Dissertation > Language, writing > Linguistics > Translation Studies

A Comparative Study of Reiss’s and Newmark’s Views on Text Typology and Translation

Author LiDongZuo
Tutor LiuWeiDong
School Guangxi University for Nationalities
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Language function Text function Text typology Translation method Comparative study
CLC H059
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Reiss’s and Newmark’s views on text typology and translation are influential in China and abroad. Katharina Reiss and Peter Newmark are two translation theorists who have made celebrated contributions to the development of text typology. Based on Karl Bühler’s threefold division of language functions, Reiss proposes her text typology by linking language functions to translation strategies and translation methods. She proposes that there are three language functions: the informative, the expressive and the operative functions. Accordingly, Reiss classifies texts into three types: the content-focused texts, the form-focused texts, and the appeal-focused texts. Later she adds another text type, namely, the audio-medial text. According to Reiss, there are different translation methods for the various text types. Similarly, Newmark also analyzes the relationship between text types and translation methods. He points out that language has six functions: the informative, the expressive, the vocative, the phatic, the aesthetic and the metalingual functions, among which the first three functions are regarded as the most important ones while the others are minor ones. Therefore, he categorizes texts into three types: the informative texts, the expressive texts and the vocative texts. Newmark also proposes that the translation method of the various types of texts varies from each other and thus he puts forward eight translation methods, namely, literal translation, faithful translation, semantic translation, communicative translation, idiomatic translation, free translation, word-for-word translation and adaptation. However, he insists that only semantic and communicative translation fulfill the two main aims of translation, which are first, accuracy, and second, economy.The theory of text typology not only has provided translators with a new perspective in translation studies, but also has made great contributions to translation studies. There are similarities as well as differences in terms of Reiss’s and Newmark’s views on text typology and translation. Adopting methods of consulting literature and making comparative analysis,this thesis tries to make a comparative study of their views on text typology and translation in order to analyze the similarities and differences. The strong points and the shortages of their theories will be pointed out so as to provide theoretical basis for establishment of a new theory in terms of text typology and translation, offering better guidance in translation studies and translation practice.This thesis has drawn some conclusions through the comparative study of Reiss’s and Newmark’s views on text typology and translation. First, generally speaking, Newmark, who is dedicated to linguistics and translation studies, pays more attention to the functions of the text itself. However, Reiss, the pioneer of the functionalistic approaches, emphasizes more on the reception of the text. Second, Newmark’s classification of language functions is more comprehensive than that of Reiss. Third, as for text types, Reiss does not follow the same standard to define various kinds of texts, Newmark’s classification is more reasonable than that of Reiss. Fourth, Reiss does not discuss how to deal with the cultural elements that exist in the various kinds of text while Newmark takes consideration of the translation of cultural elements. Generally speaking, Newmark’s views on text typology and translation can provide better guidance for translation studies and translation practices.

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