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TRA3010 Theory of Translation: Home

Course Description

This course introduces the history, objectives, and major approaches of Translation Studies.  The aim is to equip students with a theoretical and methodological background for evaluating and studying translation.

Recommended Books

The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Translation

This handbook offers a comprehensive survey of the current state of Chinese translation and the theorization of the contemporary practice of Chinese translation. Most essays in this collection largely borrow translation theory from the West to examine contemporary practice of Chinese translation. This handbook is organized into 8 parts, covering Chinese translation in academic settings, linguistic aspects of Chinese translation, social context of Chinese translation, the process of translation and Chinese interpreting, Chinese literary translation, specialized Chinese translation such as those on law and medicine, changes brought by language technology to Chinese translation, and new developments of Chinese translation.

The Translation Studies Reader

This reader aims at the audience group of advanced undergraduates, postgraduates, course instructors, and scholars in translation theory and history, as well as practitioners with a theoretical inclination. The reader is divided into 7 sections in a chronological order. While the first section Foundational Statements examines theories before the 1900s, the last section after the 2000s, all the other five sections in the middle looks into theories in the 1900s. Venuti suggests that readers not only read historically, but also thematically. Readers can group together theories with the same themes. Venuti also suggests that readers can use supplementary readings, and further readings are recommended in each section.

翻译探微: 语言·文本·诗学


Translation, History & Culture

This book collates 12 articles on Translation studies from the perspective of culture rewriting. The 12 articles all testify to the fact that translation as an activity is always doubly contextualized, the culture of the source text, and the culture of the translated text. The practice of translation may serve for certain purpose, and the functions of translations may have also been shaped by culture. Bassnett and Lefevere fully adopt Mary Snell-Hornby’s theory of cultural turn, which calls for a transformation of translation studies from linguistic text translation to culture rewriting. In their opinion, the study of translation practice has turned to the larger issues of context, history and convention.

Translation and the Nature of Philosophy

This book involves a restricted and systematic examination of the interplay between philosophy and translation as it occurs in a number of philosophical treatments of the problem of translation. The conceptions of translation reviewed include those from Plato, Seneca, Davidson, Walter Benjamin and Freud. Each of the chapters is a study of a particular enactment of the relationship between philosophy and translation, including the distinction between literal and figural language, translating Greek philosophical concepts into Latin, the universality of translation, locating the possibility of translation in the nature of language, psychoanalysis and translation, and ontologico-temporal description of philosophy and translation.

Translation and Language: Linguistic Theories Explained

This book is concerned about the relationship between linguistics and translation theory. It assesses both sides of the relationship, tracing the very real contributions that linguists have made to translation studies and at the same time recognizing the limitations of many of their approaches. Fawcett describes detailed taxonomies of translation strategies and deals with traditional problems such as equivalence. He also explains and assesses the more recent contributions of text linguistics, sociolinguistics, pragmatics and psycholinguistics. This work is exceptional in that it presents theories originally produced in Russian, German, French and Spanish as well as English.

Corpus-Based Approaches to Contrastive Linguistics and Translation Studies

This book is organized into 3 sections. Section One introduces the disciplines of Contrastive Linguistics and Translation Studies, tracing their evolution in recent history and outlining in particular the crucial role played by the computer corpus. Section Two collects a series of case studies, showing the range of variables that have to be taken into consideration in Contrastive Linguistics and Translation Studies and the vast area of research which they encompass. Section Three deals with practical issues of corpus exploitation, both the software tools that can be used to support analysis and the ways in which multilingual and monolingual corpora can be used to improve teaching and translation materials.

Contemporary Translation Theories

This book serves for students and specialists in translation, linguistics, literary theory, philosophy of language, and cultural studies. It traces the growth of translation theory from its traditional roots through the recent proliferation of theories, fueled by research in feminism, poststructural, and postcolonial investigations. Gentzler examines five new approaches- the translation workshop, the science of translation, translation studies, polysystem theory, and deconstruction, all of which began in the mid-1960s and continue to be influential today. In this critical overview, he explores the strengths and weaknesses of each method, tracing the connections among the different schools of thought.

