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Text Analysis

3.1 Source Text Analysis

The functional approach to translation introduced the systematic analysis of the ST,
precisely of the extratextual and intratextual factors (Superceanu, 2009:77).

Christiane Nord, who studied translation-oriented text analysis distinguished between

extratextual and intratextual factors on the basis of the so-called New Rhetoric Formula. She
came up with two sets of Wh-questions, one applicable to the context, the other, to the text.
The formula reads:

- Who transmits

- To Whom

- What for

- By Which medium

- Where

- When

- Why a text

- With What function?

(Nord, 1991:36)
According to this set, the extratextual factors are:

- The sender/ author

- The receiver/ user

- The purpose

- The channel/ medium

- The place and time of text production and reception

- The motive for communication

- The text function.

( Superceanu, 2009:59)

The second set of Wh-questions are:

- On what subject matter does he say what (what not)

- In what order

- Using which non-verbal elements

- In which words

- In what kind of sentences

- In which tone

- To what effect?

(Nord, 1991:36)

The intratextual factors are:

- The subject matter the text deals with

- The content

- The knowledge presuppositions made by the author, i.e. knowledge assumed to be

known by the receiver

- The composition of the text

- The non-linguistic elements accompanying the text

- The lexical features

- The syntactic structures

- The style

- The intended effect on the readers.

(Superceanu, 2009:60)

By analyzing the source text, the translator can identify himself some of the
extratextual factors, but he cant identify them all or the TT factors without information from
the initiator. If such information is not provided, the translator has to do that through a
checklist of questions, which are:

Factor Question
Sender Who requires the translation?
Receiver/ User Who is the document/ text for?
Translation Purpose What is the document/ text for?
Target text type What text type is to be produced?
Motive for the translation What has occasioned the translation?
Time of delivery What is the deadline for the TT?
Form of presentation Is the text to be published? If yes, where and
by whom?
(Superceanu, 2009:60)

The extratextual and intratextual factors discussed above apply to the current
translation situation:

3.2 Extratextual Factors

The sender

In this case, the sender is RAO, a Romanian publishing house, which is specialized in
translated books, and which wants to add to its collection of cultural books the Romanian
version of Mike Storry and Peter Childs book about the British culture.
The receiver/ intended audience

The receivers of this translation can be students who take classes about the British
culture, or as well, they can be people who are interested in this subject.

The senders intention

The sender has a referential purpose, because he seeks to inform its audience about the
British culture through various perspectives: sport, media, politics, etc. The senders sub-
purpose is didactic, because the book is a mountain of knowledge to be learned by the
receiver. Besides this informative purpose, the sender also has an appellative purpose,
seeking to persuade the target readers to become more interested in British culture, which
changes from one day to another, and which is the main factor that made the British nation
what it is today.


The channel used is the written form, a book divided in seven chapters, which are, in
their turn, divided into subchapters. The book also includes timelines at the beginning of
each chapter, exercises at the end of them, and non-verbal elements such as illustrations of
British landscapes or pictures with British people or celebrities.

The place of text production

English language varies depending on the region, and because of that this factor is very
important. Not only American English is different form British English, but also British
English has various dialects. The places of this book publication are simultaneously London
United Kingdom, New York USA, and Canada.

The time of production

The time of production is as important as the place, because every language changes
in terms of grammatical norms, meaning some words are no longer in use (archaisms). The
translator can verify this by checking the date of the publication. In this case, the book was
published by Routledge, London UK, New York USA and Canada in 2002, being the
second edition.
The motive

Peter Childs is Principal Lecturer in English at the University of Gloucestershire. He

has edited, with Mike Storry, The Routledge Encyclopaedia of Contemporary British
Culture. Mike Storry was Senior Lecturer in English at Liverpool John Moores University,
now he is retired. He has taught widely in Britain and abroad. As said in the preface of the
book, British Cultural Identities, it is aimed at people interested in British identities through
contemporary practices and activities: not through institutions or economics, but through

The text function

In this case, the function of the text is the same with the senders intention; it is a
referential function, which informs the audience about the major concepts of the British
culture, and how it changed through time. Culture is one of the most important factors that
made the British nation what it is today. It also has an appellative function, persuading the
readers to become more interested in what means to be British and learn more about their

3.3 Intratextual Factors

The analysis of the intratextual factors helps the translator determine the problems that
are likely to arise and it is based on the following questions (Nord, 1991:41):

Subject matter

The analysis of the subject matter should establish:

- Whether the text treats one subject or several subjects (Superceanu, 2009:79).

The subject matter of this text is British culture, with all its important aspects. The
book starts with an introduction to this subject, which presents culture as all the
characteristic activities and interests of a people, just like T. S. Eliot says. The book
explores all the aspects of British culture, taking a look into economics, politics, educational
system, but most of all, culture itself.

Content refers to the items of information which the sender considers to be informative
and meaningful for the receiver. The items may be facts about people, actions, events, places,
times, or may be opinions, reasons and objectives. The facts may sometimes take the form
of figures and statistics. Opinions, reasons and objectives come as ideas.

The content is expressed by the lexical items, the grammatical structures of the text
and the mutual relationship between them. It may also be encapsulated in summaries,
abstracts, topic sentences and headings (Superceanu, 2009:80).

The book presents the major concepts in tourism, its progress over the years and the
fact that is a very important factor when it comes to any nation. Each of its aspects are
discussed in chapters and their subchapters, analyzing the process through which the British
nation is what it is nowadays. The book has paid great attention to the impact of foreign
influences on British culture, because they represent a big part of what culture has become.


