The thesis attempts to apply the Functionalist Translation Theory to theChinese-English translation of tourist guide. Focusing onSkopos Theory, the thesis illustrates well the mainrole it plays in directing the C-E translation of tourist guide.Through the theoretical analysis under the Functionalism, the authorasserts that the C-E translation of tourist guideaims at helpingforeign tourists enjoy their trip and understand Chinese culture bymeans of the guide's oral presentation. Based on this purpose, thetranslator is required to be fully aware of the functional features(informative and vocative) of guide's commentary and pay attention tothe corresponding translation rules, achieving linguistic and stylistic convention.
Keywords: Functional TranslationTheory; Skopos Theory; tourist guide;English translation; rules
In recent years, with the continuous development of economy, as the third industry tourism is booming. Scholars at home and abroad are put into the study of tourist guide. But because the development time is not long, tourist guidetranslation does not form a professional system research. At the same time, the content of the research is mainly handledboth from cultural and linguistic aspects.
However, as lacking systemic theory guidance and study, thepresent quality of the C-E translation of tourist guideis generallyinferior, which severely influences a guide’s interpreting quality. Inrecent years, many translation theorists or experts are focusing on thestudy of the translation of tourist publications, tourist slogans or folkalbums of painting, but seldom dealing with the tourist guidetranslation. Not familiar with this profession or short of the working experience as a guide gives the answer to the reason.
Functionalism refers to a methodological approach where the translator’s decisions are governed by the intended function of the target text or any of its parts. The Functionalist Theories, which combine translation with language functions and emphasize the role of text (or language) functions in translation, have been widely applied to the fieldof practical translation (vs. literature translation). As a kind of practicalwriting, tourist guideis a special text with the combination ofinformative and vocative functions. Therefore, it is possible to applyFunctionalist Approaches to analyzing and solving the problems of theC-E translation of tourist guide.
Today, China is sparing no efforts to promote tourism to the overseas market; in such a circumstance, the study on the C-E translation of tourist guidehas both its theoretical and practical significance. The thesis intends to arouse people's attention to tourist guidetranslation so as to make a further study for improving the quality of Chinese tourist guidetranslation and the performance of Chinese guide-interpreters.
The main construction of the article is made up of 5 chapters. Chapter 1 is the instruction of the writing. Chapter 2 is an instruction to Functional Translation Theory, which concludes definition, origin and development and major points of view. Chapter 3 isananalysis on Tourist Guide, which concludes function, cultural features and rules played in the translation. Chapter 4 is the application of functional translation theory in English translation of tourist guide.
Chapter 2 An Introduction
Vermeer Nordisk put forward “teleological”(Skopos theory), which became the core of the theory of functional translation theory. Thepurpose must be based on translation strategies to achieve the translation, the original writing only plays the role of information. In order to meet the needs of the new communication environment and target audience, the translator in the translation process is not to focus on “equivalence”theory and its original features, but the translation in the target language environment to achieve the desired communicative function. JH Man Tali who learned the communication environment and behavioral theory , proposed the “translation behavior”(Translational Action), and saw translation as goal-driven, results-oriented interaction between people, focusing on the process of translation, the translation process as information transfer process. Translation purpose and Translation behavior is the essence of a purposeful cross-cultural communication. Functional translation theory is no longer on the basis of equivalent theory, carrying out the translation of endless debate, but from the translation function and purpose, emphasizing the purpose of a specific translation requirements corresponding translation strategies, translation methods. That is a different translation purposes corresponding to different translation methods; to achieve the purpose of a translation can take a variety of translation methods, so as to avoid the dilemma of literal and free translation.
There are still insufficiencies in the Skopos rule: first, since different ranks of readers expect different target texts, the translation purpose cannot meet all the target text readers; secondly, the translation purpose might violate the original purpose. In view of this, Nordintroduces the loyalty principle on the basis of Skopos rule. The responsibility translators own towards their partners in translational interaction is what Nord called “loyalty”. Loyalty commits the translator bilaterally to the source and the target sides. It must not be mixed up with fidelity or faithfulness, concepts that usually refers to a relationship holding between the source and the texts“(2001:125)”.
