German Functionalist Theories 德国功能翻译理论_图文

German Functionalist Theories
Translation Criticism/text types and functions


? Introduction ? Translation Criticism

? Text types and their functions

1. Introduction
1.1 Background Information ? Functionalist approach to translation are another influential trend in modern translation studies. They were developed in Germany in the late 1970s. ? Prominent figures of the school: Katharina Reiss, Justa Holz-Manttari, Hans J. Vermeer and Christiane Nord.

1.2 Main Viewpoints of this School
Since the prevalent equivalence-based linguistic translation theorists held the view that any target text that was not equivalent ("as far as possible") to the corresponding source text was a nontranslation, the German Functionalists became increasingly dissatisfied with the relationship between translation theory and practice and proposed their own functionalist approaches to translation. Here "functionalist" means "focusing on the function or functions of texts and translations", and "functionalism" is a broad term for various translation theories that approach translation in this way. (Nord 1997:1)

1.3 Representatives and their Theories
?Katharina Reiss and functional category of translation criticism As early as 1971 Katharina Reiss introduced a functional category into her "objective approach to translation criticism". Her book Possibilities and Limits of Translation Criticism: Categories and Criteria for a Fair Evaluation of Translations(1971) may be regarded as the starting point for the scholarly analysis of translation in Germany.

? Taking equivalence as her basis, Reiss develops a mode of translation criticism based on the functional relationship between source and target texts. According to Reiss, the ideal translation would be equivalence. ? However, she finds that there are two exceptions from the general purpose of achieving equivalence: ? When the target text is intended to achieve a purpose or function other than that of the original, functionality(i.e. Adequacy to the intended function) takes precedence over equivalence. ? When the target ext addresses an audience different from the intended readership of the original, readerorientedness takes precedence over equivalence.

? Holz-Manttari and her Action Theory The theoretical basis of functional approaches to translation is action theory put forward by von Wright and Rehbein and communication theory. This reflects clearly in Holz-Manttari's theory and methodology of translational action in which she even avoids using the term "translation" in the strict sense. She defines translation as "a complex action designed to achieve a particular purpose". The purpose of translational action is to transfer message across culture and language barriers by means of message transmitters produced by experts. She focuses on the actional aspects of the translation process, the role of the participants and the situational conditions such as time, place and medium in which translation activities take place. She also pays special attention to the status of the translator.

?Vermeer and the Skopos Theory

The skopos theory is an attempt to bridge the gap between theory and practice. Vermeer considers translation a type of human action, which is intentional, purposeful behavior that takes place in a given situation.

?Nord and Functionality plus Loyalty ? Nord supports functionalist approaches to translation both in translator training and practice and she attempts to refine Vermeer's model by putting forward her own functional model: functionality plus loyalty. ? Functional approaches take into consideration the function or functions of texts and translation in the real situation of professional translation, and shift away from the then predominantly equivalence-based linguistic- oriented translation theories.

1.4 Value and Limitation This approach really have great practical value for professional translators, especially for those who work on non-literary texts. Whether they are applicable to literary translation remains to be testified in the future.

2.Translation Criticism
2.1 Definition 翻译评论可指对翻译过程及译品进行的(艺术或科学)分 析与评价(analysing and evaluating)。这并非全面定义,但 由之可明确翻译批评的主要对象:不仅包括评价翻译活动的 结果(译品),还包括追溯翻译过程(分析与评论译者动机、工 作态度、翻译方法等)。翻译批评至少应包含翻译过程及译 作,由下述定义可予确认:翻译批评即参照一定的标准。对 翻译过程及其译作质量与价值进行全面的分析与评价. (《中国翻译词典》:184)

2.2 Significance
? Translation criticism acts as a policeman. It is he who safeguards the leagal rights of the original author. It is he who fights against plagiarism and cribbing. Translation can never proceed in an orderly way unless monitored by translation criticism. ? Translation criticism acts as a doctor. It is he who firstly points out what is wrong or amiss with the translated script and then the translators are able to polish their works. ? Translation criticism acts as a judge. It is him who the clients may have recourse (求援) to when a dispute appears between different translators.

