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Role and Importance of English and Urdu Reference and Ellipsis in Translation.

Byline: Kamran Ali Naila, Rasheed Ghulam and Ali Buriro

Abstract

Cohesive devices play a significant role in shaping the meaning of written and oral messages. Many researchers have analysed such devices in English. On the other hand, the need to explore them in Urdu still exists. This paper aims to juxtapose devices used to achieve cohesion in Urdu and English texts by tracking down the affinities and differences between them. Moreover, it points out the issues and difficulties which arise on account of cohesive devices while translating Urdu into English or conversely. The paper contains the study of reference and ellipsis in short stories of Urdu and English using Halliday frame work of cohesive devices in English. Apart from the qualitative analysis of the selected texts of Urdu and English, a quantitative research has also been carried out to gauge the problems encountered by the translators for the differences in reference and ellipsis in English and Urdu text. The results show that reference system in Urdu text is more intricate than the English text.

Moreover, the quantitative research reveals that most of the students translated the source text poorly where ellipsis and reference appeared. The research is significant for it would set the directions for further empirical researches in the area of translation studies. Moreover, it may be helpful in drawing the attention of teachers and students towards the role of cohesive devices in translation.

1. Introduction

1.1 Cohesion in the text

Cohesion assembles the pieces in writing and helps the reader comprehend the text fully. It plays a fundamental role in binding the ideas in the text. According to Callow (1974:30) each language has its own pattern to convey the interrelationships of persons and events; in no language may these patterns be ignored, if the translation is to be understood by its reader. Beaugrande and Dressler (1981:03) regard cohesion as one of the seven standards of textuality. Cohesion links various parts of a text through lexical, grammatical, and other relations. These relations put different items in the text together and, to some extent, develop a text. Yule believes that a particular kind of reference takes place in discourse: that is, the listener builds a representation or model of what is being spoken about Yule (1996). In philosophy and semantics, Wales (1989: 396) observes that reference is concerned with relation between words and extra linguistics reality.

In linguistics, care is usually taken to distinguish knowledge of the world from knowledge of language: the extra-linguistic notion of reference is contrasted with the intralinguistic notion of sense, a property arising from the meaning relations between lexical items and sentences, (Crystal, 1985: 391) For the extensive contribution of cohesive devices in a text, many researchers have emphasised the importance of understanding the cohesive devices of the languages being translated. Newmark, (1987:295) asserts that the topic of cohesion... has always appeared to be the most useful constituent of discourse analysis or text linguistics applicable to translation. The literature on cohesion and its importance in translation suggests the need to investigate the cohesive devices of the source and the target language. In Pakistan English and Urdu are the academic languages and often text books are translated from Urdu to English or conversely.

Moreover, grammar translation method is still used in the education system. In the environment where bilingualism (English and Urdu) holds the academia, the study that unfolds the cohesive devices may be helpful for the translators, teachers and students.

1.2 Halliday and Hassan on Cohesion

Many researchers have contributed in discovering the role of cohesive devices in a text, but the most comprehensive work done on cohesive devices on English is by Halliday and Hasan (1976:6). They point out five main cohesive devices in English: reference, substitution, ellipsis, conjunction, and lexical cohesion. They are of the view that text is something that occurs in the form of talking or writing, listening or reading. They believe that cohesion is a semantic relation between sentences within the text. Halliday and Hasan (Ibid) elaborate that cohesion occurs where the Interpretation of some element in the discourse is dependent on that of another. The one presupposes the other, in the sense that it cannot be effectively decoded except by recourse to it. When this happens, a relation of cohesion is set up, and the two elements, the presupposing and the presupposed, are thereby at least potentially integrated into a text.

Halliday (1994: 137) delineates the classification of conjunction and regards substitution and Ellipsis as variants of the same type of cohesive relation. Cohesive devices that tie the text have been laid down in two categories by Halliday that are grammatical and lexical. Whereas, grammatical devices are further disseminate into reference, substitution, Ellipsis and conjunction. Following is division of grammatical devices discussed by Osisanwo also.