Hereto, Nord’s Functionalist Approaches thus stands on two pillars: function plus loyalty this model of function plus loyalty also serves as a reply to those who argue that the Functional Approaches leaves translators free to do whatever they like with any source text, or worse, what their clients like. For the loyalty principle takes account of the legitimate interests of the three parties involved: initiators, target receivers and original authors. If there is any conflict between the interests of the three partners, the translator who has to mediate and seekthe understanding of all sides.
2.3.1 Skopos Rule
Translation is determined by the purpose of the translation. There are three explanations about the object: the purpose, the purpose and use of a particular translation translator translate the means to achieve the objective. In general, it refers to the purpose of the communicative purpose of translation.
2.3.2 Coherence Rule
Language translation must be within a coherent, in other words, the translation must have the target language communicative environment and background knowledge being understandable for the recipient.
2.3.3 Fidelity Rule
It must be the same between the translation and the original, so that is faithful to the original.
If the purpose principle requires original and the translation have different functions, so the fidelity rule does not apply. If the purpose of the principles required translation is not fluent, and inconsistent with the language consistency, the coherence rule does not apply. Therefore, intertextual coherence are secondary compared with coherent, both the rules are subordinate Skopos Rule. Skopos Rule is generally applicable rules, and coherence rule and fidelity rule is a special rule.
In 1984, Manta Li put forward the “act of translation.”She distinguishes between the two concepts, which are “translation”(translation) and “Translation Behavior”(translation action) , which she called the target text “message sender”. “Translation behavior”is “complex behavior of cross-cultural information, cross-language conversion and design.”Follow the translation process behavior, environment rules (initiator, translator, translation users and target language readers) and the three roles of the translation process occurs (time, place and media) . In addition, she also believes that the translator is not only a translation of “experts”, but the process of translation coordination “coordinator”of relationships.
Nord “Translation Discourse Analysis”shows readers a more specific function Discourse Analysis - spanning word level, from the perspective of discourse to explain the translation. She first distinguish compare two types of translation: the translation of documents and tools of translation. Document Type Translation aims to use the target language to create a (certain) communicative activities, documents, records the source culture and information issued by the recipient in the source language and cultural communication through its original condition. Instrumental imitation of the original manufacturing a translation tool in the target language, the sender and recipient of the goal to create a new culture of communication activities for the source culture information. The former is intended to reproduce the content and form of the original, which aims to achieve the desired function in the target scenario.
According to Reiss (2004), this typeof literature pays particular attention to material accuracy, precise information and current language as well as non-linguistic purpose of the message and the reaction of readers. In this sense, the tourist guideis a kind of popular reading material with precise, common and magnetic language suits both refined and popular tastes, equivalent to commercial advertisement in its effect.
The text of tourist guide, which shares all the above characteristics with the text of tourist guide, also distinguishes itselfwith some special features. Because tourist guideis transmitted by emotional and flexible guides through oral presentation to tourists(陈 刚，2004), no matter it is on-the-spot interpretation or introduction on the tour bus or used as the script for sight-seeing TV/DV programs. Therefore, touurist guideis also characterized by affective, stochastic and agitational, in other words, with comparatively strong subjectivity (ibid). In general, the guide's commentary is a kind of special comprehensive text mainly characterized by informative and vocative functions.
3.1.1 Informative Function
Being informative is a fundamental function of tourist guide. Gaining related knowledge of the destination country or region is just one motivation that a part of tourists travel for. Foreign language speaking guides (or guide-interpreters) are asked to provide all kinds of information concerning travel services, transportation in tourism, tourist attractions, special cooking and lodging in tourist destination, local conditions and customs, shopping in tourism and so on, which mainly dependent on their pre-translated script.
