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Assessing the translations of english movie titles released in CGV cineplex from 2011 to 2014

VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF POSTGRADUATE STUDIES
***********

TRẦN THỊ MINH

ASSESSING THE TRANSLATIONS OF ENGLISH MOVIE
TITLES RELEASED IN CGV CINEPLEX FROM 2011 TO 2014

(Đánh giá chất lượng bản dịch tựa đề phim tiếng Anh phát hành
tại cụm rạp CGV từ năm 2011 đến năm 2014)

M.A. COMBINED PROGRAMME THESIS

Major: English Linguistics
Code: 60220201

HANOI – 2016



VIETNAM NATIONAL UNIVERSITY
UNIVERSITY OF LANGUAGES AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES
FACULTY OF POSTGRADUATE STUDIES
********

TRẦN THỊ MINH

ASSESSING THE TRANSLATIONS OF ENGLISH MOVIE
TITLES RELEASED IN CGV CINEPLEX FROM 2011 TO 2014

(Đánh giá chất lượng bản dịch tựa đề phim tiếng Anh phát hành
tại cụm rạp CGV từ năm 2011 đến năm 2014)

M.A. COMBINED PROGRAMME THESIS

Major: English Linguistics
Code: 60220201
Supervisor: ASSOC.PROF.DR.LÊ HÙNG TIẾN

HANOI - 2016


ACCEPTANCE
I hereby state that I: Tran Thi Minh, QH2013, being a candidate for
the degree of Master accept the requirements of the University relating to the
retention and use of Graduation Paper deposited in the library.
In terms of these conditions, I agree that the origin of my paper
deposited in the library should be accessible for the purposes of study and
research, in accordance with the normal conditions established by the
librarian for the care, loan or reproduction of the paper.
Hanoi, 2016

Trầ n Thi Minh
̣

i


ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS


I would like to thank all the people who have supported and inspired me to
complete this thesis. The success of this paper is also attributable to them.
First and foremost, I would like to send my heartfelt gratitude towards my
beloved supervisor, Assoc.Prof.Dr.Le Hung Tien for his enthusiasm and dedication,
his critical comments and timely feedback, his constant understanding and
encouragement. Had it not been for his tremendous support, I could never have
been able to complete this research.
I would also like to express the sincerest thanks to Quang, Thu, and Thanh,
who willingly spent time participating in the study and openly shared their
experiences and opinions. Without their help, this paper would not have been
finished.
Furthermore, I would love to extend my profound gratitude to all the
teachers who have taught me translation, interpreting, and research methodology as
well as my family and friends who have never neglected to support and encourage
me so that I could overcome many obstacles during the study.
Last but not least, I would like to thank all the readers for their interest in the
paper.

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ABSTRACT

In Vietnam, together with the rapid development of the movie industry,
movie translation has become a dominant aspect of translation. Aware of the
importance of movie translation, quite a few domestic researches have investigated
the issue. Although movie title translation seems to be surrounded by intense
controversy, the quality of translated titles has received little attention of
Vietnamese researchers. Thus, in an attempt to settle controversy, this research
investigates the quality of the translations of English movie titles released by CGV,
which is regarded as the leading company in theatre business in Vietnam and
techniques that can be used by the translators here to produce successful
translations. This goal was achieved by qualitative and quantitative approaches in
the two phases of the study. In the first phase, document analysis method with
movie titles serving as instrument was utilized to examine the quality of the
translations based on the translation quality assessment model proposed by
Newmark. In the second phase, three translators who produced successful
translations were requested to participate in the face-to-face semi-structured
interviews in order to find some techniques that can be used in translating movie
titles from English into Vietnamese in CGV Cineplex. The results from both phases
show that (1) most of the translations meet one criterion in the TQA model
introduced by Newmark; (2) translators share some common techniques while still
having their own way to deal with movie title translation. The findings from the
study hopefully will benefit not only translators who work with movie title
translation but also researchers and people who are interested in the issue.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
ACCEPTANCE ................................................................................................................................. i
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS .............................................................................................................. i
ABSTRACT ...................................................................................................................................... ii
INTRODUCTION ............................................................................................................................ 1
I.

