Lecture translation Final

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                            MINISTÈRE DE L’ENSEIGNEMENT SUPÉRIEUR
                                    UNIVERSITÉ DE SOUSSE

                       FACULTÉ DES LETTRES ET DES SCIENCES HUMAINES
                                 DÉPARTEMENT D’ANGLAIS




                                Translation
                                  Studies:
                           How to translate more appropriately?


                                                      The Course
  Lecturer: H. Salhi


                                              Course Description

       By Hammouda Ben Ammar Salhi, Teacher of Translation                      Required Texts: Vinay, J. P. and Darbelnet, J. (1995) , Comparative
       Web Site: http://www.freewebs.com/hsalhi/                                Stylistics of French and English: A Methodology for Translation,
                                                                                Translated and Edited by J. C. Sager and M. J. Hamel
       COURSE DESCRIPTION AND OBJECTIVES

    COURSE DESCRIPTION
    This course will explore the theory and practice of translation from Arabic to English and English to Arabic
    ("version” and "thème" respectively) as both a craft and an art with its own standards and obligations.
    Theoretical investigations will consider translation as an activity of comparative stylistics and an act of
    communication. Students shall explore the difference between the often confused notions of process, product
    and theory with an aim to understanding the ambiguous term of “translation”. They will also have occasion to
    uncover the relation between language and culture. In addition, the seven procedures of translation proposed
    by Vinay and Darbelnet (1995) shall be introduced to student with a view to helping them to resolve the many
    complexities posed by the translation process. Similarly, the three main types of context; i.e. structural,
    cognitive and pragmatic, shall be studied in this course. Theoretical lectures shall be complemented by regular
    applied ones wherein students have the opportunity to translate, from and into Arabic, textual documents
    representing both domains of literature (prose) and journalism (articles), except two texts which fall within the
    domains of history and diplomacy.
    |OBJECTIVES
    This course is intended to:
 1.     Provide students with a thorough training in translation techniques;
 2.     Develop and deepen students' awareness of the tight relationship between language and culture.
 Similarly, by the end of the course students will be able to:
 3.     Demonstrate an understanding of translation as a science, craft and art with its own standards and
    responsibilities;
 4.     Use the seven translation procedures developed in Vinay and Darbelnet (1995).
 5.     Disambiguate and elicit word and sentence meanings by appropriately exploiting the different contextual
    cues.

       OUTLINE OF THE COURSE
       Introduction.
     Chapter 1: Basic concepts                                             4.   Transposition
 1. What is translation?                                                   5.   Modulation
        1-1 Process, product and theory                                    6.   Equivalence
        1-2 Science or art                                                 7.   Adaptation
 2. Language and culture
                                                                              Chapter 3: Translation and the context
        Chapter 2: Methods of translation                                1. Structural (linguistic) context
 1. Borrowing                                                            2. Cognitive (global) context
 2. Calque                                                               3. Pragmatic (situational) context
 3. Literal translation
    GRADING
You will be graded according to the following scale:         (note that the theoretical question and the commentary could be answered in English
or in Arabic)

     1. Translation: 12 points
     2. A commentary on translation: 4 points
     3. A theoretical question: 4 points



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Lecturer: H. Salhi                    WEEK




                                           ‫مه‬
                     "‫"الجتعلوا األلفاظ آخر ِّكم … وال مبلغ ترمجتكم‬
                      The Lecturere




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                                                            Chapter One


                                               Basic Concepts


Introduction

Translation is often considered as the Bête noir of students. Students are always raising complaints about this
subject. This may be due to the fact that it is a very demanding task, in that it requires good command of two
different languages and quite many linguistic aspects. If taken appropriately; however, translation can be a
good exercise of language that serves many other subjects, mainly comprehension, grammar, writing,
civilisation and literature. On the other hand, translation can be the students’ saviour in times of joblessness
after graduation. I know many people who are earning their lives out of translation.