A piece of tourist guidedeals with natural science knowledge as well as socialscience knowledge. With sufficient information is also one of the basicfeatures of tourist guide.
Besides informative, tourist guideshould be lively and vivid so that they can present the most outstanding features of the tourist destination and arouse tourists’interest with the end goal of making a good impression on tourists and attracting more visitors. Appealing description of the tourist resorts or local products is, of course, of great economic significance. So, just as the commercial advertisement, being vocative (or operative) is anotherdominant function of tourist guide.
Let's look at a fairly elaborate example, which has been oftenquoted by translators or scholars.
(1)满树金花、芳香四溢的金桂;花白如雪、香气扑鼻的银桂;红里透黄、花多味浓的紫砂桂;花色似银、季季有花的四季桂;竞相开放，争妍媲美。进入桂林公园，阵阵桂香扑鼻而来。(an introduction in Shanghai Sweet Osmanthus Festival)
As regards the above version, some scholars or translators praise it for transmitting the practical information and succinct and lucid in general. Indeed, such a version is adequate in tourist manuals. However, as the tourist guide, it seems that cannot meet foreign tourists’needs. Let’s make an analysis based on the translation brief.
In the new century, with the globe entering into a period of cultural transference, translation is also experiencing change of direction. Two trends in translation research in the recent two decades are: Translation theory is characterized by communication theory and more importance is placed upon cultural transfer rather than linguistic transfer. The blending of these two trends results in the fact that translation is viewed as an aspect of intercultural communication.
Since human action takes place in a concrete, given situation, and the situation is in turn embedded in cultures, translation must also be assessed in a particular culture system, instead of being considered a one-to-one transfer of different linguistic symbols. Translation can be described as an intrinsically purposeful human action, initiated by the initiator, who wants to achieve a certain purpose through the translation, and conducted by the translator, who is supposed to be an expert of translation. Translation in nature is a purposeful, cross-culturalcommunication.
Nowadays, with the globalization of world economy and advanced transportation and communication tearing down the national boundaries, more and more people go abroad and travel to different countries or regions for pleasure, curiosity, business, study, social communication and so on. International tourism (including inbound tourism and outbound tourism) developed as quickly as domestic tourism did in the 20th century, especially since the end of World War II. The World Tourism Organization (WTO) predicts that the number of international tourists will rise to 1.5 billion by 2020, and a quarter of all these trips will be taken in the developing world (Mark, 2000: 7). It is worthwhile to say that by 2020 China will be the largest tourist destination country and the fourth tourist source nation in the world. Tourism has found its way into nearly all countries around the world, and has not only financially but also culturally affected the countries and areas it touches. The tour promotes the communication and friendship between people with various cultural backgrounds. Apparently, the tour is a typicalcultural activity and a typical cross-cultural communication.
The scholars of Skopos Theoryhold that there are three rules should be conformed to during the translation, namely skopos rule, coherence rule and fidelity rule, which are applied to the translation of tourist guide.
Within the framework of Skopos Theory, the prime principle determining any translation process is the purpose (Skopos) of the overall translational action and it is crucial for the translator to know the reason why the ST is to be translated and what the function of the TT is supposed to be.
To analyze the Skopos of the C-E translation of tourist guide, considerations must be taken into the motivation of people’s behavior of traveling. Tourist motivation is defined as a kind of force that impulses a person to travel and makes him active to obtain a certain goal. The common tourist motivations include health adjusting, curious quest, aesthetic appreciation and learning, social communication (such as visiting friends and relatives, exploring one’s roots), religious belief, commercial affairs and so on.
Based on the discussion on the Skopos of the C-E translation of guide's commentary, the major principles can be summarized: firstly, tourists’needs should be met, or in other words, the translation is supposed to be tourist-oriented; secondly, cultural components should transmit and promoted, i.e. the translation undertakes the task promoting Chinese culture.
