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This paper discusses the significance of educating the cohesion in translations based on the documentary level. The test scores for a school period of a class one afore and later teaching are associated to demonstrate the point.

The significance of the acquaintances of cohesion

Every language has got its design to convey the linkage of events and persons; in a number of languages these patterns may be assumed if translations are to be comprehended by its learners. The lesson of cohesion has always seemed to be useful part of the text linguistics and discourse analysis applicable to the translation.

Baker (1992) for example states that, various grammatical constructions in the TL and the SL may ground remarkable alterations in the means the message or information is passed. She highlighted that, the grammatical constructions of the intended language can need a translator to enhance or remove some information, or insert various changes in the entire meaning of the lexical language. That means that, in order to accomplish lexical cohesion correspondence across two different languages codes, the translator can make various sorts of shifts by adding, altering or omitting the entire meaning of the text lexical link. 

What is cohesion?

Cohesion refers to the network of grammatical, lexical and other associations that link various areas of the text. These associations or links organize and, in various cases, generate a text, for example, by necessitating the learner to interpret expressions and words with reference to other expressions and phrases in the surrounding paragraphs and sentences. Cohesion is the surface association and it attaches together the real expressions and words, which we can hear or see.

Hasan and Halliday identify five chief cohesive tools in English that include reference, ellipsis, substitution, lexical cohesion and conjunction.


As it is well known, English and Chinese belong to various language families and they can pose big challenges and difficulties for translators particularly for beginners like students. The serious and formal teaching of cohesion may to a great degree enhance students' awareness in translating among the two lingoes.

The experiment

  1. Participants

The main participants in the experiment came from the third-year students in Maside Muliro University, where I was chosen by the administration to educate the Translation course (practice and theory).

  1. Method

Though I had been understanding translations literature quite extensively, I realized a high quantity of it was of quite theoretical nature and therefore, was not valuable or helpful to my students where none of them were absorbed in the pure theoretical lesson. They indicated their deep interest in me teaching them skills instead of theories. Therefore, I needed to apply more efforts to in order meet their requirements or would definitely be upset by their unsatisfactory feedback. I considered the possible motive and finally concluded that, teaching textual cohesion may substantially upgrade their translations. This was really what improved my motives.

At the start of the semester two of their third year, I exacted great emphasis on the systematic and structural comparison between English and Chinese in phonological, syntactical, contextual and lexical features with a little repetition as exercises, particularly on cohesions, and then I consumed more time while assessing and evaluating their assignment. After a period of about four to four and a half months, the semester emanated to an end je past and I twisted the test papers on similar levels in terms of complexity. The test moved smoothly since I did what I could to organize it strictly and carefully as well graded students' results fairly just like I did in the previous exam. Then I recovered from my documents the records of the Class One's exam scores from the last semester where the textual cohesion was not trained and related them with those from semester two where I gained results as follows

The association between the standard and the variance deviation is that, the standard deviation is made by the variance square root. The standard deviation makes one of the chief important statistical events. It specifies the typical quantity that values in the data set varies from the number and mean data summary is comprehensive until all important standard deviations are calculated.

The types of Cohesive Devices

A tie or a device refers to a term that involves the connection meaning. It makes a term for one incidence of a pair of related items. Different kinds of cohesive links can be renowned within the text with various frequencies. It is an idea that assist in analyzing the text identify and cohesion the associations among its propositions.

Hasan and Halliday distinguish about five kinds of ties, namely conjunctions, reference, ellipses, lexical and substitution cohesion. These lexico grammatical devices are summarized by Williams 1983 and cited in Kennedy, 2004 in the diagram as follows:

Translation and Cohesion

Translation is viewed as a communication act, which is necessarily linked to minimum the discourse and linguistic systems withholding for the duo linguistics intricate in the translation process, that is the target text (TT) and the source text (ST). It makes a process that needs a complicated discourse and text processing.

