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Study on English-Chinese Translation of JANE EYRE Based on Juliane House's TQA Model


1. Introduction

This is a brief introduction to the whole paper, in this chapter the author focus on the background, purpose and significance of the research. In addition, the layout of the paper will also be introduced, and all these provide conditions for further discussion.

1.1 Research Background

Research on House's model has been done by many scholars both home and abroad. However, those studies are still only confined to several aspects of the model, which don't provide a comprehensive and accurate structure of the model. Studies mainly concentrate on the introduction to the theory and framework of the model, while too few empirical studies demonstrate its specific operation process, in order to examine whether it is reasonably sketched and to state to what degree it can be used to assess the translation quality. Even though many translation theories have a huge impact in translation history, they've went through a long period to give an relatively objective system for translation studies. The situation has still remained same when House respectively published her two books: A Model for Translation Quality Assessment (1977) and Translation Quality Assessment: A Model Revisited (1997). Under the practical parameters and empirical procedure, this paper aims to give a case study on House's model and intends to illustrate its operation and to testify on its feasibility in assessing E-C translation-a case study on Huang Yuanshen's Chinese version of Jane Eyre to evaluate the translation quality and to explore its defects at the same time.

Translation studies have got a rapid growth. Germany translator Juliane House put forward "Translation Quality Assessment (TQA)" model with a new angle of view, for she proposes a set of systematic translation quality assessment models. According to this model, we can use it systematically and comprehensively to examine the translation quality so as to make a comprehensive evaluation to the level of the translation. House's model for TQA is a theory that it has really filled up a gap in the field of translation evaluation. Therefore, it is relatively more objective, systematic and scientific. As Si Xianzhu (2005) has commented "it is the first translation quality assessment model which was based on a comprehensive theoretical system and improved by empirical studies", studies on this model are rarely conducted so far in China.

1.2 Research Purpose and Significance

The evaluation of a translation as good or poor is the main concern of TQA approaches. The main issue is how to measure and express this quality. There have been many attempts to find ways in order to tackle these issues and evaluate the quality of a translated work. However, it seems that from among these many approaches, a few of them sound promising. One of the promising approaches is the TQA model provided by the German scholar Juliane House.

In order to make the comparison by House's model, a concept should be mentioned here.

It is well known that the method to evaluate the translation quality is the key point in the translation studies. So there is no doubt that the translation quality assessment model can enable translators to complete their works better. For the sake of a detailed analysis of the TT in translation practice presented, in this thesis, Huang Yuanshen's Chinese version of Jane Eyre is selected to serve as the TT of the study. In the process of the study, Halliday's theory as well as his concept of discourse analysis is also used as the basic theoretical framework of the comparison between ST and TT.

The paper settles down to apply House's model into the field of E-C translation, elaborating the theoretical bases and structure of the model, combining the theory and practice and assessing the effectiveness and feasibility of the model in E-C translation which is translated by Huang Yuanshen.

What's more, for the empirical research was done by House are based on German and English text-pairs, it still remains to be tested whether or not the model is feasible to assess C-E translation . It is therefore meaningful to introduce the model and test its applicability to the assessment of C-E translation.

The significance of the paper can be as follows:

(1) This paper attempts to connect the House's model based on Halliday's theory trying to apply the model into E-C translation , the model provides an objective approach for the translation study.

(2) The research on translation quality assessment helps translators normalize translation behaviors, improve the level of translation quality, and promote the capability of translator practice.

we can use it systematically and comprehensively. The program will examine the quality translation so as to make a comprehensive evaluation to the level of the translation.

2. Literature Review

It is necessary to have a overall understanding of TQA model before the analysis of E-C translation, so this chapter is literature review on TQA model. The definition, the theory and basic framework and both abroad and in China studies will be elaborated in detail.

2.1 Introduction to theHouse's Model

TQA model has provided a new angle for translation studies. This section is an overview of the model, which covers the origin and revised model development of TQA model. Moreover, some relative concepts of the model and theoretical background will be illustrated at the same time.

