Political Text’s C-E Translation Based on Reiss’s Text Typology

Abstract: The theory of text typology is based on the faith that different types of text need different translation methods. The western scholars have paid attention to the relationship between text type and translation method for a long time. The German scholar Reiss establishes her text typology in the work of Translation Criticism: The Potentials & Limitations and Groundwork for a General Theory of Translation. She describes her theory as follows: text type can help translators to decide translation strategy.Reiss divides texts into three types: the content-focused text, the form-focused text and the appeal-focused text on the basis of Karl B├╝hler's theory which proposes that in language there are three chief communicative functions: representative, expressive and appellative. Each type has its own dominating function. In translating, translators should use different translation criteria and strategies for different text types according to their distinctive functions and translation purposes.More and more people in the world want to know about China as well as its economy and politics because of its increasingly important role in the world since its foundation. Therefore, the translation of political texts becomes very important. Many scholars have made great efforts in the study concerning the translation of political texts, but there are still some problems, such as Chinglish and inaccurate translation. Meanwhile, the factors that affect the translation of Chinese political texts still have not gotten adequate attention. In order to improve the translation quality and avoid the problems above, this thesis proposes to do an in-depth study in the C-E translation of political texts under the guidance of Reiss' text typology.Political texts can be put into two categories: one is official documents and reports, the other is leaders' speeches and political essays. This paper, as a tentative study of exploring effective strategies and techniques for translating Chinese political text on the basis of Reiss' theory, analyzes the text types and translation strategies of political text and draws the following conclusion: the types of political text have two categories: the content-focused text and the form-focused text. In translating, there should be different translation strategies and criteria in the two text types according to their communicative functions and translation purposes. Therefore, we should choose domestication for the content-focused text and foreignization for the form-focused text. Moreover, we should choose different translation techniques at lexical level and syntactical level taking the language conventions, textual structure, translation criterial and target readers into consideration from the perspective of text variety. Only through the combination of translation strategies and techniques can the translation of political texts reach to a perfect standard and avoid the problems of Chinglish and inaccurate translation…
Key words: political text; text typology; translation strategy; translation technique

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