Cohesive devices participate to the texture that are inspired by the language and the factors of communicative of both TT and ST languages, so that, they require to be offered a twenty nine considered courtesy by translators when relocating from one language into the other. Similarly, the various textual chains require to be measured along their discursive and communicative potential by translators. With this respect, Mason and Hatim highlights that, Texture requires to be viewed as an essential portion of what an individual is performing with one’s language.

Arguably, cohesion is one of the main challenging matters in translation as every linguistic has its unit of cohesive device and unique manners in which the devices are utilized.  Each language has its patterns to transform the interrelationship of events and persons; in a number of languages might the patterns be assumed. Similarly, each linguistic has general preferences for specific patterns of cohesive over the others. For instance, both studies of Blum-Kulka, (1976) and the Hasan & Halliday (1967), points out that, is apprehensive with the examination of the utilization of cohesive devices among Hebrew and English show that, cohesion of lexical was extra represented in the Hebrew translation of beginners to English books. The beginners tended to favor lexical cohesion instead of referential association. They moved majority of the grammatical links like the demonstratives and pronouns, which are utilized to be known as the entities and actions in the foundation text, into the lexical terms of the target linguistics. This means that, the beginners preferred reiterating similar lexical units rather than denoting to them using other grammatical rapports. All the same, Callow as explained in Baker 1982 highlights that, contrasting English which tries to rely majorly on the pronominal orientation in drawing contributors, Brazilian Portuguese usually seems to be in favor of lexical recurrence. To add on this, he views that, Portuguese modulates verbs for number and person, and such grammatical characters offers additional ways of relating actions and process to certain participants without using the pronouns that are independent. Baker (1992) illustrates the propensity in thirty English for comparatively small masses of books to be clearly adjoined in unambiguous means using a greater variety of unifications and a highly advanced system of punctuation. However, Arabic inclines to use a comparatively small number of unification that should be interpreted conferring to the addressee’s capability to infer linkages.

Lexical Translation and Cohesion

As we have discussed above chapter that, lexical cohesion results from related units that denote to the steadiness of meaning entities. These chains makes a direct consequences of elements of books concerning about similar things, that is, regarding similar meaning. The translator’s work is to recognize and find these elements to decide the inner meaning of the book. To determine and recognize the meaning of the book is the initial and the most essential stage in translations and successful communications.

Therefore, translators are reminded of their duty to prudently analyze the book in order to lower any substantial deficit in the potential meaning to be conveyed. The translated manuscript reflects the translator’s reading. The translator recites in order to crop, decodes for re-encode. To recodify remains hard to directly transmit elements, various manuscript and structures patterns of the text into a target text, rather there exists a groundwork hobbling back and forth among the target and source codes. That is, source code (language) offers the important information to be recodified, and the target code offers the limits for the versions of such patterns. The documentation of the connation of source textual patterns may only be fruitful of the most suitable interpretation and readings.  

Interpretation refers to a process that comprises the analysis of source manuscript textual materials. It is a gradual building process of a composite meaning of linked items. The lexical link requires to be examined by translators in reference to their discursive function and meaning.  Any misunderstanding may change text perception, cohesion and meaning.

The walkway was dusty and Paul saw dust on the windowpane ledges. This sentence means that the corridor had dust, and there was also dust on the windowpane ledges which Paul saw. However, this sentence is likely to be tranletf as follows: the walkway was dust and so the windowpane ledges. However, in the first sentence, there is no relation between the dust on the walkways and the windowpane. Therefore, the dusty walkway does not have to be the reason for the dusty windowpane which Paul observes. The reoccurrence of the words dusty and dust in both sentences creates a common function in the two texts, that is, both the walkways and the windowpane were dusty. The reader of the first sentence translated the sentence wrongly. He allows for the transference of similar lexical tie.

