Western translation theory_--oct_1

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Western translation theory_--oct_1

  1. 1. WESTERN TRANSLATION THEORY
  2. 2. Central Concept : Equivalence the central concepts is ‘equivalence’ (such as correspondence, similarity, analogy, or even the sameness). The term roughly corresponds to the ‘faithfulness’ of a TT to its original or ST and it has dominated this discipline for many years. Seeking to render word for word and form for form from a linguistic level, many scholars from the branch of linguistics, either as applied, or as comparative or contrastive linguistics.
  3. 3. Unit/level of equivalence between ST and TT linguistic scholars develop their approaches to translation from the basic unit (morphemes, words, linguistic level/ phrases, clauses, or sentences) and the basic ‘equivalence’ at the linguistic level between the ST and the TT. In other words, from the very beginning of translation theory, the concept of equivalence has focused on the word or form as the ‘unit of translation’ and ‘unit shifts’ were the many scholars’ preoccupation from the 1950s onward.
  4. 4. The concept of Equivalence The term ‘equivalence’ is so central in the areas of translating and translation that it is used to define translation itself in terms of equivalence relations by some scholars (Catford 1965:20; Koller 1995:196; Nida 1959:19/1975:33; Nida and Taber 1969:12; Pym 1992:37; Wilss 1982:62; Toury
  5. 5. Catford’s : textual equivalent and formal correspondent A textual equivalent is any TL text or portion of text which is observed on a particular occasion … to be the equivalent of a given SL text or portion of text. A formal correspondent is any TL category (unit, class, element of structure, etc.) which can be said to occupy, as nearly as possible, the ‘same’ place in the ‘economy’ of the TL as the given SL category occupies in the SL.
  6. 6. Nida’s The Concept of DynamicEquivalence Nida, with the reference to Bible translation, advocated a translator has to “seek to find the closest possible equivalent” Nida proposed two basic types of equivalence in translating: formal equivalence and dynamic equivalence. Formal equivalence focuses on the message itself in both form and content and on such concerns as the correspondence on the levels of: word to word, sentence to
  7. 7. Functional Equivalence By the end of the 1970s, the concept of ‘functional equivalence’ was proposed by functionalists and scholars working from the text- linguistic standpoint. The new ‘text-linguistics’ models started emerging with many proponents of this new approach. They viewed translation as “an act of communication”, not as a process of trans-coding in linguistic approaches House (1997:49, 2001:989) further claimed that a translated text “should not only match its ST in function, but employ equivalent situational- dimensional (eg social role relationship, time, geographical origin and so on) means to achieve
  8. 8. Newmark’s CommunicationTheory Semantic translation refers to cases when a translator attempts to render the ST “within the bare syntactic and semantic constraints of the TL, to reproduce the precise contextual meaning of the author”. Literal translation as one strategy for this. Communicative translation covers cases whereby “a translator attempts to produce the same effect on the TL readers as was produced by the original on the SL readers”. Free translation as one strategy for this.
  9. 9. Skopos theory Skopos is the Greek word for aim, finality, objectives, and/or intention” and was introduced by German’s scholars (i.e. Reiss, Vermeer, and Nord) in translation to refer to the aim or purpose of a translation. A further development of the skopos model came with the addition of the notion of ‘loyalty’, which helped redefine the classical binary mode of translation – —literal vs. free translation.
  10. 10. literal translation vs Freetranslation Along with the criticism of Newmark’s communicative translation, which is linked to the notion of cultural adaptation, the awareness of cultural elements in context was gradually developed and taken into a consideration by some proponents ofin functional theory such as Reiss. A further development of the skopos model came with the addition of the notion of ‘loyalty’, which helped redefine the classical binary mode of translation – —literal vs. free (Nord
  11. 11. prescriptive v.s descriptivetranslation Theorists and scholars from the discipline of comparative literature and literary translation started conducting translation research by moving away from prescriptive studies and toward descriptive translation studies. Scholars argued that these problem- and process-oriented prescriptive theories can be treated as reference concepts for translation strategies
  12. 12. Descriptive Translation Studies The translated texts are used: (i) to describe the phenomena of transiting and translation; (ii) to establish general principles by means of which these phenomena can be explained and predicted. DTS do not aim to prescribe what a translation should or ought to be. Alternatively, they observe how translations have been carried out in practice, and, consequently, concepts of ‘equivalence’ or ‘faithfulness’ would be not
  13. 13. PTS--equivalence vs. DTS--norms Therefore, these constraints or so-called ‘norms’ may have influenced the translation strategies or methods and the ensuing translations themselves. DTS could be characterised as a target- oriented, functional, historical, and cultural approach to translation. Also, replacing the concept of ‘equivalence’ with the concept of ‘norms’, DTS has attracted the attention of
  14. 14. Translation Norms Translations made at different times therefore tend to be made under different conditions and to turn out differently, not because they are good or bad, but because they have been produced to satisfy different demands. It cannot be stressed enough that the production of different translations at different times does not appoint to any ‘betrayal’ of absolute standards. Thus, the translation norms might be differences in different times, societies,
  15. 15. Norms, Conventions, Rules With regard to norms of language this means that they are conventions in the sense as far as their origin is concerned, but for every new generation, and every newcomer, they are norms. As a convention with non-normative character could be regarded as a norm, but a convention can gradually become a norm, particularly for a ‘new generation’ or ‘newcomer’; as a result, a convention can grow into a norm
  16. 16. Polysystem The whole polysystem, including social, historical, cultural, temporal, and even political elements, is taken into consideration and the activity of studying translation gives a relatively empirical account of human behaviour. In other words, this theory work does help translation studies “break down certain conceptual barriers and find a method for better describing translation”, as approved by Gentzler (2001:135).
  17. 17. Discussion Prescriptive translation studies Descriptive translation studies Translation theories: The combination of Chinese and West Preference: Chinese or Western theories

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