Jakobson discusses his three different natures of translation: intralingual translation, interlingual translation, and intersemiotic translation. He further explains his notion of intralingual translation by explaining the concepts of a bachelor and celibate. Both are considered to be unmarried men; however, while all celibates can be considered bachelors, not all bachelors are celibate. We phrase these code-units to help others understand the meaning of another code-unit. Jakobson then claims that there can never be a full equivalence for code-units when using interlingual translation, or “interpretation of verbal signs by means of some other language.” Therefore, it is noted that we are required to translate the entire meaning because a simple code-unit cannot possibly suffice. If this is true, then does a bilingual dictionary every accurately serve its function if only single-code unit translations are provided? Or is it always necessary to provide more background into the interpretation of the word? For example, wordreference.com provides explanations of each translated term that would be appropriate in different situations or parts of a sentence.
This essay was written in 1959. He is known as a founder of the Prague Linguistic Circle. In this essay he talks about the meaning of the word as a linguistic phenomenon. He believes that the meaning lies with the signifier and not in the signified. And I like the idea when he says “Thus translation involves two equivalent messages in two different codes”.
Also he deals with the problem of “deficiency” in particular language. And here comes the problem of untranstability…..do we really have this problem? And what items we call untranslatable?
“The grammatical categories carry a high semantic import”- but how you will deal with the grammar of the language which you don’t know ?