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Introducing Translation Studies

Introducing Translation Studies is among the few very best textbooks on translation
studies that brings together translation theory and practice. In the book, Munday has
done a superb job in presenting the myriad of up-to-date translation theories in a concise,
lucid and interesting manner. Its translation studies made easy, hence good for trans-
lation students, teachers, professional translators or simply anyone who wants an
introduction to the subject.
Defeng Li, SOAS, UK
Praise for the rst edition:
Jeremy Mundays book responds to the challenge not only of having to provide for the
profound plurality now characteristic of the eld, but also to present a snapshot of a rapidly
developing discipline in a clear, concise and graphic way. This is a book which raises strong
awareness of current issues in the eld and will be of interest to translation trainers and
trainees alike.
Basil Hatim, American University of Sharjah, UAE
An established bestselling textbook, used on translation courses and PhD programmes
worldwide, Introducing Translation Studies provides an accessible overview of the key con-
tributions to this dynamic and growing eld.
In this book Munday explores each theory chapter by chapter and tests the different
approaches by applying them to texts. The texts discussed are taken from a broad range of
languages Bengali, English, French, German, Spanish, Italian, Punjabi, Portuguese and
Spanish and English translations are provided.
Analysing a wide variety of texts including the Bible, Beowulf, the ction of Garca
Mrquez and Proust, European Union and Unesco documents, lms, a travel brochure, a
childrens cookery book and the translations of Harry Potter, Munday provides a balanced
introduction to the subject.
Each chapter includes a box presenting the key concepts; an introduction outlining the
translation theory or theories; illustrative texts with translations; case studies; a chapter
summary and discussion points and exercises.
New features of this second edition include:
A new chapter on translation and new technologies, focusing on audiovisual transla-
tion and also including globalization/localization and corpus-based translation studies
Revision of each chapter with new material on the development of translation theory
and practice, including cognitive translation theories and relevance theory, the histori-
ography and sociology of translation, and translation and ideology
An updated discussion on the future of translation studies
Revised exercises and fully updated further reading lists, web links and bibliography
A new companion web site.

This is a practical, user-friendly textbook which gives a comprehensive insight into transla-
tion studies.
An accompanying website can be found at:
Jeremy Munday is Senior Lecturer in Spanish studies and translation at the University of
Leeds and is a freelance translator. He is author of Style and Ideology in Translation
(Routledge, 2008) and co-author, with Basil Hatim, of Translation: An Advanced Resource
Book (Routledge, 2004).

Introducing Translation
Theories and applications
Second Edition

First edition published 2001
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The 1970s and 1980s saw a move away from the static linguistic typologies of translation
shifts and the emergence and ourishing in Germany of a functionalist and communicative
approach to the analysis of translation. In this chapter, we look at:
(1) Katharina Reisss early work on text type and Mary Snell-Hornbys integrated approach;
(2) Justa Holz-Mnttris theory of translational action;
(3) Hans J. Vermeers skopos theory which centred on the purpose of the TT;
(4) Christiane Nords more detailed text-analysis model which continued the functionalist
tradition in the 1990s.
Katharina Reisss work in the 1970s builds on the concept of equivalence (see Chapter 3)
but views the text, rather than the word or sentence, as the level at which communication
is achieved and at which equivalence must be sought (Reiss 1977/89: 11314). Her
functional approach aims initially at systematizing the assessment of translations. It
borrows Karl Bhlers three-way categorization of the functions of language.
Reiss links
the three functions to their corresponding language dimensions and to the text types or
communicative situations in which they are used. These links can be seen in Table 5.1.
The main characteristics of each text type are summarized by Reiss (1977/89: 1089) as
(1) Plain communication of facts: information, knowledge, opinions, etc. The lan-
guage dimension used to transmit the information is logical or referential, the
content or topic is the main focus of the communication, and the text type is
(2) Creative composition: the author uses the aesthetic dimension of language. The
author or sender is foregrounded, as well as the form of the message, and the
text type is expressive.
(3) Inducing behavioural responses: the aim of the appellative function is to appeal
to or persuade the reader or receiver of the text to act in a certain way. The form
of language is dialogic, the focus is appellative and Reiss calls this text type
(4) Audiomedial texts, such as lms and visual and spoken advertisements which
supplement the other three functions with visual images, music, etc. This is
Reisss fourth type, which is not represented in Table 5.1.
Examples of text varieties or genres (Textsorte) associated with each of the three text types
are given by Reiss (1976: 20) and presented visually by Chesterman (see Figure 5.1).
Following this diagram, the reference work is the text variety which is the most fully informa-
tive text type; the poem is a highly expressive, form-focused type, and an advertisement is
the clearest operative text type (attempting to persuade someone to buy or do something).
Between these poles are positioned a host of hybrid of types. Thus, a biography might be

