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Theoretical Concepts of Translation Studies

The Differences between the Functionalist Approaches and the System-Based and Norm-Based Theories, and Contributions of the Descriptive Theories to Translation Surveies

1- Introduction

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2- The Differences between the Functionalist Approaches and the System-Based and Norm-Based Theories

3- Contributions of the Descriptive Theories to Translation Surveies



1- Introduction

Theories and attacks are nowadays the biggest aid for the transcribers to make their manner in their interlingual rendition procedure every bit good as a great point for research workers to utilize in their research undertakings. Numerous attacks have been found in interlingual rendition surveies in the late of 1970s and in 1980s. These attacks include functionalist attacks developed by Vermeer, system-based theory by Even-Zohar and norm-based theory by Toury. These developments have besides contributed to affecting interlingual rendition in footings of bettering scholarly contemplations towards the subject of Translation Studies. This essay will concentrate on the differences between functionalist attacks and system-based and norm-based theories of interlingual rendition ; so will be followed by the major parts System-based and Norm-based have caused in Translation Studies.

2- The Differences between the Functionalist Approaches and the System-Based and Norm-Based Theories

This portion of the essay discusses the differences between the two theories and attacks in Translation Studies. The Skopos theory developed by Hans Vermeer in the 1970s accents that the functionality to accomplish the intents of the mark text in the mark civilization. Skopos theory besides reflects a general displacement from preponderantly lingual and instead formal interlingual rendition theories to a more functionally and socioculturally oriented construct of interlingual rendition. Vermeer ( 1996: 15 ) provinces that the Skopos theory is used for the purpose or the intent of the text, this theory creates different mark texts. This means that any act of interlingual rendition has its ain intent, harmonizing to the civilization and reader. Harmonizing to Pym ( 2010: 49 ) , the map of the text is given precedence, and is related to the mark reader. Thus a individual text can acquire different interlingual renditions harmonizing to the different interlingual rendition Jockey shortss provided.

The theoretician Gideon Toury ( 1995 ) turned the norms into constructs for the survey of interlingual rendition. Toury ( 1995: 54-55 ) defines norms as “the interlingual rendition of general values or thoughts shared by a community – as to what is right and incorrect, equal and inadequate- into public presentation instructions appropriate for and applicable to peculiar situations” . Toury ( 1995: 81 ) besides says that the norms do non merely hold an impact on interlingual renditions, but besides each phase of the interlingual rendition public presentation which is non applicable for the functionalist attacks. Harmonizing to Toury ( 1995 ) , norms are the public presentation instructions for transcribers and different sorts of norms could be used at different phases of the interlingual rendition procedure.

The chief difference between the norm-based theories and functionalist attacks is that the functionalist attacks do non interfere in the procedure of interlingual rendition and they are merely interested in the concluding merchandise of the procedure. This means that the functionalist attacks are product-oriented, whereas the norm-based theories are process oriented as they guide the transcriber throughout the procedure of interlingual rendition. They set up the mentions that transcribers can take into history when making interlingual renditions so that there will be a coherency in all the interlingual rendition processes. However, with regard to functionalist attacks, the Skopos theory does non use consistent interlingual rendition processes as the mark texts produced come up with different merchandises following different methods and schemes. Norms are besides approximately shared values in a certain community and so the values become stable by the norms. Therefore, norms determine the manner the interlingual renditions will be carried out and the methods that will usually be used. Furthermore, the system-based theories enable the easy perceptual experience of the interlingual renditions by a certain civilization, where as the functionalist attacks do non assist with this either.

The descriptive theories are developed by two Israeli theoreticians Itamar Even-Zohar and Gideon Toury ; and the functionalist attacks were developed by Hans Vermeer and Katharina Reiss. These two theories and attacks have obvious influences on the transcribers, because they extremely help in the interlingual rendition procedure. Therefore, Pym ( 2010: 49 ) provinces that the chief intent of utilizing Skopos theory is to bring forth legion interlingual renditions from a individual beginning text. This means that the Skopos depends on the clients’ required purpose of bring forthing text. Munday ( 2012: 189 ) believes that Descriptive Translation Studies ( DTS ) could assist the transcribers to make up one’s mind on their hereafter work, so follow the regulations of interlingual rendition and use them on their undertaking. Polysytem theory would assist in conveying the interlingual renditions into a cardinal topographic point ; therefore do the mark civilization more cognizant of the interlingual renditions and the translated literature.

