编号: 15-1 开课单位：外语系授课教研室：翻译写作
（A Brief Discussion of Translation and Major Translation Approaches）
Translation studies started along with translation practice. Translation theories developed flourishingly in the 20th century, especially in the second half of the last century.
In fact, translation, which is a very complex phenomenon, is related to different disciplines, such as linguistics, psychology, sociology, cultural anthropology, communication theory, literary criticism, aesthetics, and semiotics. As translation study is a cross-discipline and cross-culture subject involving many aspects of human knowledge, the lack of a fully acceptable theory of translation should not come as a surprise. Meanwhile, quite a number of translation approaches and strategies have become universally acceptable and widely applicable. They are, of course, the fruits of many translation theorists and translation practitioners at home and abroad.
2.The Origin of Translation
Language makes it possible for people to communicate with one another freely so as to complete important tasks in human life. Translation makes it possible for people from different languages to communicate with one another so as to complete important tasks in their life.
Theodore Savory points out, “Translation is almost as old as original authorship and has a history as honorable and as complex as that of any other branch of literature”(申雨平, 2002:4).
In Zhou Dynasty there were different forms of address for translators in different places. “Translators are called Ji in the east, Xiang in the south, Didi in the west, and
Yi in the north(东方曰寄，南方曰象，西方曰狄鞮，北方曰译)”（陈福康, 2000:3）.
3. Function of Translation
It has helped people to better communicate with one another, and in the mean time it has facilitated the development of culture and civilization of all nations, such as the Sutra translation （佛经翻译）in China and the Bible translation in Western countries.
Actually, translation, as a means to bridge different cultures, has been playing a very important role in promoting global economic and cultural development, and China in particular benefits a great deal from translation, which is obvious to all.
4. Nature of translation
One school of theorists maintain that any interpretation is translation. Translation thus defined includes intra-lingual rewording（语言内的重新措辞）, inter-lingual （语言之间的翻译或语际翻译）translation and inter-semiotic transmutation（符号转换）.
But most scholars who are interested in translation maintain that translation is a communicative activity which entails a most adequate or identical reproduction in a target language of a written message or text in a source language.
5. Definition of translation in our textbook as follows: Translation or translating is a communicative activity or dynamic process in which the translator makes great effort to thoroughly comprehend a written message or text in the source language and works very hard to achieve an adequate or an almost identical reproduction in the target language version of the written source language message or text. In terms of its nature or character, translation is both an art and a science as well, since it calls for a good command of at least two languages, a flexible application of their rules, and some knowledge of at least two cultures, as well as a good grasp of the necessary translation theories.
6. Other scholars’ viewpoints about the translation
1). The traditional viewpoint about the nature of translation is that translation is an art only. This viewpoint is still maintained by Xu Yuanchong（许渊冲）, a well-known professor at Beijing University, and a few other scholars.
2). Professor Liu Zhongde vigorously advocates that translation is a science as well as an art mainly because of the following reasons:
Firstly, like any other art and science, translation requires a good grasp and a flexible use of the necessary specialized knowledge and skills.
Secondly, like any other art and science, translation calls for independent, honest and creative effort.
Thirdly, just like any other art and science, translation demands that the translator be very careful about and highly responsible for his or her work.
7. Principle for translation
The 13 statements on page 8
1). A translation must reproduce the words of the SLT(Source Language Text).
2). A translation must reproduce the ideas (meaning) of the SLT.
3). A translation should read like an original work.
4). A translation should read like a translation.
5). A translation should reflect the style of the original.
6). A translation should possess the style of the translator.
7). A translation should retain the historical stylistic dimension of the SLT.
8). A translation should read as a contemporary piece of literature.
9). A translation may add to or omit from the original.
10). A translation may never add to or omit from the original.
11). A translation should let the readers of the SLT and the target language text (TLT) have essentially the same response.
12). A translation should convey what the SLT author intends to convey.
13). A translation should satisfy the need of the client.
Evidently, though each of the above statements is right in a certain sense, yet it is not adequate or comprehensive enough to serve as a translation principle. Some of the principles proposed by various translation theorists can find their expression in the statements given above. Interlinear translation is an illustration of the first statement. Yan Fu’s three-character principle can be a combination of statements 2, 3 and 6. Nida’s functional equivalence is best express ed in statement 11.
8. Yan Fu’s Considerations for translation?
Strictly speaking, a translation theory in its true sense in China originated from Yan Fu(严复). He proposed the famous triple principle for translation, namely, faithfulness(信), expressiveness(达) and elegance(雅).
1). His faithfulness means that the translated text should be faithful to the original text, ie, the version should keep the content or ideas of the original.
2). His expressiveness means that the translated text should be expressive and coherent without anything awkward. In other words, his expressiveness requires that the version should be fluid, smooth, and easy to read and understand.
3). His elegance demands that the translated text should be exquisite and that its style ought to be very graceful.
9. Professor Liu Zhongde argues against “elegance” as a principle for translation of the original style
He argued eloquently against “elegance” as a principle for translation of the original style. We all know that not all works are characterized by the elegant style. Different writers display different styles. For instance, Lenin wrote in a bold style, and Hemingway wrote in a simple, symbolic style. Even the same writer shows different styles on different occasions for different purposes. Naturally, different works demonstrate different styles. Thus, it is impossible & absolutely wrong to achieve the effect of elegance in the translated text if the style of the original is not elegant.