2.1.1 Basic Concepts of House's Original Model

In the real sense of the word of "translation", it is more than transferring syntactic structure of one language into another language. There are other aspects of language should be taken into consideration in any kind of this operation. Moreover, individual language characteristics, the features that language in use as similar or different from other languages, which have to be paid particular attention for in any definition of translation and in translation quality assessment, or, in that matter, in any translation training.

How to evaluate translation works objectively and scientifically is the crucial issue of translation quality assessment, which is the pivotal part of translation studies established by many scholars designing to set up a criteria and proper method. Holmes (1988:172-185) points out and divides the translation area into two main branches: "pure" translation studies and "applied" translation studies.

There are also a large numbers of western scholars make the joint efforts to the TQA model construction, such as Reiss, Jeremy Munday, Newmark, etc. Here we comes to a conclusion that their studies can be classified into four types: anecdotal and subjective approaches, text-based approaches and functional-pragmatic approaches, response-oriented/psycholinguistic approaches. (House, 1997: 197)

In 1976, House published her another book and put forward a new model for TQA in her book: A Model for Translation Quality Assessment regarded as a prominent masterpiece in the field of translation criticism.

"Translation quality assessment which presupposes a relative overall theory of translation. Different translation views will give rise to different concepts of translation quality and different approaches to assess it" (Baker, 2010:222). The theory of discourse analysis and system-functional linguistics is the cornerstone of House's translation quality assessment model. In this paper, the author based on Crystal and Davy's situational dimensions, House's original model can be formally divided into two parts : "Dimensions of Language User" and "Dimensions of Language Use", the categories are listed below:

I. Dimensions of Language User

(1) Geographical Origin
(2) Social Class
(3) Time

Ⅱ. Dimensions of Language Use

(1) Medium
(2) Participation
(3) Social Role Relationship
(4) Social Attitude
(5) Province (House,1997:39)

In the first part, namely, "Dimensions of Language User", "Geographical origin" refers to features which shed light on the author's regional dialect; "Social class" refers to the author's social status so as to show his/her position in the society in that era, since the element is the language which presents the educated middle class speaker in their country. The third item "Time" is referred to features which can offer clues to a text's temporal provenance.

In the second part: "Dimensions of Language Use", the item "medium" contains two categories: "simple medium" and "complex medium". The former one: "simple medium" is featured by a context in which the language used is limited to one single category, i.e. "spoken to be heard" or "written to be read". The latter one: "complex medium" is related to the context where language is more complicated such as "written to be spoken" or "written to be read as if heard" or "written to be spoken as if not written". The item "participation" is also very complicated if the characters are presented in the original text. "Social role relationship" is related to the relationship between the author and addressees or among the characters. "Social attitude" refers to the style of a text decided by their social status. There are five different styles: intimate, casual, consultative, formal and frozen. The consultative style is the one in the middle and as the standard for all kinds of conversations and letters written to strangers. "Province"is related to to the text producer's occupational and professional status and the range of the topic of the text in its widest sense of "area of operation"of the language activity as well as the details of the text production as these can be generated from the text itself." (House, 1997:41-42).

2.1.2 Theoretical Background of House's Model

2.1.2.1 Equivalence

The concept of equivalence is important for translation criticism. "The essential problem of translation-practice is to find target language equivalents. A central task of translation theory is therefore that of defining the nature and conditions of translation equivalence."(Catford,1965: 21).

Before 1970s, there are many scholars hold the different views. E.A. Nida is a representative person who towards the concept of "equivalence". He firmly holds the view that translation should be regarded as an activity which can arouse an expectant and corresponding response from the readers, and translation quality assessment should be related to inspect this effect. Nida (1964:182) propounded a representative criterion for this approach, "equivalence of response", which has achieved a great significance in modern translation field. In 1966, he proposed a translation principle called "dynamic equivalence" which has a tremendous influence on the translation studies both in Chinese and western translation field.