Another relevant difference is that the beginning text ( ST ) is frequently neglected by the functionalism theory, because the intent of the interlingual rendition is much more important in order to make up one’s mind on the appropriate method to use to the undertaking. Hermans ( 1999: 34 ) provinces that in both the polysystem theory of Even-Zohar and the norm-based attack of Toury, the mark text ( TT ) is in the Centre and the DTS is more loyal to the original text. The transcriber intends to lodge to the original text harmonizing to descriptive theories. However ; the functionalist attacks direct the transcriber in the manner that the original text would non be in the nucleus of importance any longer and the mark text production and its purpose would be the chief focal point.

In Translation Studies, thepolysystem theory is a theory to explicate the development of the literary system. The term polysystem denotes a graded pudding stone of interrelated elements, which changes and mutates as these elements interact with each other ( Shuttleworth and Cowie 1997:127 ) . Polysystem refers to the full web of the correlative system within society and therefore both major and minor systems all together in the specific civilization. This would let the spread of the interlingual renditions and the interlingual rendition processes, whereas the functionalist attacks would non assist in distributing the procedure but merely find solutions of interlingual rendition. Furthermore, the backing system of the polysystem theory would assist in the spread of the procedures economically with the aid of the participants in the system. “polysystem theory is cognizant of the societal embedding of cultural systems, but in pattern takes small attentiveness of existent political and societal power dealingss or more concrete entities such as establishments ( … ) ” ( Hermans, 1999: 118 ) . This demonstrates that the system-based theory is affected by cultural phenomena and political instances within a civilization, but functionalist attacks do non acquire affected as they focus on the purpose of text production without being affected by outer fortunes in the specific civilization.

Another difference between the functionalist attacks and the system-based and norm-based theories is that the civilization has become the unit of interlingual rendition that has been given importance by the system-based theories whereas the functionalist attacks defended the Skopos of interlingual rendition as the chief of import component of the interlingual rendition. In add-on, harmonizing to Toury ( cited in Venuti, 2012: 171-173 ) , the term acceptableness is the right definition for a interlingual rendition suited to the norms of interpreting whereas impression of the functionalist attacks is precisely the antonym of adequateness for Toury, since adequateness means fiting the demands of the interlingual rendition description.

3- Contributions of the Descriptive Theories to Translation Surveies

This portion talks about the importance of part of descriptive theories. The construct developed by Gideon Toury has drawn a manner for making a methodological analysis in Translation Studies. This means that the transcribers would be able to read and understand the good and the bad manner of making interlingual renditions. This state of affairs has led to the institutionalization in footings of Translation Studies. Many establishments have been created and opened for instruction intents where new transcribers would be educated and they would function as the new teachers of the field in the hereafter. These betterments have turned Translation Studies into organizing a new subject. Therefore, new researches will be necessary in the field by new bookmans in order to develop the subject and do it more advanced.


In decision, the differences between the antecedently developed functionalist attacks and the descriptive theories imply that Translation Studies progress as the clip goes by and deep researches are being carried out for these intents. The chief part of the theories to Translation Studies is the rise of Translation Studies as a subject and development of bookmans of the subject. After the visual aspect of these attacks, the civilization has been given much more importance than earlier in the interlingual rendition country. Furthermore, one of the most of import promotions by the theories has caused a integrity in the interlingual rendition processes ; therefore a coherency in interlingual rendition as a profession. This will besides impact the coherency facet of the turning subject of Translation Studies in a positive manner taking to broader credence of the subject through the universe.


Woody hermans, T. ( 1999 ) .Translation in Systems: Descriptive and System-Oriented Approaches Explained.Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.

Munday, J. ( 2012 ) .Introducing Translation Studies: Theories and Applications.3rdedition. London: Routledge.

Pym, A. ( 2010 ) .Researching Translation Theories. London and New York: Routledge

Shuttleworth, M. & A ; M. Cowie ( 1997 ) .Dictionary of Translation Studies.Manchester: St Jerome

Toury, G. ( 1978 ) .‘The Nature and Role of Norms in Translation’. In: Venuti, L. ( Ed. ) . ( 2012 ) .Translation Surveies Reader. 3rdedition. London and New York: Routledge. pp. 168-81.

Toury, G. ( 1995 ) .Descriptive Translation Studies and beyond. Revised edition. Dutch capital: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Vermeer, H. J. ( 1996 ) .A Skopos Theory of Translation ( Some Arguments for and Against ). Heidelberg: TEXTconTEXT.


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