Text Analysis in Translation

Dr. Margherita Dore
[email protected]
 Text
type and genre
 Snell-Hornby’s integrated approach
 Translatorial action
 Skopos theory
 Documentary and instrumental translation
 Text analysis for translation
German linguist and translation scholar
 Communication is achieved at the text leve
 Equivalence must be sought.
Drawing from Karl Bühler’s earlier categorization of
the three functions of language, Reiss formulated a
functional model of genre and text type which
describes three types of text: informative,
expressive and operative.
Each of these text types requires a different type
of translation method and the translation of the
predominant function of the ST should be the
determining factor guiding the translation.
 Reiss’s
text-type/genre taxonomy:
Informative, a plain communication of facts:
information, knowledge opinions; language is
logical and communicating the content of text is
also its main function (e.g. encyclopaedia)
Expressive, creative texts, the aesthetics of the
language used is important, author and message are
foregrounded (e.g. Novel, poem, etc.)
Operative the text aims to persuade its receiver to
do something; the language is dialogic and
appellative (e.g. Adverts, political speeches, etc.)
(Audio-medial the text includes written and spoken
material, including music and visual elements (e.g.
films, TV ads, Political programmes, etc.)
 Translation
Informative > ‘plain prose method’, the TT should
be content-focused and transmit the ST’s full
referential content; no redundancy and use of
explicitation if required
Expressive > ‘identifying method’, the TT should be
form-focused and transmit the ST’s aesthetic form;
accuracy of information; the ST style is a priority
Operative > ‘adaptive method’, the TT should aim
for full equivalence in term of response; it should
aim to transmit the ST’s intended effect
Audio-medial > ‘supplementary method’ the TT
should supplement the non verbal text of the ST
E. Semino (2011) translated by M. Dore
In this paper I apply Fauconnier
and Turner’s theory of Conceptual
Integration, or Blending, to the
analysis of a central aspect of the
main characters’ mental lives in
Virginia Woolf ’s story
‘Lappin and Lapinova’: the
fantastic world in which the
story’s two protagonists, Rosalind
and her husband Ernest, are,
respectively a rabbit King called
Lappin and a hare called Queen
Lapinova. My analysis shows how
the application of recent theories
of cognition to literature can
plausibly shed light on the
creative processes involved in the
production and interpretation of
literary texts.
In questo lavoro applico la teoria di
Fauconnier e Turner sull’integrazione
concettuale, altresì denominata
blending, al fine di analizzare un
aspetto centrale della psicologia dei
protagonisti del racconto breve di
Virginia Woolf dal titolo ‘Lappin e
Lapinova’: il mondo di fantasia in cui
i due protagonisti della storia,
Rosalind e il marito Ernest, sono,
rispettivamente, un re coniglio
chiamato Lappin e una lepre
chiamata regina Lapinova. La mia
analisi dimostra come l’applicazione
di recenti teorie cognitive alla
letteratura possa spiegare in modo
plausibile e illuminante i processi
creativi che fanno parte della
produzione e interpretazione dei
testi letterari.
Shakespeare’s Julius Cesar – Mark Anthony’s Speech:
Friends, Romans, countrymen,
lend me your ears;
I come to bury Caesar, not to
praise him. The evil that men do
lives after them;
The good is oft interred with
their bones; So let it be with
Caesar. The noble Brutus Hath
told you Caesar was ambitious:
If it were so, it was a grievous
fault, and grievously hath
Caesar answer'd it.
prestatemi attenzione;
io vengo per seppellire Cesare,
non per elogiarlo. Il male che gli
uomini compiono vive dopo di
loro; il bene è spesso interrato
con le loro ossa. Quindi lasciate
che sia così per Cesare.
Il nobile Bruto vi ha detto che
Cesare era ambizioso.
Se così era, era una colpa grave.
E gravemente Cesare le ha
(Bad) advertising translation…
 Why
there should only be three types of
language functions?
 Are Reiss’s preferred translation methods
 Can text types and genres be differentiated on
the basis of the primary function?
 Reiss’s divisions is really feasible?
 Mary
Snell-Hornby — Austrian-based scholar
and translator.