House's TQA model is also according to perception of "equivalence". Both its source conditions and communicative conditions should be involved by a "double-binding" relationship for accepting and absorbing linguacultural in translation. And this concept which captures this relationship. (House,1997:29). On other hand, "equivalence" is also connected to the "meaning" which across two different languages while the original meaning is preserved. After giving the distinction of three aspects of meaning: semantic meaning, pragmatic meaning and textual meaning, which are particularly concentrating on translation, then House thinks equivalence is to be the elementary standard of translation quality.

Therefore, a good translation should be conformed by both pragmatically and semantically equivalence. In other words, in order to evaluate the quality of a translation work we should keep consistent with the three types of meaning and on this basis make the comparison between the TT and ST. House holds the view that according to her overt-covert dichotomy, there is no merely functional equivalence , so she differentiates the concept of equivalence with two categories. Among which, the second level function lies in overt translation, so this is required in covert translation through the employment of cultural filter when doing the translation process.

2.1.2.2 Meaning

As we mentioned before, there are three meanings here: semantic meaning, pragmatic meaning and textual meaning. Therefore, House gives her own definition of translation: translation is the replacement of a text in the source language by a semantically and pragmatically equivalent text in the target language (House,1977:30). To some extent by this sense, if we want to assess the translation quality which means we need to check up whether the ST and the TT are equivalent in the semantic and pragmatic levels of meaning. From this definition, House set out to conduct the theoretical framework of her model.

The semantic meaning consists of "the relationship of linguistic units or symbols to their referents in any world that the human mind is capable of constructing" (House, 1997:35). It is a kind of "static meaning" (Zhou, Junqing, 1993: 23)which is an expression in nature, and not influenced by the linguistic context and the dimension of "Language user". Thus, in translation, equivalence in semantic meaning is visible to be seen.

There are some scholars give their views on pragmatic: "Pragmatics is concerned with the study of meaning as communicated by a speaker/writer and interpreted by a listener/reader" (Yule, 1996:3). It is about "meaning in speech situations"(Leech, 1983: 34).

"Pragmatics is the study of the purposes for which the sentences are used, of the real world conditions under which a sentence may be appropriately used as an utterance". (Stalnaker, 1973: 380). So pragmatic meaning can be defined as discourse or as the specific circumstance that an utterance has. Actually, we can find that pragmatic meaning has a little difference with semantic meaning. And House proposed that in translation, in fact, we often don't deal with sentences structures but utterances, so it is necessary and essential to achieve equivalence of pragmatic meaning while lose basic premise of the semantic meaning. (House, 1997:31).

To get a clear idea about the textual meaning, it is important to define what is the "text". A text is "a sequence of cohesive and coherent sentences realizing a set of mutually relevant intentions" (Hatim&Munday, 2004:350). In the process of text constitution, there are many factors all have the common influence on what a text is to be. For instance, theme-rheme sequences, substitutions, ellipses, and so on, in this sense, the textual meaning should be also kept equivalent in translation.

2.1.2.3 Functions

According to Halliday(1973, 1989), the ways that human beings use language to express themselves according to various environment or in a certain occurrence can be divided into three categories: ideational function, interpersonal function and textual function. Of which, in its ideational function, "language allows us to use it for organization and expression about the cognition we've known about our world and our consciousness" (Bloor, 1995: 9).

In the level of interpersonal function, "language is used to enable us to participate in communicative acts with other people, to take on roles and to express and understand feelings, attitude and judgments"(Bloor, 1995,19). In the level of textual function, "language is used to relate what is said (or written) to the real world and to other linguistic events. This involves the use of language to organize the text itself"(Bloor, 1995:9).

