Towards Clarity in Translation: Applying the Textual Dimensional Approach

Samson Fabian Nzuanke


Over the past twenty years, with the advent of Machine Translation, translations produced by budding translators or student translators sometimes fall short of the minimum standard of good translations because they tend to be mere transplants that replace the Source Language (SL) structure with supposedly equivalent Target Language (TL) structure. The resultant inadequacy in the final [mis]transfer of message is naturally attributed to lack of precision in linguistic and/or extra-linguistic use of TL expressions. It is this approximation in translation that apparently gives rise to what is generally known in French as “faux sens/contre sens”. This takes something out of the translator’s purpose which is to find the exact meaning as contained in the original SL text. It is with a view to attaining the translator’s objective of exactitude that this author conceived the Textual Dimensional Approach (TDA). It is a three-step (Subject, Audience, Message) model, founded on the textual concept, that provides a basis for generating an author’s exact statement from a text to correct awkward translations and also guide the translation of a message in the TL with a minimum of ambiguity. The TDA uses deconstructionism as its framework of analysis since, in interrogating the text, it unravels those traditional concepts and theories that surround a text to discover meaning.


Textual Dimension, Subject, Audience, Message, Relay.

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