Statement of the problem and the rationale of the study ........................................................ 1

II.

Aims and objectives of the study ....................................................................................... 4

III.

Significance of the study .................................................................................................... 4

IV.

Scope of the study .............................................................................................................. 5

V.

Methods of the study .......................................................................................................... 6

VI.

Organization of the paper ................................................................................................... 6

CHAPTER 1. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND ....................................................................... 8
1.1.
1.1.1.

An overview on translation strategies and equivalence ..................................................... 8
The concept of translation .............................................................................................. 8

1.1.2. Strategies of translation..................................................................................................... 9
1.1.2.1. Methods of translation................................................................................................. 11
1.1.2.2. Procedures of translation ............................................................................................ 14
1.1.3. An overview on translation equivalence .......................................................................... 20
1.2.

Translation quality assessment ......................................................................................... 22

1.2.1.

A review on models of translation quality assessment ................................................. 22

1.2.2.

TQA model by Newmark .............................................................................................. 25

1.3. An overview on movie titles ................................................................................................ 27
1.3.1. Definition of movie .......................................................................................................... 27
1.3.2. Classification of movies:.................................................................................................. 28
1.3.3. Movie titles in English ..................................................................................................... 30
1.3.3.1. Functions of movie titles in English ............................................................................ 30
1.3.3.2. Characteristics of movie titles in English .................................................................... 32
1.4. Principles in translating movie titles .................................................................................... 34
CHAPTER 2. RESEARCH METHODOLOGY .................................................................... 39
2.1. Qualitative approach ............................................................................................................ 39
2.2. Setting .................................................................................................................................. 39

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2.3. Design of the study .............................................................................................................. 40
2.3.1. Phase 1 ............................................................................................................................ 41
2.3.1.1. Sampling ...................................................................................................................... 41
2.3.1.2. Data collection method ............................................................................................... 42
2.3.1.3. Data collection procedures ......................................................................................... 42
2.3.2. Phase 2 ............................................................................................................................ 45
2.3.2.1. Sampling ...................................................................................................................... 45
2.3.2.2. Data collection method ............................................................................................... 46
2.3.2.3. Data collection procedures ......................................................................................... 47
2.3.2.4. Data analysis procedures ............................................................................................ 48
CHAPTER 3. RESULTS AND DISCUSSIONS .......................................................................... 49
3.1. Phase one ............................................................................................................................. 49
3.1.1. Assessing the translations of animation titles .................................................................. 49
3.1.2. Assessing the translations of action movies’ titles........................................................... 57
3.1.3. Assessing the translations of comedy titles ...................................................................... 68
3.2. Phase two ............................................................................................................................. 74
3.2.1. Case 1: Quang ................................................................................................................. 74
3.2.2. Case 2: Thanh.................................................................................................................. 76
3.2.3. Case 3: Thu...................................................................................................................... 78
3.2.4. Summary of findings in cases .......................................................................................... 79
CONCLUSIONS ....................................................................................................................... 81
I.

Summary of findings ............................................................................................................ 81

II.

Recommendations ............................................................................................................ 82

III.

Limitations of the study and suggestions for further research ......................................... 83

REFERENCES ............................................................................................................................... 86
APPENDICES ................................................................................................................................... I
APPENDIX 1:............................................................................................................................... I
APPENDIX 2:............................................................................................................................. II
APPENDIX 3:............................................................................................................................ VI

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LIST OF FIGURES, TABLES AND ABBREVIATIONS
List of figures
Figure 1.1

Newmark‟s V_diagram of translation methods

Figure 1.2

House‟s TQA model

Figure 2.1.

The process of releasing a local movie title in CGV Cineplex

Figure 3.1.

Strategies employed in translating titles of animations

Figure 3.2.

