A Stduy of Chinese-English Translation of Expo Public Signs from the Perspective of Skopostheorie

作者: 专业:英语语言文学 导师:张健 年度:2010  院校: 上海外国语大学


public sign, Skopos theory, functionalist translation, translation error, Expo 2010 Shanghai China, translation strategy
    With the booming socio-economic development and the accelerated pace of opening up of the Yangtze River Delta, international and inter-regional economic communication and cooperation become more and more frequent. Bilingual public signs as the important part of external propaganda are in considerable demands in public places. Therefore, the Chinese-English translation of public signs is in great significance.With the coming Expo 2010 Shanghai China, up to September 23, 2009, there have been 242 countries and international organizations confirmed to participate in the expo. And it is expected that the expo will attract about 70 million visitors. So, the bilingual public signs not only in Shanghai but in the region of the Yangtze River Delta are in urgent need to increase its number and improve its quality as well. However, due to uneven level of translation, as well as the lack of uniform reference standard, there are lots of errors on the Chinese-English translation of public signs such as spelling, grammar, and translation. These errors will definitely fail to facilitate the foreigners’traveling, working and living, and even make them feel confused. Thereby to some extent, these errors destroy the image of the entire Yangtze River Delta region, and affect the social civilization and the process of internationalization. Therefore, the research on the Chinese-English translation of public signs has a great practical value and is of great significance to establish the international image of the Yangtze River Delta, especially to host an exciting, unforgettable World Expo.Skopostheorie stresses the purpose of translation. Through a long process of development, the functionalist translation emerged in the 1970s, forming its own independent theoretical system. The Skopos theory pointed out by Vermeer is the soul of functional theory. He stated that any translation activity has its own purpose, on which a translation establish its own translation method. The target audiences play an important role in determining the purpose of the translation.This thesis is in the theme of public signs under the guidance of Skopostheorie and serves for 2010 Shanghai World Expo. The thesis is divided into six parts. The first part of the thesis is the Introduction including a brief description of the significance of the study, the use of materials and research methods, etc. Chapter One starts with the definition of public sign and analyzes the features and the current research status of the Chinese-English translation of public sign. Chapter Two is the theoretical basis of this thesis which summarizes the development of functionalist translation theories and then describes the Skopos theory and its three basic rules. In Chapter Three, the author discusses the application of Skopostheorie in Chinese-English translation of public signs and introduces the basic procedures of translation and translation brief along with the collected examples to illustrate the current errors and problems in the Chinese English translation of public signs. Chapter Four provides some strategies for the translation of expo public signs. And the last part of the thesis is a conclusion which sums up the discovery of the research and the limitations of this thesis and proposes recommendations for further research.


    0.1 Research Significance11-13
    0.2 Literature Review13-14
    0.3 Research Corpus14
    0.4 Research Methodology14
    0.5 Structure of the Thesis14-16
1 An Overview of Public Signs16-20
    1.1 Definition of Public Signs16
    1.2 Features of Public Signs16-17
        1.2.1 Vocabulary16-17
        1.2.2 Syntax17
        1.2.3 Writing Format17
    1.3 Status Research of Chinese-English Translation of public signs17-20
2 Review of Functionalist Translation Theory20-28
    2.1 Nida’s Translation Theory20-21
    2.2 Peter Newmark’s Translation Theory21-23
    2.3 Skopos Theory23-26
        2.3.1 The First Stage–Katherina Reiss23-24
        2.3.2 The Second Stage–Hans. J Vermeer24-25
        3.3.3 The Third Stage–Justa Holz-Manttari25
        3.3.4 The Fourth Stage–Christiane Nord25-26
    2.4 Translation Principles of Skopostheorie26-28
        2.4.1 The Skopos Rule26-27
        2.4.2 The Coherence Rule27
        2.4.3 The Fidelity Rule27
        2.4.4 Relationship of the Three Rules27-28
3 The Application of Skopostheorie in Chinese-English Translation of Public Signs28-44
    3.1 Basic Procedures of Translation28-30
        3.1.1 Process of Analysis28-29
        3.1.2 Process of Transfer and Restructure29
        3.1.3 Process of Testing29-30
        3.1.4 The Relationship of Four Procedures30
    3.2 Skopos of Translation30-31
    3.3 Translation Brief31-33
    3.4 Translation Errors33-44
        3.4.1 Pragmatic Translation Errors34-36
   Misunderstanding of the source text34-35
   Neglecting the context35
   Word-for word translation35-36
        3.4.2 Cultural translation errors36-37
   Ignorance of the cultural backgrounds37
        3.4.3 Linguistic translation errors37-43
   Wrong spelling37-38
   Grammatical errors38-39
   Misuse of Pinyin39
   Misuse of words and expressions39-41
        3.5.4 Text-specific translation errors43-44
4 Strategies for the Translation of EXPO Public Signs44-61
    4.1 Functional Equivalent Translation44-51
        4.1.1 Signs in Public Transportation45-47
        4.1.2 Signs at Tourist Areas and Scenic Spots47-48
        4.1.3 Signs for Commercial Services48-49
        4.1.4 Signs for Infrastructures and Public Services49-51
    4.2 The use of Pinyin51-53
    4.3 Addition and Omission53-55
    4.4 The use of Common Phrases55-61
        4.4.1 No + noun / gerunds55-56
        4.4.2 Noun + Only56-57
        4.4.3 Caution / Danger + Noun / Adjective57-58
        4.4.4 sth. / doing sth. Prohibited58-59
        4.4.5 Please Do not do sth. / Thank you for not doing sth.59-61
5 Conclusion61-63



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