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Translation Theory

Before touching on Skopos theory, what is the theory, translation
theories will be more accurate to address the issues. The theory is abstract information handled independently of
applications. It is abstract information handled independently of applications.
A set of rules, laws, theories, that explain many events organized in a
systematic fashion and that are a basis of knowledge.

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According to these definitions, we can evaluate theories, approaches, and information as methodical and scientific
explanations based on scientific aspirations and rules and gather under certain principles. When we look
at the history of translation theories, we see that different theories come
into the foreground in every period. There is no single theory of translation.
Adhering to different approaches, scientists have developed different theories.
It is also the fact that different interpretations of scientific and
philosophical, philosophical, artistic and intellectual constructions of
different periods are created in each period, which also enables the different
opinions of scientists in the emergence of these theories. We will examine
these institutions under 3 headings.

1.Communicative Translation
Theory

It is based on the forms of natural, natural communication of
communicative translation theories. This is the strongest of the models
developed by the German psychologist, philosopher, communication scientist,
linguist, and language theorist Karl
Bühler, who was influenced by Plato’s linguistic theory and developed in 1934
as the “Linguin Organon Model”.
In these models, there are three important elements. These are the
“speaker” of the sender
function, the “listener” in the receiver function and the
“objects and phenomena” in the sender function.

A “sender” for a communication to occur and continue must be a
“receiver” that meets the sender’s submissions. There are two
different senders that transmit the same message and two different receivers
that receive the same message.

There is a SL editor/speaker on the sender side. Writer/speaker, code of information in
accordance with the information/message, SL/culture norms desired to be sent with written,
visual or auditory signals. The SL receiver analyzes the sent information in
its own language structure. When you enter the translation business, the
translator takes the position of the writer/speaker
and re-encodes the source transmission, the destination, and brings it to the
scene. The TL receiver analyzes the message according to its own knowledge,
language, and cultural knowledge. In order
for the translator to correctly transmit the message that the sender wants to
transmit, it is first necessary for the translator to convey the message
correctly, then transferring the content of the message, paying attention to
the content and format of the message. Otherwise,
the TL receiver can not analyze the message that this new sender has
transmitted.

There is also a communicative dimension in terms of translation of the TT
and TA to the foreground, due to the nature of linking different societies,
different cultures, and different
languages. Translation is at the root of the communicative dimension is put
forward an action request.

2. Functional Translation Theory

Translation-based functional approaches have evolved through the work of
different researchers. The common point of these works is to leave the theories
that regard it as a translational linguistic process and to present a
perspective that sees it as a translational action, in particular, a communicative and social action.

Holz-Mänttäri sees translation as an action aimed at a purpose,
especially in the theory that it forms an explanatory model and a set of
principles appropriate for professional translation environments.  Holz-Mänttäri, who defines translation as a
communication process, states that in this process a number of actors are
involved, such as initiating translation, translating work, translating text,
interpreters, users of translation texts, recipients of translation texts. The
main objective here is the text that will fulfill the function of the necessary
communication to the recipient. What determines the ultimate form of
translation is not the type and features of the ST but the anxiety of
performing the function intended in the TC. The type of translation given in
the functional approach of Holz-Mänttäri is a non-literary
translation. These translations must be understood within the
sociocultural contexts and especially the relevance between the interpreter and
the employer institution is given importance. Holz-Mänttäri has been criticized
by some translators for the complicated terminology he used to construct his
theory and the fact that the ST in the translation process was entirely off the
hook.

 

 

3. Skopos Theory

Functional approaches to translation are among the most prominent German
Hans Vermeer’s Skopos theory. Vermeer developed this theory in his book, based
on his work on text types and functions, and in the book he received in an
effort to present a “general” translation theory with Reiss. The
first academic study in translation studies in Germany was entitled ” Translation Criticism- Potentials and Limitations”
in 1971 when Katharina Reiss attempted to
establish an objective method of translation criticism. Reiss’s purpose was to classify
the text types. Developed a tool to help evaluate the quality of the
translation. There were three main types of text that Reiss identified: informative, operative
and expressive. Each of these text types requires the use of different
translation methods.

