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公共标识翻译的研究--英国论文代写范文精选

2015-11-17 | 来源:51Due教员组 | 类别:更多范文

【Abstract】As a crucial communication material, the public sign exhibits its growing importance in the worldwide communication. It is a special text whose function is strong and communicative purpose quite clear. Thus, its translation approaches should be based on the text’s functions and the translator’s purpose. This paper classifies public signs, compares Chinese and English signs and comes up with the principle for its C-E translation, namely, an A-B-C approach (Adapt-Borrow-Create approach). It is based on the Skopostheorie.
 
【Key Words】public signs;translation;principle;Skopostheorie
 
Introduction
 
Sign refers to a lettered board or other public display placed on or before a building, room, shop or office to advertise business there transacted or the name of person or firm conducting it (Webster’s Third New International Dictionary). Signs, which belong to social phraseology, cover a wide range including environmental communication signs (wayfinding/directing signs, information signs, notices, and warnings), street signs, traffic signs road signs, road markers, parking signs, school signs, no-smoking signs, construction signs, travel signs, instructional notices and so on. They are, with their social communicative functions, widely used by the public on all kinds of occasions.
 
1.Definition and Classification of the Public Sign
 
In Oxford English Dictionary, a sign refers to a characteristic device attached to or placed in front of an inn or shop, as a means of distinguishing it from others or directing attention to it; in later use commonly a board bearing a name or other inscriptions, with or without some ornament or picture. According to the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary, it is defined as a lettered board or other public display placed on or before a building, room, shop or office to advertise business there transacted or the name of person or firm conducting it. 
 
Sign is a broad term, widely used in public facilities, ranging from travelling, catering, accommodation, recreation, shopping to medical service, educational institution and financial service. It includes words of caution, public notices, bills, posters, slogans, outdoor advertisements, traffic notices and so on. Specifically speaking, it covers street signs, road signs, road markers, parking signs, school signs, construction signs, non-smoking signs, signs at scenic spots, slogans etc.. 
 
2.Practical Functions of the Public Sign
 
Signs perform the following four basic functions: indicating, promoting, restricting and compelling.
 
Indicating As its meaning suggests, indicating is to indicate or guide readers. Signs as such are also called instructive/directive/guiding notices which give readers detailed information with no prohibition and restriction. Indicating is the most basic function performed in sign language. Indicating signs generally give readers relevant information about what it is and what service it provides.(51Due责任编辑:cari)
 
Prompting Prompting has no striking difference from indicating except that the former carries the tone of warning. It aims at reminding readers of paying considerable attention to signs.
 
Restricting Unlike the two functions mentioned above, signs that perform restricting function put restrictions and constraints to readers, who are expected to abide by certain rules in the interest of public. Restricting signs are to keep or confine within limits.
 
Compelling To put it simple, compelling signs have great power and potency to induce action or brief. With its tough tone, negative words and comparatively uniform sentence structures, there is slight possibility of any alternatives.
 
3.Comparison Between the Chinese and English Public Sign
 
Both share similarities, of which, the language styles are concise, convenient and conspicuous; moreover, the figures of speech are often adopted. Yet, a series of differences still exist. Such stylistic analysis focuses more on its functional significance in the sign translation than on the formal features of texts for its own sake. 
 
•Word Order As thinking modes vary in two cultures, the centre of power reflected in Chinese and English is strikingly different. The Chinese sign is highly implicit by placing the focus at the end of a phrase; on the contrary, the English sign emphasizing the point at the beginning. For instance,
 
﹡油漆未干 Wet Paint
 
﹡无汞(电池) Mercury-Free
 
·Diction Practice Differences are also seen in diction practice. Verbs are usually employed in Chinese to perform such functions as warning, restricting and compelling, whereas the nouns and gerunds quite common in English. For instance,
 
﹡严禁穿行 No Trespassing
 
﹡不收手续费 No Commission Charge
 
·Mood Unlike English signs which sound euphemistic and implicative, Chinese signs are more direct and straightforward, even with a touch of authority. English signs often display the allowable aspect instead of aiming at the prohibited audience. For instance, 
 
﹡闲人免进 Staff Only
 
﹡送客止步 Passengers Only
 
·Voice English signs generally use passive voice; Chinese signs, however, are more of active voice. Hence, sign translators should take into account the target reader’s acceptability and identification. For example,
 
﹡禁止携带犬只入内 Dogs Not Allowed
 
﹡戴好防护镜和安全帽 Safety Glasses & Hard Hats Required(51Due责任编辑:cari)
 