1.2.1 Reference

Halliday is of view that reference creates cohesion by creating links between elements. He explains reference as a relationship between things or facts (Phenomenon and Meta phenomenon). He introduces three types of references that contribute in attaining cohesion in English. These are Exophoric, Anaphoric, and Cataphoric (Halliday; Matthiessen.2004)

i. Exophoric

Halliday states that exophoric reference means that the identity presumed by the reference item is recoverable from the environment of the text. In other words, it refers outside the text. He further adds that it does not contribute Exophoric reference does not contribute to the cohesion of the text except indirectly when and the same referents are repeated forming a chain. (Halliday; Matthiessen, 2004)

ii. Endophoric reference

Halliday explains that endophoric reference means that the identity presumed by the reference item is recoverable within the text itself. It may point backward to the history of unfolding text that is to refer that has already be introduced and is thus part of the text's system of meaning.

This type of Endophoric reference is called Anaphora.' He further breaks Anaphoric references into two that is personal reference and comparative reference. Another category of Endophoric reference introduced by him is Cataphora. This Endophoric reference refers to the upcoming referent in the unfold text. Halliday explaining the Cataphora reference states, cataphora is quite rare as compared to Anaphora. The only exception is structural Cataphora which is common. Here the reference is resolved with the same nominal group where reference items appear." In Halliday's view reference is related to meaning, for example, when anaphoric reference is used it builds a semantic relationship with something pointed out in the previous text. This makes the reference item to be understood either similar with the reference or some way different from it.(Halliday; Matthiessen, 2004)

1.2.2 Ellipsis

Halliday discusses in his book that Ellipsis is another form of Anaphoric cohesion in the text which is achieved by proposing something by means of what is left out. He further adds that it contributes to the semantic structure of the discourse. But unlike reference, which itself a semantic relation, ellipsis sets up a relationship that is not semantic but lexical grammatical - a relationship in the grammar rather than directly in the meaning. (Halliday; Matthiessen, 2004)

1.2.3 Substitution

It is out of the scope of this study.

2. Methodology

A qualitative and quantitative research was carried out to determine the contrast and affinities between cohesive devices like reference and Ellipsis in English and Urdu and to gauge their impact on translation. Number of short passages of Urdu and English were analysed using Halliday Model of Cohesion to discover the differences between the patterns of reference and ellipsis in English and Urdu texts. (see Appendix 1). Moreover, a quantitative study was also conducted to find out the impact of Urdu and English reference and ellipsis over the quality and accuracy of translation. The study was comprised of 40 students who were asked to translate an English text into Urdu and then an Urdu text into English (see Appendix 3). In the end their translated scripts were evaluated to check their ability to maintain references and ellipsis of the target language.

3. Research Findings

Extracts from six eminent English and six Urdu writers were analysed to identify Exophoric, Anaphoric, Cataphoric references and Ellipsis in the texts (see Appendix 1 and 4). It has been observed that both in English and Urdu texts, Exophoric, Anaphoric, Cataphora references exist, but Anaphoric and Cataphora references in Urdu appear to be complex for the dual role of pronouns.

3.1 Complexities in Urdu Reference

In the Urdu text cohesion is achieved through a complex network of references. This can be understood by the examples shown in the table 1. In the Text 1 from the table (see table 1) the words like Usay, Woh, Issnay refer back to Aliya and may be called Anaphoric references. (see fig. 2). These anaphoric references are complicated as two third person subjective pronouns refer to the same person irrespective of gender like Woh and Iisnay. For such an intricate reference system, it may be hard for a translator to translate from Urdu into English. Similarly, it can be noticed in the Text 2 also that pronouns Woh and Isay refer to the same person as third person subjective pronouns displaying the complexities of Urdu reference system. In the Text 3, it is noted that there are two pronouns Mei and Mujay which being the first person subjective pronouns refer to the same person.