According to Reiss’s approach, content is
highlighted in informative texts. Reiss provides training materials
as examples or reports. When this type of text is translated, the
content of the text must be completely preserved and transferred. Expressive
texts are related in many ways to content. In other words, these are
artistic texts, such as literary works, which emphasize what you are talking
about, not what you are talking about. According to Reiss, translators
of narrative texts should not imitate the form of the ST blindly and should strive to create a similar
response to readers by searching for a corresponding type on the ground. The third
type of text is the operative text type that presents the content that it
presents for a specific purpose. Examples of this type of
advertising and propaganda texts are given in the text.
In their translation,
priority is the formation of a certain effect on the reader, that is, the
function intended in the ST. For this reason,
Reiss states that this text may require that the translation of the text be
further removed in content and form from the text according to other text
types. Reiss adds multi-tool text types to these three types. They
consist of texts such as scenarios, stage productions, and texts that require
the use of non-verbal items such as music or visual aids. Reiss
states that the translation of these texts is also a complex process, but the
most important goal is to create the effectual text that the ST creates on the
reader. When talking about text types and their translations, it can’t be argued
that text types are separated from one another by certain lines. Many
texts can be considered in the context of more than one species. Moreover,
we can’t say that any method of translation requires a single approach and that no method other than this
approach can be resorted to. Nevertheless, Reiss broke the linguistic
framework of the 1960s and looked at texts as cases with sociocultural
functions as well as linguistic levels, and in this respect, the function is called the pioneer of transcriptionism.

Hans Vermeer, who presented a general
translation theory in the book he received together with Reiss in 1984, defined
it as an intercultural communicative and operational space translated by
“Skopos”, the first concept that comes to mind when functional
transliteration is considered today. Vermeer leaned towards the
philosophical dimensions of the translation history and translation concept
with his work conducted in the years 1990 and 2000 and published mostly in
German, and moved away from the functional approach. Nevertheless, today the name
Skopos theory and function have become synonymous with transcription. Skopos is
a Greek word and means “purpose”. In this sense, as in the case of
translation science, Skopos theory defines the translation process as a directly aimed process. In fact, more than one
purpose can be mentioned in the translation process. Christiane Nord says that in the
translation process the general outcome the translator is aiming for (eg making
money), the goal that the text needs to reach in terms of communication (eg informing
a reader in a particular context) and the target of the translation strategy
used (eg attention to the structural characteristics of the SL to refer to the
translation strategy for the word spoken). However, Skopos is often a term
used to describe the purpose of the TT. There are two concepts that need
to be paid special attention when talking about the function of translation and often mixed. One is
the intention of the individuals/institutions
that initiate/sustains the translation,
and the other is the ultimate function that takes place on the target mass of
the translation text. Intent does not mean that it is closer to the
concept of purpose and that it will happen as intended. The function is
something that can only be detected by reading or researching the receiving
audience. Each reader or group of readers understand
and uses the translated texts in different ways according to their
expectations, needs and context. According to Vermeer’s
definition, translation action ends with “TT”, and this TT is a
document that is shaped according to the purpose adopted. The party that
determines the purpose of the translation is the person or organization that is
supposed to initiate the translation process, mostly the employer. The purpose
of the translation must be stated in detail and clearly stated in the
translation method to which it is applied. According to Skopos theory, the
translator is an expert in translation action and is the person responsible for
the proper formation of the TT. This perspective has led to a
redefinition of the relationship between the ST and the TT. Now the ST, or
author, is one of the elements that determine the TT. The aim of the employer
initiating the translation process and the expectations and requirements of the
targeted group are more prominent than the complete transfer of the ST. For
this reason, some researchers suggest that skopos theory “destroys the
sanctity of the ST”.

