Translation of Public Signs

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Translation of Public Signs in Guangzhou:Skopos Theory Perspective


The translation in tourism plays the important part in overseas travel while bilingual public sign is an essential part of the translation in tourism. Guangzhou, as an economic and cultured capital of south area in china, attracts millions of foreigners. It is doing better in bilingual public signs than some other cities in China, both in the quantity and quality. However, there are still many problems in Guangzhou’s public signs building.

This paper elaborates on the translation of public signs in Guangzhou from the view of the Skopos Theory with an attempt to summarize some normative methods from the mistakes found and collected in this paper.

[Key words]

Public signs; The Skopos Theory; Translation in tourism


Chapter 1 Introduction1

1.1 Translation in tourism1
1.2 Public signs in Guangzhou1
1.3 Skopos theory2

Chapter 2 The signs of place name and signposts in the light of translation brief3

2.1 The signs of place name3
2.2 Street signs4

Chapter 3 Name of the tour spot in the light of translation methods.6

3.1 Historical relics in documentary translation.6
3.2 Scenic site in instrumental translation7

Chapter 4 Warning signs in the light of translation errors10

4.1 Pragmatic translation errors10
4.2 Cultural translation errors11
4.3 Linguistic translation errors12
4.4 Text-specific translation errors12




chapter 1 Introduction

1.1 Translation in tourism

Tourism is the largest cultural and service industry in the world nowadays. China, as one of the largest countries with a long history in Asia and in the world, is definitely becoming one of the biggest tourism countries. According to the estimate of UNWTO (World Tourism Organization), there will be over 1.37 billion people coming to visit China in the year 2020. However, China has not fully prepared for her tourists.

The culture and economic globalization offers more and more chances and challenges for China. As a student who studies foreign languages especially English, I have a deep feeling about the importance of the language in communication in our modern society. The translation in tourism is no doubt playing the most important part in overseas travel. It is a great pity that people always ignore this field. In recent years, some of the translators begin to focus their eyes on the translation of tourism. However it is still not enough.

1.2 Public signs in Guangzhou

The simplest and most direct style in the communication of tourism is public signs, which show the kernel information to the tourists. Most of the cities in our country have equipped bilingual public signs already while the quality of the English phraseology of public signs still have to be improved. The equipment of bilingual public signs is important for a tourism city while to give clear and authoritative information to foreigners is considered to be more critical.

Guangzhou is a modern city with a long history. Millions of foreigners rush there for its foreign trade, fairs and tourism, which bring not only benefit but also a chance for those foreigners to know more about Guangzhou or even China. Considered to be a card of a city, the tour spot is a window for culture-learning. So standard phraseology and strict translation appear to be urgent. According to my research, Guangzhou is doing better in bilingual public signs than some other cities in China, both in the quantity and quality....
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