The commentary will be divided into three sections. The first section will add the source words, establish the theoretical construction for the translation, determine the translation short and carry out an evaluation of the functions of source and goal texts. Another section will focus on defining and analyzing the strategies put in place in the translation by giving good examples from within the translation. The final section will be a finish of the preceding sections.

Source Text

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The source word is an article entitled “Xin, Da, Ya”: On Yan Fu’s Translation Theories and was written in Chinese by Professor Wong Wang-Chi of the Chinese School of Hong Kong. This article was first released in the Journal of Translation Tests by the office of translation at the Chinese School of Hong Kong in 1997. Later it was published collection of functions by writer Wong in a reserve titled a report of 20th Century Chinese Translation studies:Re-interpretation of xin, da and ya, by Shanghai Orient Press in 1999. This article plays a part in the continuous academics question among Chinese translation scholars on Yan Fu’s translation theory; “xin, da and ya”. Wong endeavors to provide clearer interpretation of Yan Fu’s translation theory which had previously received much criticism proclaiming that it was flawed, incorrect and contradictory. Because of the nature of content material, it inevitably is made up of a big amount of theory-based content. The article was written in regards to to Yan Fu’s translation preface of Tian Yan Lun, a translation of Huxley’s Development and Ethics (1893). Within this preface Yan Fu presented his translation theory which is therefore for this reason that Wong’s piece contains large number quotations from Yan Fu’s preface; a preface which was written in classical Chinese prose in 1898, five years following the original premiered. The actual fact that Yan Fu’s original translation was written in classical Chinese prose and naturally was released in the 19th century means that the way it is interpreted since that time has been in constant issue. The blend of theory with both traditional Chinese prose and modern Chinese means the task of translation was intricate.

The function of the original is to provide Chinese translation and literature fields with a brand new perspective on Yan Fu’s translation theory in response to earlier criticism. It seeks to improve the critical manner in which many scholars have looked after this theory by allowing the reader to see Yan Fu’s theory in a new light. Deep down Wong’s motives are evidently to guard Yan Fu and put right those recently who have misunderstood Yan Fu’s theory and then absent on to misrepresent Yan Fu in neuro-scientific translation studies. The prospective audience of the foundation text message are Wong’s fellow translation studies scholars and those students who are learning translation studies at least at undergraduate level. This is because of the heavy reliance on samples in traditional Chinese prose throughout the written text and the design of the author’s writing. The written text has a corrective and educative character.

Theoretical Framework

A Quick Background

A Functionalist Approach

The theoretical construction chosen because of this translation is a functionalist methodology. The functionalist strategy was first recommended by Kathrina Reiss in 1971 (2000:92), it developed further in the 1970s and 80s in Germany and was focal to the switch from ‘mostly linguistic and somewhat formal translation theories to a more functionally and socioculturally orientated concept of translation’ (Schaffner 1998:235). It had been a change that Gentzler referred to as one of the two most significant theoretical improvements in translation studies within the last two decades (2001:70). This aproach notably has been produced by a number of “scholars in german vocabulary countries, including Kathrina Reiss, Hans Vermeer, Mary Snell-Hornby, Christiane Nord and Justa Holz-Manttari” (2001:69). The functionalist procedure not only permits better emphasis to be put on the mark words, but also provides a framework to evaluate better the role of the translator, something that previous theories failed to accommodate.

The functionalist procedure consists of a number of fundamental rules;

All strategies are dependant on the function of the translation.

The function is defined by the commissioner through the translation simple.

The function of the translation do not need to be identical to that of the original.

A translation that achieves its expected purpose is to be declared as efficient.

(cf. Nord 2006)

Functionalist scholars believe translation should make an effort to achieve “optimal solutions within real conditions” (Gentzler 2001:70-71). However, essentially functionalist advocates say that there is absolutely no such thing as a perfect translation. Controversially the functionalist methodology can be criticized as being too vague rather than being intensive enough, Regardless of the plausible flaws in the way, it is still known for decisively caused the “breaking of both thousand year old string of theory resolving surrounding the faithful vs. free axis” (Gentzler 2001:71). The framework because of this translation will focus on Reiss and Vermeer’s Skopos theory (1984), a theory that has been established within the guidelines of the functionalist methodology.