Skopos theory has six basic rules. These can
be listed as follows:

1. A translatum (or TT) is determined by its skopos.

2. A TT is an offer of information in a TC and TL
concerning an offer of information in a SC
and SL. 

3. A TT does not initiate an offer of information
in a clearly reversible way.

4. A TT must be internally coherent.

5. A TT must be coherent with the ST.

6. The five
rules above stand in hierarchical order, with the skopos rule predominating.

There is
another general rule in Skopos theory that determines the relation between the source and target texts. These are cohesion and loyalty
rules. The coherence is that the text is consistent within itself and
understandable to the target audience. Coherence between the target and the source text is handled within
the scope of the loyalty rule. According to the rule of loyalty, after
establishing the correspondence between skopos and text, it is necessary to
establish a relation between intertextuality, that is, the source and the
source text. Since Skopos may differ according to the recipient of the text, it is
considered natural that there is a purpose/function
difference between the source text and the target text. Loyalty can only be one
purpose, but it can’t be the sole purpose. What determines the success of a
translation according to Reiss and Vermeer is that it is appropriate to be
determined, and it translates it as a principle of “conformity”.
According to Skopos theory, “conformity” leads to the “equivalence”
relation between the source and target texts of the previously presented
linguistic theories and defines it as a text that is formed appropriately in
accordance with the projected function, not by the characteristics of the
transcribed source text.

The
functional point of view of Skopos’ theory brought a fresh breath to the
translation process in the 1980s. This viewpoint has a similar emphasis on
focusing on the target culture and the target audience, although it has been
separated from many aspects of the descriptive translation research that
developed in the same period and detailed in the following pages. The
functional approach as a process beyond being a product of translation has
positioned these product determinants in a much wider range and has therefore begun to deal with the translation process
in a much more realistic and comprehensive manner. For example, skopos theory
has distinguished the people and institutions that initiated the translation
process, in other words, their employers, from the author or user of the source
text, as well as the users of the target text in the translation process. In this
process, the first approach has been to give the translator the status of a
translating agent in translational medicine, not only as a reader and writer but also as an “expert” who
offers consulting services to the employer. Of course, this specialist position
also brought with it a series of responsibilities, leading to the emergence of
a new field of translation ethics.

Skopos
theory, which has been highly regarded in the academic studies carried out in
our country and adopted as the theoretical framework especially in the studies
related to the translation of non-literary texts, has also been targeted at
various criticisms. A large majority of these criticisms argue that
every action can’t be the cause, and
therefore it can not be claimed that every translation is an aim. It has also
been pointed out that the Skopos theory has defined the translation too
broadly, that the source text is completely ignored. Part of the criticism is to focus on
the notion that the concepts of function and purpose in literature are
problematic, as Skopos’ theory can’t be
applied in literary translation.

To respond
to some of these criticisms, Christiane Nord has created a new model called
“work plus loyalty” to place the source and target textual relations,
which Skopos theory sometimes loosens too loosely on a new level. According to
Nord, loyalty is defined as “the responsibility of translators to the
parties in the translation interaction” and loyalty requires that the
translator is equally distant from both the source and the target culture. Loyalty is
a relationship created by people or cultures, and loyalty exists in the
dimension of the text. Nord incorporates
the concept of functional model loyalty, thus creating the trust between the
source author and the translator, as well as the view that translators are
connected to the source culture as well as the target culture. According
to Nord, knowing this relationship of loyalty strengthens translators’ social
position and their status as a reliable partner. The translation of a
translator with a source cultural/literary
commitment will not only be shaped by the target cultural expectations but will automatically limit the
number of functions that will be performed in the source document’s intended
target text. In other words, the translator will not act in the translation process
only for the purposes that the employer has determined for him, but will also
take into account the source text and the functions intended by the author. Although
Nord admits that Skopos theory destroys the sanctity of the source text, the
“function obsolete” model has the intention of restraining the
translation process with some elements and purposes stemming from the source
texts and cultures.

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