 One of the main aims of this course is to fault that misconception of bête noir. A key element to any problem is
that you love the thing you are doing before anything else. And second key term in translation is self-
confidence. Students should bear in mind that they are able to be good translators with some intelligence,
sensitivity and Practice, as well as knowledge. This course cannot make you into good translators, but it
provides you with some guidelines for translating. I intended that this course be concise and focused enough
to facilitate your task, on the one hand, and to show how the thing (I mean translation) is easier than you
might think.

Practically speaking, I intend to take care of some (in fact a limited number of) students who eager continue
their career in the path of translation which is, as a discipline and a business1, witnessing a revival. More clearly
I have an idea of carrying out a small parallel training project (outside and in addition to the course, of course)
where I ensure the supervision of a training in translation destined to my students, a training that will help
them to succeed their exams first and their future career second. To this end, I am going to use the Internet
tool through my, and your, web site (www.freewebs.com/hsalhi)3.

Translation is not much of what you might think of it. So, what is it, teacher?

    1. What is translation?

To state a simplistic definition of translation we can say that it is re-telling, as exactly as possible, the meaning
of the original message in a way that is natural in the language into which the translation is being made.
However such a definition disregards many of the underlying complexities pertaining to the nature of
translation. One reality about translation is that it is a multi-disciplinary activity. Translators have to master
two languages and negotiate the difficulties that arise when trying to transfer a message in one language and
culture to another language (which differs from the first in phonology, morphology, syntax, and discourse
conventions) and culture (which differs from the first in history, geography, material culture, values and
religion). These differences of language or culture underlie the multi-disciplinary nature of the translation task
and are the twin sources of translation problems. But even though it is a multi-disciplinary activity, there are
some qualities according to which we can judge translations as good or not. They include the following three
basic qualities:



1 During the last decade, especially after September 11 translation from and into Arabic is witnessing a boom. So it is estimated that
the volume of translations related to Arabic is still going to rise more and more.
3That is why I made a good advertisement of this web site as you can see.




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1) ACCURACY : it means correct exegesis (interpretation) of the source message, and transfer of the meaning
of that message as exactly as possible into the target language.

2) CLARITY: there may be several different ways of expressing an idea, a translator normally chooses the way
which communicates most clearly; the way which ordinary people will understand.

3) NATURALNESS: it is important to use the natural form of the target language, if the translation is to be
effective and acceptable. A translation should not sound foreign.

The translator is constantly struggling to achieve the ideal in all these three areas. It is not an easy task. When
it seems impossible to reconcile all three, then ACCURACY must have priority.

1.1 Process, product and theory

Above we provided a definition of translation which left ambiguous the term “translation”. A second
crucial point is needed to distinguish between the three polysemous meanings of the term
“translation”. Translation can denote the meaning of translating, a translation or translation.

    1. translating: the process (to translate; the activity rather than the tangible object)
    2. a translation: the product of the process of translating (i.e. the translated text);
    3. translation: the abstract concept which encompasses both the process of translating and the
       product of that process (translation theory).

In this section, however, we shall focus on the third meaning of translation that is translation theory
(or translation studies), though the latter term is recently much preferred especially by English
translation scholars (see Bassnett (2002)).

Translation theory:

In a narrow sense, translation theory is concerned with the translation method appropriately used for
a certain type of text. However, in a wider sense, translation theory is the body of knowledge that we
have about translating, extending from general principles to guidelines, suggestions and hints.

What translation theory does is, first, to identify a translation problem (no problem – no translation
theory!); second to indicate all the factors that have to be taken into account in solving the problem;
third, to list all the possible translation procedures (or methods); finally, to recommend the most
suitable translation procedures, plus the appropriate translation. Translation theory is pointless and
sterile if it does not arise from the problems of translation practice, from the need to stand back and
reflect, to consider all the factors, within the text and outside it, before coming into a decision – in
fact translating (or translation process) is a matter of taking decisions. Because translation has to do
with selecting one option among many, many scholars take it as an artistic activity; others, however,
argue that because it arises thinking and discussions and has to do with grammatical rules, it is a
science. Most of the latter scholars handle translation as an activity of comparative linguistics - e.g.
J.C. Catford (1965).