Here two crucial points need to be paid attention. The first one relates to textual function. By means of textual function, meanings are organized as "a flow of discourse" (Halliday, 2009:18). Therefore, it is obvious that textual function differs from ideational and interpersonal function in that "it is not a way of using language, but as a resource for ensuring that what is said is relevant and relates to its context" (Halliday, 1989:46). Therefore, it is not regarded as one of the components of a text's function by House's view. The second one we need to clarify it, since in Halliday's system-functional linguistics the three meta-language functions which embody and present the three kinds of meanings of language: ideational meaning, interpersonal meaning and textual meaning, so "meaning" and "function" are the same in this paper.

According to House's definition of text, which can be seen as any stretch of language in the individual components or elements which relates to another and form a close entirety. For the sake of get the true equivalence of the source text and the target text only by semantic and pragmatic equivalence is not enough; also equivalence of text function should be taken into consideration. House makes a distinction about language function and text function, for depending on the different types of text will form different translation methods and strategies which will have a distinct style of translation. Here we have to explore the relationship between the type of text and translation quality assessment model. Katharina Reiss on the basis of Buhler's three languages functions then divide the text into three types: informative text, expressive text and operative text (Reiss,1989:109)

Among them, the first three elements belong to the "Dimensions of Language Users", the latter four elements belong to the "Dimensions of the Language Use". In conclude, the original model is for situational-functional text analysis. The case studies in this paper will be based on the revisited model which is an improvement compared to the original model; therefore, there will be no more detailed explanations concerning its specific operation and evaluation scheme.

To sum up, when evaluating the quality of the translation, the functional equivalence and eight dimensions shall all take into consideration together, the higher matching degree is, the better translation quality is. Therefore, by contrasting the mismatches on words and sentences based on the context dimensions then we can evaluate the final translation quality.

2.1.3 Introduction to House's Revised Model

House's another book: Translation Quality Assessment: A Model Revisited was published in 1997. Under the guidance of her new model, the original situational dimensions and views upon the original model are remained. Besides, she borrows the theory of register and add the concept of genre to refine the new model, in order to make the theory more scientific and convincing.

"Genre is a conventionalized form which can by speaking or writing combined with some certain communicative or social events" (Hatim&Munday, 2004:76). It is taken as the basis on which texts of the same type are classified and it "regulates what can or cannot be said within the confines of given genre settings"(ibid.).

In general, genre is also as an elementary context type to prove different configurations of lexical and syntactic units, elements and structures. It is often across or beyond different register choices as well.

All analysis can generate a textual profile of ST, so when analyzing the TT should be conforming to the same standard at first and the results of analysis compared with the ST. During the procedure of her revised book, new viewpoints which are chosen from many categories of linguistic fields are proposed by House, then she checked the original model's principles, dimensions and presuppositions. Finally, House gives her own definition about "genre" as a socially established category featured in terms of occurrence of use, source and a communication purpose or any combination of these matters.

In her revising model, House concludes that the linguistic-textual analysis which is by examining the three aspects of register, is only a surface-level analysis about the description of texts, which can't conclude a direct statement of the textual function. So if we want to give a comprehensive and detailed analysis, she introduces "genre" to feature the deeper textual structures and patterns. House shares the view: "While register captures the connection between texts and their micro-context, genre connects texts with the macro-context of the linguistic and cultural community in which texts are embedded"(House, 2006:346).

Through the revised model we can see that the model provides a systematic, scientific and objective approach for the evaluation of translation quality.
In the revisited model, the situational dimensions are still included under the three aspects of register: field, tenor and mode. Thus both the original and the revised model are based on a register analysis and both of them have a great effect on translation.

... huge impact in translation history, they've wentgone through a long period to give ana relatively objective system for translation studies. ...

..In the process of the study, Halliday's theory, as well as his concept of discourse analysis, is also used as the basic ...

..It is, therefore, meaningful to introduce the model ...

... Halliday's theory trying to apply the model intoto E-C translation , the model provides ...

It is necessary to have aan overall understanding of TQA model before ...

There are also a large numbers of western scholars make ...
Here we comes to a conclusion that their studies can ...
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