Enhancing disambiguation of meanings in the transalation of synonyms : the case of English and Rutooro
Kasande, Harriet Kenyange
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This study, Enhancing disambiguation of meanings in the translation of Synonyms: The Case of English and Rutooro aimed at investigating how synonyms can be translated more effectively given that they overlap in meaning and therefore have a tendency to attract the same translation thereby making their translatability almost impossible. The study investigated how lexical equivalents can be identified systematically in translation of synonyms from English to Rutooro. This goal was to be achieved through the following objectives: (i) to find out a method of identifying lexical equivalencies for translation of synonyms into Rutooro, and to test viability of the above method of identifying lexical equivalences in the translation of synonyms. The research was based on the case study research design. The data needed for the study were concepts expressed by the senses of a given synonym for translation. The researcher selected 75 words from the key entries in the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (8th edn.) and randomly selected two synonyms of each word of the in the Concise Oxford Thesaurus (3rd edn.). The 75 words consisted of adjectives, nouns and verbs. For each synonym, three senses were considered. From the senses, concepts were abstracted and translated into Rutooro to get equivalent words. The equivalent words were viewed against the original senses in English to determine whether their concepts were the same as those expressed by the senses in English. Through this study, it was found out that translating synonyms through their corresponding concepts leads to appropriate equivalent forms in the target language. To note is that there were senses that gave one concept in English but attracted more than one equivalent word in Rutooro due to differences in the cultural attachments between the English speech community and Rutooro speech community. Also meanings can be expressed by different parts of speech in the receptor language; more than one concept can be derived from one sense of a synonym and that the translator must be guided by the senses of the word and examples expressing concepts. Therefore, it is the recommendation of this study that translators should always consider translating the concept(s) expressed by each of the senses of a synonym in order to give a more appropriate equivalence, before translating the synonyms. To evaluate the effectiveness of this method of translating synonyms, and apply back translation to test the efficiency of the translation.