Chapter 4 Application of Functional
As elaborated in the foregoing section, the hardness in translating the tourist guideresides in the cultural elements instead of the linguistic factors. Hereby, the methods proposed in this section are mainly focused on dealing with the cultural translation problems.
In view of the functions (informative and vocative) of tourist guide, based on the major principles in translation of tourist guide: to be tourist-oriented and to aim at promoting Chinese culture, the translation methods applied are naturally quite flexible and diversified, such as documentary and implement translation; semantic and communicative translation; domesticating translation etc. But in general, “implement translation”, “communicative translation”and “domesticating translation”will be the leading tendency.The proposed specific techniques in the following will include addition, omission, analogy and adaptation, with examples supported.
When translator are translating this information,they should explain the Chinese cultural and historical legend, so that they transmit the specific information and make foreigners understand easily.
Addition is defined as “somebody or something added, especially as an improvement”. The additional information a translator may have to add to his version is, according to Newmark, “normally cultural (accounting for difference between SL and TL culture), technical (relating to the topic) or linguistic (explaining wayward use of words), and is dependent on the requirement of his, as opposed to the original, readership”.
This process is to supply some further explanations to the source text concerning Chinese history and culture by adding some words, phrases or sentences in the target text. Due to differences in area, history and culture, there exists a great discrepancy between China and western nations in the understanding of the same event. The foreign tourists may know nothing about some specific information in the tourist guidethat is well known to Chinese people. In this situation, translators have the responsibility to add some background knowledge in the translation. As for some names of places, names of some Chinese historical personage, names of the Chinese dynasties and names of the Buddhist gods in the source, it is better to add some explanations in accordance with the literal translation so that the English version can be understood easily by the foreign tourists and can be more impressive and enjoyable.
Chinese place names also have their connotation, especially the ancient names. Therefore, while translating place names, relational geographic knowledge, and terrain feature and background informationshould be added. Let alone foreign visitors tend to know the meaning of each place name that they have been to on the basis of the author's experience.
Omission refers to the act to leave out or unmentioned . Theoretically, the translator has to account for every portion and aspect of cognitive sense in the source text. In translation of tourist guide, however, some information can hardly be transmitted to target language successfully because of linguistic or cultural barriers. This process is to omit the things that are useless to the understanding of the source on the premise that the essential information of source text has been transmitted exactly
The ways of expressing ideas are different between Chinese and western people.While Chinese people like to quote or cite the authoritative works or classics to show their being erudite, westerners prefer to plain and direct way to express their thought. In writing or describing something, Chinese authors like to quote some well-known poems or celebrated dictums to add some artistic value to their writings or to confirm their expressions. Thus, Chinese readers (tourists) could enjoy the artistic or aesthetic value; but the common foreign receivers (tourists) are very hard to pick it up, they may even regard it just gild the lily. In this case, it is better to omit this useless redundant information and make the version straight and easy to understand.
(3)In ancient times, having a hot-spring bath was the specialenjoyment of high officials and noble lords. But today, in Hainan, ithas been one of the relaxations for common people.
Admittedly, the poetic lines have been quoted for stating that spa used to be enjoyed by the noble and rich, whereas such information is still made clearly in the English version even without translating such quotations.
As known to all that Chinese men of letter tend to use various rhetoric devices and four-character clusters to describe the attractive sceneries, Chinese speaking guide is no exception. Especially for those guides with high education, this is also a method of showing their excellent presentation. However, it is not advisable for foreign language speaking guides. In the C-E translation of tourist guide, the translator should delete those redundant messages and convert them into plain and concise language in line with foreign readers (tourists) reading habit. Otherwise, the flowery description will make the tourist guidetedious and unbelievable. In addition, according to the translation brief of tourist guide, the time and place are all on the match of traveling, the time arrangement of every scenic spot is so compact, therefore overloaded description is relatively not allowed.