Skopos theory

The was Skopos theory was founded by Reiss and Vermeer in 1984. The theory is based throughout the ‘skopos’ or the “function, purpose or aim of a translation” (Vermeer 1989:221). The main components of the theory will be the overall goal (skopos), the purpose occur order to achieve the aim, the intent behind the aim and the eventual function of the prospective language word in terms of its readership. Which means that any form of translation strategy implemented will be driven these four components of the skopos theory which from the reason that the translation will later continue to serve. Functionalists advocate that translation like any other activity in that behavior is determined by its intent, quite simply, the ‘end justifies the means’ (Nord 1997:29). The skopos theory supplies the translator with the means to justify their decision making. Corresponding to Vermeer, “every wording has a given goal, function or intention” and this any text can adopt some other function when applied in various circumstances with another type of audience (1989:227). Which means translation is no more classified as loyal or disloyal, but assessed in terms of how steady translation is in relation to the reason and intention of the mark text, which can be defined from the viewpoint of the receiver.

An important aspect of the skopos theory is the fact the foundation and target texts must be looked at separately to permit the theory to function. Reiss and Vermeer state that every text can be an ‘offer of information’ and indicating that the foundation and target words a two separate entities (House 1997:16). The translator is simply offering certain information from the source text relative to the ‘skopos’ specified by the commissioner (Reiss and Vermeer 1991:76) By distinguishing evidently between your source and focus on texts it allows the some sort of translation to be completed that does not place the foundation word at its realm. In other words, the text can take on a fresh function which can be seen as an expansion of the initial, though it might involve changing the function totally, as Nord says “written text messages can are present outside their original situation” (1991/2005:8). This implies again means that the function focus on content material it not constrained by the initial, but most importantly is “pragmatically described by the goal of the intercultural transfer” (1991/2005:11).

One of the very most significant aspects the Skopos theory is its method of equivalence and adequacy. Regarding to Reiss and Vermeer, equivalence can defined as the same “communicative function” distributed across both source and goal texts (House 1997:12) and adequacy can be explained as being “the relationship between your source and translation where no efficient match is obtained and the ‘skopos’ of the translation has been taken care of” (1997:12). At the same time, the ‘skopos’ remains more important than any form of equivalence. In translating between China and English, two contrasting ethnicities, it is pivotal that people highlight the fundamental process that just just as that source words is bound to or inlayed within the foundation culture, the mark text should also be “orientated towards the mark culture” (Vermeer 1989:222-223).

Following on from the original establishment of the skopos theory by Reiss and Vermeer, Chrisiane Nord also contributes to the functionalist strategy. Nord modifies the prior work on skopos theory by attempting to rebalance the excessively concentrate on content material orientated skopos theory, declaring ‘the priority of the prospective text purpose does not mean that the source text is irrelevant, as it sometimes assumed’ (1997:62). Additionally, she points out that ‘the source content material supplies the offer of information that forms the starting point for the offer of information formulated in the prospective words’ (1997:62). Nord extends on the skopos theory by giving a model of source text analysis that Reiss and Vermeer possessed failed to cover, which makes for a more comprehensive theory, a theory which is used as a framework because of this translation.

It is also important to identify as Nord concludes that most effective circumstances to carry out translation is when ‘objective and function would be analogous or even identical’ (1997:28). Regarding this translation the motives undoubtedly are analogous, which implies this theory is suitable for this translation.

Other Relevant Approaches

Text Typology

This style of translation was based on Bulher’s typology. Reiss outlined her three text message types: useful, expressive and operative. This style of translation is focuses on the functional relationship between source and aim for texts. It fundamentally consists of the categorization of texts into either on of the three categories mentioned previously(Reiss 1977), then reliant on which category the written text falls under decides the translation strategies carried out by the translator.

Translational Action

This theory was presented by Hola-Manttari, who defines translation as ‘a sophisticated action designed to achieve a particular process’ (Nord 1997:12-13). Hola-Manttari targets specific areas of the translation process like the translator, the device of the meaning, time, place and medium. This approach has been praised by Schaffer, who recognizes the adaptability in accommodating ‘all types of translation’ (1997:5). The idea considers highly the needs of the prospective text device. Although like the skopos theory it also bears the wrath of Nords criticism for neglecting the foundation text message (1991:28).

