Social context and translation of public notices
To study the translation of public notice is in effect seeking insights which take us beyond translation itself towards the whole relationship between language activity and the social context in which the translation is intended to function. Social context is an important aspect in the study of language and translation because the three are inextricably linked.This paper attempts to investigate the text types, text functions and the translations of public notices functioning in the social context of Macao SAR of China. It tries to deduce about the contexts in which the ST and TT were produced, the purpose for which they were produced and the target reader for whom they were produced. The study is carried out in the light of Reiss’s theory of text typology (2000) and the Hallidayan systemic functional linguistics. It is hoped that this study will identity differences in public notice translation and explore the reasons behind the differences, and also be a test case for examining the role of functional theories of language in explaining some phenomena of translation. Texts for the analysis are extracted from the database for a research project undertaken by the present writer, and the analysis is conducted in terms of three text types and functions: informative, expressive and operative. The results of this study reveal that although one of the language functions might be dominant in a single text in a public notice, overlapping or combining functions are very often bestowed upon most texts. They also show that although invariance in the transfer of content could be achieved in the translation of informative texts, and an analogous form in the translation could be found in the transfer of an expressive text, there are more differences than similarities in the translation of texts with operative functions. Possible reasons behind the differences between the source and target texts are discussed. It is argued that the differences are most possibly caused by differences in cultural values, different religious backgrounds and different expectations between readers of the source and target texts.
Published online: 07 July 2009
Cited by 2 other publications
Lim, Lily & Kwok Ying Loi
Zhang, Meifang, Hanting Pan, Xi Chen & Tian Luo
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