somewhere between the informative and expressive types, since it provides information
about the subject while also partly performing the expressive function of a piece of litera-
ture. Similarly, a sermon gives information (about the religion) while fullling the operative
function by attempting to persuade the congregation to a certain way of behaving.
Despite the existence of such hybrid types, Reiss (1977/89: 109) states that the
transmission of the predominant function of the ST is the determining factor by which
the TT is judged. She suggests specic translation methods according to text type (Reiss
1976: 20). These methods occupy the last two rows of Table 5.1 and can be described as
(1) The TT of an informative text should transmit the full referential or conceptual
content of the ST. The translation should be in plain prose, without redundancy and
with the use of explicitation when required.
(2) The TT of an expressive text should transmit the aesthetic and artistic form of the
Figure 5.1 Reisss text types and text varieties (Chesterman 1989: 105, based on a handout pre-
pared by Roland Freihoff).
Table 5.1 Functional characteristics of text types and links to translation methods (translated and
adapted from Reiss 1971)
Text type Informative Expressive Operative
Language function Informative (representing
objects and facts)
Expressive (expressing
senders attitude)
Appellative (making an
appeal to text receiver)
Logical Aesthetic Dialogic
Text focus Content-focused Form-focused Appellative-focused
TT should . . . Transmit referential
Transmit aesthetic form Elicit desired response
Translation method Plain prose, explicitation
as required
Identifying method,
adopt perspective of
ST author
Adaptive, equivalent

ST. The translation should use the identifying method, with the translator adopting the
standpoint of the ST author.
(3) The TT of an operative text should produce the desired response in the TT receiver.
The translation should employ the adaptive method, creating an equivalent effect
among TT readers.
(4) Audio-medial texts require what Reiss calls the supplementary method, supplement-
ing written words with visual images and music.
Reiss (1971: 5488) also lists a series of intralinguistic and extralinguistic instruction
criteria (Instruktionen) by which the adequacy of a TT may be assessed. These are:
(1) intralinguistic criteria: semantic, lexical, grammatical and stylistic features;
(2) extralinguistic criteria: situation, subject eld, time, place, receiver, sender and
affective implications (humour, irony, emotion, etc.).
Although interrelated, the importance of these criteria varies according to text type (Reiss
1971: 69). For example, the translation of any content-focused text should rst aim at
preserving semantic equivalence. For a TT that is a news item, second place might probably
be occupied by grammatical criteria, whereas a popular science book might pay more
attention to the individual style of the ST. Similarly, Reiss (p. 62) feels that it is more
important for a metaphor to be retained in the translation of an expressive text than in an
informative TT, where translation of its semantic value alone will be sufcient.
There are, of course, occasions, as Reiss allows (1977/89: 114), when the function of
the TT may differ from that of the ST. An example she gives is Jonathan Swifts Gullivers
Travels. Originally written as a satirical novel to attack the government of the day (i.e. a
mainly operative text), it is nowadays normally read and translated as ordinary entertaining
ction (i.e. an expressive text). Alternatively, a TT may have a different communicative
function from the ST: an operative election address in one language may be translated for
analysts in another country interested in nding out what policies have been presented and
how (i.e. as an informative and expressive text).
5.1.1 Discussion of the text type approach
Reisss work is important because it moves translation theory beyond a consideration of
lower linguistic levels, the mere words on the page, beyond even the effect they create,
towards a consideration of the communicative purpose of translation. However, over the
years there have been a number of criticisms, which are summarized by Fawcett (1997:
1068). One of the criticisms is why there should only be three types of language function.
Nord, although working in the same functionalist tradition as Reiss, perhaps implicitly
accepts this criticism by feeling the need to add a fourth phatic function, taken from
Roman Jakobsons typology,
covering language that establishes or maintains contact
between the parties involved in the communication (Nord 1997: 40; see also section 5.4
below). A simple example would be a greeting or phrase such as Ladies and gentlemen
that is used to signal the start of a formal speech or an announcement made by a company
employee to clients.