    1.2 Science or art?

There is a long-standing debate as to whether translation is an art or a science. Literary translators, such as
Gregory Rabassa in If This Be Treason, argue that translation is an art, though one that it is teachable. Other
translators and translation theorists, mostly those who work on technical, business or legal documents, regard
their métier as a science and a craft, one that can not only be taught but that is subject to linguistic analysis
and that benefits from academic study.


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Most translators, however, will agree that the situation depends on the nature of the text being translated. A
simple document, e.g. a product brochure, can in many cases be translated quickly, using simple techniques
familiar to advanced language-students. By contrast, a newspaper editorial, political speech, or book on
almost any subject will require not only the good language skills and research technique, but the art of good
writing and cultural sensitivity. Culture is, in fact, a crucial element in translation, in particular, and language in
general.

    2. Language and Culture
Culture can be defined as the way of life and its manifestations that are peculiar to a community that uses a
particular language as its means of expression. Many translation scholars distinguish ‘cultural’ language from
‘universal’ and ‘personal’ language. For them, words like ‘father’, ‘die’, ‘live’, ‘star’, ‘swim’ and almost virtually
every artifact like ‘table’ are universals which generate no translation problem. But even with regard to such
words there is a cultural aspect. Take, for instance, the example of ‘father’. The notion of fatherhood takes
new characteristics in each different cultural community. A French ‘father’ is different from an English ‘father’
who is in turn different from an Arabic ‘father’ – a father normally called Si Sayyed. Another radical cultural
difference can be further noticed. Some Amazonian tribes who lead animal-like lives have no ‘father’ notion in
their culture and consequently in their language. So, how to translate the word ‘father’ to these people? For
these scholars, only words like ‘Monsoon’, ‘sauna’, ‘tsunami’ and ‘paella’ are cultural words.

When a speech community focuses its attention on a particular topic (this is usually called ‘cultural focus’), it
generates a set of words to designate its special language or terminology. For instance, English generated
many words on sports, notably cricket words, French on wines, breads, and cheeses, the Germans on
sausages, Spaniards on bull-fighting, Arabs on camels and dates, Eskimos, notoriously on snow. Frequently
where there is cultural focus, there is a translation problem due to the cultural ‘gap’ or ‘distance’ between the
source and the target languages.

Language does contain all kinds of cultural deposits, in the grammar (genders of inanimate nouns, take the
example of couleur which is a feminine noun in French but masculine in Arabic Lawn), forms of address (like
Sie, usted, Lie) as well as the lexis (‘the sun sets’) which are not taken account of in universals either in
consciousness or translation. What is worrying is that the translation of most of the general words (particularly
morals and feelings) such as love, temper, right and wrong is usually harder than specific words. Most cultural
terms are easy to detect, since they are associated with a particular language and cannot be literally
translated.

Peter Newmark (1988) states five categories of cultural words, they are ecology, Material culture (artifacts),
social culture, organisations, customs and so on and gestures and habits.

        1.      Ecology: Flora, fauna, plains, hills, ‘Savanna’, etc.
        2.      Material culture (artifacts):
                a.      Food: ‘Zabaglione’, ‘cuscus’ , ‘paella’
                b.      Cloths: ‘anorak’, ‘kanga’ (Africa),
                c.      Houses and towns: bourg, chalet, tower
                d.      Transport: bike, cabriolet, calèche
        3.      Social culture: for instance, leisure: tarab, reggae,
        4.      Organizations, customs, activities, procedures, concepts:
                a.      Political and administrative: Knesset,
                b.      Religious: dharma, karma, halal, Chariaa
                c.      Artistic:
        5.      Gestures and habits: spitting




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                                                    Chapter Two


                                Translation Methods


Introduction
After defining the umbrella term of translation and investigating the relation between language and culture,
the time is ripe to see how to translate in more practical terms, that is to see a number of translation
procedures. In the process of translating, translators establish relationships between specific manifestations of
two linguistic systems, one which is already been expressed and is therefore given (the source text), and the
other which is still potential and adaptable (the target text).

At first the different messages or procedures seem to be countless, but they, according to Vinay and
Darbelnet, can be condensed to just seven, each one corresponding to a higher degree of complexity. In
practice, they can be used either on their own or combined with one or more of the others.