(4)On the bank of the Wu Gorge are mist-covered fairyland-likemountains and grotesque peaks. The most marvelous scene here isthe twelve mountains' peaks, and in particular, Goddess Mount Peak.To cruise here is like wandering in a natural art gallery.
In the English versions of the above example, lots of Chinese four-character collocations are deleted. However, they read naturally, fluently and idiomatically were they translated mechanically, the beauty of the scenery would be spoiled and the message dispersed.
Analogy means "resemblance in some particulars; similarity".Appropriate analogies always work well in the translation of tourist guide, because they bridge the gap between two cultures, and make the source text easily acceptable and accessible, or in Nord's (2001:34) words: “translatingmeans comparing cultures...we perceive another culture by means of comparison with our own”.
This kind of analogy can make foreign tourists associate the unknown Chinese historic era with their familiar history or historic figures, thus it is easy for them to understand and shorten the distance between foreign readers (tourists) and the Chinese culture.
In addition to the comparison of historic period, it seems that there still exists comparability between Chinese and western philosophic thinking. For example,“先天下之忧而忧，后天下之乐而乐”a famous saying in the writing Description on Yueyang Tower (《岳阳楼记》)and well-known in China. The general translations for it go like this: “Be the first to be concerned with the world’s troubles and the last to enjoy worldly happiness; or worry first, enjoy last.”We can not find any mistakes in these versions, but they are not ideal as we expect in practical guide's interpretation. In fact, in western countries especially in America, there is also a renowned saying: “Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country (addressed by Kennedy).”To some extent, these two sayings are similar. If the guide-interpreter quotes the American saying in his/her interpretation, it can help foreign visitors especially American better understand the connotation of this Chinese culture and find out the similarities between Chinese and western culture, which is already proved by the author'sexperience.
For most American, they have no idea about how long the Great Wall is on earth. So the translator compares it to the express way from Seattle to Boston, and then adds “all across America”. At this moment, western tourists have a clear idea about the length of Hutongs in Beijing. A skillful guide-interpreter is usually good at using foreigners' familiar things to compare to the different objects, making them feel close to them, so as to stimulate their interests in traveling.
Adaptation traditionally used to refer to any TT in which a particularly free translation strategy has been adopted. The term usually implies that considerable changes have been made in order to make the text more suitable for a specific audience (e.g. children) or for the particular purpose behind the translation. (Shuttle worth&Moira cowie, 1997: 3) In fact, “the difference in cultural knowledge may require an adjustment of the relationship between explicit and implicit information in the texts”.
In the tourist guide, some specific names and terms are derived from value system and thinking pattern, such as Chinese ancient annals and lunar calendar, place names, ancient official ranks are unique in Chinese culture. Due to the differences of the value system and thinking pattern between China and western countries, western tourists cannot understand them if they are translated literally without any modification. Even worse, the western tourists can hardly accept the cultural connotation conveyed in these expressions or they may even be offended by these expressions in some cases. In such conditions, the translator is suggested to apply adaptation, in details, choose the current calendar, the present place names and official posts to take the place ofthem on the premise of not influencing foreigners' understanding to theoriginal meaning.
Since the guide's commentary should always be tourist-oriented, in the practical translation, the translator has to take into full consideration foreign tourists' complicated and subtle psychology and make correspondent adaptation.
For instance, the dishes with“银耳”as ingredient are very common in Chinese dining hall. But the translation of such a word will beinvolved with the psychological response of some foreign tourists.According to the Modern Chinese-English Dictionary, the Englishcorresponding word for“银耳” is “tremella”, Which is not difficult to understand for botanists, biologists, physicians, pharmacists or otherprofessionals. But, for the common tourists, perhaps no one can tell what“tremella”is. Other translated terms like “fungus tremella”and “whitefungus”can be found in some Chinese herbal medicine dictionaries.