The Translator As Communicator

This book looks upon all kinds of acts of translating as essentially acts of communication. Hatim and Mason argue that the division of the subject into literary and non-literary, technical and non-technical is misleading, and that all texts share the common ground of a wide variety of translation activities. There are 12 chapters altogether, covering similarities of underlying textual strategies; basic model of textuality; role of the context, structure and texture; politeness phenomena in screen subtitling; the discoursal role of idiolect; the tension between relaying form and function; the cross-cultural competence of the translator; ideology in translation; and training-related issues, etc.



A Textbook of Translation

This book serves as the coursebook of translation principles and methodology for advanced undergraduates and postgraduates. Part I introduces principles for translating. Newmark emphasizes that translation serves to reveal truths- he argues that languages in all cultures are translatable. Newmark points out the practice of translation entails the analysis of texts, including the intention of the translator, text styles, etc. Part II Methods prepare thirteen texts for four types of exercises. Newmark makes analysis of the problems of the source language texts, presents both the semantic translation and the communicative translation, translations with commentaries, and examples of translation criticism.

The Theory and Practice of Translation

This book presents a set of process of translating by taking advantage of Bible translation. Nida and Taber promote the system consisting of three steps, 1) analysis that analyzes the word relationship and word combinations, the referential meaning of the words and the connotative meaning of the words, 2) transfer that transfers the analyzed materials from the source language to the target language, and 3) restructuring that restructure the transferred material for the receptor. In their mind, it is much more important to make the translated material acceptable to the receptors which is the ultimate aim of translating, and it is of great significance to translate within the cultural contexts.

Translating As a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained

This book introduces the functionalist view of translation. In the main ideas part, this book presents a brief historical overview of how Skopostheorie and the general function-oriented concepts came into being, explains the agents and conditions of translational action, analyzes the basic concepts of Skopostheorie, examines how the functionalist approach is applied in the training of professional translators, looks at functionalism in literary translation, and deals with functionalism in simultaneous interpreting. In the latter part of the book, the main criticisms are bundled together and discussed systematically, the personal version of functionalism by Nord is presented quite briefly, and the current trends and future perspectives in functionalist theory are presented.

Translation and Empire: Postcolonial Theories Explained

This book is concerned with the postcolonial translation studies. This book first gives a brief presentation of postcolonial studies in relation to translation. Then it traces the emerging contours of postcolonial translation studies, moving from general issues, through the prehistory of postcolonial translation theory, to close readings of several studies of the roles translation has played in colonial and postcolonial settings, to a brief review of critiques levelled against this approach. According to Robinson, the role of translation went through three stages- the channel of colonization in the past, surviving cultural inequalities in the present, and the channel of decolonization in the future.

Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond

This book is concerned with the descriptive approach of Translation Studies. Part 1 deals with the pivotal position of descriptive studies within Translation Studies. It also supplies justification to approaching translation empirically. Part 2 comprises a series of methodological discussion, constituting a rationale for descriptive studies in translation. Part 3 presents an assortment of case studies, referring to issues of various scope and level, from a whole historical move through the translation of single texts to the translation al treatment of lower-level entities. Part 4 addresses the crucial question what is knowledge accumulated through descriptive studies performed within one and the same frameworks likely to yield.

The Translator's Invisibility: A History of Translation

The target audience of this book includes translation theorists, literary theorists and critics, period specialists in various literatures, and reviewers of translations for periodicals, publishers, private foundations, and government endowments. Providing a fascinating account of the history of translation from the seventeenth century to the present day, Venuti shows how fluency prevailed over other translation strategies to shape the canon of foreign literatures in English and investigates the cultural consequences of the receptor values which were simultaneously inscribed and masked in foreign texts during this period. The author locates alternative translation theories and practices in British, American and European cultures which aim to communicate linguistic and cultural differences instead of removing them.



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