Nord’s Style of Text Analysis

Nord’s style of text analysis contains two main aspects; extratextual factors and intratextual factors. It offers a framework which allows both source and potential focus on content material to be analyzed. Nord divides translation problems into four categories; pragmatic, social, linguistic and text message specific (1991:158-160).

Hypothetical Translation Brief

The translation short is very influential in any translation, it is even more important in the functionalist strategy. It offers both explicit and implicit information in regards to to the motive, purpose and audience. It identifies the conditions under that your translation is used. It really is these conditions that influence the way in which the translator behaves. Munday claims that it ‘allows the translator to prioritize what information relating to the target word and also to see where in fact the source wording and the mark text message may diverge ‘ (2001:82).

This translation has been commissioned by Renditions, the primary international journal of Chinese literature in English language. Based in Hong Kong, Renditions has striven to give a unique yet rich variety of both classical and contemporary Chinese books to the girl. It’ll be made commercially available in topical edition based on Chinese language translation theory. The translation is designed to provide the latest standpoint on one of the very most influential Chinese translation ideas in translation studies record. It will bring a far more balanced, comprehensive understanding of Yan Fu’s translation theory among american translation scholars and students of translation. The translation should ensure that those in the Western are more delicate to his theory.

Source and Goal Text Function

In order to effectively identify the strategies essential to carry out the translation we must first create the function of both the source and target texts. As it has been stated in the preceding paragraph the function of the foundation text message is to put together the author’s interpretation of Yan Fu’s translation theory; correcting those previous misunderstandings and at the same time defend Yan Fu. Therefore, in certain aspects the written text is fullfilling an interesting function in that it is sharing the view of Teacher Wong Kwok-Pung, but furthermore the written text has a functional function for the reason that it is arguing for the security of Yan Fu’s translation theory and it is attempting to persuade its audience that Yan Fu has been misrepresented. They have then become visible that he source content material possesses a blend of two functions. It is important to indicate that the audience because of this words is very area of interest as it can be an scholarly and theoretical text which contains traditional Chinese prose even those with a school education won’t necessarily have the ability to comprehend.

With regard to the function of the mark text message, the function is similar to that of the source text. The key difference is that it takes on more of an educative function. It intends to educate traditional western scholars of translation through increasing their sensitivity to the on going Yan Fu issue among Chinese translation scholars. Therefore, the target text is content concentrated, which means ‘offer of information’ must be appropriate in relation to the ‘offer of information’ in the foundation word (Nord :80). In order to ensure that the translator is able to effectively transfer these details accurately, it is strongly recommended that a literal translation strategy is used providing it can reach a level of naturalness that ensures clearness and the demonstration of the ideas and understandings of a fairly intricate translation theory. This important as right now there exists a variety among the understandings of the key principles that form the basis of the theory. At this moment there’s a key difference between your source and aim for texts; the source text audience is bound by both design of writing (traditional Chinese language) and the genuine contents. On the other hand, the prospective will be restricted only by its content rather than by the writing style as it will be mainly plain English. So that it audience will be lengthened by a far more reader friendly words. The target content material is aiming to turn a complex source text into a aim for text that is much clearer

Strategies Used

I n this section the strategies employed by the translator will be mentioned. A functionalist procedure, specifically the skopos theory will determine these strategies which applied in this translation. It has additionally been known that the written text is both useful and functional. Therefore, a balance must be found between being highly content focused where no lack of information can be accepted, but also ensure the function of words is achieved, the translator must provide the written text in so that it is readable and conforms to the mark text terms conventions.

Terminology Research

Dictionaries, glossaries and parallel texts provide a source of information that allows vital terminology research. Dictionaries are an instrument utilized by translators across the world. With this translation a number of dictionaries have been referenced; bilingual and monolingual – both modern and classic Chinese.

Bilingual dictionaries give a comprehensive range of terms including illustrations in a number of contexts. Even though, there are circumstances with certain terminology when the bilingual dictionary does not suffice. A monolingual dictionary is utilized in times when the incompleteness and inconsistency of the bilingual dictionary mean that terminology cannot be referenced. A specialized ancient chinese language dictionary was required in this translation as the foundation text contains large amounts of traditional Chinese prose.