Quality of translations of animation titles classified according to
Newmark‟s TQA framework

Figure 3.3.

Strategies employed in translating titles of action movies

Figure 3.4.

Quality of translations of action movie titles classified according to
Newmark‟s TQA framework

Figure 3.5.

Strategies employed in translating titles of comedies

Figure 3.6.

Quality of translations of comedy titles classified according to
Newmark‟s TQA framework

List of tables
Table 3.1.

Translations of animation titles fully meet the TQA framework

Table 3.2.

Translations of animation titles only meet assessor‟s standard

Table 3.3.

Translations of animation titles only meet the translator‟s standard

Table 3.4.

Translations of animation titles fail to meet the TQA framework

Table 3.5.

Translations of action movie titles fully meet the TQA framework

Table 3.6.

Translations of action movie titles only meet the assessor‟s standard

Table 3.7.

Translations of action movie titles only meet translator‟s standard

Table 3.8.

Translations of action movie titles fail to meet the TQA framework

Table 3.9.

Translations of comedy titles fully meet the TQA framework

Table 3.10.

Translations of comedy titles only meet translator‟s standard

Table 3.11.

Translations of comedy titles fail to meet the TQA framework

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List of abbreviations
OALD

Oxford Advanced Learner‟s Dictionary

SL

Source language

ST

Source text

TL

Target language

TT

Target text

TQA

Translation quality assessment

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INTRODUCTION
In this initial part, the problem and the rationale, the aims and objectives, the
scope, and the significance of the whole paper are presented. Most importantly, the
research questions are identified to serve as a guideline for the whole research.
I. Statement of the problem and the rationale of the study
The French artist and novelist, Baker (2004, p.40) believes that “Movie is so
important that it has become the first arts of human world”. In Vietnam, despite
being a fledgling industry, motion pictures have been rapidly developed and widely
loved by Vietnamese people, young and old alike. According to Trinh (cited in
Megastar Hé Lộ Doanh Số, 2012), in Vietnam, film industry “has maintained
significant growth” in the past few years and “the box office revenue of Megastar
alone rises from $13.8 million in 2009 to $47.8 million in 2012”. In 2012,
Hollywood‟s films occupied up to “80% of the movies screened in Megastar
Cineplex alone” (Thị Trường Điện Ảnh, 2012). As a result, movie translation, apart
from book translation or news translation, has become a dominant aspect of
translation in the country.
Aware of this trend, quite a lot of dedicated Vietnamese researchers have
conducted studies on movie translation. “A Study on Film Translation” by Van
(1999) and “A Study on the Translation of Filmscripts in English to Vietnamese” by
Thanh (2001) are some examples, to name but a few. The studies cover many facets
of movie translation such as translating film scripts, translating idioms in movies.
However, translating movie titles are not addressed in these researches despite its
importance. Meanwhile, as Prendergast (n.d.) states, one of the factors that can help
movie-makers “market” their product” and “plays a critical role” in the success of a
movie is its title. This viewpoint is shared by many other researchers and translators
such as Patterson (2008), May (2010), etc. As a good title can “arouse the readers‟
interest to see a movie”, the translation of film title is of importance” (Mei, 2010).
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Then, as an initial attempt to discover the translation of movie titles in
Vietnam, Duong (2006) conducted a study on “Translation of English Movie Titles
into Vietnamese”. Furthermore, Minh (2014) did a research to investigate the
principles in translating movie titles from English into Vietnamese. These researches
have helped to reveal many aspects related to movie title translation like functions
and features of movie titles, strategies and principles in translating titles. However,
translation quality assessment, which is one of the main concerns of translation
theorists, members of translation revision boards Benhaddou, 1991), has not been
investigated yet. Meanwhile, the quality of film title translation is considered more
significant as more movies are “released internationally” under the “effect of
globalization” (Translation of Film Titles, n.d.).
Quite a lot of controversies have emerged over the quality of translated titles
in the countries where Hollywood‟s movies are distributed. Hawley (2008) remarks
that the translation of movie titles can “lead to the loss” of cultural and aesthetic
features of the original titles. Besides, Andersen (2010) states that translation
“causes misunderstandings in relation to the movie and its audience.” In addition,
Kelan and Wei (2006) also points out the existing problems in translating English
movie titles, including “the messy and low-quality” and “alienation and
assimilation”. Back to the situation of movie translation in Vietnam, translating
movie titles has perplexed not only translators but also many others including film
critics, moviegoers, etc. Thus, in his article discussing inadequacies of translating
movie titles from English into Vietnamese, Kha (2012) describes this issue as a
“war”. Meanwhile, Ruelle (2010) also lists out several problems including the lack
of feeling and original meaning faced by many Vietnamese translators when
translating movie titles from Vietnamese into English and vice versa.
Nevertheless, what can be regarded as a good translated title is still open to
question. It is said that “reframing a linguistic expression or a cultural phenomenon”

