Essay on Translation Studies: The Skopos Theory

Essay on Translation Studies: The Skopos Theory

Length: 1896 words (5.4 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Strong Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

The Importance of the Brief for a Translator under the Framework of the Skopos Theory
1. Introduction
There has been a heated discussion in the field of Translation Studies with respect to where the emphasis should be put. Should it be on the source text and the sender, on the target text and the receiver or the process itself? This boils down to how one defines translation. This essay offers a critical view on the Skopos theory, which focuses on the translation process. A discussion is included to illustrate the importance of translation brief in both pedagogical and professional settings. Other related theories are presented as well. Finally, the essay concludes with a few remarks and suggestions.

2. Equivalence and the Skopos Theory: a Critical View
One of the most important concepts in Translation Studies is equivalence put forward by Eugene Nida (1964). There are two types of equivalent relationship between the source and the target texts according to him, formal equivalence and dynamic equivalence. Formal equivalence focuses on reproducing the surface structure, i.e. form and content of the source message. On the other hand, dynamic equivalence emphasizes equivalent effect, which implies that translators should aim to produce a similar response in the target audience to that in the source audience. However, scholars have criticized the concept of equivalent effect for being too vague. Moreover, it is almost impossible to create equivalent effect for readers from a different culture. ()
In the late 1970s, the focus of translation studies shifted to the process of translation as well as the receivers. Hans Vermeer is the founder of Skopos theory. As the Greek word skopos indicates, this theory stresses that translati...

... middle of paper ...

...slators will not ask for a brief even if they know it is better to have one when they do not receive one. There are two main reasons for this phenomenon. Firstly, considering the tight deadline and wage, translators cannot afford the time to ask for information about the target audience or the communicative purposes and then wait for a couple of days to receive replies from clients. Secondly, translators will not ask for a brief because clients do not know the importance of translation brief and sometimes they will even be annoyed if being asked too many questions. To get more jobs in the future, translators would like to maintain a good relationship with clients. (Jensen, 2009) As we can see, although the Skopos theory stresses the importance of translation brief, the reality in the translation industry does not live up to what is expected in the academic field.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

An Analysis of Spivak’s Translation of Mahasweta Devi’s Essay

- Mahasweta Devi is a very well known figure in modern contemporary Bengali Literature and also a Ramon Magsaysay Award winner for her tremendous works in the field of literature mainly on tribals and marginalized people. Gayatri Spivak played a great role in making Mahasweta Devi known to the literature world through her translations and her work of subaltern studies on Devi’s texts. Spivak has translated many texts of Mahasweta Devi from Bengali into English. Translation has its own problems and issues and has been discussed at large and these issues and problems are matter of concern for every translator....   [tags: Bangali literature, draupadi, translation]

Strong Essays
2181 words (6.2 pages)

Translation: Problems with Non equivalence at Word Level Essay

- 1. INTRODUCTION In this essay we are going to study the translation equivalents and the gaps raised from the non-equivalence at word level; then we will analyze some useful strategies for the translation process. What is a word. How the translator deals with this gap. What influences his choices. These are few of the question we will try to explain in this paper. We will pay a particular attention to the cultural differences and the translational gaps raised from it. In my opinion the non-equivalence in translation is due above all by the cultural barriers that influence our lifes....   [tags: Translation Essays]

Free Essays
2446 words (7 pages)

Lost in Translation Essays

- Poems have the ability to bring readers to a new place and to challenge their thinking. In a few words and often less than a page, poems expose readers to emotion and meaning in a limited space. With the presence of translation, readers around the world are able to dissect and discover the writings of authors in countries other than their own. However, different readings of a poem provide audiences with a different understanding of the poem, for one language does not translate directly into another....   [tags: Poem Translations, Analysis]

Strong Essays
1145 words (3.3 pages)

Misleading Translation of Freud's Work as Presented in Bettelheim's Book, Freud and Man’s Soul