Dictionaries used

Due to the difficulty in dealing with sections of classical Chinese prose within the foundation text, It had been inescapable that the translator rely upon the help of a specialists outside of the field of translation. Nord (1991:158-160) represents this as being a text-specific problem, which is one of the four translation problems, as the source was written by a specialist. Although the actual fact that part of specialization in the foundation text message is translation, but the fact that it’s a ‘technical wording’ (1991:158-160) does indeed still end up being problems. In terms of the translation, I desired the cooperation of an post graduate learner from the School of Warwick who possessed an outstanding knowledge of classical Chinese language prose. He could help with issues in terminology and provide an evaluated judgment on the translated version of certain conditions.


Omission is a technique that is utilized in instances when information is redundant which is non-beneficial to the function of the translation or the target reader. All types of information must be able to seem sensible in the culture in which they exist. For example, the footnotes in the source text give reference to several Chinese language authors and their work, all of which is in Chinese language. I really do not think that offering a translated version of the footnotes provides any real support to the goal of the text. Therefore, I have omitted all four of the footnotes that have been present in the original. It is valued that many people consider the footnotes should be conserved in the translation and additional explanatory information should go with them. Despite this your choice to omit was made as the info was not significant enough to the mark reader.


It is natural that the backdrop knowledge of the foundation content material audience and the mark text audience varies. This means that the translator at times must employ ways of either omit redundant or irrelevant information and also provide more info to complement the the written text in order to counteract the in balance in background knowledge, and in turn enable the mark text reader to comprehend.

There are a number instances where historical and culture points are described within the foundation content material. These tips are necessary in the explanation of Wong’s standpoint and the knowledge of Yan Fu’s theory.

By providing supplementary information regarding those theoretical conditions, historical and ethnical referrals in the translation it ensures the British readers are able to understand. In particular with the conditions xin, da and ya which are used throughout the written text. It is vital to include supplementary explanations. If these items are not clarified in the initial stages of the translation then they will lead to the reader being distracted which is detrimental to the introduction of the text.

Literal translation

Literal translation includes following tightly the structure, form and lexical meanings of the foundation text. It really is based converting word constructions into their target wording equivalents. By translating each lexical expression means they are often out of framework in target word form. It permits precision in the transfer of information that explains why many people have misunderstood Yan Fu’s ideas. The primary concern with literal translation is that those implicit and contextual meanings are neglected. This could potentially be damaging to the effective copy of information.


Source Content material:

±‡ ·‡˜·±¶† ‡ -‡» ˜»”˜- ˜ ··±

Target Content material:

Due to the actual fact that Yan Fu himself did neither define nor make clear in detail these three

characters immediately after proclaiming them, therefore it led to much subjective speculation and misunderstanding.

In the example above a literal translation strategy has been applied. The original forms and meanings have been conserved, or at least to some extent. Within the first example, due to the fact that there surely is an comparative available in the mark text message means the translation is easy. However, in the next example, to simply render the text in accordance with the source words would lead to unnaturalness. As a result the it’s been improved to conform with the mark word norms.

As there is an noticeable inter-lingual difference between Chinese and English, there are occasions in which it is not possible to translate literary. An attempt at literal translation will bring about unnaturalness in the prospective language text. In my translation a number of pragmatic strategies have been applied, which promote naturalness and readability in the mark text. Admittedly, correctness may be sacrificed in order to guarantee the target words audience are able understand and fully engage with the mark text. There are a few examples below;

Example 1. 01 Source Text: †-

Literal Translation: Carving up technique

Target Words: Misrepresentation

Potential Solution: Quotation of framework; garble his statement

Example 1. 02 Source Words: GAP

Literal Translation: Eliminate

Target Content material: Clear up

In the two cases above illustrates a certain damage in meaning. The foundation words expresses more strongly in a manner that becomes unnatural in the mark text. In the mark words example 1. 01 it shows a two version of translation. The translator had to decide not to use the ‘potential substitute’ because to a certain extent it seemed too toned down and neutral to seriously represent the source words. The translator opted to use ‘misrepresentation’ as with the ability to symbolize at least somewhat the strong connotation of the initial. It really is inevitable that strong connotation in the initial is to be sacrificed to be able to achieve naturalness in the prospective text. Another example (1. 02) is a connotation similar to the previous example, but it was not possible to find an equivalent that possessed the same strong connotation just as the target wording. The translator is left without choice but sacrifice the connotation for a weaker, more natural focus on text equivalent. This sort of adaptation guarantees naturalness.

