

6.2.4 Using a neutral word

According to Pham (2010) translation by a neutral word is useful when a translator encounters an expressive word. An expressive word in the SL rendered inappropriately might fail to convey the true meaning or even cause misunderstanding in the TL. This is because the translator may pick up a word which seems to equivalent but perceived differently in the target language. Pham (2010), gives an example of the word ‘sexy’ in English which means “attractive” and has a positive, complimentary meaning. Nevertheless, in Vietnamese it means ‘wearing erotically’. Therefore, when the word is translated word for word, from English to Vietnamese, it might insult the Vietnamese listeners and make them misunderstand the compliment of the speaker. Translating such words with a less expressive one correspondence in the target language to avoid the risk and to sound natural is may be an appropriate strategy. However, there is need to establish whether such words may attain TL equivalence in Mulembe FM newscasts.

6.2.5 Translation by Cultural substitution

The strategy of translation by cultural substitution involves replacing a culture-specific item or expression in the source text with a target language item which describes a similar concept in target culture and thus is likely to have a similar impact on the TL audience. This strategy gives the TL audience a concept which they can identify and which is easy to understand and familiar. However Pham (2010) argues that for certain texts, for instance, those where historical background is very important, this strategy should not be employed as it may lead to overgeneralizations or simple misunderstandings. However, translators are motivated to make some additional appropriate changes in the texts they are translating in order to achieve the cultural appropriateness

6.2.6 Using a loan word

There is repetition of the SL word, in which the translator sticks closely to the source text and preserves some of the original references from the original work (Aixela and Javier 2004). Although Aixela and Javier (2004) points out that such manipulation may add exotic and archaic character to culturally-specific references in the target text, translators find a resort in retention. Davies (2003:72-73) defines this translating option under the label “preservation” as a decision of the translators to maintain the source text term in the translation when they are faced with a reference to an entity that has no close equivalent in the target language. This also helps in the case of very modern, newly introduced concepts. However, as asserted by Pham (2010) the loan word should be followed with an explanation. This strategy can be very useful when the translator deal with concepts or ideas that are new to TL audience, culture- specific items, and proper names of diseases or medicines that are widely known in English names.

6.2.7 Paraphrasing

When using it the translator has two possible solutions at his disposal. The main advantage of translation by paraphrase (no matter whether with the use of related or unrelated words) is that it is possible to achieve a high level of precision in specifying the meaning of a word or concept that poses difficulties in translation. The main disadvantage of this strategy is that it usually involves replacing one item with an explanation consisting of several items. Thus a striking disproportion in length of the source text and target text may occur, which is hardly ever a desirable effect. However, this strategy is applicable for the term that is known but not lexicalized in the target language and the case of loan word in the source language. Paraphrasing is also helpful in addressing the problem of semantically complex words.

6.2.8 Deletion

Baker (1992:40) refers to deletion as “omission of a lexical item due to grammatical or semantic patterns of the receptor language”. She states further that this strategy may sound rather drastic, but in fact it does no harm to omit translating a word or expression in some contexts. If the meaning conveyed by a particular item or expression is not vital enough to the development of the text to justify distracting the reader with lengthy explanations, translators can and often do simply omit translating the word or expression in question.

Mulembe FM presenters translating English-Luhya newscasts must be well versed with the vocabulary differences among the Luhya dialects. These differences are not obvious to a translator who is not keen or well conversant with appropriate strategies of accommodating the different listeners of the newscasts. When translating texts into a language group comprising various dialects, translators should pay attention to individual words which realize the meanings of the translation. There was need for a study that would explore the word level equivalence categories in the translation of information from English into Luhya, specifically when the translations done by the non-native speakers of the TL dialect.  In this light, the current study posits the significance of understanding categories of non-equivalence at the word level for appropriate and acceptable translation. Mulembe FM presenters are pace setters in language maintenance, particularly in among the dialects of the Luhya language group. The words used to render the SL information should reflect the appropriate and acceptable forms of the TL.

However, as noted by Baker (1992) the translators’ unawareness of the concept of non-equivalence between languages can make them incapable of tackling the problem of TL non-equivalence in languages. In this regard, what can be inferred from the reviewed literature is that appropriate translation strategies depend upon the function of the target text which can be specified in the relevant contexts. It is not that the satisfactory translation of a recreation, or a quite literal statement, is impossible. What is significant is the appropriate communication of the SL message to the TL listeners. Moreover, the usual evaluations of translations, such as “free” or “literal”, and “smooth” or “halting”, do not fully apply in informative translation. The translation which is functionally relevant and acceptable to the TL audience might be the judicious one.

