Theory of translatorial action

Christina Schäffner

Table of contents

The 1970s saw the development of functionalist approaches to translation. Previous linguistics-based theories, which dominated from the 1950s to the mid 1970s, perceived translation mainly as transfer of meaning and tried to explain by which methods equivalence between target text and source text could be achieved. In contrast, functionalist approaches make the purpose which the target text is to achieve for its addressees in a target culture context their guiding principle. Translation is primarily understood as a form of human action in contexts and cultures. Functionalist approaches were initiated in Germany, in particular by Hans Vermeer (Skopos theory 1978), and further elaborated, among others, by Hönig and Kußmaul (1982), Nord (1997) as well as Reiss and Vermeer (1984).

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