Example 1. 03 Source Text:  

Literal Translation: Carrying out a logical chain of thought

Target Wording: Reasonably

Potential Substitute: Naturally

Example 1. 04 Source Text message: ˜±±˜

Literal Translation: climbing a tree to get a fish.

Target Wording: Fruitless approach

Potential Option: climbing a tree to get a seafood (a fruitless procedure)

Although both examples above (1. 03 and 1. 04) both can be translated virtually, however, they seem to be to be too long-winded. The translation must comply with the norms of the mark language. It is important to avoid any needless unnaturalness which may be detrimental to the development of the target wording. As the author’s objective is to guard Yan Fu’s theory, it is very important that announcements and meanings are transferred into the goal word effectively.

Example 1. 05 illustrates a good example where a focus on version that strongly represents this is of the foundation is rejected due to its length and unnaturalness.

Source Wording:

Rejected translation:

The use of certain methods specifically relative to the subject of the literary part allows for improved cultural expression, faithfully expressing the true ideas and feelings of the original

Target Content material:

An author’s writing permits enhanced expression which should sincerely echo his thoughts and emotions

In-text reference

As the name suggests, it is the providing of additional information within the text itself. It really is a strategy used to explain a term that is alien to the readership such as “Kuomintang (Chinese Nationalist Party)” or just assist them in comprehending the written text. Within the translation this strategy was not used often as it confuses the reader, especially in theoretical structured text.

Syntactical Convention

The syntactic framework of Chinese and English will vary. In terms of the translation, this means that alterations to the sequencing components of the source text message such that it reads normally in the prospective language. A good example of the changes that need to be produced is shown below;

Source Content material:

 † ˜±»—˜ “˜˜- —˜ ±

Literal Transaltion:

The fact is that with unique texts that have abstruse articles and are written in the terse and allusive terminology, to use the lexicon and syntax of pre-Han Dynasty proves better in expressing the original texts.

Target Words:

The fact is that the lexicon and sentence buildings of pre-Han Dynasty prose prove to better express original texts which contain abstruse items and are written in the terse and allusive terms.

The underlined part of every example highlights the change in structure. The text must work as an useful or educative and present an argument, in order to achieve this, the above version has been designed to focus on readability.

The next example below shows the problems with complex sentence structures. To permit the reader to comprehend the target words changes is inevitable.

Source Word:

¶˜±”±»–˜-“»‡˜˜‡» “””- ˜»  ‡˜  ˜»» †’»-˜˜-» 

Literal Translation:

Naturally, Yan Fu’s demands of using ‘lexicon and syntax of pre-Han Dynasty prose’ in carrying out translation, furthermore the fact that it can perform da, today it appears unthinkable, but if we look at this problem from a historical viewpoint then we wouldn’t believe that there is any inappropriateness by any means.

Target Text:

Naturally, today whenever we look back on Yan Fu’s perception of using ‘lexicon and sentence structure of pre-Han Dynasty prose’ to reaching da, it appears to be unimaginable. However, if we understand this problem from a historical viewpoint then we wouldn’t believe that there was any inappropriateness whatsoever.

The lengthy sentence in the example above has not only been split into two separate items or phrases, but also the order of the devices have been rearranged for this to seem sensible.

Elsewhere, in Chinese the things are often unexpressed and the thing can also once in a while be omitted. In particular, these instances appear more often in classical Chinese. It is remaining to the reader to look for the subject and thing in any given sentence which can confirm ambiguous. When making the text it’s important the thing or subject matter is inserted into the translated text to permit the reader to understand. This is shown in example 1. 07 where in fact the object is put in square mounting brackets to ensure the reader is not perplexed. The channels that communicate the subject matter of the original should be placed clear and concise.


