10 Difference between Literary text and Non-literary text

The main parts of the field of translation are literary translation and translations that aren’t about literature. There are some things that are the same and some things that are different. This article will talk about how they are different. Before we start talking, we’ll first explain what a literary text is and what a non-literary text is.

The Difference between Literary Translation and Non literary Translation

Comparison Table (Literary text vs Non-literary text)

PropertiesLiterary textNon-literary text
DefinitionIt is a creative and unique work that serves a poetic or aesthetic goal, is polysemic in nature, and serves no useful purpose.It is a text with a referential purpose that uses denotative language to inform, convince, or instruct a particular audience in how to behave.
Language functionPoetic or aesthetic.Referential.
CharacteristicsConnotative and subjective (what is written has a particular meaning for each person). Polysemic and unclear (it has more than one meaning). It has no useful objective. It is not intended for a particular audience. Even though it is based on actual events, it is unique and imaginary. It presents full universes in themselves and is self-referential. Utilize rhetorical devices to elicit and express emotion. There is no specific or designated audience. It can be accessible in various circumstances and lives a long time.Denotative and objective (what is written refers to reality and is not freely interpretable). It serves a useful purpose. Your audience is defined. It might not be a unique composition. It is referential, and its meaning supersedes any poetic allusion. Its information is grounded in reality. Its goal is to educate, train, or influence how people behave. valid in a certain situation.
ExamplesOdes, stories, Christmas carols, plays, novels, songs, fables, hors d’oeuvres and sacramental cars, among others.Conferences, journalistic notes, manuals and instructions, legal documents, dissertations, academic articles, philosophical texts, opinion articles and advertising messages, among others.

What is a literary text?

A literary text is an original piece of writing that uses rhetorical devices to make the reader feel something, has a poetic or aesthetic purpose, and doesn’t serve any practical purpose.

It is vague and has more than one meaning, so it can be taken in many different ways. It uses rhetorical techniques to show the author’s point of view and get the reader involved. It refers to itself, which means it is a whole work on its own.

This kind of text is unique because it was written from scratch. Even if it is based on real people or events or describes a physical and verifiable reality, each work says it is original.

This is the voice of the story’s narrator, who tells what happens. Even if you can represent the author’s point of view, you are usually not the same person as the author.

Most of the language he uses is connotative, which means that the words have personal meanings for both the author and the reader. The language he uses is often emotional and subjective.

In addition, it is not limited to the time and place where it was made. As a piece of art, the literary text can last for a long time and be read by many different kinds of people in many places and times.

Characteristics of the literary text

  • Since the literary text isn’t clear, people often have different ideas about what it means.
  • It has more than one meaning, and each time you read it, you find a new one.
  • It doesn’t have a practical goal or a clear purpose, but the person who makes it may have a clear goal in mind.
  • It is not aimed at a certain group of people.
  • Its purpose is to look good or be poetic.
  • It’s beautiful because it uses rhetorical and stylistic tools like onomatopoeia, hyperbole, metaphors, similes, alliteration, and so on.
  • Due to its many meanings and rhetorical nature, the present language is not often used in everyday life.
  • It shows a world that is made up but also refers to itself (even when it is based on reality).
  • It has a connotative quality because it is a piece of art that was made from the author’s point of view.
  • It was made up on its own.

Function of the literary text

Its primary function is to be poetic or lovely, so rhetorical figures are used to get the receiver to feel or act in a certain way. That is, the literary text doesn’t serve as a reference like the non-literary text does.

The world made by the text is complete in and of itself. In this way, this kind of text doesn’t have to serve as information, even if it says something about the outside world (as in detailed and highly descriptive realistic or naturalistic novels).

What is a non-literary text?

A non-literary text is one that has a referential or informative purpose, an objective tone, and uses denotative language.

This kind of text doesn’t use rhetorical tools, which are used to show the author’s point of view in literary texts. It serves a certain purpose and is made for a certain group of people. The information they give comes from outside of the text.

Characteristics of non-literary text

  • They serve a certain function.
  • Any lyrical sensibility is secondary to the message.
  • They are clear because of the denotative nature of the language utilized.
  • They serve a referencing or enlightening purpose.
  • Its information is factual.
  • They are context-dependent.
  • They were written with objectivity in mind.
  • Their target market is particular.

Function of non-literary text

Since it is referential, the message in this type of text alludes to an outside source. With his work, the sender seeks to achieve a goal, whereas the recipient seeks knowledge or information about a particular topic.

In a similar vein, one of its main goals is the conveyance of the message. It may convey a truth, a method, standards, a description of a thing or a person, etc. An auto mechanic’s manual might discuss how to fix cars as an example. Literary texts differ from non-literary texts in certain ways.

Since the non-literary text is assumed to be objective as a result, it is believed that it will be clear-cut and devoid of the polysemic density of the literary text. This means that because it is a denotative text (what is written refers to reality), there is typically no opportunity for interpretation.

However, everyone who creates a non-literary text has the ability to include aspects of literary writings to convey a message or information. For instance, while reporting or telling a news event in a newspaper, rhetorical tactics can be utilized. In this situation, the reader can come upon a literary figure that causes him to empathize with or reject what is being said.