What Distinguishes Major Types of Translation?The translating profession clearly distinguishes between literary and non-literary translation, and many consider Bible translation as a third major branch. For the theorist, the question arises as to whether these distinctions are based only on textual characteristics of these three major classes of document or are also rooted in different approaches to the translation of the Bible, of literature and of other texts. Let us look at the following major functional classes of writing:
- Literary texts, consisting of novels, stories, plays, poetry, etc., which we may define as the product of an anthor’s imagination;
- ‘sacred’ texts, which in practice means the Bible, since other major religions do not favour or permit the translation of their fundamental writings;
- Non-literary texts, usually called ‘technical’, which cover a wide range of purpose-specific texts. While the range of these documents is exceedingly wide – non-literary texts have numerous subtypes.
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