The source does not only include a amount of paragraphs from Yan Fu’s original translation preface, the writer also rates on lots of situations throughout his word. This means the duty of translation becomes extremely difficult because the context changes slightly. The original issue is that it is had not been possible to translate the parts of classical Chinese literally, furthermore, as it was very important to make clear the original meanings in these sections as Wong bases his essay on them, the translation strategy followed was devoted to the meanings and experienced to presented be clear, concise and natural in the prospective language. It really is for this reason that literal translation was not possible. However, the condition arose when these translations got to fit into Wong’s main text messages which were written in mainly in modern Chinese. Example 1. 05 demonstrates that in the original classical Chinese it can contain the word ‘meaning’, but it is left out because it is not necessary in the context of the complete passing. As Wong quotes this range in another case the ‘interpretation’ is then required. In this instance the translator must use an in-text reference rather than change the structure of the quotation in order to remain steady. If the translation shows inconsistency then your reader will be lost.

Example 1. 05

Source Wording:  –

Translated Passing of Classical Chinese: provided that the translation will not contradict of the original

Quotation from the Passage in Main Content material: so long as the translation does not contradict [the interpretation] of the original)


Footnotes are being used to provide additional information that is essential to further explain certain terms or ideas in the text. They are usually utilized when the supplementary information needed is too long to provide a parenthetical reference point. It must be noted that footnotes should be used minimally to avoid distracting the reader in ways which will adversely influence the introduction of the text. As Baker areas, needless addition of information will only lower the readability of the text (1992:40). This translation uses footnotes to enable the reader to comprehend the source text message. Quite simply they ensure the reader keeps connected with the written text. For example to present an alien term without offering a supplementary reason to the reader leads them to be unable to maintain their reference to the text. In such a words there are times when footnotes are used to help make the target words clearer in areas where the author of the source content material has failed, example on web page XX of the translation the translator uses footnotes to make clear the term ‘expression of goal’ which is one of the primary elements of Yan Fu’s theory.

The original author hasn’t made much effort to help make the chunks of classical Chinese prose more comprehendible to someone who does not understand why form of early Chinese. By doing this the writer expresses that he wishes his text to function only among a very niche audience, After all Wong could have provided today’s Chinese version of those sections. Within the translation, the use of clear, simple English eradicates this potential restriction on its audience. The translated content material intends to be accessible to all or any those who have fascination with or understanding of the theoretical content of the initial. Therefore, in a way the translation expands the influence of the initial.

In addition footnotes are being used to counteract the lack of shared backdrop knowledge between your source and market. The strategy shown below is an example of contextual amplification where items, which source viewers neglect and that target readers do not understand, are explained.

Example 1

On Site XX a conclusion of the Tong Cheng University was provided, the knowledge of this term was vital to understanding Wong’s defence of Yan Fu’s writing style.

Example 2

On internet pages XX the term ‘eight prose writes’ is defined using footnotes. It is a social term that. .


As we realize the source text contains sections of classical Chinese prose. The primary issues with traditional Chinese prose are that they possess archaic meanings and they can be high-loaded with multi-dimensional meanings, this means they may be difficult to contextualise. This sort of terminology can strain the target words which they are pressured upon. In such a translation, alternatively than misrepresent a personality (see example 3. 01) by attempting to match it to a phrase in the target language that stocks a similar meaning, I decided to utilize transliteration strategies with annotation instead. This decision was designed to avoid perplexing the reader and to ensure consistency throughout the mark text.

Source Wording: ˜ and

Target Wording: Xin, Da and Ya

Potential Substitute: faithfulness, expressiveness and elegance

Ultimately, any translation should not require the reader to re-translate. In particular, the type in the example presents a thought; its interpretation, even within the foundation language, is still being debated. This means the duty of translation is quite complex. The transliteration has been supplemented with footnotes to point out the variety of the understandings of the concepts in the foundation language and highlight translations found in previous parallel texts. Admittedly, transliteration is often described as failure by the translator, but I am adamant that translation or version would mean the writers ideas wouldn’t normally be conveyed.


Prefaces are generally used to expose the essays, translation or really any form of books. The translator has chosen preface to expose the origin of the source text to the original, set up their motives for translation and briefly provide a groundwork for the reader to start their journey or make primary contact with the text.