In simple terms, literary translation is defined as the translation of literary work that include poems, novels and plays, etc. Because it involves a lot more than simply translation of text, literary translation is considered to be the highest form of translation. The sensitive emotional bonds that are forged between languages and cultures are bridged through literary translation. The understanding and expansion of knowledge across national borders is facilitated by translation of literary works. When literary translation is being carried out, actually the soul of another culture is being explained and the refined sensibilities of other countries and their people are recreated by the translator through the rhythmic, musical, linguistic and visual possibilities of the new language.
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Learning the art of literary translation is not a simple task. It requires a lot of experience and understanding for people to master it. Listed below are the steps which can aid people in becoming a proficient literary translator:
1. You must first thoroughly study the culture, language and the literature which you have a desire to translate. Simply understanding the words cannot be defined as literary translation. Having a firm grasp of the roots from which it comes is also vital. For instance, if you need to translate Turkish literature than you need to understand the key aspects of Turkish culture and day to day living.
2. To understand the complex process of literary translation, it is crucial that you take a writing course. The whole writing process needs to be understood which includes the choices of words, the motivations and the subtleties of comprehension.
3. Understand that literary translation does not mean just translating one word from another. It basically requires the intricate technique of translating the thoughts of the author in such a method that the original intention and style of the writing remains unscathed and is expressed in the translated language in a poignant way. A high degree of creativity and understanding is required in this form of translation.
4. Choose an experienced writer and become his assistant to gain an inside view. When you are working directly with a writer who writes in the language you wish to translate, then you can understand the mindset of the writer to an extent. Ideas can also be exchanged in order to enhance the quality of translation.
5. For the purpose of studying linguistics, sign up for a coursework at a university. A broad based understanding of the language itself can be obtained in this way and you can also comprehend the formation of meaning. This can give you an insight into the entire process of linguistic formation. This means that you are on your way to become a professional literary translator yourself.
Not only is a literary translator expected to translate words and texts but he should also be capable of translating cultural nuances, humour, feelings and other subtle elements of a piece of text. When it comes to literary translation, the aesthetic aspects of the texts, its beauty and style must be given a lot of thought.