6.3 Methodology

The researcher applied the analytical research design. A sample of thirty news transcripts from the evening Mulembe FM newscasts June 2016 was investigated. The researcher also sampled 47 Lukabras listeners as respondents and 3 non-Kabras presenters from Lwisukha, Luwanga and Lukhayo dialects as key informants. Data was collected using extraction of the news transcripts, interviews for the presenters and Focus Group Discussions for the listeners. The researcher used multi stage sampling which involved the use of purposive and systematic random sampling. The data was analyzed both qualitatively and quantitatively. Content analysis was used to analyze the qualitative data by classifying the extracted phrases into various translation strategies, describing the context in which they occurred and evaluating their impact on Lukabras listeners.

6.4 Results and Discussion

In consequence, the translator cannot easily or immediately furnish solutions to all problems regarding equivalence albeit resorting to an exhaustive search through all available reference materials. If an equivalent expression cannot be located, a translator must find some parallel expression that will yield approximately the same kind of effect produced by the original. For the current investigation, the analysis of Baker’s (1992) strategies of dealing with non-equivalence at the word level was done. The analysis was anchored in pre-recorded transcripts of the data collected from the Luwanga, Lwisukha and Lukhayo presenters of Mulembe FM newscasts.

6.4.1 Translating by a more specific word in the TL

Translators may use a specific term or hyponym to render an SL concept appropriately. Although Baker (1992) warns that this strategy might lead to over interpretation of the source language meaning, she notes that when effectively used, it may offer appropriate TL translations. Her assertions conforms to one of the tenets of the Skopos Theory which contents that translators should strive for the communicative purpose of the TL rather than follow the SL (Reiss 1989).  In Mulembe FM translations, this strategy would involve choosing among several different Luhya words, as there may be many words in different Luhya dialects words that could be accepted by the TL listeners as corresponding to the general category or meaning expressed by English words. Extracts 1-3 are sampled below for illustration.

  1. Source Language:         Plans             for reforming       the Judiciary

Luwanga presenter’s translation:    Mipango       chokhulomba          etsiketsikoti


  1. Source Language: In the Malindi                              by-election.

Lwisukha presenter’s translation:       EMalindi                                 muvuchakusi


  1. Source Language:  His                                             sister….

Lwisukha presenter’s translation          Wewe                                         amwavo


The researcher was of the view that alternative translations in the examples above could help to render relevant TL items. In extract 1 for instance, the presenter was giving information about the plans by the former Chief Justice Dr. Willy Mutunga to reform the Judiciary, which was considered corrupt by majority of Kenyans. The Luwanga presenter however used the item ‘chokhulomba’ which is a general Luhya word that means, ‘to make’, ‘to construct’ or ‘to build’. It does not correspond to the SL term ‘reform’ as used in the newscasts. By using the TL word ‘chokhulomba’ the meaning of the SL concept is obscured. The surface meaning of the phrase in Lukabras would imply that the Chief Justice was initiating plans to build more courts. The presenter would have used a more specific word, ‘chokhukalukhasia’ which is more relevant in the context.

The translation of by-election as ‘vuchakusi’ by the Lwisukha presenter in extract 2 was also inappropriate. In Lukabras the item ‘vuchakusi’ means ‘an election’, which does not capture the meaning of the concept ‘by-election’. Rendering the SL version as vuchakusi vwakalushilwa (The election that was done again) would capture the meaning of by-election. The TL item vwakalushilwa (that was done again) is more specific in this context because it means ‘doing something again’, hence can appropriately capture the SL concept of by-election. Rendering TL items using more specific items attains adequacy and equivalence in translation.

In extract 3, ‘amwavo’ is Lwisukha word which means somebody’s sister or brother. However, the Lwisukha presenter’s translation of the concept for the SL version of ‘sister’, does not appropriately describe the SL concept. The word, ‘amwavo’ is general and does not specify the gender of the subject in the newscasts. In the newscasts, the presenter was talking about the demise of the sister of the Member for Parliament for Malava constituency. The presenters should have used more specific word; ‘mwana wavo mukhana (his sibling who is a girl). Such rendering is more specific and adequately describes the subject in the transcript.

According to Reiss (1989), adequacy refers to the qualities of a target text with regard to the translation brief: the translation should be adequate to the requirements of the brief. The general items used by the presenters to render the TL versions in extracts 1-3 are not adequate in the context. Adequacy is also tied to the concept of the TL equivalence, which the study sought to investigate. Reiss (1989) states that adequacy is a dynamic concept related to the process of translational action and referring to the goal-oriented selection of signs that are considered appropriate for the communicative purpose defined in the translation assignment. A translator should also decide when to use a more specific word in translation.

