Functionalist approaches

Christiane Nord
University of Applied Sciences, Magdeburg - Stendal

Table of contents

Functionalist approaches to translation are derived from a general theory of translation called Skopostheorie, brought forward by the German scholar Hans J. Vermeer in the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was soon taken up by several scholars who were teaching at the schools for translator and interpreter training in Germersheim (University of Mainz) and Heidelberg, who applied it to their translation classes. It has now followers all over the world, particularly in countries, where translation needs are pressing for various reasons, like South Africa or China. After a short overview of the development of Skopostheorie (for a more detailed account see Nord 2012), the article will describe the basic concepts of the theory and the various fields of application, which are usually referred to as “Functionalist Approaches” (cf. Nord 1997a). The last section will give a short outlook on present and future functionalist research.

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