Verbal Ability – Summary – A translator of literary works

Verbal Ability – Summary – Q2

The passage given below is followed by four summaries. Choose the summary that best captures the author’s position.


CAT 2017 - Forenoon slot - Verbal Ability - Summary - A translator of literary works
A translator of literary works needs a secure hold upon the two languages involved, supported by a good measure of familiarity with the two cultures. For an Indian translating works in an Indian language into English, finding satisfactory equivalents in a generalized western culture of practices and symbols in the original would be less difficult than gaining fluent control of contemporary English. When a westerner works on texts in Indian languages the interpretation of cultural elements will be the major challenge, rather than control over the grammar and essential vocabulary of the language concerned. It is much easier to remedy lapses in language in a text translated into English, than flaws of content. Since it is easier for an Indian to learn the English language than it is for a Briton or American to comprehend Indian culture, translations of Indian texts is better left to Indians.

A) While translating, the Indian and the westerner face the same challenges but they have different skill profiles and the former has the advantage.
B) As preserving cultural meanings is the essence of literary translation Indians’ knowledge of the local culture outweighs the initial disadvantage of lower fluency in English.
C) Indian translators should translate Indian texts into English as their work is less likely to pose cultural problems which are harder to address than the quality of language.
D) Westerners might be good at gaining reasonable fluency in new languages, but as understanding the culture reflected in literature is crucial, Indians remain better placed.


Option (C)


In the above passage for CAT 2017 – Verbal Ability – Summary, we can infer that, it is difficult for Indians to understand the culture of Westerners and for Westerners to understand the Indian culture. So, when translating it is better Indian translators should translate Indian texts into English as there will be less cultural problems. Language problems are easy to correct but it is very difficult to correct cultural mistakes.
Option C is the right answer.

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CAT 2017 Questions from Verbal Ability – Summary

Verbal Ability – Summary – Q1: A fundamental property of language is that it is slippery and messy and more liquid than solid, a gelatinous mass that changes shape to fit. As Wittgenstein would remind us, “usage has no sharp boundary.”
Verbal Ability – Summary – Q2: Both Socrates and Bacon were very good at asking useful questions. In fact, Socrates is largely credited with corning up with a way of asking questions
Verbal Ability – Summary – Q3: North American walnut sphinx moth caterpillars (Amorpha juglandis) look like easy meals for birds, but they have a trick up their sleeves—they produce whistles that sound like bird alarm calls, scaring potential predators away.
Verbal Ability – Summary – Q4: For each of the past three years, temperatures have hit peaks not seen since the birth of meteorology, and probably not for more than 110,000 years.
Verbal Ability – Summary – Q5: To me, a “classic” means precisely the opposite of what my predecessors understood: a work is classical by reason of its resistance to contemporaneity and supposed universality, by reason of its capacity to indicate human particularity and difference in that past epoch.

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Verbal Ability – Summary – A translator of literary works
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