6.4.2 Translating by a super ordinate word

Translation by generalization is one of the most commonly applied strategies in dealing with various kinds of problems of non-equivalence at the word level. According to Baker (1992) the translator usually uses a more general word (superordinate) or a more commonly known word to replace the more specific one. Equivalence is a static, result-oriented concept describing a relationship of ‘equal communicative value’ between two texts or, on lower ranks, between words, phrases, sentences, syntactic structures and so on. (Reiss,1989). In this view, a superordinate can be used to attain a SL communicative equivalent in the TL as analyzed in the extracts 4-5 below.

  1. Source Language: They                                     were praying

Luwanga presenter’s translation:      Vavele                                   nivalamanga

  1. Source Language:  People         vying       for the various seats…

Luwanga presenter’s translation:       Avantu        vemile              khufusala …..

What merits attention in extract 4, is the use of the Luwanga item ‘nivalamanga’ in the translation of the SL version ‘praying’. In Lukabras, the Luwanga item means to curse. The item is specific to Luwanga dialect. However, there is a general term ‘okhusaaya’ which is a general Luhya item for praying. Moreover, the item is found in most Luhya dialects.  As noted by Gutt (1991), a translated text is an instance of interpretive, as opposed to descriptive use because, the translator says what someone else meant. This means that translators should use words which can be easily understood by the TL audience.

In extract 5, the presenter was giving information about people vying on the various seats on the ODM ticket in Bungoma County. However, the Luwanga item ‘vemile’ (vying) and ‘ofusala’ (seats) do not correspond to Lukabras TL words for the SL concepts.  By using the Luwanga items, the SL message was not accurately captured by the respondents in twofold.  First, Lukabras do not have the Luwanga item ‘vemile’. Second, the Luwanga item ‘ofusala’ means sticks in Lukabras.  The presenter would have used a more specific word ‘valenyana’ (those who want) and ‘ekura’ votes respectively to render the two SL items. Those are general terms which are suitable and applicable in that context. The duty of a translator is selecting the right word among many. In this transcript, the Luwanga translator should have used a more specific word. According to Gutt (1991), translation, as communication, works under the assumption of relevance, that what the translator intends to communicate to the audience is relevant enough to them to make processing it worthwhile. Translating using a more specific word makes the translation relevant to the TL audience.

Although Baker (1992) warns of the possibility of relative ease of rendering a problematic specific concept with a more general one may result in excessive generalization and eventually in oversimplification (loss in meaning) in the translated text, she asserts that this strategy often leads to more appropriate rendering into the TL, than when translators use specific words. The present study concurs with the Baker’s (1992) assertions that, using a super ordinate is one of the most appropriate strategies for dealing with many types of non-equivalence in Mulembe FM newscasts. It can work equally well in the transcripts above since the hierarchical structure of semantic fields is not language-specific. Under certain circumstances, it may be appropriate to use a more general word to translate an English word with no specific Luhya equivalent terms to attain the intended Skopos in Mulembe FM newscasts.

6.4.3 Translation by substitution

As noted by Baker (1992), this strategy involves replacing a culture-specific item or expression with different meanings but similar impact in the translated text. Data from Mulembe FM newscasts indicate that the Mulembe FM presenters did not utilize this strategy and preferred conservation of the SL terms. Such a translation would accommodate the TL listeners by replacing an SL item or expression in the source text with a target language item which describes a similar concept in TL and thus is likely to have a similar impact on listeners. The substitution can be either by cultural or functional equivalent items. Notable extracts were sampled from extracts 6-7 as shown below.

  1. Source Language: Was    coming                from the river

Luwanga presenter’s translation:    Avele                narula                      mumwalo


  1. Source Language: The policeman            was                    drunk

Luwanga presenter’s translation:     Msikali mwenoyo      avele                natandi


The failure by the Luwanga to attain Lukabras equivalence in extract 6 was evident. For instance, the word for river ‘mumwalo’ is an item that is only in Luwanga dialect and not Lukabras. In the newscasts, the presenter was giving information about a woman who had been attacked by a python as she came from the river. However, the use of the Luwanga item ‘mumwalo’ caused the divergence in the transcript. The presenter should have substituted the item with expressions such as’ ‘avele nalarulanga khuteya amatsi’ (was coming from fetching water). Such substitution would serve to explain the SL concept to the listeners and serve the purpose of the translation.

In extract 7, the TL non-equivalence was triggered by the use of the Lwisukha item ‘natandi’ for the English word was drunk. In Lukabras, the equivalent item for the SL version is ‘namelile’, a very different item from the one used in the newscasts. Substituting the item with the phrase ‘avele nanywele malwa manyishi’ (he had taken a lot of alcohol) would make the item more comprehensible. The advantage of using this strategy is that it gives the translators flexibility in selecting the TL words functionally relevant in attaining the TL equivalence for the SL concepts. This is because; translators are motivated to make some additional appropriate changes in the texts they are translating in order to achieve the functional appropriateness.

