Dissertation > Literature > Literary Theory > Literary Creation > Literary Translation

An Analysis of Interpretative Force of Relevance Theory on Cultural Factors in the Translation of Thunderstorm

Author TaoHongYu
Tutor SunQiao
School Liaoning University
Course English Linguistics
Keywords Relevance Theory Relevance Translation Theory domestication translation foreignization translation
CLC I046
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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This paper is devoted to discussing the translation process from the relevance—theoretic point of view. The proposal of Relevance Theory has introduced new angles of pragmatics and cognition into the study of translation. The central concepts included in Relevance Theory are all contributed to the study of translation, such as communication as an ostensive—inferential process, cognitive environment as the base of communication, the distinction between communicative intention and informative intention. Translation is so special as to be involved with interlingual and cross—cultural communication. Hence, as an idiosyncratic form of communication, translation consists of a double ostensive-inferential processes. In the first process,the translator engages in inferential communication: perceive the Source Text writer’s intention according to the evidences provided by the Source Text, to be more specific, get an interpretation of the utterance consistent with the principle of relevance. In the second process, the translator, as mediator, has to go ahead to relay what he has got in the first round to the target reader group in an ostensive way, to be more specific, give a translated utterance consistent with the principle of relevance. And most of all, relevance, especially optimal relevance as the guideline for communication, leads people to research translation in terms of its pragmatic and cognitive aspects.However, some scholars don’t admit its great power in conducting translation. They have found its limitations when it is applied to translation. They don’t think this theory can fully deal with the most difficult part of translation---cultural context. A heated discussion of this point is still going on. The present study has made a detailed analysis of the English version of Thunderstorm based on Relevance Theory, and tried to explore its power in explaining cultural context translation. And the author will clarify some misunderstandings of this theory and get the root. This study aims to supply a deeper understanding of Relevance Theory and find some effective ways to translate cultural context.The thesis consists of an introduction, the main body and a conclusion. The main contents are as follows:The first part is an introduction. In this part, there is a brief introduction of the development of the Relevance Translation Theory. The second part is the main body part which consists of three chapters:Chapter One introduces the theoretical basis of the paper---moreover, the present situation of this research home and abroad is introduced. Related to other pragmatic parts, still different from the previous studies in this field, Relevance Theory attaches more importance from the perspective of the cognitive science. Relevance Theory has had quite an influence on a number of subject since 1980s Meanwhile, the development also exerts great influence to the transaltion of Chinese classic literary workChapter Two gradually unfolds the theoretical points included into the supportive range of Relevance Translation Theory. This chapter begins with two kinds of basic viewpoints on communication–code model and inferential model.Then a key important concept is introduced out of there---the principle of relevance. As far as the RT itself is concerned, as a discourse proceeds, the hearer retrieves or constructs and then processes a number of assumptions. These form a gradually changing cultural background against which new information is processed in transaltion. What’s more, the notion of contextual effect is essential to characterization of relevance during the process of transalting.A few related terms will also be mentioned more or less.At the very beginning of Chapter Three, a pair of terms will be introduced for facilitating further explanations in the following chapter---domestication translation, foreignization translation.Based on the classic transaltion of Thunderstorm by the joint effort of Wang Zuoliang and Barnes,Chapter Three analyzes Relevance Translation Theory by the concrete example reflected in Thunderstorm. In this chapter it first shows the authentic interpretations of Relevance Translation Theory from the lexical aspect,encyclopaedic aspect, and the logic aspect one by one; and then introduces the unauthentic versions from the same three perspectives.The final part ends up with the conclusion; it is the summary of the former chapters and points out the purpose of this thesis. it also concludes the limitations and drawbacks. Relevance Transaltion Theory indeed posesses tremendous explatory force on transaltion, but we can not overemphasize and exaggerate its interpretative function on transaltion. It is not the only theoretical yardstick in actual transaltion.

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