Word Formation Study in Developing Naming Guidelines in the Translation of English Medical Terms Into Persian

Word Formation Study in Developing Naming Guidelines in the Translation of English Medical Terms Into Persian

Ali Akbar Zeinali (Universiti Sains Malaysia, Malaysia)
Copyright: © 2018 |Pages: 12
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-2255-3.ch446
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Lack of appropriate equivalences for terms or technical words is the result of ineffective translation guidelines adopted in the translation process. This study provides a comparative analysis of the characteristics of Persian medical terms, using the universal naming guidelines and local naming principles in Persian. The aim of the study is to determine the similarities and differences of the compatible and incompatible terms (Persian equivalents) with respect to the applied translation procedures and the employed word formation processes. The descriptive statistics and qualitative analysis were employed to analyse the collected data which consisted of a population of 339 English medical terms and their pairs in Persian. The research was based on two theoretical frameworks, namely Sager's naming criteria and word designation principles by the Persian Language and Literature Academy to investigate the effective translation procedures and word formation parameters for the translation of English medical terms into Persian through morphosemantic comparison of the terms.
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According to Ashuri (1995, p.29), one of the problems for Persian today is the fact that it is a combination of ancient writings and translation works. Scientific language of new works mostly deals with translation together with a lot of English and French words and syntactical structures. He suggests that the word formation is a solution for enriching a language with new concepts.

Beheshti (1999, pp.25-31) explains that one of the most significant contemporary linguistic issues is scientific-technical word formation, which is based on the language grammar and linguistic principles. She discovered that only 50 percent of the total terms studied had the equivalences in Persian; thus, indicating that the translators have not yet shown interest in employing Persian equivalents in their works. Further investigation is crucial to uncover the underlying reason. According to her, equivalent findings or naming of imported medical terms should be based on the features specific to medical terms. This means that medical terms, either in the source language or the target language, should be studied to find their systematic characteristics and some patterns in order to help the translators or linguists in the word formatting process or naming imported terms in the future. She suggests a study on the patterns based on the term characteristics of morphology, etymology, word formation and translation procedures.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Naming Guidelines: It refers to the criteria or principles which should be followed in naming or word designation process. Naming guidelines can be categorized into the ones which are common for all the languages around the world, namely universal or international guidelines, and the ones which are specific to a certain language society namely local guidelines.

Naming / Word Designation Process: Naming occurs once a new concept, object, phenomenon and the like appears. In this process, a name has undergone multiple attempts and word formation processes ( Sager, 1990 : p.63).

Compatibility: In this study, the characteristics of the equivalents or terms will be investigated and discussed according to the compatibility status with Sager’s criteria and the PLLA principles. In other words, it will be studied if the terms follow the naming guidelines (as compatible equivalents) or appear out of naming guidelines (as incompatible equivalents).

Word Formation Processes: It speaks of the continuous development of new terms and new applications of old terms leading to language productivity in the way a language is evolved based on its user’s requirements ( Yule, 1988 : p.52). There are different ways for word formation to enter lexicon.

Translation Procedures: It refers to particular translation courses which are applicable to sentences and the smaller units of language. (1988). (p. 81). Newmark.

Effectiveness: “Effective” or “ineffective” are the terms which are employed in this study for the effectiveness of the applied translation procedures in the translation process of English medical terms into Persian. It is evaluated based on four terminological factors suggested by Meyer and Bowker (2006 AU9: The citation "Bowker (2006" was preceded with "Meyer and ". It may be part of a longer citation. Please check the citation. : p.117) which belong to morphosemantics in linguistics. Conciseness, absence of competing terms, derivative form capability, and compliance with the rules of the language are the four factors that can all contribute to the effectiveness of the applied translation procedures in translating the English medical terms into Persian.

Morphosemantics: Morphosemantics is generally a knowledge in linguistics, pertaining to morphological analysis combined with a semantic interpretation of words.

Cacophony: According to Encyclopedia Britannica, “cacophony”, the opposite of “euphony”, refers to combination of words that produce harsh discordance of sound. Linguistically, euphony and cacophony belong to the study of inherent pleasantness or unpleasantness of the sound of certain utterances. This knowledge is called “phonaesthetics”. Morphologically, this word is derived from two Greek word parts that mean “voice-sound” and “aesthetics.” Despite cacophony, euphony is achieved through the use of vowel sounds in words. Vowel sounds, which are more easily pronounced than consonants, are more euphonious; the longer vowels are the most melodious. See dissonance.

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