Data from extracts 6-7 above attempted to highlight the importance of the understanding the TL before embarking on translation. Nord (2001) has argued that before embarking on any translation the translator should analyze the text comprehensively, since this appears to be the only way of ensuring that the SL has been wholly and correctly understood. The application of appropriate translation strategies enables the translator to address the needs of the TL audience in the translation. Failing to take such appropriate translation procedures consideration may lead to serious implications as noticed in the analysis of the examples above. It is for this reason that the knowledge of appropriate word level strategies is a prerequisite for the Mulembe FM presenters. Such knowledge would give them a wide range of options in dealing with cases of Lukabras-nonequivalence and produce functionally relevant TL products accommodate the TL audience.

6.4.4 Translating using a loan word and explanation

Another strategy which is particularly useful in dealing with culture-specific items is the strategy of using a loan word. There was rare use of this strategy in Mulembe FM newscasts, as the non-Kabras presenters preferred to use domesticated terms for the SL items in their individual dialects rather than borrow English words and add some explanations. This strategy is very useful when the translator deals with concepts or ideas that may sound alien to the TL audience. Extracts 8-9 are shown below from illustration.

  1. Source Language: Misappropriated money    meant for buying   text books.

 Luwanga presenter’s translation:  Narumishila ovuvi      tsishilinji   thiokukula    ofutabu


  1. Source Language: When he was         in the state house

Lukhayo presenter’s translation:      Lwavele                                   muikulu

What needs to be considered in extract 8, is the Luwanga item ‘ofutabu’ (books) which was not  only ambiguous but also not too general to render the  SL word ‘textbooks’.  In the transcript, the presenter was talking about a head teacher of a Primary school who had been interdicted for misappropriating funds meant to buy the school textbooks. However, the translated version fails to specify the type of books being referred to in the extract. The SL item could have been appropriately rendered as ‘ofutabu fwa avasomi fwo khusoma fulalanganga vari text books’ (reading books for school children, called textbooks). In such a translation,, additional explanations ‘ofutabu fwa vasomi okhusoma’ (reading books) provides information that can enable the listeners to infer from the context clues the meaning of the nativized SL word. It has been asserted by Mudogo (2011) that listeners use contextual clues from speakers’ utterances to get the meaning of words that they do not comprehend.

State house was translated as ‘ikulu’ in extract 9 by the Lukhayo presenter. The Lukhayo presenter used the Swahili loan word to render the message. However, such rendering cannot appropriately capture the SL meaning in the TL. As the SL word was semantically complex, a good translation should have been, ‘inzu yo muruchi weshivala aruchilangamo vari state house’. ‘A house that the president rules in, called state house’. From this rendering, the listeners are given explanations of what the new concept mean in the SL. The listeners are now given an opportunity to learn the SL word and its usage. The loan word can, and very often even should, be followed with an explanation.

Some translation scholars like Baker (1992) criticize this strategy because it involves replacing one item with an explanation consisting of several items. The author notes that, a striking disproportion in length of the source text and target text may occur, which is hardly ever a desirable effect in translation. The observations by Baker (1992) can be disputed by the proponents of the Skopos Theory like Reiss (1989) who argue that translators should not just follow the Source Text but strive for a rendering that is communicatively appropriate for the TL audience. Paraphrasing strategy would not only eliminate ambiguities in the translations, but also help the listeners get meaning of the SL.

6.5 Conclusion

Translation equivalence is always long to achieve since it depends on the text, the translator, and the receptors. It is a fact that no matter how competent the translator is, the translation might lose a certain degree of meaning relative to the original text. The linguistic and cultural gaps among languages create the possibility of non-equivalence in translation. The data analyzed revealed lack of correlation between text type and translation method. According to Reiss (1989), the mismatch between the translation strategies and the text type can lead to meaning loss of the SL message. The Skopos theory by Reiss (1989) guided the researcher in the data analysis and helped in identifying text-type related translation mismatches. From the analyzed data, it was evident that the three presenters did not apply specific word level strategies to deal with TL word level equivalence as suggested by Baker (1992).  Baker’s Strategies are comprehensive and can serve as a guide for translating the newscasts to accommodate the heterogeneous listeners. Apart from the recommended strategies, the creativeness of a translator is particularly important as no framework can cover all the cases happen in reality. The word level strategies used by the presenters in the translation of the newscasts, however, do not underscore the artistic skills involved in accurate translation of information as proposed by Reiss (1989) Skopos Theory. If translations are not skillfully crafted to take care of the needs of the target audiences, it may not achieve its desired outcome of mutual understanding that is paramount in informative communication.


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Download: Baker’s Strategies in Translation: A Lexico-Semantic Analysis of Four Luhya Dialects; Lukabras, Lwisukha, Luwanga and Lukhayo in Informative Text

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