4.2 Stylistic Convention
As is stated in Chapter 1，tourist guideis a comparably special text, for which will be directly spoken to tourists through the tour guide, in this respect, tourist guideis different from general tourist materials or manuals to a great degree. The text of tourist guidealso acquires “conventional forms that are even raised to the status of social norms”.
4.2.1 Preference of Plain Words
In the C-E translation of tourist guide, it is suggested that the translator choose common words and avoid using rare or technical terminology. There are three main reasons: First, the profession background and social ranks of tourists differ a lot; it is hard to know whether the words are understandable to all the tourists in a group. Secondly, although most tourists come from English-speaking countries, there are millions of tourists who come from non-English speaking countries with different cultural backgrounds, still they communicate in English language; then it maybe difficult for them to understand too specific words in a field. Last but not the least, even if all the members of a tourist group are well-educated people, probably none of them would prefer the complicated words rather than accept the simple ones. Therefore common words are necessary in the tourist guide translation so that the information can be soon picked up by the tourists in a short time.
4.2.2 Preference of Simple Sentences
Simple and short sentences are easy to read and understand thancomplex ones. A tour can be considered as, to some extent, an experience to know and understand about the tourist destination in a limited time, while tour guides can be regarded as those who give lectures. The most successful guide, like the most effective lecturer, is measured by how much information he/she transmits to tourists in a definite time. Emphatic, short and simple sentences prove to be acting in a successful interpretation; in contrast, long and complex sentences will make foreign visitors too impatient to wait listening at a crowded scenic spot. Most of the time guides need to elaborate on various facts, and when these “sentences containing ‘nuggets’of information are brief and easily restated; visitors are more likely to remember the information”. As Grinder (1985:123) concludes that “The best sentences are short”. Therefore, long sentences with passive voice or complicated participle phrases are generally not recommended in the guide's commentary translation.
Chapter 5 Conclusion
The thesis is mainly about the application of Functional Translation Theoryin the C-E translation of tourist guide.The Skopes theory is one of the major views of functional translation theory, which focuses on the realization ofcommunication environment and activities, and consists of three principles: Skopos Rule, Coherence Rule, Fidelity Rule.
Tourist guide function, cultural features, and translation rules . Tourist function concludes two aspects. They are informative function and vocative function. Informative function is mainly to express a basic meaning of the tourists places, and vocative function is to appeal tourist’interests in tourism. Cultural features is to say the translation of tourist guide is to promote culture communication and cultural activities. Translation rules concludes skopos rule, coherence rule, and fidelity rule.
C-E Translation of tourist guide involves in two aspects: linguistic convention and stylistic convention. For linguistic convention, addition, omission, analogy and adaptation can be applied. For stylistic convention, plain words and simple sentences are usually used.
There are some shortcomings in this thesis. As for lacking materials in the library and incomplete data, my level of writing skills being low, and lacking an understanding being improved. Therefore, there are many places and views need being accomplished. So, if i can make a further study in translation, i will make efforts to make a further research to make my thesis more better.
Iwould like to express my sincere thanks to all those who have helped me during the writing of this paper. My deepest gratitude first goes to my tutor--Professor Wang Jiadi. She has spent a lot of time reading through my paper and gives me invaluable suggestions. Thanks to herpatient guidance, helpful suggestions and other support throughout my paperand for hercareful reading of my paper, Ican finish the paper. Without hercontinuous help, this paper could not have reached its present form.
Second, Iwant to thank all of my teachers in Hunan First Normal University, whose lectures help me open my eyes to a dynamic world of knowledge. I also wish to thank our college providing free database for us to download free but useful thesis and books.
Lastly, Iwish to give my thanks to my family for their support during my paper-writing period. I also want to thank all my classmates and my dearest lovely friends, for they are so helpful and supportive. I especially appreciate the help from my dear classmates in Hunan First Normal University. They supported me throughout the final stage of my research.