Lecture Three
A Brief Introduction
to Translation Therories (Principles)
Abroad and at Home
Types of Translation
• Intralingual translation 语内翻译
• Interlingual translation 语际翻译
• Intersemiotic translation 符际翻译
(Roman Jakobson, 1959)
Definitions of Translation
• John Catford(卡特福德)
The replacement of the textual material
in one language (SL) by the equivalent
textual material in another language (TL).
(A Linguistic Theory of Translation, 1965)
• Eugene A. Nida(奈达)
Translation consists in reproducing in
the receptor language the closest natural
equivalent of the source language
message, first in terms of meaning and
secondly in terms of style.
(Nida & Taber, The Theory and Practice of
Translation, 1969)
Translation Theories
Abroad and at Home
In the West
1. Marcus Tullius Cicero (西塞罗 106—43 BC)
Roman statesman, orator and philosopher
Types of translation:
1)“作为解释员”(ut interpres)的翻译
[translator as an interpreter]
2)“作为演说家”(ut orator)的翻译
[translator as an orator]
• Translation should reproduce the nature of
the original .(翻译应再现原文的本质。)
--Elements of language:form, sound,
meaning, style(undertone)
--For a text, one or two elements of language
may be the nature or the most important
thing of the text.
Example 1: Form as the nature of
a text
人曾为僧,人弗可以为佛。
女卑为婢,女又何妨成奴。
A Bud dhist cannot bud into a Buddha ,
A maid en may be made a house maid .
(trans. Xu Yuanzhong)
Example 2: Sound as the nature of
a text
The fair breeze blew , the white foam flew,
和风吹拂,白浪翻飞,
The furrow followed free.
船儿破浪前行。
We were the first that ever burst
咱们是古来第一遭,
Into the silent sea.
闯入这片沉寂的穷溟。 (S. T. Coleridge)
Example 3: Meaning as the nature
of a text
The Milky Way牛奶路?银河/天河?
The story of the term and its translation (鲁
迅/赵景深):
Zeus 宙斯
Hera 赫拉
Zeus’s mistresses: Alcmene(Amphitryon),
Danae, Europa, Io, Leda, Leto, Maia,
Metis, Mnemosyne, Semele
Hercules/Heracles, Dionysus/Bacchus
[Thebes/Mycenae/Electryon/Alcmene]
2. John Dryden (德莱顿 1631---1700)
A famous English writer and poet laureate (桂
冠诗人)
Types of translation:
Metaphrase: a word-for-word, literal rendering
直译/逐字翻译
Imitation: radical departures from the original
text, including additions and reinterpretations 仿译/拟作
Paraphrase: a logical compromise between the
two extremes 释译/意译
3. Matthew Arnold (阿诺德,1822---1888)
English poet and translator
His translations:
Iliad 《伊利亚特》; Odyssey 《奥德赛》
His basic viewpoint on translation:
He insisted on preserving the form of an
original even though the meaning and the
spirit of a text might suffer, reacting against
freedom in translating.
Comments on Arnold’s view
• Poetry should be rendered like poetry; the
form is very important; it should not be
translated as a prose or something else; the
form of the translated text should be similar
to that of the original; if the form is greatly
changed, faithfulness could not be achieved.
For example, the following “translation” of
an ancient Chinese poem is actually not a
translation but a rewriting or adaptation.
A counter-example on poetry
translation
美国诗人洛威尔(Amy Lowell)英译杨贵妃
诗《赠张云容舞》
Source text:
罗袖动香香不已,红蕖袅袅秋烟里,
轻云岭上乍摇风,嫩柳池边初拂水。
Target text:
Wide sleeve asway
Scents,
Sweet scents
Incessant coming.
It is red lilies,
Lotus lilies,
Floating up,
And up
Out of autumn mist.
Thin clouds
Puffed,
Fluttered,
Blown on a rippling wind
Through a mountain pass.
Young willow shoots
Touching
Brushing
The water
Of the garden pool.
4. Alexander Fraser Tytler (泰特勒,1749-1814) An English anthropologist
Masterwork:
Essay on the Principles of Translation, 1790
《论翻译的原则》
His three translation principles:
1) The translation should give a complete
transcript of the ideas of the original work.
译文要完全复述作者的思想。 (信)
2)The style and manner of writing should
be of the same character as that of the
original . 译文的风格、笔调应当与原文
的性质相同。 (雅)
3)The translation should have all the ease
of the original composition.
译文应当和原文一样流畅。 (达)
▲ Compare them with Yan Fu’s three-inone principle: Xin, Da and Ya
5. Peter Newmark (纽马克)
Contemporary English translation scholar
Major works:
• Approaches to Translation (1981)
• About Translation (1983)
• A textbook of Translation (1988)
Types of translation
• Semantic Translation 语义翻译
• Communicative Translation 交际翻译
Features of semantic translation
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Author-centered
Pursues author’s though
Faithful, more literal
Usually more awkward
SL-biased
Information, meaning
Informative
Features of communicative translation
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Reader-centered
Pursues author’s intention
Faithful, freer
Easy reading, more natural
TL-biased
Message
Effective
• Eugene A. Nida
Contemporary American translation scholar
Major works:
• Toward a Science of Translating (1965)
• The Theory and Practice of Translation
(1969)
• Language, Culture and Translating (1993)
His basic view on translation:
• Translation means communicating.
