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Functionalist approaches to translation theory 2012
Transcript of Functionalist approaches to translation theory 2012
Koller (1980-) Descriptive translation studies Hermans (1980s)
Manipulation School (1980s)
Chesterman (1990-) Function & loyalty Key concerns:
Translation procedures Problems:
Definition of equivalence
Early stages: narrow focus Solution: Extension of focus
Text linguistics (text in situation and culture) Key concerns:
Norms and laws of translation process
Methodology of TS
Rejection of equivalence concept
Critique of narrow linguistic focus Cultural and ideological studies Bassnett
Postcolonial translation (all 1990s-) Key concerns:
Rejection of intrinsic, stable meaning of ST
Focus on text function
Adequacy to purpose takes priority over equivalence of form or meaning
Focus on translation as intercultural communication
Focus on translator as expert
View of translation as a social and cognitive (as well as linguistic) activity "Texts are produced and received with a specific purpose, or function, in mind. The starting point for any translation is therefore not the linguistic surface structure of the ST, but the purpose of the TT."
(Schäffner, 2001) Snell-Hornby (1980s-)
Göpferich (1990s) Skopos Translatorial action "The end justifies the means."
(Reiß/Vermeer, 1984) Translator is an "expert for the production of transcultural message transmitters which [...] are used by clients in their communicative actions."
(Holz-Mänttäri, 1984) "Loyalty limits the range of justifiable TT functions for one particular ST and raises the need for a negotiation of the translation assignment between translators and their clients."
(Nord, 1997) Strengths Recognition of text as being situated in a communicative and cultural context
Recognition of translator's role
Reflection of practical aspects of translation
Framework for translation decisions
Use in translator training Criticism Terminology/lack of originality of theory
Lack of empirical basis (only observation of translation practice)
Lack of respect for original ("dethronement")
Cultural relativism (<-> "anti-universalism") Placement Details Critique Integrated approach "Prototypological framework"
Stratificational model of texts as multi-dimensional, culturally embedded entities
-> move towards a text-based approach, away from rigid classifications of language References Munday, J. (2008). Introducing Translation Studies. Routledge, Abingdon, Oxon (UK)
Nord, C. (1997). Translating as a purposeful activity: Functionalist approaches explained. St.Jerome Publishing, Manchester
M. Prensky (2009). From digital natives and Digital immigrants to digital wisdom. http://www.innovateonline.info/index.php?view=article&id=705
Prunc, E. (2002). Einführung in die Translationswissenschaft. Graz Translation Studies, self-published with the support of Graz University, 2nd ed.
Schäffner, C. (2001). Annotated Texts for Translation: English-German (Functionalist approaches illustrated). Multilingual Matters Ltd, Clevedon
Snell-Hornby, M., Hönig, H., Kußmaul, P., Schmitt, P. (2006). Handbuch Translation, Stauffenburg Verlag Brigitte Narr GmbH, Tübingen, 2nd ed.
Stolze, R. (2008). Übersetzungstheorien: Eine Einführung. Narr Francke Attempto Verlag GmbH & Co. KG, Tübingen, 5th ed. Degree of necessary differentiation Main principles (ranked by priority):
The skopos determines translation.
Texts are "offers of information" in their cultures.
The ST-TT relationship is not necessarily reversible, as ST function in the source culture may differ from TT function in the target culture.
Coherence: The TT must be internally coherent.
Fidelity: The TT must be coherent with the ST.
-> view of translation as deliberate, purposeful action that is embedded in its culture and requires linguistic as well as cultural expertise What does it mean in practice?
Imagine that you have been given a patient information brochure to translate that is written in very complex, technical language. It is also structured somewhat confusingly - what would you do according to a skopos approach?
How would this be different from an equivalence-based approach? Language is a social act that needs to be adjusted to the target audience and to genre in order to be effective. Loyalty is an ethical quality that applies to inter-personal relationships, while the fidelity of a translation describes an intertextual relationship.
Aspects of loyalty:
Fairness What does it mean in practice?
What problems do you think Nord's "function and loyalty" approach could bring with it?
Where would instrumental and documentary translation or interpreting be appropriate? Thought "... emerging digital tools promise to facilitate communication and enhance understanding; for example, voice-stress analysis tools will allow users to perceive deception and automated translation utilities will help create translations free of human bias. As these tools become widely available, digital enhancement will become even more vital for everyone." M. Prensky (2009) What does it mean in practice?
"Barack Obama's reaction to Canadagate was a moving screen, and it was only a matter of time before Hillary blew the whistle and called an offensive foul. But she missed the first free throw, and Barack has been much better at boxing her out on rebounds."
"Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are deadlocked like a WrestleMania main event. Hillary's 3 A.M. ad was her attempt at a Stone Cold Stunner, but Barack Obama's deflected it with a brilliant People's Elbow of a response. Neither one has been able to throw the other into the turnbuckle, but I doubt the folding chairs and picnic tables near the ring will stay intact much longer." What does it mean in practice?
How does this description place the translator in the communicative process?
Is this different from an equivalence approach?
What does it mean for the working relationship between translators and clients? (Nord's adaptation of the so-called "Lasswell formula" from communication theory) Documentary and instrumental translation:
Documentary translation documents ST communication ("overt")
Instrumental translation serves as an independent TT message whose function may or may not be the same as that of the ST Three main aspects of translation process:
Functional hierarchy of translation problems