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that may be foreign to “non-American ears” is often “inevitable” (Heller, 2014). In
addition, those who criticize translations of movie titles appear to base themselves
on their own feeling and knowledge. Without a solid theoretical framework, it is
very likely that those criticisms are biased and cannot be justified. Therefore, it will
be useful and essential to use an appropriate theoretical framework to assess the
quality of the translation of movie titles that have been released in Vietnam so far in
order to provide audience with an acceptable explanation on why a translated title
should be appropriate or not and to help rectify the situation.
Besides, titles have three main functions including “informative function”,
“aesthetic function” and “vocative function” (Newmark, 1988, p.40). Therefore,
how to translate the film titles properly and how to make the translation attractive to
the audience become questions that the translators should consider during
translation. For that reason, it will be useful and essential to figure out techniques
that can be applied in translating movie titles from English into Vietnamese in order
to ease the task.
Moreover, according to Hong (2010), regarding the “quality and quantity of
movies shown in Vietnam”, CGV Cineplex “has advantage over other cinemas”. In
the annual report from HSC (2011), CGV is also regarded as the “leading company
in theatre business” in Vietnam. As a result, it will be a wise choice to utilize film
title resources and translators from CGV Cineplex as the samples in order to fulfill
the aims and objectives of the research. This will probably confirm the validity and
assure the reliability of the paper.
All the reasons above have inspired the researcher to conduct a study on
“Assessing the translations of English movie titles released in CGV Cineplex from
2011 to 2014”.

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II. Aims and objectives of the study
First of all, the research paper aims to assess the quality of translated titles of
movies distributed by CGV Cineplex from 2011 to 2014. To conduct the
assessment, the researcher adapted a translation criticism framework suggested by
Newmark (1988).
Then, it is expected to find out the strategies or techniques which were
employed to translate good film titles in CGV Cineplex from 2011 to 2014. This
would be done by interviewing the translators who produced good translations. Via
this, it is expected that helpful implications can be made about techniques that can
be employed to produce good translations.
To achieve these objectives, the research was undertaken to answer the following
questions:
1. To what extent do the translated titles meet the standard as proposed in
Newmark‟s translation quality assessment framework?
2. What techniques can be used in translating movie titles as suggested by
translators?
III.

Significance of the study

The paper will be fairly useful for people who have to translate or assess
translated movie titles and researchers who happen to have an interest in the topic.
First and foremost, the study is expected to be beneficial for those who assess
film titles. According to Tran (2012), before being released in Vietnam, one
translated title has to undergo certain testing phases involving the assessment of
local distribution manager and the original studio. If the translated title is approved
by the original studio, it will be released; otherwise, it will be sent back to the local
distributor for edition. Therefore, film distributors may adopt the same framework
that was employed in this research to assess translated titles before sending them to