    1. Procedure one: Borrowing

To overcome a lacuna (e.g. a new technical process or an unknown concept), borrowing is the simplest of all
translation method. For instance, in order to introduce the flavour of the source language SL culture, foreign
terms may be used, e.g. such Russian words as ‘roubles’ and ‘datchas’ and ‘dollars’ and ‘party’ from American
English, Mexican Spanish food names ‘tequila’ and ‘tortillas’ and so on.

Some well-established, mainly older borrowings are so widely used that they are no longer considered as such
and have become a part of the respective target language TL lexis. Some examples of French borrowings from
Arabic are ‘magasin’, ‘toubib’ and ‘rais’, etc. In English such words as ‘menu’, ambiance and ‘chic’ and
expressions like ‘déja vu’, ‘coup d'état’, ‘bon appétit’, ‘bon voyage’, ‘enfant terrible’ and ‘rendezvous’ are no
longer considered to be borrowings. Translators are particularly interested in the newer borrowings, even
personal ones. It must be remembered that many borrowings enter a language through translation.

    2. Procedure two: Calque

A calque is a special kind of borrowing whereby a language borrows an expression from another, but then
translates literally each of its elements. The results is either:

       i. A lexical calque, as in science-fiction (En) AlKhayal el 3ilmi (Ar) – boite de nuit (Fr) 3olbaa Layliya (Ar).
          This is a calque that respects the syntactic structure of the TL, whilst introducing a new mode of
          expression; or
      ii. A structural calque, as in Secrétaire Général (Fr) Secretary General (En). This a calque that introduces
           a new construction into the language.

As with borrowings, there are many fixed calques which, after a period of time, become an integral part of the
language.




    3. Procedure three: Literal Translation

Literal, or word for word, translation is the direct transfer of a SL text into a grammatically and idiomatically

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appropriate TL text in which the translators’ task is limited to observing the adherence to the linguistic
servitudes of the TL.

It is most common when translating between two languages of the same family4 (e.g. between French and
English)

         I left my spectacles on the table downstairs:               J’ai laissé mes lunettes sur la table en bas

         Where are you?:                                                       oŭ êtes-vous?

Even though between some distinct languages like English and Arabic, we can find some common used
structures.

         He looked at the map                    nadhara fi al kharitati

     4. Procedure four: Transposition
The method called transposition involves replacing one word class with another without changing the
meaning of the message. Besides being a special translation procedure, transposition can also be applied
within a language. For example: “il a annoncé qu’il reviendrait”, can be re-expressed by transposing a
subordinate verb with a noun, thus:“ il a annoncé son retour”. In translation there are two distinct types of
transposition: (i) obligatory transposition where there is not other alternative, and (ii) optional transposition
where there is at least one other alternative. The following are examples of transposition:

             a.   Dès son lever….          As soon as he gets up….
             b.   As soon as he gets up... Dès son lever…. or
                                           Dès qu’il se lève…
            c. aflasa                      To become penniless
            d. The Arabs have pioneered in many branches of science                                kâna lil3arabi assabaqu fi: Sattâ
         furu3i al ma3rifati

Examples (a) and (b) show case of optional modulation. In example (c) the verb /aflasa/ is expressed by a
phrase in English, while in (d) the verb “to pioneer” is replaced with a noun /assabaqu/ in Arabic.

     5. Procedure five: Modulation

Modulation is a variation of the form of the message, obtained by a change in the point of view. This change
can be justified when, although a literal, or even transposed, translation results in a grammatically correct
utterance, it is considered unsuitable, unidiomatic or awkward in the TL.

As with transposition, there are two types of modulation, namely free or optional modulation and fixed or
obligatory modulation. For instance, ‘what time is it?’ which must be translated into Arabic as “kam essa3a?” is
an example of obligatory modulation. Also, the type of modulation which turns a negative SL expression into
a positive TL expression is a fixed modulation, e.g.