• Translation means translating meanings.
• No translation is ever completely
equivalent, so paraphrase is sometimes
necessary.
His major concepts
• Formal/dynamic/functional equivalence
• Minimal/maximal adequacy
At home (In China)
1. 道安(314-385)
东晋,后秦皇帝姚兴的国师
“质”(plain style,直译)、“五失本”、“三
不易”
●“五失本”(译文失去原作本来面目):译
胡为秦,有五失本也:一者,胡语尽倒,而
使从秦,一失本也[《金刚经》:大比丘众
共半十三比丘百/与大比丘众千二百五十人
整]。二者,胡经尚质,秦人好文,传可众
心,非文不合,斯二失本也。三者。胡经委
悉,至于咏叹,咛叮反覆,或三或四,不嫌
其烦,而今裁斥,三失本也。
四者。胡有义说,正似乱辞,寻说向语,文
无以异,或千五百,刈而不存,四失本也。
五者,事已全成,将更傍及,反腾前辞,已
乃后说而悉除,此五失本也。
●“三不易”(译事三种不容易的情况):然
《般若经》,三达之心,覆面所演,圣必因
时,时俗有易,而删雅古以适今,一不易也;
愚智天隔,圣人叵阶,乃欲以千岁之上微言,
传使合百王之下末俗,二不易也;阿难出经,
去佛未久,尊者大迦叶令五百六通,迭察迭
书,今离千年而以近意量裁,彼阿罗汉乃兢
兢若此,此生死人而平平若此,岂将不知法
者勇乎?斯三不易也。
小资料:
佛经翻译及道安之前的佛经翻译家:
Buddhist Scriptures(佛经)
→ Sanskrit (梵语) Buddhism(佛教)、
Western Regions 西域
安世高(a Parthian,安息/波斯人,二世纪人,
主张直译) 支娄迦谶 (a Scythian,月支国
人),支谦(三国时期人,《发句经序》,
“因循本旨,不加文饰”)
2. 鸠摩罗什(Kumarajiva 344-413)
道安同时代人,a free-hander(意译派)
名言:
“但改梵为秦, 失其藻蕴, 虽得大意, 殊隔文体,
有似嚼饭与人, 非徒失味, 乃令呕哕也。”
主张意译的实例:
竺法护原译:“天见人, 人见天”(《正法华
经》)
什与僧睿改译:“天人交接,两得相见。”
3. 彦琮《辨证论》(557-610)
隋朝人,佛经翻译家,写出我国历史上第一
篇翻译专论《辨证论》
“八备” eight qualifications “十条” ten
rules
4. 玄奘(602-644)(Tripitaka, 三藏法师)
--“文质并重”
--“五种不翻”(秘密故,如陀罗尼;含义多
故,如薄伽,梵具六义;此无故,如阎
浮树;顺古故,阿褥菩提;生善故,如
般若)
5. 马建忠 (清末人)
“善译”:“译成之文,适如其所译而止,而曾无毫
发出入于其间,夫而后能使阅者所得之益,与观原文
无异,是则为善译也已。”(《拟设翻译书院议》)
6. 严复
译事三难:信、达、雅( 《天演论》译例言)
雅: 使用文言文
7. 鲁迅
“宁信而不顺”(Faithfulness is more important than
smoothness.),“信顺”,“异国情调”(保持原作
的丰姿preserve the exotic flavor , the essence of the
source text )[赵景深;宁顺而不信]
8. 林语堂
• 翻译三标准:忠实标准,通顺标准,美的标准
(stylistic equivalence)
• 字神句气 , 以句为翻译单位, 直译意译名称之
不妥,忠实非字字对译,字典辞书不可靠, 忠实
须求传神,绝对忠实不可能, 译者责任,翻译须
根据译语心理
9. 傅雷
“神似说”(spiritual resemblance/sublimation)
--以效果论,翻译应当象临画一样,所求的不在形
似而在神似。
--理想的译文仿佛是原作者的中文写作。
10. 郁达夫
“学”:对原文精深研究
“思”:致密的思索
“得”:精神[真意]完全的了解
11. 钱钟书
“化境说”(sublimation)
文学翻译的最高标准是“化”。把作品从
一国文字转变为另一国文字,既能不因语
文习惯的差异而露出生硬牵强的痕迹,又
能完全保存原有的风味,那就算得入于
“化境”。(《林纾的翻译》)
12. 许渊冲(诗歌翻译)
--“三美论”(音美、形美、意美),“竞赛
论”, “优胜论”
--翻译是“美化之”艺术。三美,三化(等
化,浅化,深化),三知(知之,好之,
乐之)
13. 刘重德
Jane Eyre第一译者
“信、达、切(close)”
14. 张培基 “忠实(faithfulness)、通顺
(smoothness)”
Questions and tasks
1. How do you look at translation principle
and criterion?
2. Translate passage 3 in the TRANSLATION
EXERCISE of the)