4.Skopostheorie 
 
Skopostheorie, advocated by Hans J. Vermeer, is the core theory of functionalism, which is a broad term for various theories focusing on the function or functions of texts. According to Skopostheorie, the prime principle determining any translation process is the purpose (Skopos) of the overall translational action. Thus, the top-ranking rule for any translation is “Skopos rule”, meaning that a translational action is determined by its Skopos; that is, “the end justifies the means” (Nord, 2001:29). The framework of Vermeer’s Skopostheorie is as follows: Any form of translation action, including therefore translation itself, may be conceived as an action, as the name implies. Any action has an aim, a purpose…The word Skopos, then is a technical term for the aim or purpose of a translation…an action (which) leads to a result, a new situation or event, and possibly to a “new” object. (Nord, 2001:12)
 
A translational action may involve a variety of Skopos, or purposes, which may be related to each other in a hierarchical order. We can distinguish between three possible kinds of purposes in the field of translation: 
 
·the general purpose aimed at by the translator in the translation process;
 
·the communicative purpose aimed at by the target text in the target situation;
 
·the purpose aimed at by a particular translation strategy or procedure.
 
5.Principles for the Translation of Public Signs
 
The language structures and expressions present diversity, triggered by the differences between the two cultures in social systems, values, and thinking modes. Based on the Skopostheorie, the A-B-C approach (模仿-借用-创新模式) , which has a clear functional orientation, is a well-tested principle for the translation of the public sign. 
 
The A-B-C approach refers to the adapt approach, borrow approach and create approach. If the similar signs exist in English-speaking countries, then adapt the original ones. If the corresponding English equivalents can be consulted, then directly borrow them. As to some public signs unique with Chinese characteristics, translators need, according to the purpose of the target text, create the proper expressions. 
 
The result of an A-B-C approach is a text that may achieve the same functions as an original text. And when a target-text function is the same as that of the source text, it may be called an equifunctional translation. The A-B-C approach makes the functional equivalence come true and thus, corresponding to what Reiss calls ‘communicative translation’, where receivers ideally do not notice, or are not even interested in, the fact that they are reading a translation. (51Due责任编辑:cari)
 
·Adapt Approach
 
According to Skopostheorie, the translation approaches and translation strategies should be determined by the intended purpose or function of a translation. If the purpose of the translation is to keep the function of the text invariant, function markers often have to be adapted to target culture standards. 
 
It means the slight change translator makes based on the similar expressions in English. It can guide the translator to make flexible target language choices when rendering culture-specific expression. His choices must be predicated on the acceptability level of his target readers. The translator makes linguistic choices and employs translation strategies, especially when he is transplanting cultural images. In sign translation, some established signs in English can be adapted. There are three ways to achieve such an adaptation:
 
a. adapt the existing English signs
 
﹡ 超值享受 Best Value
 
﹡ 数量有限 售完为止 Subject to Availability
 
﹡ 山路多弯道 行车须安全 Twists Ahead. Drive with Care.
 
﹡ 碧水清清,却亦无情,河湍势险,请勿戏水 Danger: Deep Water! / Deep Water! Beware!
 
b. mime the English proverbs, poems and mottoes
 
﹡桂林山水甲天下 
 
East or West, Guilin Landscape is best!
 
﹡与其道听途说,不如亲身体验 
 
Using is believing. 
 
The quality of the translation is evaluated by the response of the target readers, to which, an important criterion is whether readers can have a good understanding of what they are reading. The translation from the above mimes the well-known English proverbs “East or west, home is best” and “Seeing is believing”. In this way, it arouses the amiableness on the part of readers, achieves the persuasiveness of the public sign and justifies the translator’s choice of a particular purpose in a given translational situation.
 
·Borrow Approach
 
The borrow approach is highly practical and realistic in sign translation. Based on the approach, the conventional expressions of English signs could be borrowed so that they sound familiar and acceptable to the foreigners. According to Skopostheorie, different individuals from different cultures would differ to a greater or lesser extent, but they would be culturally equivalent when they perform the same ‘function’ in their respective culture specific setting. 
 
a. Parking signs borrowed(51Due责任编辑:cari)
 
﹡ 限时停车 Time Limit Parking
 
﹡ 多层停车场 Parkade (blend of park and arcade)
 
﹡ 收费停车场 Pay Parking
 
b. The established expressions borrowed 
 
(mainly commerce facilities including shops, malls, marketplaces and etc.)
 