In a nutshell, Urdu reference system is complex for it has two pronouns for each nominative case (first person singular and third person singular) that may act as an anaphora reference.

1. Alia nay herat say parchay ko dobera parha.Khala jan nay usay bolaya

###tha. woh us ki khala jan ki khak bi na thi. Iisnay kuch adat hee rishta

###jor kisam ki pai thi. (Ismat Ghugtai ph 544 jani dushamn).

2. Woh palang ki pati pakar kar dhan say bistar chorta hay Isay khayal

###rata hay kay kahi shor na ho. Bano Kudsia (Tinkay ka shara).

3. Mohallay ki bari galee kay morr par teen char tangay walay her waqat

###mojoud raytay thay magar iis roz Mei motor par aya to wahan aek byee

###taanga naye tha. Mujay khasi dor bhi jana tha....

3.2 Ellipsis in English and Urdu

Ellipsis of NG is observed in most of the Urdu texts. It appears mostly in the narration of a story. On the other hand, in English texts it appears most of the time in the spoken discourse than the narration. Moreover, verbal and clausal ellipsis is noted in the English texts especially in the spoken discourse. But in the Urdu texts verbal and casual ellipsis is not seen in the text studied. Such differences in Ellipsis of two languages may complicate the problems faced by the translators. The pattern of Ellipsis in both languages could be studied in the following table.

Urdu text###English text###Ellipsis###Ellipsis

Abida bi holai hui###... "I have never###never seen any Whoo###(Nominal

dakhil huien.###seen any reason to###reason to be group)

(Woh apna) burka###be frightened of###frightened of say-

utaar kr phoot###saying voldemort's###ing Demodulator's

phoot kr ronay###name." I know you###name. (clausal)

lagien.###haven't", said pro-

###fessor

Mai nae inaae ge###"you do not think###They (NG)###wo (NG)

har kae ronay###they are watching

dia. Mujhae taajub###the###house"

ho raha tha wo###"watching -spying -

haisi b busi say###might be follow-

kieo ro rai###ing." muttered un-

ashaien. Anno nai###cle Vernon wildly.

masibto k par

hains kar anign

jelay

magar (wo) roi###They are saying he###could not kill Har-###unay (NG)

piti bhi nahi###tried to kill the###ry Porter (verbal)

###Potter's son, Harry,

###But he couldn't.

koi masibat toot###un par (NG)

paray (un) par o

(wo)gusay###mai

hona kar choo

makyee salawatee

sunaee lagthee

hean

3.3 Role of Ellipsis and Reference in Translation from Urdu to English

The evaluation of the students' translations from Urdu into English reveals that the students made errors translating the sentences which had ellipses in the given extract. It was also observed that most of the students had no problem in inserting "the" as an Exophoric reference as they had studied English at different levels. But still some faced problems because no reference is available in Urdu as a counter part of 'the' as Exophoric reference. Students who successfully maintained cohesive devices of the target language, scored better in translation. The analysis of students' translation indicates the importance of teaching of Cohesive Devices for better translation. Following is the graphical summary of students' performance in translation.

3.4 Discussion

Students were given a paragraph in Urdu to translate into English (see Appendix 3). Most of the students have faced problem in translating the following sentence of the given text because of ellipsis. It has been noted that ellipsis in Urdu creates problem for the translator as it appears in writer's narration which occurs seldom in English. As it can be seen from the table above that many students did not do well in translating English into Urdu or the other way round. A few were excellent in their attempt to translate accurately both ways. A few examples of wrong translation done by the students of Urdu into English are given in the table below. Some errors in lexical translation also occurred but they were not taken into account being out of the scope of this study. The results suggest that students should be taught cohesive devices of both languages to maintain cohesion in the target text to translate it effectively.

Akhbaroo say (unay) kuch pata nahi chalta tha aur pharaydar aur sipahi unparh aur jhahil thay.

1 There was no news in the newspaper and constables were

###illiterate.

