WOK3 Badge: Language A digital portfolio by marco symington

Rest of group: Huy, Tyler, Zara

02/27/17 - Start journal

TOK today was very very hectic since some group were doing their bade presentations and also then we had to immediately take the quiz for our new WOK that we had decided the period before. I eventually worked this out and i passed the quiz with enough to begin working on Language as a way of knowing. I’m excited to work with Huy, Zara, and Tyler on language because we all come from different parts of the world and it will be interesting to try to understand how language as a way of knowing is affected, if it is by language. Huy speaks Vietnamese fluently, Zara speaks Urdu fluently, and i am almost fluent in spanish. Although Tyler does not speak an additional language, he is from Boston, so he uses different slang and terms that the rest of us may not be familiar with.

03/01/17 - Progress Journal

Today in TOK we worked on our presentation today, and for our translation we are going to focus on answering our essential question, is translation more of an art than a science? We are going to accomplish this with he help of google translate. A useful but sometimes misleading means of translation. We took two sentences, and translated one into urdu and back, a language zara speaks fluently, and then we took a second sentence and translated it into Vietnamese, Huy’s native language. We asked them if they made any sense and asked them to try to comprehend the sentence and when that did not work, we took that translated text and translated it back to english. This is known as back translation, and using google translated to translate these sentences is called scientific translation. Artistic translation, on the other hand, is when one person understands both languages sufficiently enough to be able to communicate effectively in either language, something both Zara and Huy can do in their respective languages. We asked them to translate these sentences and the results came out extremely different than the scientific translation made by google. This supported our hypothesis that translation IS more of an art than a science.

03/07/17 - write a paragraph answering your WOK3 Essential Question, using at least one example.

WOK Question: To what extent is translation more of an art than a science?

Before answering whether translation is more of an art or a science, it must be understood what the question is asking. Translation in this question is broken down into two subdivisions: scientific translation and artistic translation. Scientific translation is the literal meaning of each word in a sentence, translating each word in the sentence using a dictionary and combining it to make a sentence. Artistic translation is when a person understands the original language and the language the phrase or sentence is being translated to fully be able to understand things that a dictionary cannot teach, such as context, untranslatable words, and idioms. The two definitions make it quite clear that artistic translation is more of an art than a science using the following example. “It’s raining cats and dogs” in english is an idiom that means it is raining very heavily. The literal translation from this to a very similar language, Spanish, is “Esta lloviendo gatos y perros.” someone who only spoke Spanish would not understand this in context, because the idiom is unique to english, and the Spanish speaking person would think that cats and dogs are literally falling from the sky. This is known as scientific translation. Artistic translation on the other hand has a the person that speaks both languages understand the context of the idiom and be able to tell the Spanish speaking person “esta lloviendo mucho” or "it's raining a lot.” This shows that artistic translation is more beneficial because using a dictionary or translator to translate each individual word, otherwise known as scientific translation will not work in scenarios like these.

Knowledge Claim / Topic Sentence: When a knower is trying to understanding the true meaning of what a person is communicating, the act of translation is more of an art than a science due to the various limitations scientific translation can have on a sentence from language to language.

Evidence/Example: A common phrase in English when describing a heavy amount of rain is, “It’s raining cats and dogs.” This is known as an idiom. When scientifically translated to a very similar language, such as Spanish, taking every word and translating it to its literal meaning would have a Spanish speaking person thinking, “Esta lloviendo gatos y perros,” or that cats and dogs are falling down from the sky above. The artistic translation of this, when a person knows both languages, understanding things dictionaries cannot provide such as context, untranslatable words, and idioms, the sentence would then be translated to “Esta lloviendo mucho,” or simply, it’s raining a lot.

Evidence/Example Concise: A common idiom in English describing heavy rain is, “it’s raining cats and dogs.” When scientifically translated to Spanish, it remains, “it’s raining cats and dogs,” but to a Spanish speaking person, cats and dogs are falling from the sky. The artistic translation of the idiom then goes to “it’s raining a lot.”

Explanation/Analysis: The true or more accurate meaning of the two sentences in Spanish is depicted through only one of the sentences, “esta lloviendo mucho.” The sentence is an idiom, a group of words established by usage as having a meaning not deducible from those of the individual words. Idioms are unique to their language, in this case it’s raining cats and dogs referring to heavy rain is unique to English. The scientific translation of this idiom would not make sense to someone who solely speaks Spanish.

The two definitions make it quite clear that artistic translation is more of an art than a science using the following example. “It’s raining cats and dogs” in english is an idiom that means it is raining very heavily. The literal translation from this to a very similar language, Spanish, is “Esta lloviendo gatos y perros.” someone who only spoke Spanish would not understand this in context, because the idiom is unique to english, and the Spanish speaking person would think that cats and dogs are literally falling from the sky. This is known as scientific translation. Artistic translation on the other hand has a the person that speaks both languages understand the context of the idiom and be able to tell the Spanish speaking person “esta lloviendo mucho” or "it's raining a lot.” This shows that artistic translation is more beneficial because using a dictionary or translator to translate each individual word, otherwise known as scientific translation will not work in scenarios like these.

Documentation: Insert pictures into the website to complete the DP

Elective Reading: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3-son3EJTrU&feature=relmfu

The video by The RSA is a hypothetical puzzle from the movie Fargo that talks about an indirect speech act, something he claims we do often, listing a great number of examples. He states that language has to convey some content and has to negotiate a relationship. This video is interesting because context is a huge part in translation. This goes along with our theory that artistic translation is more efficient than scientific translation because scientific translation has the literal meaning of the phrases he is using, excluding context, which is a huge part in properly understanding a sentence or passage. This youtube video is interesting because language is taken for granted by how much we understand and how good we all our at communicating, reading body language, facial expressions, and saying words that literally translate into things that we know is not what is actually meant.

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