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original studios in order to avoid rejection and time-consuming edition process,
which may ultimately help to save a great deal of time and energy.
Secondly, the study may be helpful for translators who have to translate
movie titles. When being aware of criteria in the framework that can be used to
assess the quality of translated title, translators might avoid making mistakes as well
as justify themselves when being criticized by the public. Besides, reading the paper,
they may also find some practical techniques that were employed by other
experienced translators to produce good translations. Then, in specific context, they
may apply the most appropriate one to make the best translation as possible.
Last but not least, the study is also expected to serve as a preliminary for
further investigation on the issue. The study has no ambition of forming any
universal laws or generalizations. Rather, it is meant to provide an in-depth
understanding on the complexities of the issue in order to help establish the
foundation for future further investigation on the quality assessment of movie titles
in particular, on the quality assessment of all kinds of title in general.
IV.Scope of the study
First, although “Assessing the translation of English movie titles released in
CGV Cineplex from 2011 to 2014” has been set as the title of the whole study, the
samples of the study will be confined to titles of three most dominant movie genres
including action, animated and comedy movies that were released by CGV Cineplex
from 2011 to 2014. There were several reasons for this. Firstly, except for the three
above-mentioned genres, movies distributed by CGV Cineplex could be classified
into many other genres including horror, romance, drama, war, music, thriller, crime
movies, etc. and the number of movies in each genre was less than 10. In addition,
translation quality assessment itself is a very complicated issue which requires a lot
of time and effort. Consequently, in the limited time frame, the researcher chose to

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focus on assessing the translated titles of three most dominant movie genres
including action, animation and comedy to ensure the quality of the paper.
Besides, only translators working for CGV Cineplex and having experience
of translating movie titles from 2011 to 2014 were selected to participate in the
study. The cases were deliberately chosen so that they could provide highly in-depth
information of their situations, which would be helpful in understanding the
complexities of the studied issue.
V. Methods of the study
In order to gather data to seek answers to the research questions, the
researcher decided to use qualitative approach with two phases. In phase one,
English titles and their translations of movies released in CGV Cineplex was
assessed based on the criteria of the translation quality assessment framework
proposed by Newmark (1988). Then, the translators who produced successful titles
as found out in phase one would be interviewed in phase two to spot the strategies
and techniques they used to make good translations. Collected data was analyzed
and synthesized to answer each research question. Because this was rather
complicated, the detailed methodology of this research would be presented
thoroughly in Chapter 2, Part 2 of this paper.
VI. Organization of the paper
The research paper includes three main parts as follows:
Part A: Introduction presents problem and the rationale, the aims and
objectives, the scope, and the significance of the whole paper. Most importantly, the
research questions are identified to serve as a guideline for the whole research.
Part B: Development includes three chapters. Chapter 1 (Theoretical
Background) aims to establish the theoretical background for the research paper. In
this chapter, the definition of translation, the theory of translation strategies,
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translation quality assessment framework and an overview on movie titles are
provided. Chapter 2 (Research Methodology) describes the samples and participants,
the instruments as well as the procedures which were employed to collect and
analyze data. Chapter 3 (Results and Discussion) answered the research questions
with data presentation, data analysis and the comparison among the findings
themselves.
Part C: Conclusions summarizes the main issues discussed in the paper, the
limitations of the research, several recommendations related to the studied issue and
some suggestions for further investigation.
After Part C are the reference list and appendices.

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CHAPTER 1. THEORETICAL BACKGROUND
This first chapter in the Development part shed light on the literature review
of the study, specifically the background of translation, translation strategies, some
translation quality assessment frameworks, movies titles with their characteristics
and functions as well as some principles in translating movie titles from English into
Vietnamese.
1.1.

