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ChineseTranslationofPunsinEnglishAdvertisementfromRelevanceTheory

By Russell Webb,2014-05-16 22:30
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ChineseTranslationofPunsinEnglishAdvertisementfromRelevanceTheory

Chinese Translation of Puns in English Advertisement from

Relevance Theory

March 26,2011

    

    商业广告是一种很实用,有很高经济价值的写作形式。广告的最终目的是推销商品。因为双关语具有简洁凝练,风趣幽默,新颖别致等修辞效果,能够突出广告的特点,因而在广告中得到大量应用。很多学者对双关语的翻译已有研究。掌握英语广告中双关语的定义,对英语广告中双关语进行分类,并分析英语广告中双关语的修辞特点与功能,使译文中保留原文双关语所蕴涵的美感和效果,从而影响译文读者的购买行为,具有与时俱进的现实意义。

    斯珀伯和威尔逊的关联理论是近年来备受瞩目的认知语用学理论,它从认知角度揭示了人类语言交际是一个认知--推理的互明过程。而威尔逊的学生格特将关联理论运用到翻译中,指出翻译也是一个对原语进行阐释的明示--推理过程,进而建立了关联翻译理论的框架。最佳关联性是译者力争达到的目标,也是翻译研究的原则标准。译者的责任是努力做到使原文作者的意图与译文读者的企盼相吻合。从保留、再造、补偿以及解释说明等翻译策略出发,探讨广告中双关语的科学翻译方法,就是为了跳出以往以文本为中心的传统译论的梗桔,为广告双关语的翻译提供以译者为中心的新视角,并为后人双关语的翻译实践活动起抛砖引玉的作用。

    关键词(广告;双关;关联理论;翻译策略

    Abstract

    Commercial advertising is a very practical type of writing with high economic value. The ultimate purpose of advertisements is to promote sales. Pun has a concise and humorous, innovative and unique rhetorical effect, and therefore can highlight the characteristics of advertising. And because of its wit and humor, pun is prevalent in advertising. Many scholars have carried out researches on the translation of puns. So possessing a good knowledge of advertising and pun, and analyzing the classification, characteristics and functions of puns in advertisements, will be of practical significance of retaining the original implied beauty and effect, thus to affect the reader‟s buying behavior.

    Relevance theory is the basis of cognitive pragmatics, initiated by Sperber and Wilson. They think that verbal communication is ostensive-inferential in nature. Gutt, a student of Wilson, holds that translation can also be regarded as verbal communication. He applies relevance theory to translation and sets up a new framework for translation. Relevance is the goal that a best translator will try his effort to reach and is the standard principles of translation studies. So the translator‟s

    responsibility is to make sure that the original author‟s intention and the reader‟s expectation consistent. Four strategies from the aspect of Relevance Theory: preservation, creation, compensation, and explication could be used in the puns translation in advertisement, which free translation from the bondage of traditional translation theory that is text-oriented, aiming to provide pun translation in advertisements a new viewing angle which is receptor (translator)-centered, and to offer some guidance to future translations in this field.

    Key Words(English advertisement; pun; relevance theory; translation strategies

    Contents

Introduction ..................................................................................... 错误!未定义书签。1

    1.Introduction of Relevance Theory ................................................. 错误!未定义书签。3

    1.1 Ostensive-inferential Communication ................................. 错误!未定义书签。4

     1.2 Optimal Relevance ................................................................................................. 62.Brief Survey to Puns in Advertisements ........................................................................... 7

    2.1 Definition of Advertisement ................................................................................... 8

    2.2 Definition of Puns .................................................................................................. 9

    2.3 Classification of Puns in Advertisements .............................................................. 11

    2.4 Characteristics and Functions of Puns in Advertisements ..................................... 11 3.Translation of Puns in English Advertisement from the Relevance Theory .................... 13

    3.1 Relevance Theory Approach to Pun Translation ................................................... 13

    3.2 Translation Strategies of Puns in English Advertisement from Relevance Theory . 17

    3.2.1 Preservation ............................................................................................... 18

    3.2.2 Creation ..................................................................................................... 20

    3.2.3 Compensation ............................................................................................ 22

    3.2.4 Explication ................................................................................................. 24 Conclusion ....................................................................................................................... 26

    Notes ................................................................................................................................ 27

    References ..................................................................................... 错误!未定义书签。31

     湖南人文科技学院毕业论文

Introduction

    At this age of information, advertisements are playing an irreplaceable role in all walks of life and have become an important source of information. As advertisements appear almost everywhere, such as on TV, on Internet, in newspapers and on the radios, the novelty and attraction of advisements will have great effect on the sale of products to some extent. Therefore, advertisers have to employ all kinds of rhetorical devices to attract the attention and interest of the public. Without doubt, advertisers favor punning, an economical form with abundant information as well as its humorous effect.

    Because of the increasingly urgent need for advertisement translation, many scholars have carried out researches on the translation of puns from different perspectives. Recently there are three different points on the translation of the puns at home and abroad. The first is untranslatable. It is considered that some information and styles of puns often disappear in the process of translation. Even if they can be translated, it all depends on the translator‟s talent, by virtue of a

    coincidence. The second is to have a limitation of translatability, which refers to the degree of the transformation of the original information and which depends on the level of translator‟s integrated knowledge. The

    third is translatable. The most representative scholar abroad is Delabastita.