2 Newspaper were not even a good source of information.

3 We could not get anything from the newspaper and the prison

###guard were also uneducated and illiterate.

4 We cannot get the correct news from the newspaper and the

###guards were illiterate and unmannered.

3.5 Role of Reference and Ellipsis in Translation from English to Urdu.

Most of the students faced difficulty in translating the sentences where article "the" appeared to be an anaphoric reference. This is due to the reason that students were perhaps not aware of the Urdu substitute of the article "the" as anaphoric reference. Another problematic area for the students has been translating sentences where writer has made use of Ellipsis. Following are the texts with the portions in bold which translated incorrectly by most of the students.

1. He was smiling at a rather severe looking woman who was wearing glasses exactly the shape of the markings the cat had around its eyes. (Rowling,1997:13)

2. people are being downright careless, out on the street in broad day light, not even dressed in Muggle clothes, swapping rumours. (Rowling ,1997: 13)

4. Conclusion

The analysis of students' translation shows that where "ellipsis" and anaphoric reference 'the' appear most of the students tend to make error in translation. (See above texts 1 and 2). If the affinities and similarities of reference and ellipsis of the two languages are shared with the students, it would strengthen their understanding of how text is tied together in both languages. Moreover, their knowledge of cohesive devices such as reference and ellipsis of the each language may aid them to locate the key information even in the challenging texts. No doubt, Urdu and English are different languages and contrastive study of Urdu and English is much required today in Pakistan where bilingualism (Urdu and English) at least in the academia is a general tendency.

References:

- Baker, M. (2001). In Other Words. London: Routledge.

- Brown, G. and Yule, G. (1983). Discourse Analysis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

- Halliday, M.A. K and Ruqaiya, H. (1987). Cohesion in English. London: Longman.

- Wales, Katie (1989). A Dictionary of Stylistics. London: Longman.Qasim (2008) Afsanay: Sang-e- Meel Publications

- Halliday; Christian Matthiessen (2004) An Introduction to Functional Grammar: Oxford University press

- Chugthai (2013) SOO Afsanay: Chudri Academy

- Rowling (1997) Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone: Potter more Limited

- Crystal, David (1985). A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. Oxford: Basil Blackwell Ltd.

- Callow, Kathleen. 1974. Discourse considerations in translating the word of God. Grand Rapids: Zondervan Publishing House.

###Appendix 1

###Analysis of (REFERENCE In Urdu Language) ----- Text 1

###(Reference text 1)

Text (chunks)###Anaphoric###Exophoric###Ellipsis

Abida bi holai hui dakhil###woh, apna###Abida###(woh apna)

huien. (Woh apna) burka

utaar kr phoot phoot kr

ronay lagien.

Mai nae inaae ge bhar kae###mai nae, inhae###mai nae###----

ronay dia

Mujhae taajub ho raha tha###Mujhae

wo haisi b busi say kieo ro###wo

rai hean

anno nai masibto k par###un no

hains k

magar (wo) roi piti bhi###--###woh

nahi

koi masibat paray (un) par###un par agar

to (wo) gusay mai bona###woh

kr ......

uni (na khandan say###uni

shikwa na zamanay say

shikayat

us bohat howa tu jo (un###unkay , usay

ka) samni aia (usay) mar

attei gi

Bachay kub janthi hay wo###(bus uni)

un say qusa nai (bus uni)

hallat pay tesh ha ra ha

References###09###02###06

###Appendix 2

###Complexities of Anaphoric Reference in Urdu

Alia nay herat say parchay ko dobera###usay (objective case), who,us ki

parha.Khala jan nay usay bolaya###(subjective and possive case side by side)

tha.who us ki khala jan ki khak bi na###who refers to singular (Anaphorical

thi.###references)

###Ismat Ghugtai pg 544 Jani Dushaman)

iss nay kuch adat hee rishta jor kisam###iss nay (subjective case, Anaphorical

ki pai thi.###reference)

###(Ismat Ghugtai ph 544 jani dushamn)