The above example indicates that translation is not equivalence since the reoccurrence of the word dust is a proof of possible characteristics of a speaker’s meaning. This includes cataloguing of discrete examples in support of a contention, fascination with cleanliness. Omission of the subsequent incidence of the term dust affects the entire meaning of the sentence. Additionally, the second sentence does not have the illustration of reiteration. Instead, the sentence has an instance of substitution. In this case therefore, the translator moved from the lexis level to grammar level. In the same way, Baker mentioned that, a single misinterpretation of source text items leads to a continuous mistranslation. This mistranslation in turn affects the calculation of implicative of the targeted language. The mistranslation can be of any strategy which the translator follows to recode the source text items as well as the textual aspects. This is illustrated in the above example where the translator did not include the lexical tie which was “dust”.

Baker points out that, English language prefers picking up reference using a pronoun. On the other hand, the Portuguese language prefers the lexical repetition. She also points out that, within the major paragraph being examined, Portuguese uses Morita two times while in English language, pronominal reference is insisted. Baker further notices that, in the Portuguese text, finite verbs set up further cohesive connection with v since they are marked for an individual. For example, in English the concept, ‘oily charm’ suggests unpleasant, insincere and unpleasant when dealing with an individual or a group of people. However, ‘false charm’ in Arabic suggests that the audience might think that someone is charming at first whereas he is not.



Traditionally, the term reference is applied in semantics for the relationships existing a particular word and what the word points to in the world’s reality. Taking the reference of the term’ table’ means there is a particular table which is identified at a particular occasion. Reference does not denote direct relationship between extra-linguistic objects and words but instead it is limited to the identity relationship existing between two different linguistic expressions.

This can be expresses in the following example 

Mr. Christie has resigned. He announced his decision this afternoon.

The pronoun he points to Mr. Christie within the textual humanity. In textual world, reference, occurs whenever the reader is required to retrieve identity of what is the examined language is talking about referring to a different expression in the instantaneous context. There is a resulting cohesion which lies in the continuity of the reference, whereby a similar thing enters into the communication for a second time. Generally, reference refers to a device that allows the hearer or the reader to trace events, entities, participants and so on.


Unlike reference that is more of semantic relationships, substitution is grammatical. Substitution allows one object to be replaced by another one. This indicates that, substitution refers to a class of objects or items rather than a specific item. It operates in clausal, verbal or nominal level. Substitution is a relation holding between the linguistic forms. For example,

Do you love mangoes?

I do.

The example illustrates substitution of love mangoes with do. In English, the most common words used in substitution are same, one and do.


Ellipsis entails the exclusion of a particular item. In ellipsis, nothing replaces an item as it is in substitution. However, the omission does not interfere with the meaning of the sentence. Ellipsis is only applied when the sentence structure is allowing omission without misunderstanding. The tie in the ellipsis is left said, but it is completely understood. For instance,

Laura bought some mangoes and Lillian some oranges.

In the second clause, the verb brought is omitted. The sentence is understandable despite the exclusion of the term ‘bought’. 


Conjunction encompasses the use of proper indicators to relate clauses, paragraphs and sentences to each other. Conjunctions are different from ellipsis, substitution and reference since it does not direct the reader to provide missing information in a sentence either by looking at it somewhere or by filling structural gaps. Instead, conjunction indicates how the writer requires the reader to connect what about to be said and what was said before. Therefore, conjunction expresses a small number of broad relations. The following examples can realize each relation typically.

  1. additive: also or and, in addition, besides, similarly, furthermore, likewise, for instance, by contrast
  2.  adversative: yet, however, but, on the other hand, instead, nevertheless, as a matter of fact, at any rate;
  3. causal: consequently, so, it follows, because, for, for this reason, under the circumstances;
  4. Continuatives: of course, now, well, anyway, after all, surely. 

Lexical cohesion 

This refers to the role a selection of vocabulary plays in organization text relation at a particular source item. A lexical item does not have any cohesive function, but a lexical item enters into a cohesive relationship with other items within the same text. In this case, lexical cohesion wraps any situation in which the lexical item is used to remember the sense of an earlier item. Lexical cohesion is divided into two major categories: collocation and reiteration.

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