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     湖南人文科技学院毕业论文

    He considers that any language has the ability to produce puns. So it is

     [1]possible for puns to have interlinguas processing.But it may not

    necessarily meet everyones standard of translation. He offered ten

    methods for pun translation.

     At home, Xu Zhongbin proposed four methods for pun translation: matching translation, compensating for translation, focusing on the significant meaning and providing endnotes or introductions. Meng Lin and Zhan Jinghui studied the translation of puns in English advertisement and proposed five strategies: matching translation, expressing the double meaning separately, using well established translation, focusing on the significant meaning and compensation. Their findings have been proved to be very helpful for translators in this field. However, there is still room for further study. On the other hand, Relevance Theory brings about new dawn for the interpretation of the translation, and solves those specific problems that are originally considered untranslatable, or difficult to translate immediately, greatly improving the translation.

    Relevance Theory is first brought forward by Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson in their works of Relevance: Communication and Cognition in 1986. Relevance Theory is concerned with verbal communication and focuses on human communication and cognition, and it challenges the traditional Cooperative Principle of Grice by explaining and analyzing verbal communication as an ostensive-inferential process.

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     湖南人文科技学院毕业论文

    Gutt, a student of Wilson, studied translation based on Relevance Theory. Five years later, in 1991, he published his book: Translation and Relevance: Cognition and Context. In this book he proposed Relevance Translation Theory. He holds that translation can also be regarded as verbal communication. According to Gutt, the aim of translation is to make the translated resemble the original closely enough in relevant respects. And translator‟s responsibility is to guarantee that the original

    author‟s intention is consistent with the reader‟s expectation.

1. Introduction of Relevance Theory

    Relevance Theory is the basis of cognitive pragmatics, initiated by Sperber and Wilson in the process of derivation the utterance meaning. Relevance theory tells that language communication is a kind of intended activities, delivering the speaker‟s intention. Sperber and Wilson explain

    verbal communication from the multi-disciplinary prospect of language philosophy, cognitive psychology and communication science. They combine pragmatic study with cognition and shift the focus of pragmatic study from the output of utterance to the understanding of utterance. They point out that verbal communication is a process of cognition--inference of mutual manifestoes, and the understanding of utterance is a kind of

    [2]cognitive activity, including two processes: ostentation and inference.

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     湖南人文科技学院毕业论文

    Each ostensive communicative act should be conceived as an optimal relevance in itself. In ostensive communication, the speaker shows his intention by employing stimulus. In inferential communication, the audience recoveries the speaker‟s intentions based on the ostensive

    [3]stimulus, such as utterance, gestures, and facial expressions, and so on.

    When the cognitive environment of the two sides of communication is mutual manifest, the audience can find the optimal relevance between the utterance and the contextual assumptions by inference and recognize the speaker‟s intention.

1.1 Ostensive-inferential Communication

    Relevance Theory studies verbal communication on the basis of cognitive science and considers it in two modes: code model and

     [4]inferential model.The code model is mainly to deal with the meaning of the utterance, concluding that the conditions to realize the communication are the mutual knowledge of the two sides. This mutual understanding is different from the general sense of shared knowledge: shared knowledge refers to the knowledge known by the both sides and that part of common knowledge beyond the impact of contextual assumptions; while the so-called “mutual knowledge” refers to the relevant contextual

    information that both the communicator must be ready to know with the

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     湖南人文科技学院毕业论文

     [5]changes of conversation.Therefore, shared knowledge is statistic and

    mutual knowledge is dynamic. In fact, however, it is almost impossible to require both the communicator to know all the relevant information. Thus Sperber and Wilson put forward another verbal communication mode: inferential model.

    Sperber and Wilson‟s relevance theory further pointed out that the understanding of utterance was not only a process of inference, but also

    [6]an ostensive-inferential process.In ostensive communication, the

    speaker shows his intention by employing stimulus. In inferential communication, the audience recoveries the speaker‟s intentions based on

    the ostensive stimuli, such as utterance, gestures, and facial expressions,

    [7]and so on. To some extent, the success of communication depends on whether the cognitive environment of the two sides is mutually manifest. [8]To make a successful communication possible, on the part of the communicator, he must attract the audience‟s attention by producing a

    stimulus and guarantee that the stimulus is an optimal relevance; on the audience‟s part, he has the responsibility of recovering the speaker‟s

    intentions. According to the relevance theory, human beings automatically pay attention to ostensive stimulus, because they are conditioned to turn their attention to what seems most relevant to them.

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     湖南人文科技学院毕业论文

1.2 Optimal Relevance

    In view of relevance theory: utterance content, context and a variety of implication can make the audience have different understanding of the utterance; but the audience is not necessary to understand all the significance of the utterance on any occasion; he used only a single, common standard to understand the utterance; this standard is sufficient for the audience to maintain the only feasible understanding; this standard

     [9]is called relevance. Thus, each ostensive communicative act should be

     [10]conceived as an optimal relevance in itself. And the ostensive stimulus

    should be conceived as the most relevant one the communicator could have used to communicate.

    According to the principle of relevance, while processing the ostensive stimulus, the communicator will use a set of contextual assumptions in order to make it manifest to the audience. Based on the explicature of utterance, the audience makes contextual assumptions by virtue of the three kinds of information of cognitive context: logical information, encyclopedic information, and lexical information. To determine the implicature of communicator, audience is necessary to search for the optimal relevance between utterance and context. For example:

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