2.3Traditional Approaches to Translation Criticism
Manipulation Theory



Fedelity Faithfulness Loyalty Equivalence

Polysystem Theory

Translation Workshop

Socio-cultural Theory

Traditional Approaches to Translation Criticism in the west

Traditional Approaches to Translation Criticism in China
化境 The acme of perfection

spiritual similarity Faithfulness, expressiveness and elegance


follow the ST closely


2.4 Conclusion
? Translation is similar to a product with special functions so that we should pay more attention to the producing process rather than checking its quality after it is completed. That is to say, the quality of the translated script itsef matters most and translators should be responsible when doing their work. We should not rely on the translation critics too much since translation criticism sometimes is inadequate. ? Katharina Reiss once said that one of the causes for the inadequacies of translation criticism may be traced to the wide variety views as to what a translation should or can achieve, or even the doubt as to whether translation is in fact all possible.(Katharina Reiss 2005:7)

3. text types and their functions
Type referential Function reference to objects and phenomena of the world expression of the sender's attitude or feelings towards the objects and phenomena dealt with in the text Example It's raining. (下雨了) It's bloody pissing down again! (讨厌,又下雨了!) Wait here till it stops raining! (等雨停了再说吧!) Nasty weather again,isn't it? (见鬼的天气又卷土重来 了,你没感觉到吗?)



appealing to the receiver's experience,feelings, knowledge, sensibility
establishing, maintaining or finishing contact


A Translation-oriented Model of Text Functions(Christiane Nord)

informative function( a traffic accident) metalingual function(a particular use of language)
instructive function( the correct way of handling a washing machine)

? referential function

teaching function( e.g Geography)

emotive function (expression of feelings)

expressive function
evaluative function (expression of evaluation)

appellative function
illustrative function persuasive function imperative function pedagogical function(教育 功能) advertising function

Intended reaction
recognition of something known adopt the sender's viewpoint do what the sender is asking for learn certain forms of behavior buy the product

Phatic function
salutational function "small talk" function "peg" function E.g: A hotel list edited by the tourist agency of the German city of Bremen is introduced by a proverb:" Wie man sich bettet, so schlaft man,sagt ein Sprichwort.Dabei wollen wir Ihnen,lieber Gast,mit dieser Hotelliste behilflich sein..."

It is not a good idea to come to Bremen

? There is proverb which says:"As you make your bed so you must lie on it".That is why we hope that this Hotel List will be of service to you for your stay in Bremen. ? From functional point of view,a semantic paraphrase like"After a long day of sight-seeing you need a nice place to rest".

3.1Practical writing ? Definition It is a kind of writing people use during the process of direct social interaction, such as treaties and protocals between countries, rules erected by the government, contracts signed between companies, announcements, private or public correspondences, posters and advertisements.

? Functions

Referential function (informative function); appellative function(illustrative function; persuasive function; imperative function; advertising function)

?Translation criticism based on practical writing and its function(advertisement)
Besides the functions mentioned above, advertisement also has aesthetic function and vocative function. Christiane Nord ever wrote "The difference in cultural knowledge may require an adjustment of the relationship between explicit and implicit information in the text","the difference in culture-specific genre expectation may require an adaptation of the text's form to target culture textual and stylistic conventions"(Nord 2001:63).

? ? ? ?

? ? ?

Let's look at three examples: Haier and higher. 海尔,越来越高。/海尔, 永创新高。 Live and let live. 自己活,也让他人活。/活着, 也让人活着。/相互关爱,共享生命。 The advertisement of the magazine The Globe: 一册在手,纵览全球。 With a single copy of The Globe in hand, You can enjoy a wide view of the world. With a copy of The Globe in your hand, The world unfolds before you so grand.

