What is grammatical transposition?
Thread poster: xxxsholey17
United States
Local time: 19:28
Spanish to English
Mar 14, 2008

I'm supposed to do a presentation about grammatical transposition, and my textbook is vague on the subject. I can't teach it if I don't understand it.

It says that grammatical transposition is "the technique of translating a source text expression having a given grammatical structure by a target text expression with a differentg rammatical structure containing different parts of speech in a different arrangement."

But is that it? Is it just the difference between "el año pasado" and "last year"?

Please help! Further explanation and examples would be great!



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xxxJPW  Identity Verified
Local time: 01:28
Spanish to English
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Start here Mar 14, 2008

You are on the right track at least, sholey17, I have just come across this example (try googling your 'grammatical transposition'):


Posdata: espero que sepas el francés!!

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Rad Graban  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:28
English to Slovak
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Thinking Translation Mar 14, 2008

Have a look at this link:

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Paul Merriam  Identity Verified
Local time: 20:28
Member (2008)
Russian to English
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You seem to have the basic idea Mar 14, 2008

But there are other more extensive ones.

Take "El control de los circuitos se realizó mediante el programa XXX". I think in English, I'd say "Program XXX was used to monitor the circuits." Note that I changed the noun "control" into a verb and changed the "programa" from the object of a preposition to the subject of the sentence. "Se realizó" doesn't show up in the translation at all.

If you need some more examples, try translating the passive voice from English to Spanish.

The towels have already been washed.
To say "las toallas ya han sido lavadas" sounds really awkward to me. I'd be more inclined to say "las toallas ya se lavaron" even though I'm quite aware that they didn't wash themselves.

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Samuel Murray  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:28
Member (2006)
English to Afrikaans
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Sounds like something I often have... Mar 14, 2008

sholey17 wrote:
It says that grammatical transposition is "the technique of translating a source text expression having a given grammatical structure by a target text expression with a differentg rammatical structure containing different parts of speech in a different arrangement."

I encounter this in my two languages all the time. English favours any of several types of part tense for narrative, but in Afrikaans we use a type of present tense for things that happened in the past.

In fact, a new reader of Afrikaans might think the text is very badly written because different tenses can occur in the same sentence:

EN NASB: When he saw (past) Peter and John about to go into the temple, he began (past) asking to receive alms. But Peter, along with John, fixed (past) his gaze on him and said (past), "Look at us!" ... But Peter said (past), "I do not possess silver and gold."

AF 1983: Toe hy vir Petrus en Johannes sien (present), net voor hulle in die tempel ingaan, het hy van hulle iets gevra (past). Petrus en Johannes kyk (present) hom toe stip aan, en Petrus sê (present): "Kyk na ons." ... Maar Petrus sê (present): "Geld het ek nie."

AF: 1953: Toe hy sien (present) dat Petrus en Johannes die tempel wou binnegaan, het hy om 'n aalmoes gevra (past). En Petrus saam met Johannes het hom stip aangekyk (past) en gesê (past): Kyk na ons. ... Maar Petrus sê (present): Silwer en goud het ek nie.

I wonder if the rearrangement of sentences/phrases in terms of their logical relations might also come under this heading. For example:

EN: Established in 1999, the Cape Town branch of Acme manufactures widgets.

To my Afrikaans ear/eye, the positions of the two phrases would suggest some sort of logical relation or progression, but there is none. The year of establishment has nothing to do with the product manufactured.

This is normal in English, but not in Afrikaans, and any translator who translates this sentence following the English sentence construction closely, is a budding translator (to put it mildly). One possible correct Afrikaans translation would be:

AF: Acme se tak in Kaapstad vervaardig dingesies. Die tak bestaan al sedert 1999.

BT: Acme's branch in Cape Town manufactures widgets. The branch has existed since 1999.

Is this sort of change in word order or different type of logic also part of grammatical transposition?

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Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 18:28
English to Spanish
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All the time Mar 14, 2008

Between English and Spanish it is something that has to be done not only all the time, it has to be done big time with most sentences.

It is the one task that occupies us the most. Almost any example will do.

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GoodWords  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:28
Spanish to English
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Some examples in ES<>EN translation Mar 15, 2008

One specific example is discussed in this article about translating gerundial nouns and adjectives in English (i.e. the "-ing" form) into Spanish. Since this form is much less common in Spanish, it's often translated by a different part of speech.

Some more examples:

Lo que tú digas. (subjunctive)
Whatever you say. (indefinite adverb)

Se leyó por todas partes. (pronomialized reflexive)
It was read everywhere. (passive)

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United States
Local time: 19:28
Spanish to English
Thanks! Mar 16, 2008

Thank you all for the help!

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