Presuppositions refer to things and phenomena of the world to which the text refers.
It is the information which the ST sender expects to be part of the receivers knowledge of
the world, background or situational, and therefore he/she does not express it explicitly
(Superceanu, 2009:82).

Presuppositions require identification and sometimes research work. In highly

specialized texts some information will always be unfamiliar to the translator, but to the TT
reader, an expert in the respective area, that information is known. Such a problem is solved
by requesting information from a specialist (Superceanu, 2009:83).

In this case, the target readers of the book should have some basic knowledge not only
about British culture itself, but about everything that this concept includes.


The book British Cultural Identities is divided into 7 chapters, which, in turn, are
divided into subchapters, which examine various aspects of British culture. Each of the
chapters include a timeline in the beginning and review exercises at the end of them. The
first subject to be presented is cultural geography, meaning how different do the population
of Britain see themselves from one another, depending on their region. Sex and Family are
the next to be discussed, including the concept of traditional family and peoples attitudes
to sexuality. Teenagers is the subject analyzed in the next chapter, because they always have
different points of view than the previous generations, and the British society is becoming
more and more youth-oriented. Politics and socio-economic rank is a very important matter
which can be found between the pages of this book. They are analyzed particularly, but more
important, their relationship is also evaluated; does social calls influence the voting patterns?
Britains xenophobic past is revealed in the discussion about ethnicity, and also the fact that
the language is different from one region to another of the continent. People believe that the
values from the past are starting to fade and that the British people are starting to lose their
faith. This is discussed in the last chapter, which is about religion and heritage, values and
customs from the past which are kept today. I was concerned with some of the cultural terms
which were included in the book, because they dont have a cultural equivalent in the target
language, so it was necessary more research, so I could explain them properly.

The non-verbal elements

Pragmatic texts make use of a wide range of non-verbal elements, i.e. signs which
belong to other codes than the language code. They are also called graphic devices or
sometimes aids. Their main purpose is to provide a more vivid and clearer view than their
prose equivalent (Superceanu: 2009,88).

Some translation theorists include in the category of non-verbal elements the special
types of print for titles and headings and the layout of the text, the combination of verbal
text with non-verbal elements (Nord: 1991:108).

The book contains non-verbal elements like illustrations of British landscapes and
pictures of British people.

The lexical features

The analysis of lexis is always important in the translation process, but its
thoroughness depends on whether the TT preserves the ST purpose or not (Superceanu,

The choice of lexical items is mainly determined by three intratextual factors: the
subject matter, the content and the presence of non-verbal elements.
The subject matter and the content influence the choice of the stylistic level of

The presence of non-verbal elements requires the use of specific metalanguage, i.e.
language about the organization of the text, and terminologies for their reference
(Superceanu, 2009:90).

It is also influenced directly/ indirectly by the extratextual factors: sender, level of

formality, recipient, medium and motive.

I think the level of formality of the text I have chosen is neutral, somewhere between
formal and informal because it contains common words from the basic vocabulary but it is
also polite and it doesnt contain any contracted forms. Even if it doesnt have a very high
specification degree, it requires general knowledge about geography and history. If the
reader does not possess such information, he/ she will not understand the message of the
text. The text contains many cultural terms, i.e. the twelfth of August, Derby Day, rugby at
Twickenham, the Great Exhibition of 1851 at the Crystal Palace in London, the Royal
Variety Performance, etc.

3.4 Prediction of Target Text Readers

The target text analysis will be done using the same criteria as the ones used for
analyzing the source text: extratextual and intertextual factors.

Extratextual factors

Factor Factor value

Sender RAO, a Romanian publishing house
Senders purpose To inform the audience about the British
culture and persuades the readers to become
more interested about this subject.
Receiver People interested in British culture or
students who take classes regarding this
Medium The channel used is the written form, the
book British Cultural Identities
Place The places of this book publication
are simultaneously London United
Kingdom, New York USA, and Canada.
Time of production The translator can set the time of
production by checking the date of the
publication. The book was published by
Routledge, London UK, New York
USA and Canada in 2002, being the
second edition.
Motive The book is aimed at people interested in
British identities through contemporary
practices and activities.
Text function To inform the audience about the British
culture and persuades the readers to
become more interested about this subject
(the same with the senders purpose).

Intertextual factors

Factor Factor value

Subject Matter British Cultural Identities
Content Preserved from the source text
Presuppositions General knowledge about the British
Composition The same as the source text in terms of
Non-verbal Elements Illustrations of British landscapes and
pictures of British people
Lexical Features Neutral level of formality; adaptation of
cultural references
Effect The same as in the source text: to inform
people more about British culture

3.5 Establishing the problems and difficulties of translation

The main problems and difficulties in this text are due to the cultural references. If the
readers of the book dont have basic knowledge of the British culture, the cannot fully
understand its message, therefore, some I had to explain some concepts between brackets.
Other problems I encountered are linguistic, syntax and lexical problems, text-specific

3.6 Choice of Translation Method

In the translation stage for the full-content mode, the translators goals are only three:
comprehension of the ST content, re-expression of the content in the TL, and TT writing. In
order to achieve his goals, the translator uses methods, strategies and techniques.

The methods entail requirements for the linguistic expression at the lexical,
morphological, syntactic, and pragmatic levels, which can be met by using strategies and
techniques (Superceanu, 2009:107).

The translation methods for this mode are either linguistic or pragmatic. The
linguistic methods are the faithful method and the semantic method, while the pragmatic
method is the communicative method, although the opinions of linguistic-oriented theorists
differ about the number of possible methods (Newmark, 1988).

I have translated only a part of this text, so the mode of translation is selective. The
translation method I have used is the communicative method because I believe it is the best-
suited for the text, considering the skopos and text type.