 Her work, Translation Studies: An Integrated
Approach (1988/95), reviews and attempts to
integrate a wide variety of different linguistic
and literary concepts in an overarching
‘integrated approach’ to translation based on
text types.
 Level
A: continuum of literary, general and
special language
 Level B: prototypical text types (e.g. Literary,
Bible, film, poetry, etc.
 Level C: relevant non-linguistic disciplines
(including specialized translation)
 Level D: the function of the translation
(understanding the ST’s function, the TT focus
and its communicative function)
 Level E: linguistics
 Level F: phonology (e.g. Alliteration, rhythm,
speakability for dubbing)
 Justa
Holz Mänttäri, Finnish-based German
 Her model of translation views translation as
purpose-driven, outcome-oriented human
interaction involving intercultural transfer.
 From communication theory to action theory,
she points out roles and players with own (primary
and secondary) goals:
ST producer
TT producer
TT user
TT receiver
 German
linguist and translator scholar who , with
Reiss, developed the skopos theory of
 Their book Grundlegung einer allgemeinen
Translationstheorie [‘Groundwork for a General
Theory of Translation’] (1984) aims for a general
translation theory for all texts.
 The first part sets out a detailed explanation of
Vermeer’s skopos theory, whereas the second
adapts Reiss’s functional text-type model to the
general theory.
 ‘Skopos’
= aim or purpose (of TT)
 The TT (‘translatum’) must be fit for purpose =
‘dethroning of ST’ (Vermeer)
 The skopos is stipulated by the client,
commissioner or initiator and determines the
translation method and strategy to be employed
in order to provide a functionally adequate text
in the target culture
 Skopos theory allows for the possibility that the
same text may be translated in different ways
according to the purpose of the TT
 TT
judged on functional adequacy:
Intratextual coherence (the TT must be
translated in such a way that it makes sense for
the TT receivers) + intertextual fidelity (there
must be coherence between the TT and the ST)
 Functionality + loyalty to ST author intentions
 So, skopos needs to be explicitly stated in the
If the TT fulfils the skopos outlined by the
commission, it is functionally and
coumminicatively adequate.
Christiane Nord – Nord’s model of translation put
forward in her book Text Analysis in Translation
(1988/2005) is a detailed functional translationoriented text analysis model which examines text
organization at or above sentence level.
 Nord’s model enables understanding of the function
of the features and the selection of translation
strategies appropriate to the intended purpose of the
 Her model stresses the importance of a ‘functionality
plus loyalty’ principle. She distinguishes two basic
types of translation: documentary translation and
instrumental translation.
 Documentary
‘a document of a source culture communication
between the author and the ST recipient’
(Nord 2005: 80)
 Instrumental
‘is intended to fulfil its communicative purpose
without the recipient being conscious of reading or
hearing a text which, in a different form, was used
before in a different communicative situation’
(Nord ibid.)
 Subject
matter (culture-bond to ST and TT)
 Content (the meaning of the text)
 Presuppositions (ST and TT conventions)
 Text composition (microstructures)
 Non-verbal elements (illustrations, italics,
 Lexis (dialect, register, etc.)
 Sentence structure (rhetorical features)
 Suprasegmental features (stress,
intonation, etc.)
From the movie Casablanca (1942), translated in Italian
during the Fascist Regime :
The French Captain
Renault reminds Rick
“In 1935 you ran guns to
Also, Laszlo reminds Rick
"You fought against the
fascists in Spain“.
“Nel 1935 avete
venduto armi ai cinesi".
“Avete combattuto per
la democrazia in Italia"
 How
successfully do you feel Snell-Hornby
achieves her aim of integrating literary and
technical translation?
 In the theory of translatorial action, the
translator is considered to be the expert of
intercultural transfer, although not always a
trained expert in the subject-specific area of the
TT. How far do you agree with this assessment
and what does it imply for the role of the
translator in modern-day communications?
 The main assessment criterion in skopos theory
is ‘functional adequacy’ rather than
equivalence. Do you agree with this approach?
What we studied so far:
 Munday, Jeremy (2012, Introducing Translation
Studies. Theories and Applications, 3rd
edition, Routledge, London/New York –
CHAPTERS 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
No lecture on Friday 31st October 2014