10. The compiler of the textbook in favor of “closeness”
1). We are in favor of Professor Liu’s triple translation principle. He changed Yan Fu’s “elegance” into “closeness”, which represents his contribution to the translation theory. His “closeness” is central in meaning. It is suitable for translation of all types of texts with different styles.
2). If the original text is characterized by the elegant style, the translator should do his utmost to render it into a graceful text in the target language whose style is close to the original elegant style.
If the original style is highly technical with a wealth of technical terms, the
translator ought to employ plenty of corresponding technical terms in the target language and make the translated style as close to the original technical style as possible.
3). If the original style is colloquial with a lot of informal words and colloquial sentences, the translator should translate it into a text with an informal style as close as possible to the original one by using many colloquial words and informal sentences.
If the original style is ornate, the translator should follow suit and make effort to render the translated style as close to the original as possible.
If the original text contains some vulgar words and sentences, the translator is not entitled to replace them with elegant words or sentences, and he should reproduce the original by using some corresponding vulgar words and sentences in the receptor language. Translators are duty-bound to do so, for the simple reason that they are translators.
4). As we know, Yan Fu’s triple translation principle is highly concise and well rhymed and quite easy to learn by heart, which is one of the reasons why it is still very popular in China today.
Professor Liu’s triple principle is similar to Yan Fu’s in that it is equally concise and easy to remember.
Though Professor Liu’s triple principle is n ot rhymed, yet it is very forceful and impressive, for the Chinese character “切” is uttered in the falling tone, carrying the implication that faithfully conveying the original style or rendering the translated style as close to the original as possible is absolutely necessary and worth the translator’s great effort.
11. Nida’s principle for translation
Eugene A. Nida and Taber stated emphatically (1969:12): “Translation consists in reproducing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalence of the source language message, first in terms of meaning and secondly in terms of style”.
His dynamic equivalence is defined as a translation principle, according to which the translator seeks to translate the meaning of the original in such a way that the target language text wording will produce the same impact on the target text audience as the original wording does upon the source text audience. Later on, Nida changed “dynamic equivalence” into “functional equivalence”, because it seemed much more satisfactory to use the expression “functional equivalence” in describing the degree of adequacy of a translation.
12. The literal translation approach
Professor Liu Zhongde (1994: 172) defines literal translation as follows: “In the process of translation, literal translation treats sentences as basic units and at the same time takes the whole passage into consideration; a translator who attaches great importance to literal translation does his or her best to reproduce the ideas and writing style of the original work, retaining in the version as many rhetorical devices and sentence structures of the original as possible.”
He is said to be a rough diamond.
The rewards for the Chinese people are clear, most visibly in the dynamism and prosperity of Peking and the coastal cities.
For the international community, the most striking consequence of these changes is that China has grown rapidly to be the world’s sixth largest economy, and is set to grow further. 对国际社会来说，这些变化带来的最引人注目的结果是中国已跃居为世界第六经济大国，而且今后注定进一步发展。
China’s rapid emergence as a major world actor is a tribute to the drive and entrepreneurial spirit of her people, and more particularly to the fundamental economic reforms she has pursued over the past two decades.
I would draw a further conclusion, which I believe is central to as sessing China’s future place in the world economy.
Marriage, with peace, is this world’s paradise; with strife, this life’s purgatory.
13. The liberal translation approach
Liberal translation or free translation means giving up the original image or vehicle and making effort to find an appropriate way to express the intended meaning of the original.
Professor Liu Zhongde (1994: 173) defines the liberal translation approach as follows: Liberal translation is supplementary to literal translation. Liberal translation is employed for the purpose of expressing the original meaning instead of reproducing the original sentence structure or rhetorical device(s). Only when the literal translation approach is not suitable, can the translator resort to the free translation approach.
The liberal translation approach is quite necessary for translating some sentences, especially those that contain rhetorical devices, which are not fit to be handled by means of the literal translation approach. Please look at the following examples. Examples
Do you see any green in my eye?
Don’t cross the bridge till you get to it.
They love to boast, though often with tongue in cheek. ( = They love to brag, though they often do so insincerely or ironically.)
If you are unfair to me, I will certainly hang out all your dirty linen.
Similarly, to talk about a car culture, a throw-away culture, or the generation gap as
exclusively American concerns makes little sense today.
It is not just Britain’s breathing in which makes it so international, but also its breathing out.英国之所以成为如此国际化的国家，不仅仅在于她大量地吸纳国外的人力和物力资源，而且还在于她大量地向国外输出其人力和物力资源。
14. The literal-plus-liberal translation approach
Some sentences have to be translated both literally and freely because of bilingual differences. Only thus, can they be translated into intelligible versions. The literal-plus-free translation approach is also desirable when reference books like dictionaries are compiled. The following examples are provided to illustrate this equally important method.
Blessed by year round good weather, Spain is a magnet for sun-worshippers and holidaymakers…
You can spread your wings with Open Studies.
Examples of the literal-plus-liberal translation approach (2)
Every bullet has its billet. 颗颗弹丸都有它的归宿。// 天命难违。
Hope is the poor man’s bread. 希望是穷人的面包。// 穷人靠希望活着。
Today a man, tomorrow a mouse. 今天是一个人，明天是一只鼠.//今天得志，明天落魄。
Experience is the mistress of fools. 经验是愚人的主妇。// 经验支使愚人。