- “Freud and Man’s Soul”, by Bruno Bettelheim, is the authors attempt to clear up inadequacies and errors of Freud’s research and writings after being translated to English. Bettelheim, with much of the same childhood background as Freud, studied Freud’s work at the University of Vienna. He later moved to the United States and became the director of the University of Chicago’s Orthogenic School. After reading Freud’s work in English he found the translation to be misleading. “…I discovered that reading Freud in English translations leads to quite different impressions from those I had formed when I had read them in German” (Weeks 3)....   [tags: informative, translation, German]

Strong Essays
631 words (1.8 pages)

Essay about The Relationship Between The Translator and Translation Technlogy

- Is the relationship between the translator and translation technology collaboration or competition. The relationship between translation and technology is a key question regarding the influence of translation in this profession. Now new technologies such as translation memories, collaborative translation management systems and data-based machine translation are influencing the very nature of the translation profession. Roman Jakobson (1960) saw the poetic function of language, which I believe can still remain and co-exist with technology....   [tags: machine translation, online dictionaries]

Strong Essays
3003 words (8.6 pages)

Essay on Medicine in Translation: Journeys with My Patients, by Danielle Ofri

- In the healthcare system many times patients are just patients and appointments are just appointments. The outlook on the patients and appointments all depends on the area of practice and the health professional themselves. Working in the emergency department, the nurses and doctors there typically do not see the same patient more than once and if they do the chance of them remembering them is slim to none just for the simple fact of the pace of the department. When it comes down to Physicians in the hospital setting, the care is not just quick and done....   [tags: Medicine in Translation]

Strong Essays
1190 words (3.4 pages)

The Evolution of the Cell Theory Essay

- The Evolution of the Cell Theory Since the beginning of humanity, science has been a developing topic full of mystery and questions. These questions might be as small as why closet doors close easier during the winter compared to the summer, and as big as how the universe was made. There are numerous topics in science such as chemistry, biology, and physics each of which have their own questions to be answered. They each have their own theories which have been developing since they began; but what is a theory....   [tags: theory, cell, hypothesis, studies]

Strong Essays
709 words (2 pages)

Lost in Translation by Ewa Hoffman Essay

- Lost in Translation - A Place to Remember As people grow up, there are special places that remain in the memories. These places become a safe haven when life becomes too rough to handle. All the bad qualities of this place disappear in their minds so that only a perfect world exists. This is a place where everything is right and everyday troubles do not exist. In the novel Lost in Translation by Ewa Hoffman, she describes this paradise of sorts as her hometown of Cracow, Poland. Cracow, Poland is where Ewa spent the majority of her childhood up until age fourteen when she emigrated to the Canada with her mother, father, and younger sister Alina....   [tags: Lost in Translation Ewa Hoffman]

Strong Essays
487 words (1.4 pages)

Eva Hoffman's Lost In Translation Essays

- Eva Hoffman’s memoir, Lost in Translation, is a timeline of events from her life in Cracow, Poland – Paradise – to her immigration to Vancouver, Canada – Exile – and into her college and literary life – The New World. Eva breaks up her journey into these three sections and gives her personal observations of her assimilation into a new world. The story is based on memory – Eva Hoffman gives us her first-hand perspective through flashbacks with introspective analysis of her life “lost in translation”....   [tags: Memoir Eva Hoffman Lost Translation]

Free Essays
1245 words (3.6 pages)

Machine Translation Essay

- Machine Translation Abstract In this paper, the overview of machine translation (MT) is presented. The original idea of MT has been investigated since 1950s by many research groups and at present many MT systems have been created and developed around the world. Three approaches of MT systems: direct translation, transfer and interlingual approaches are common systems. The main idea of direct translation approach is word-by-word replacement before the transformation of the structure from source language (SL) to target language (TL)....   [tags: Computer Programs Programming Natural Language]

Strong Essays
2224 words (6.4 pages)