... me jo phool choono ku na whoo###mei,###(subjective,anaphora)###who

meri sayhalion ko bhay oor who kyo###(objective, anaphora), who (subjective,

na issay apnay jooray ki zeenat###anaphora)

analaen.###eesay (objective, anaphora) apnay

###(possessive, anaphora)

###whoo refers to pool and sayliyo (A human

###being and non living)

###Ismat Chugtai (Jnazay, pg 571)

woo palang ki pati pakar kar dhan say###woo, isay (subjective case for a sing

istar chorta hay isay khayal rata hay###person)

kay kahi shor na ho.

###Bano Kudsia (Tinkay ka shara)

..... yeah ap ki marzi hay begam sayba###yea (demonstrative noun, anaphora)

me israr naye kar sakta jis tara ap###ap ki (possessive, anaphora) mai

muajay try day rahi hay aysa hi ap###subjective anaphora, app (subjective

molivi hazraat ko bhi ak try day dijeae###anaphora) mujay (objective, anaphora),

###ap (subjective ,anaphora)

###(bano kudsia pg 42 naek shok)

kansama gi mai ap ko batahoo mai in###Mai (anaphoric reference)

molvi hazrat par yakeen nay rakta.Ak###in (demonstrative noun plural, objective

to yeah urtoo kay khalaf hotay###case, anaphora)

hay.Dosra yeah namazo par boohat zor###yeah (subjective, plural, Anaphoric)

detay hay.

###(bano kudsia pg 42 naek shok)

mohallay ki bari galee kay morr par###Mei (subjective pronoun , Anaphoric)

teen char tangay walay her waqat

mojoud raytay thay magar iis roz mei###iis (demonstrative pronoun, Anaphoric)

motor par aya to wahan aek byee

taanga naye tha.Mujay khasi dor bhi###waha (demonstrative pronoun, anphoric)

jana tha....

###Mujay (subjective pronoun, Anaphoric)

.... Maliha ka woh phool saa chera###wo (subjective, anaphoric for non human)

sholay ki tarhan dehak uta.wo zara bhi###wo (subjective, anaphoric for sing person)

nay dari.zera bhi nay jhuki .jhwaz###mujay (objective, singular, anaphoric)

zameen pay gira dhia oor boli mujay

chor do ....###Munchi Pareem chund (ghass walee 74)

Hakim ALi ko is khat ka bara hi###iis (demonstrative), Apani (possessive)

intazar tha.is ka iklota baeta mukeem###isay (subjective, anaphora), (isay,

ali apnae biwi bacho kay samait###objective case)

pichlay baarah saalo say kuwiat maei

rehta tha oor kabhi kabhi isay khat

liknay mei buhat hi der ho jati ....

parnay say paelay isay ankhoon say

lagaya oor parnay kay bad isay

sarhanay talay rakh dia.

"Ab kia sari raat apni himaqato ki###hum (subjective), apni (possessive)

khani sunaae jaaon" hum do no

hasnain lagae.

Mashal jahan by jeelani Bano pg 84

... "tum bholay bhatkey iis gaaon mai###Tum, (Anaphoric ), wo, (Exophoric)

aa niklay ho.wo tumare pechay dore

a"

jheel ke kinaarae safaedae kae darakht###in kae (Anaphoric)

ikul khaamosh kharrae thae. In kae###safaedae kae darakht (Exophoric)

peechae jhaarian aur surkh surkh###jheel ke kinaarae (Exophoric)

pahaar jin mae sabzae kae paewand###jin mae (Anaphoric)

lagae huae thae.

(Kirnaen by Shafeeq-ur-Rehman: p.11)

Appendix 3

Research Instrument

English text for translation

1. He was smiling at a rather severe looking woman who was wearing glasses exactly the shape of the markings the cat had around its eyes. (Harry Porter)

2. People are being downright careless, out on the street in broad day light, not even dressed in Muggle clothes, swapping rumours. (Harry Porter)
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