         It is not difficult to show….                     Mina al-yasiri bayanu…

Here is another example of modulation:

         He was blown away             dhahaba adrâja arriyâhi




4 you can refer back to your course of linguistics of last year for more detail on the families of languages


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This is a case of “modulation,” where each language describes the situation from a different viewpoint. While
English indicates the means (blown), Arabic does the opposite: the result first /dhahaba/, then the means
/adrâja arriyâhi/. Thus, we have a “chassé-croisé”:
Means: blown/adrâja arriyâhi/
Result: /dhahaba/ away

    6. Procedure six: Equivalence

When translators concentrate their attention on the effect that a ST raises in its readers, and they try to re-
express the same idea in a TL text so that TL readers also have the same effect, they are using the translation
procedure of equivalence. The classical example of equivalence is given by the reaction of an amateur who
accidently hits his finger with a hammer: if he were French his cry would be transcribed as, “Aie!”, but if he
were English this would be interpreted as , “Ouch!”. The following is another example of equivalence used by a
Tunisian simultaneous interpreter working in Paris. She used it after the end of a conference. While an English
speaker was just exposing his publications, participants thought that he was offering them for free. In order
not to be rude towards them, the speaker used the following statement:

         These books are for attention and not for pretention!

The interpreter rendered it (to French participants) preserving the same effect as:

        Ces bouquin sont à regarder et non pas à garder!

Below are two further examples of equivalence between Arabic and English:

        Give a pint of your blood                          tabarra3 biqali:lin min damika
        Before you could say Jack Robinson                 fi: tarfati 3ayn

The two languages describe the same situation by using quite different structural and stylistic means. In the
first example, the expression “to give a pint,” “pint” being a unit of measure for liquids equal to about half a
liter, is rendered into Arabic by the equivalent tabarra3 biqali:lin min which literally means “donate some of.”
In the second example, the English idiom “before you could say Jack Robinson,”which means “very quickly or
suddenly,” has an equivalent idiom in Arabic Fi tarfati 3ayn which means “in the twinkling of an eye.”
As you can see, the method of creating equivalences is frequently applied to idioms, like the following famous
idiomatic expression:

        Il pleut à seaux/ des cordes    It is raining cats and dogs       innaha tomtiru qiraban


    7. Procedure seven: Adaptation

With this seventh method we reach the extreme limit of translation: it is used in those cases where the type of
situation being referred to by the SL message is unknown in the TL culture. In such cases translators have to
create a new situation that can be considered as being equivalent. Adaptation can, therefore, be described as
a special kind of equivalence, a situational equivalence. Let us think of an English father who would think
nothing of kissing his daughter on the mouth, something which is normal in that culture but which would not
be acceptable in a literal rendering into Arabic or even French. Translating, “He kissed his daughter on the
mouth” by “qabbala ibnatahu min famiha” or “Il embrassa sa fille sur la bouche” , would introduce into the TL an
element which is not present in the SL, where the situation may be that of a loving father returning home and
greeting his daughter after a long journey. While the French rendering would be a special kind of
overtranslation, the Arabic rendering would simply be a ‘catastrophe’. A more appropriate translation in
French would be “Il serra tendrement sa fille dans ses bras” and in Arabic “Laqad 3anaqa ibnatahu bi hararatin”.
Adaptations are particularly frequent in the translation of book and film titles: e.g.




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        Le Bourgeois Gentil Homme                El Marichal Ammar

The method of adaptation is well known amongst simultaneous interpreters: there is the story of an
interpreter who, having adapted “cricket” into “Tour de France” in a context referring to a particularly popular
sport, was put on the spot when the French delegate then thanked the speaker for having referred to such a
typically French sport. The interpreter then had to reverse the adaptation and speak of cricket to his English
clients.

As you can see, context is a crucial element in all procedures. A translator has to have full awareness of the
context where the message has been uttered. But the context is not of one type. There are three types of
context, they are Structural (or linguistic) context, cognitive (or global) context and pragmatic (or situational)
context. The following chapter is devoted to investigate these contexts in more detail.




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                                                 Chapter Three


                     Translation and the Context

Introduction

The message consists of the totality of the meanings of an utterance and is crucially dependent on extra and
para-linguistic context, i.e. the situation and circumstances in which it is produced and received. Situations
suggest messages and situations motivate messages; consequently we have to consider the psychological
reactions of writers, translators and readers of translations.