﹡综合商店 Variety Store
 
﹡邮购服务 Mail Order Retailing
 
﹡蔬菜水果店 Grocery Story
 
As every translation is directed at an intended audience, a familiar tone is what the translator tries to achieve to enhance the charm of language and touch the reader as well. The borrow approach facilitates building up such cultural comfort zone, namely, to achieve similar contextual efforts and to cater to the aesthetic expectations and acceptability level of the target audience. Just as Nida puts it , for truly successful translating, biculturalism is even more important than bilingualism, since words only have meanings in terms of the cultures in which they function.
 
•Create Approach
 
When performing the translation of signs with Chinese characteristics, we tend to adopt create approach. That is, translators should do the creative work when there are no conventional expressions to borrow or similar expressions to adapt from English sign language. 
 
Skopostheorie offers a theoretical basis for the creative translation. We know from the theory that in the course of translating, the translator develops his subjectivity when he interprets the original utterances as a reader and researcher, and produces them as a substitute for the author and recreator. The translator’s linguistic choices and pragmatic translation strategies must focus on conveying the author’s intentions without putting the audience to unnecessary processing effort in achieving the contextual efforts in the interpretation intended by the author. Otherwise, the appellative function of sign language will be absent. One thing needs to be noted here: in the following examples, F stands for False and T for True. 
 
﹡ 宁停三分,不抢一秒 
 
•It pays to stop to wait for three minutes rather than rush to gain one second.(F)
 
•It’s far better to arrive late in this world than early in the next.(T)
 
﹡司机一滴酒,亲人两行泪
 
•When a man mixes drink with drive, he is likely to bring tears to his wife.(F) 
 
•Drink and drive costs your life.(T)
 
The two examples account for the necessity of considering the values and customs of target language, which is not an isolated phenomenon but an integral part of culture. One of the most important factors that determine a translation purpose is the addressee—the intended receiver or audience in the target language and culture with expectations and communicative needs. Hence, translators should adopt the “reader-centre” principle so as to enable the foreigners to fully understand the sign language in English. (51Due责任编辑:cari)
 
CONCLUSION
 
The public sign is an applied text. As a particular type of pragmatic material, it manifests clear communicative purpose. This paper presents the sign definition, classification, characteristics and functions and then analyzes various problems in sign translation. To deal with the problems discussed, the paper tries to offer some solutions based on Skopostheorie for sign translation. As for the pragmatic and cultural problems, most of them can be built on an A-B-C Approach. 
 
The A-B-C Approach conforms to Skopostheorie, the functional translation theory, which focuses on the two aspects: (a) on the relationship between the target text and its audience; (b) on the relationship between the target text and the corresponding source text. On the one hand, a translation is a text intended to function for the target receivers and, as such, may be intended for any communicative function. On the other hand, a translation is a kind of target-culture representation or substitute for a source-culture text. As such, it may carry out quite different functions with regard to the source text. So the translator’s responsibility for target language readers is the criterion in sign translation within the framework of Skopostheorie. Signs may just contain a few words; however, their translation is by no means easy. To present a favourable image of China and better communication with the outside world, we should lay much emphasis on the translation of the public signs. 
 
Finally, what deserves mentioning is that more and more people have come to realize the importance of the sign translation. The Second Symposium on C-E Signs in a Global Context was held in Tongji University on July 14th-15th, 2007 is an indication. We are of confidence that the quality of C-E sign translation will get better in the near future.
 
REFERENCES
 
[1] Dollerup, Cay 2006, Perspectives: Studies in Translatology [J]. Beijing: Tsinghua Press.
 
[2] Newmark, Peter 2001, Approaches to Translation [M]. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.
 
[3] Nida, Eugene A. & Charles R. Taber. 2004, The Theory and Practice of Translation [M]. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press.
 
[4] Nord, Christiane 2006, Text Analysis in Translation [M]. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.
 
[5] Searle J.R. 2001, Expression and Meaning: Studies in the Theory of Speech Acts [M]. Beijing Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press.
 
[6]丁衡祈.对外宣传中的英语质量函待提高[J].中国翻译.2002(4).
 
[7]金惠康.跨文化交际翻译续编[M].北京:中国对外出版公司,2004.(51Due责任编辑:cari)
 
[8]吕和发.公示语的汉英翻译[J].中国科技翻译.2004(4).
 
[9]吕和发,单丽平.汉英公示语词典[M].北京:商务印书馆出版,2004年9月.
 
[10]牛新生.从感召功能看汉语公示语的翻译[J].中国翻译,2007(2).
(51Due责任编辑:cari)

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