Functionalist Approach to the Translation of Cosmetic Brand Names

Topics: Translation, Source text, Language education Pages: 20 (6125 words) Published: October 28, 2014
On Functionalist Approach to
the Translation
of Cosmetic Brand Names

Introduction

Brand name,a part of advertising,is helpful to promote the corporation image and stimulate consumption. Nowadays China has become a member of World Trade Organization. Thus on the one hand our Chinese products have more and more opportunities to penetrate into world markets. Owing to the intensification of competition in the international business, the translation of brand names is becoming more and more important and significant in the economic competition. There have been quite a few scholars focusing on the research of brand name translation. A vast majority of the papers and books still concern on brand names translation in an extraordinary broad sense, few research probes into a very specific topic in a detailed way and as a result, leaving a corner with little attention, that is, cosmetics. It is no doubt that cosmetics have occupied an essential role in human life and consequently, the market of cosmetics is a great lure to the enterprise for which occupying the lion’s share ensures profit and prosperity. Accordingly, market competition of cosmetics is tough and challenging. Under such circumstances, the translation of cosmetic brand names can help enterprises, to some extent; win an advantageous point in the market battle. Besides, for those few papers discussing the translation of cosmetic brand names, most of them tend to have a quotation of the translation theories initially, and have a review on the translation of cosmetic brand names subsequently. Important factors such as cultural differences, aesthetic values, are barely mentioned without much discussion. Therefore, a comprehensive and in-depth research into the translation of cosmetic brand names is quite urgent and necessary. This thesis makes a tentative attempt to apply the functionalist theory to cosmetic trademark words translation.

Chapter 1 Introduction to Functionalist Translation Theory

“Functionalist” means focusing on the function or functions of texts or translations. As this definition indicates, function is the basic foundation on which the theory is developed. In functionalist theory, the most important rule for any translation is the function rule. Functionalism is a broad term for various theories that study translation on the basis of function or functions, among which functionalist theory plays a major role in the development of functionalism. The coning-into-being of every thing needs a period of time, and this is also true in the case of functionalist theory.

1.1The Formation and Development of Functionalist Translation Theory

Throughout history it can be found that translators observing different situations require different renderings. Many Bible translators have felt that the process of translation should involve two procedures: a faithful reproduction of formal source-text qualities in one situation and an adjustment to the target audience in another. (Nord 2001) Nida’s sociolinguistic approach attaches great importance to the purpose of the translation, the roles of translator and the receiver, and also the cultural implications of the translation process. This linguistic approach had influenced the development of translation theory in Europe during the 1960s and 1970s. At the same time, structuralist linguistics, along with the idea of language as a code and the conception of language universals, translation study then was defined as a science but not a craft of art any more and became linguistic-oriented. These linguistic approaches basically saw translating as a code-switching operation. With the more pragmatic reorientation at the beginning of 1970s, the focus shifted from the word or phrase to the text as a unit of translation, but the fundamental trend was not broken. (Nord 2001) Most translation theories shared the idea of translation equivalence. However, equivalence-based translation theories are source...

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