Towards a General Theory of Translational Action: Skopos Theory Explained, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Towards a General Theory of Translational Action

Skopos Theory Explained, 1st Edition

By Katharina Reiss, Hans J Vermeer


222 pages

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Paperback: 9781905763955
pub: 2013-03-03
Hardback: 9781138133365
pub: 2015-11-02
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This is the first English translation of the seminal book by Katharina Reiß and Hans Vermeer, Grundlegung einer allgemeinen Translationstheorie, first published in 1984. The first part of the book was written by Vermeer and explains the theoretical foundations and basic principles of skopos theory as a general theory of translation and interpreting or ‘translational action’, whereas the second part, penned by Katharina Reiß, seeks to integrate her text-typological approach, first presented in 1971, as a ‘specific theory’ that focuses on those cases in which the skopos requires equivalence of functions between the source and target texts. Almost 30 years after it first appeared, this key publication is now finally accessible to the next generations of translation scholars.

In her translation, Christiane Nord attempts to put skopos theory and her own concept of ‘function plus loyalty’ to the test, by producing a comprehensible, acceptable text for a rather heterogeneous audience of English-speaking students and scholars all over the world, at the same time as acting as a loyal intermediary for the authors, to whom she feels deeply indebted as a former student and colleague.

Table of Contents

0. Introduction

0.1 Preliminary remarks

0.2 General epistemological considerations

0.3 The purpose of T&I studies

0.4 General remarks on terminology

Part I. Theoretical groundwork

1. Terminological distinctions

1.1 The need for a generic term

1.2 The advantage of neologisms

1.3 Formal distinctions

1.4 Summary 1

1.5 Other definitions

2. Of worlds and languages

2.1 Framework for a theory of translational action: an overview

2.2 The concept of ‘language’

2.3 Forms of transfer

2.4 Summary: ‘Transfer’ as a generic concept

2.5 Language and culture

2.6 What is translated?

3. Translational action as an ‘offer of information’ (functional definition)

3.1 Different translation strategies at work

3.2 Translation seen as a two-phase communication process

3.3 An ‘information’ theory of translation

3.4 In search of a consistent theory: five examples

3.5 Another short note on terminology

3.6 Translation as an IO about another IO

3.7 Types of ‘information offers’ about texts

3.8 The benefits of our theory

3.9 Translation as ‘imitatio’

4. The priority of purpose (skopos theory)

4.1 Introductory remarks

4.2 The priority of functionality

4.3 Summary

4.4 The skopos rule

4.5 The sociological rule

4.6 Phases in decision-making

4.7 Skopos hierarchies

4.8 Source-text skopos vs. target-text skopos

5. Summary of the theoretical groundwork (3, 4)

6. Some further considerations regarding the theoretical groundwork

6.1 Success and protest

6.2 Intratextual coherence

6.3 Intertextual coherence (fidelity)

6.4 Types of coherence

7. General rules for translational action

8. Taxonomy for a theory of translational action

8.1 Preliminary remarks

8.2 Models of translational action

8.3 Taxonomy

Part II. Specific theories

9. The relationship between source text and target text

10. Equivalence and adequacy

10.0 Preliminary remarks

10.1 Towards a definition of equivalence

10.2 Origin of the equivalence concept

10.3 On the fuzziness of the equivalence concept

10.4 Defining the scope of the equivalence concept

10.5 The concept of adequacy

10.6 Equivalence vs. adequacy

10.7 Equivalence as a dynamic concept

10.8 Text and textual equivalence

10.9 Equivalence criteria

10.10 Achieving textual equivalence in the translation process

10.11 The text

10.12 Hierarchies of equivalence requirements

10.13 Discussion of examples

10.14 Conclusions

11. Genre theory

11.0 Introduction

11.1 The concept of genre

11.2 Genre definition

11.3 Genre conventions and genre classes

11.4 The role of genre in the communicative event

11.5 The role of genre in the translation process

11.6 Summary

12. Text type and translation

12.0 Preliminary remarks

12.1 Text status

12.2 Text function

12.3 Text types

12.4 Hybrid forms

12.5 Identifying signals

12.6 Amplification of the typology

12.7 The relevance of text types for translation


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