The meaning of a message is elicited in several contexts of which we shall discuss three; their importance
varies from case to case.

    1. Structural Context

This is also called linguistic or syntactic context. We can elicit meaning from the structure created by the
lexical elements and the order into which they are put by the rules of grammar. For example:

On entering the room, he saw him sitting at the table
En entrant dans la pièce, il le vit assis à la table
3indama dakhala al ghorfata, ra’ahu jalisan ala attawilati
At the level of the message this example corresponds exactly to what we have called literal translation with
respect to word order. Expressed in another way, in this message, such as it is presented here outside an extra
linguistic context and with an unspecified situation in the reader’s mind, there are no stylistic or semantic
elements which go beyond the sum of words constituting the message. This first, structural, definition of the
context of messages is therefore fully supported by the two essential axes which govern language production.
A structural context, however, does not, sometimes, provide the necessary cues for translation and meaning
remains ambiguous. The following examples can cause difficulties in translation, though they may not have
been ambiguous to the original writer.
        Il prit son chapeau     he took his/her hat                     akhatha qubba3atahu/ha
        I am meeting a friend Je vais rencontrer un/une ami/e           sa uqaabilu sadiqan/tan
Only a wider context than the phrases given here, or the situation, can tell how to interpret and then translate
these parts of texts. These structural servitudes represent a source of information with respect to the global
message. It is worth noting that structural parallelism is most observed between languages of the same
family like French and English, when translating, therefore, between English and Arabic, the translator has
avoid the pitfalls of this kind of parallelism.

    2. Cognitive Context

This is also called global context. It is the whole context of the message. There are cases where the structure is
insufficient to convey the totality of the message.

This usually occurs with units lager than the sentence, and is resolved at the level of the paragraph. In the
same way as, according to the circumstances, the English ‘bank’ has to be translated as ‘banque’ or ‘rive’ in
French and as ‘masrif’ (in the middle East countries or ' bank’ in Tunisia) or ‘haffat ennahar’, a whole sentence
like “We finally reached the bank” may become clear only through the context given by the meaning of the
surrounding sentences.

On the other hand, translators frequently have to work on fragments of text which have been taken out of the
environment of the original message: there may be no illustrations, the distribution of headings and subtitles

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may have become incomprehensible. Translation is a global operation just like comprehension.

    3. Pragmatic context

It is also termed situational context. It comes into play when a message cannot be fully understood without
information that lies outside the linguistic utterance. It complements structural and cognitive meaning by
providing details of writers and readers, the circumstances and motivation of the message and can be
essential not only in disambiguating meanings but for proper reaction to a message. It is especially important
for translators because they have to assume the same situation to exist in the target language or to re-create a
new situation suitable for the message they are conveying. This is the case of some notices, inscriptions and
posters which cannot b understood without an explanatory commentary. Translators cannot give a single
translation of an isolated utterance without reference to the situation. If the structure is ambiguous,
translation becomes impossible. For example, “je suis ta femme” is either “I am your wife” or “I am following
your wife” which is itself lexically ambiguous.

The following is an ambiguous sentence which needs further information from the context of situation to be
disambiguated, and thus properly translated:

       Il a son certificat.
       He has his school/ leaving certificate
        laqad hasala 3ala chahadatin madrasiyyatin/rokhsati moghadaratin

References:

 Bassnett, S. (2002): Translation Studies, Routledge
 Bell, R. T. (1993): Translation and Translating: Theory and Practice, London and New York,
                Longman.
 Catford, J.C. (1965): A linguistic Theory of Translation, London Oxford University Press
 Newmark, P. (1988a): Approaches to Translation, Prentice Hall International.
  —–           (1988b): A Textbook of Translation, Prentice Hall International.
 Vinay, J.-P. and J. Darbelnet J.(1977): Stylistique comparée du français et de l’anglais, Paris, Didier.
 Vinay, J. P. and Darbelnet, J. (1995): Comparative Stylistics of French and English: A Methodology for Translation,
               Translated and Edited by J. C. Sager and M. J. Hamel




                                           The end of the Course

                                    Thank You and Good Luck


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pages:13