Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Translation Studies

Application of Functionalist Translation Theory to the Translation of English Business Correspondence

Author LiuXiuMei
Tutor ZhaoHongYu
School Dalian Maritime University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Functionalist translation theory English business correspondence English business correspondence translation Applicability Translation technique
CLC H059
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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As an important link, the translation of English business correspondence determines the success or failure of the business activity. According to Nida’s theory of functional equivalence, translation is supposed to achieve the functional equivalence between source and target text rather than the pure form equivalence. Reiss’text typology refers to that in translation proper strategies are adopted to satisfy the specific demand of the target text. Her student, Vermeer smashed the limitation of equivalence theory and created the Skopos theory, which has a deep effect on functionalism. Translation approaches and strategies are determined by the purpose or function of the target text. Manttari advanced translation action that involves all the translation activities instead of the traditional translation. Nord developed and improved functionalism and proposed the function plus loyalty.Different from other texts, English business correspondence has its own features. It means the act of communicating by means of letters or the letters which pass between correspondents. It is communicated by written form, which differs from the face-to-face communication. Firstly, English business correspondence has specific functions:to convey and retain information; to serve as a contract or agreement; to be used as the company’s recorded material for future consulting. Apart from the functional differences, English business correspondence has the linguistic features from the perspective of three levels:lexical, syntactic and pragmatic. At the lexical level, it chooses the professional terms, abbreviations, formal words and old-style words. At the syntactic level, it employs the long sentences and passive voice sentences. At the pragmatic level, it demands politeness and formality.In the application of the functionalist translation theory to the translation of English business correspondence, three principles—Skopos rule, coherent rule and fidelity rule, function plus loyalty rule—have positive and practical functions in translation, which completely apply to the translation of English business correspondence. The functionalist translation theory does not restrict to the form equivalence, on the contrary, it demands the function equivalence. According to this requirement, varieties of translation techniques should be employed to achieve translation purposes. At lexical level, addition, omission and conversion are employed. At the syntactic level, some approaches:splitting, inversions, translating passive voice into active voice, are used. And at the pragmatic level, the translation needs to satisfy the demands of politeness and formality.All in all, the functionalist translation theory has instructive and practical function to the translation of English business correspondence.

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