S-Space College of Humanities (인문대학) Institute of Humanities (인문학연구원) Journal of humanities (인문논총) Journal of Humanities vol.48 (2003) (인문논총)
번역과 텍스트 기능
Translation and Text Function
- Issue Date
- 서울대학교 인문대학 인문학연구원
- 인문논총, Vol.48, pp. 1-25
- Translation is a work of finding what is expressed in a text and inducing what is meant from the expression. To induce what is meant from what is expressed means to understand the text. However, the problem with this process, i.e., the difficulty of translation lies in the fact that a translator understands a text through his subjective judgement and that it is very hard to establish objective categories for analyzing texts in which situational, historical, individual, and incidental aspects are implied.
Recently, lots of translation scholars, including Reiss, Vermeer, Paepcke, Koller, Stolze, Nord, and Honig, have been making efforts to establish a particular translation theory based on text types and linguistic categories. In other words, they are seeking a translation method for objectification of text comprehension, text types, and text analysis.
Currently, linguistics-oriented translation theory of the 1970s is gradually giving way to functional translation theory. Thus, translation scholars should pay attention to the interaction among different cultures. A translated text provides actual and specific situation of acculturation, not a assumed one. In a word, translation is intercultural communication. The fundamental question of translation is how to overcome cultural barriers. In the process of translation, translators should always remember that different methods and structures of information transfer are applied to different cultures.
With a presupposition that extratextual aspects play the most important role in the process of translation, I had thus far been analyzing, criticizing, and
systematizing those aspects that will ensure optimal translation, and came to the following conclusion:
1) Current analytic/empirical methods cannot objectively analyze extratextual aspects. However, lots of translation scholars have been recently trying to provide a theoretical foundation for analyzing the extratextual aspects with the help of linguistic categories. Therefore, it will only be a matter of time before an acceptable methodology is established.
2) Quality of functional translation is closely related to ability to understand texts. Because text comprehension does not depend on objective methods but on translators' subjective judgement, interdisciplinary research with hermeneutics is essential. After all, whether a translation succeeds or not depends on translation competence of translators.
3) Different text types should be handled differently in the process of culture-oriented translation. Translation scholars should pay more attention to typification and characteristics of text types.
As mentioned above, I tried to establish an optimal translation theory on the basis of text theory. However, this conclusion is still in doubt as to how useful it will be in regards to the actual process of translation, because functional translation theory requires the consideration of too many extralinguistic aspects.