Chapter One Project Introduction
1.1 Project Background
In this chapter, a brief introduction of the project will be made. It covers threemajor dimensions: project background, significance and structure. In the section ofproject background, the book involved in the project will be introduced in terms of itsauthor, structure and highlights. The significance of this project will be explained fromthree different dimensions: economic, cultural and personal. In the section of structure,how this project report is organized will be introduced by listing all chapters and theirmain ideas.
Cultivation and Appreciation of Chinese Bonsai is a record of bonsai fans trackingbonsai trends with their cameras for decades. It is a book drawing on the merits andcore proposals of various bonsai schools. It was published by Fujian Science andTechnology Press in 2016. Rich information, a unique perspective and personalexperience make this book stand out. This report is based on the C-E translation of thethird chapter Pine, Cypress and Miscellaneous Trees. The Skopos Theory will befollowed and used as the theoretical framework for this report. In case analysis,different principles of translation including skopos, fidelity and coherence will bereferred to as both guidance to translation process and standards for comparisonsbetween different versions.
1.2 Project Significance
The importance of this reports is manifested in different aspects includingeconomy, culture and career development.
Economically, there is a huge demand for bonsai raw materials, which hasformed a complete market of economic value. In such a context, the translation ofrelated books and data will broaden the distribution channel of Chinese bonsai exportmarket. Therefore, the translation of this book can bring potential economic benefits tosome extent. Through reading the English translation to learn about the Chinese bonsaiproduction techniques, foreign bonsai lovers may prefer the Chinese market.
Culturally, bonsai embodies rich spiritual connotation and humanistic pursuit.President Xi Jinping has highlighted the value of Chinese traditions and culture of allethnic groups and showed much concern over the sustainable development oftraditional culture in the future. Based on value recognition and respect for differentcultural forms, he pointed out that we China people should be confident about their owncustoms and traditions so that we will handle challenges and other issues ahead in ourpath in a more effective and unhurried way. Accordingly, in international culturalexchange, appropriate cultural carriers should be identified and developed to introduceChinese culture. Seen from this perspective, bonsai is an ideal option.While cultivatingand appreciating bonsai, people will gain more recognition of Chinese culture.
Chapter Two Major Difficulties and Cause Analysis
2.1 The Stylistic Features of the Source Text
As mentionedabove, the source text Cultivation and Appreciation of ChineseBonsai is a compound text with both information and inspiration functions. Therefore,itisa prerequisitefor translation tolearncomprehensivelyabout different texts’stylisticfeatures.
2.1.1 Lexical Features
The source text is centered on Chinese bonsai – a representative branch of Chinesetraditional horticulture. Therefore, the very first remarkable lexical feature is a largenumber of proper nouns, including names of different species of plants and gardeningmethods. Meanwhile, the author of the source text tries to appreciate different bonsaiswith his understanding of Chinese philosophy and aesthetic values. As a consequence,many culturally loaded words are used to elaborate on those philosophical and aestheticanalysis. This entails knowledge in both horticulture and Chinese culture.
Apart from them, there are also some special expressions including popular namesof plants and gardening methods. Some of them derive from different dialectics indifferent Chinese regions and the rest of them are hard to track down the origin.
2.2 Major Difficulties
The difficulties are analyzed and listed in three different aspects: terminology,sentence and discourse. In terminology aspect, there are a large number of proper nounsin English and Chinese languages which are respectively familiar to English-speakingand Chinese-speaking gardening fans. This fact creates both challenges andopportunities for translators. In most of the cases, equivalence can be found between these two groups, such as “pruning” and “修剪”. A large number of similar casesmake sure that through translation of accuracy and professionalism, English-speakingreaders will find it easy to understand what a Chinese bonsai fan tries to tell them.However, there are still some minor proper nouns native to China and under such acircumstance, it is difficult to achieve equivalence. In sentence aspect, some activesentences in Chinese text should be passivized to keep it objective and accurate.Meantime, the complicated sentences, if necessary, should also be transformed. Indiscourse aspect, the author of the source text tries to embody his own Chinesephilosophical and aesthetic understanding in explaining how valuable those differentbonsais are. That may account for the difficulties the translator encounters with inpractice.
Chapter Three Solutions to Major Difficulties .................................12
3.1 The Enlightenment of the Skopos Theory...........................12
3.1.1 Main Points.........................12
3.1.2 Appliance of the Theory in Translation..............................13
Chapter Four Conclusion and Recommendation..........................34
4.1 Main Findings.......................34
4.2 Suggestions and Recommendations..................................35
Chapter Three Solutions to Major Difficulties
3.1 The Enlightenment of the Skopos Theory
3.1.1 Main Points
Skopos means certain purposes or aims in German language. Vermeer uses wordslike aim, purpose and intention to avoid conceptual confusion. Nord makes efforts indistinguishingintention from function: intention is defined by the sender, whilefunction refers to the textual function, which is determined by the expectations, needs,known knowledge, and environmental conditions of the recipient (Nord, 2006).
In the framework of Vermeer's proposals, the audience is attached with moreimportance. Each kind of text targets at a certain group of audience, so translation is“discourseproducedfor acertainpurpose andtargetaudience inthe contextofthe targetlanguage” (Vermeer, 2000:27). Vermeer believes that the original text is only a sourceof part or all of information for the target audience.
Compared with Nida's Functional Equivalence theory and the translation theorylimited to language in the early stage, the Skopos theory emphasizes the comparisonbetween the actual effect of translation and the expected effect and attaches moresignificanceto thefunctionalityof translation(Reiss,2010).Tosomeextent,theSkopos theory allows translators to take into account flexible methods while dealing with somechallenging texts. That may account for the author’s applying the Skopos theory in thisreport.
Chapter Four Conclusion and Recommendation
4.1 Main Findings
Many conclusions can be made as the outcome of the case analysis in this report.To deal with translation of words, free translation is most recommended as it canreproduce meaning while making sure that the form is preserved. Free translation willalso improve the efficiency of translation to a large extent. It is also a noteworthyphenomenon that in many casesin which the applicationoffreetranslation isseeminglyreasonable, it is not. Translators should make more considerations about whether thesame word will be perceived differently by readers of different cultural backgrounds.The word “meat” mentioned in the free translation with notes is a typical example. ForEnglish-speaking readers, meat has nothing to do with high price or much value. Freetranslation is also widely used in the translation practice of this chapter. As a matter offact, free translation has more consistency with Skopos rule, which both suggests thatto convey the meaning in a faithful way is of superiority over preserving the form. It isalso with the help of free translation that many culturally loaded words are translatedin a more readable and comprehensible way. Transliteration method is proved to beeffective in dealing with some bonsai materials and trees native to China, which are normally named by some places and even their discoverers. As cultural confidence isappealed, translators might resort to this method more frequently.
In dealing with sentences, coherence rule of the Skopos theory has been proved tobe valuable in not only helping examine the translation but also being utilized as theinspiration of a more in-depth analysis. For example, what a causal relationship isexpressed in a sentence will inform translators of importance of inversion. That isexactly how the author of this report deals with some sentences explaining differentsteps of a bonsai’s cultivation. The author also finds that in many of cases wherediscourse difficulties are dealt with, many strategies are practical. Omission, forexample, has been applied to make the translation more concise. However, concisenesscannot be achieved at the sacrifice of loss of meaning. That is where S
kopos rule works.With the analysis of the writer’s purposes, the translator finds it more organized inmaking decisions of whether a single word, phrase and even sentence should be omitted.