An overview on translation strategies and equivalence

1.1.1. The concept of translation
First of all, is necessary to understand the concept of translation mentioned
by many translation theorists to obtain an overall picture of the translation.
Discussing translation, different scholars may propose various definitions.
Wassety (cited in Ghadi, 2010) regards translation as “a legitimate offspring of the
phenomenon of language”. Also, Ghadi (2010) states “translation is actually an
activity performed by human beings in order to convey ideas and thoughts despite
different languages”. These definitions provide a very basic and general
understanding about translation as a phenomenon of language and an activity of
people.
Besides, from a specific perspective, Le and Nguyen (2008, p.3) say that
translation can be considered either as “a product” or “a process”. On the one hand,
being regarded as “a product”, translation may be seen as the text that has been
translated. On the other hand, translation means “a process” when it refers to the
activity of translating.
Due to the rapid growth of translation and translation studies, translation,
now, is usually divided into two main branches based on the input material,
including written translation and oral translation which is commonly known as
interpreting or interpretation (Munday, 2001, p.17). Also, according to Munday

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(2001, p.17), it has been decided, for reasons of space and consistency of approach,
to focus on written translation rather than oral translation (the latter is commonly
known as interpreting or interpretation). He mainly discusses issues related to
written translation. In addition, this paper aims to investigate English movie titles
and their translation in Vietnamese so within the scope of this research, translation,
whenever it is used, means written translation.
Moreover, translation scholars also introduce various opinions about
translation as a process. Banja (2009) regards a translator as a “message conveyor”;
hence a translation may be understood as “the process”. In 1972, Harmant and Stork
(p.36) states that translation aims to render as close as possible all grammatical and
lexical features of the “source language” by finding equivalents in the “target
language”. Dubois (1973) shares the same viewpoint: “Translation is the expression
in another language (or target language) of what has been expressed in another,
source language, preserving semantic and stylistic equivalences.” Newmark (1982,
p.7) describes translation as “a craft consisting in an attempt to replace a written
message and/or statement in one language by the same message and/or statement in
another language.” In his “A Textbook of Translation” Newmark simplifies the
definition of translation as “the rendering” of “the meaning of a text into another
language in the same way that the author intended the text” (1988, p.5).
Therefore, it can be concluded that translation should be perceived in the
scope of this paper as the process of conveying as accurately as possible the
meaning and aesthetic effects of the ST into the TT in written form.
1.1.2. Strategies of translation
Extensive research has been done in the field of translation strategies.
However, the definition offered by each author or theorist represents his/her own
point of view and their views differ from each other. Therefore, different researchers

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have investigated and described various translation strategies from their own
perspectives.
Baker (1992, p.26) lists eight strategies, which have been used by
professional translators, to cope with the problematic issues while doing a
translation task. These strategies can be summarized as follows: Translation by a
more general word; Translation by cultural substitution; Translation using a loan
word or loan word plus explanation; Translation by paraphrase using a related word;
Translation by paraphrase using unrelated words; Translation by omission;
Translation by illustration. Eight strategies suggested by Baker (1992, p.26) are
quite clear and detailed. However, they just work with translation at word level.
Meanwhile, translation should not only be limited within a single word‟s boundary.
Discussing the term “translation strategies”, Bell (cited in Ordudari, 2007)
provides a more comprehensive definition in which he states that translation
strategies include “global” (those dealing with whole texts) and “local” (those
dealing with text segments) strategies. This perception is widely shared among
influential translators and scholars such as Newmark (1988); Vinay and Darbenet
(1995). This appears to be the best approach to understand the nature of translation
strategies. Thus, in this paper, the term “translation strategies” refers to methods and
procedures of translation that deal with whole texts and text segments.
Up until the second half of the twentieth century, theory of translation
methods appeared “locked in” (Munday, 2001, p. 19) what Steiner (1998, p.319)
coins as a “sterile” controversy over “literal”, “free” and “faithful” translation. The
“literal” and “free” poles surface once again in the rich translation tradition of the
Arab world, which created the great center of translation in Baghdad. There was
intense translation activity in the Abbasid period, centered on the translation into
Arabic of Greek scientific and philosophical material, often with Syrian as an
intermediary language (Delisle & Wdodsworth, 1995, p.112). Baker (2004, p.320)
describes the two translation methods that were adopted during that period:
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The first [method] […] was highly literal and consisted of translating each Greek
word with an equivalent Arabic word and, where none existed, borrowing the Greek word
into Arabic.