3.2 Science writing
? Definiton It refers to any article or writing that is concerned with science and technology, such as scientific survey, experiment reports, instructions for machines and products, scientific paper or abstract of academic writings.This kind of writing is always objective and uses exact and logical words. ? Function Referential function(informative function; instructive function; teaching function)

? Translation criticism based on scientific writing and its function
Eg:第二期世界银行贷款总额为130万美元,用于购置设备 的经费111.5万美元,图书采购、培训、技术服务等各项 为18.5万美元。 ? The total amount of the loan from the World Band for the second time is 1,300,000 dollars. The use of it is as follows: 1,115,000 dollars is used to purchase equipment. The expense in buying books, training staff members and technical service is 185,000 dollars altogether. ? The total amount of the World Bank loan of Phase II is 1.3 million US dollars, of which 1.115 million is for the equipment purchase, and 0.185 million for book purchase, technical training, technical service and miscellaneous items.

3.3 Argumentative
? Definition It is different from descriptive and narrative writings, including philosophical and social articles, political documents, speeches and reports. The focus of it is not always concerned with politics, but also with economy, military affairs, society,culture, education and so on. ? Function Referential function(informative function) ; expressive function(emotive function; evaluative function)

? Translation criticism based on argumentative and its function ? ? ? ? ? The translation of this kind of article requires: 注意背景,顾及作者 措辞严格,褒贬适当 搭配得当,关联紧密 语言得体,文风相宜 (Wang Hongyin, 2007:136)


It includes news report, bulletin, news comment and news features. The main task of journalism is to inform people of current news accurately and efficiently. So ,its main function is referential function(informative function) and expressive function(evaluative function).

? The requirement of journalism translation includes: ? 1.读懂弄清所涉事件的来龙去脉和基本状况,并 注意作者的态度倾向和风格基调,然后才能着手 翻译 ? 2.分析词形和词的来源以确定词义和词的修辞色 彩 ? 3.讲究表达程式,合理安排语序 (Wang Hongyin,2007:203)

3.5 Literature
? It includes prose, novel, poetry, drama,biography and so on.The main function of it is expressive function(emotive function) ? The requirement of literature translation includes: 1.加强修养,深入感受 2.注意修辞手法,重视语言表现 3.敏于鉴赏,精于权衡 4.不求形似,但求神似

Look at these different translated versions of Byron's poem When We Two Parted ? ? ? ? ? When we two parted In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted, To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold, ? Colder thy kiss; ? Truly that hour foretold ? Sorrow for this!

第一种译文: 想当年我们俩分手, 也沉默也流泪, 要分别好几个年头 想起来心就碎; 苍白,冰冷,你的脸, 更冷是嘴唇; 当时真是像预言 今天的悲痛。

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

? When we two parted ? In silence and tears, ? Half broken-hearted, ? To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and ? cold, ? Colder thy kiss; ? Truly that hour foretold ? Sorrow for this! ?

第二种译文: 当初我俩分离时, 默默无语泪满面, 离愁绞得心半碎—— 一别将是若干年; 你的脸苍白冰凉, 你的吻冷而又冷; 真就是那个时光, 预示了今日悲恨!

? ? ? ? ?

When we two parted In silence and tears, Half broken-hearted, To sever for years, Pale grew thy cheek and cold, ? Colder thy kiss; ? Truly that hour foretold ? Sorrow for this!

? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ?

第三种译文: 昔日依依别, 泪流默无言; 离恨肝肠断, 此别又何年。 冷颊何惨然, 一吻寒更添; 日后伤心事, 此刻已预言。

? 《当代西方翻译理论选读》,马会娟、苗菊,外语教育与研究 出版社,2009 ? 《实用翻译教程》,冯庆华,上海外语教育出版社,2008 ? 《文学翻译批评概论》,王宏印,中国人民大学出版社,2009 ? 《新编汉英翻译教程》,陈宏薇、李亚丹,上海外语教育出版 社,2004 ? 《英汉翻译综合教程》,王宏印,辽宁师范大学出版社,2007 ? 《中西翻译思想比较研究》,刘宓庆,中国对外翻译出版公司, 2005 ? Translation As a Purposeful Activity--Funtionalist Approaches Explained, Christiane Nord,Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press,2001 ? ? -0.htm