(Baker, 2004, p.320)
Newmark, a famous translator and translation theorist, also differentiates
between word-for-word and sense-for-sense approaches. However, he also finds that
“the triumph” of the “consumer” “illusory”, which leads him to narrow the “gap
between emphasis on source and target language by providing a system of eight
translation methods which he presents in a V_diagram as follows:

Figure 1.1. Newmark‟s V_diagram of translation methods
(Newmark, 1988, p.45)
Furthermore, Newmark also suggests the theory of translation procedures that a
translator may use to deal with smaller segment of a text. Thanks to its practicality
and detailed description, Newmark‟s theory of translation methods and procedures
has been widely recognized for its significant influence on many successors (Thuy,
2009).
Therefore, in this study, the concept of translation strategies refers to global
and local strategies with eight translation methods and sixteen procedures proposed
by Newmark (1988). They are respectively presented as follows:
1.1.2.1. Methods of translation
Word-for-word translation

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According to Newmark (1988, p.45), word-for-word translation is explained
as “interlinear translation, with the TL immediately below the SL words”. Regarding
this method, the word-order in the SL is preserved. Words are translated by their
“most common meanings” despite other factors which may exert influences on the
translation such as cultural differences, context, etc. This is illustrated with the
following instance:
He is a big liar.
 Anh ta là một lớn người nói dối.
(Le & Nguyen, 2008, p.22)
Literal translation
Similar to word-for-word translation, in literal translation, Newmark (1988,
p.46) states that “lexical words” are translated singly, out of context. Nevertheless,
literal translation differs itself from word-for-word translation in the ability to
convert the SL grammatical constructions into their “nearest TL equivalents”.
Example is given below:
He is a big liar.
 Anh ta là một kẻ nói dối lớn.
(Tien & Bac, 2008, p.22)
Faithful translation
Newmark (1988, p.46) suggests that faithful translation seeks to “reproduce”
the “precise contextual meaning” of the ST within the “constraints” of the TT
grammatical structures. That helps to explain why the procedure renders cultural
words and preserves the level of grammatical and lexical “abnormality” in the
translation. Furthermore, it tries to be absolutely “faithful” to the “intentions” and
“text-realization” of the SL author. Below is an example:
He is as fast as a kangaroo.
 Nó nhanh như một con kanguru
(Tien & Bac, 2008, p.23)
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Semantic translation
Semantic translation puts great focus on the aesthetic value of the ST,
“compromising” on “meaning” where “appropriate” to avoid “assonance, word-play
or repetition jars” in the TT (Newmark, 1988, p.46). Moreover, it may translate “less
important cultural words by culturally neutral third or functional terms”. The TT and
ST below can serve as the illustration of this translation method:
Right in the heart of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is an enchanting body of water,
a peaceful oasis away from all the hustle and bustle of the city.
 Nằm ngay giữa trái tim Hà Nội, hồ Hoàn Kiếm là một hồ nước đẹp mê
hồn, một ốc đảo yên bình tách biệt với sự hối hả bận rộn của thành phố.
(Tien & Bac, 2008, p.25)
Communicative translation
Newmark (1988, p.47) mentions that communicative translation seeks to
convey the “exact contextual meaning” of the ST “in such a way that both content
and language are readily acceptable and comprehensible to the readership.” The
“effectiveness of the message to be communicated is the priority of this method”
(Tien & Bac, 2008, p.27). An example of communicative translation is presented
below:
Right in the heart of Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake is an enchanting body of water,
a peaceful oasis away from all the hustle and bustle of the city.
 Hồ Hoàn Kiếm là một hồ nước đẹp, yên tĩnh nằm ở trung tâm Hà Nội ồn
ào.
(Tien & Bac, 2008, p.27)
Idiomatic translation
Newmark (1988, p.47) states that idiomatic translation “reproduces the
message” of the ST but it is likely to “distort nuances of meaning” by employing
“colloquialisms and idioms” although these do not appear in the ST. Below is the
demonstration of this method:
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Không ai nghe lời khuyên của cô ấy cả.
 Her advice fell on deaf ears.
(Tien & Bac, 2008, p.31)
Free translation
As proposed by Newmark (1988, p.46), free translation translates the
“content” without the “form” of the original text. As a result, it is normally a
“paraphrase much longer than the original”. It is illustrated in the following
instance:
Tide in, dirt out
 Tide, thách thức mọi vết bẩn.
Adaptation
The “freest” translation method, according to Newmark (1988, p.46), is
adaptation. It preserves the “themes, characters, plots” with the SL culture being
converted into the TL culture and the text being recomposed. This method is
regarded as “a kind of rewriting the text in translation” (Le & Nguyen, 2010, 32).
The following extract lyric of a song can demonstrate this translation method:
Nắm tay nhau cùng bước bên nhau vì hạnh phúc nhân loại. Nắng phương
đông chiếu sáng SEAGAMES Việt Nam hân hoan chào đón.
 Hand in hand for happiness mankind we walk together. Eastern sun shines
up SEAGAMES Vietnam‟s been expecting for long.
1.1.2.2. Procedures of translation
Transference
Newmark (1988, p.81) states that transference, which is also called
“transcription”, is the “process of transferring a SL word to a TL text as a translation
procedure”. This means translators will directly take the SL word into TL with no
translation. Two examples offered by the researcher are given below:

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ST

TT

Hat-trick (sport term)

Hat-trick

Madonna (name of a singer)

Madonna

Naturalisation
According to Newmark (1988, p.82), this procedure “adapts the SL word first
to the normal pronunciation, then – to the normal morphology (word-forms) of the
TL”. Naturalisation procedure can be seen in the following translations:
ST

TT
Cà phê
Tua bin

Coffee
Turbine

(Tien & Bac, 2010, p.35)
Through translation
Through-translation is defined by Newmark (1988, p.82) as “the literal
translation of common collocations, names of organizations, the components of
compounds and perhaps phrases” and it is known as “caique or loan translation”
(Newmark, 1988, p.82). Some examples are given below:
ST

TT
Hội chứng Suy giảm Miễn dịch Mắc phải

Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome

United Nations Development Assistance Khuôn khổ Hỗ trợ Phát triển Liên Hợp
Quốc

Framework

(Tien & Bac, 2010, p.36)
Shifts or transpositions
A shifts or transposition procedure involves “a change in the grammar from
SL to TL.” (Newmark, 1988, p.85). These include changing from singular to plural,
the change required when a specific SL structure does not exist in the TL, the
change in the position of the adjective, the change of an SL verb to a TL noun and
so forth. Some examples are:

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ST

TT

After her return

Sau khi cô ấy trở lại

Help will come

Sẽ có người tới giúp
(Tien & Bac, 2010, p.37)

Modulation
The term modulation is used to define “a variation through a change of
viewpoint, or perspective and very often of category of thought” (Vinay &
Darbelnet, cited in Newmark, 1988, p. 88). This procedure includes three main
types, namely one part for another, passive for active or vice versa, positive for
double-negative or vice versa. The following instances illustrate this procedure:
ST

TT

Type

She cleared her throat…

Cô ấy hắng giọng….

One part <=>another

The roof was damaged by the Trận bão phá hỏng cả
storm.

mái nhà.

Flawless

Hoàn hảo

Passive <=>active
Positive

<=>

double-

negative
(Tien & Bac, 2010, p.37-38)

Cultural equivalent
In this procedure, a SL “cultural word” is translated by an equivalent
“cultural word” in TL (Newmark, 1988, p. 82-83). This is used in the following
translation:
He graduated after obtaining a degree with (high) distinction.
 Anh ta tốt nghiệp loại giỏi (xuất sắc).
(Tien & Bac, 2010, p.38)
Functional equivalent
As it is suggested by Newmark (1988, p.83), this procedure is “applied to
translate “cultural words” in the SL, which “requires the use of a culture-free word,

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