An Analysis of News Translation in the Framework of Relevance Theory

An Analysis of News Translation in the Framework of Relevance Theory

1. News Translation from Relevance-theoretical Perspectives

Under the framework of relevance theory, new translation can be seen as a process of communication. To be specific, it is an ostensive-inferential and context-dependent communication. Other concepts like optimal relevance can also be adopted in the practice of news translation.

1.1 News Translation as an Ostensive-inferential Communication

The original writer gives the ostensive message to the translator and he infers from the message, and then the translator passes on the ostensive message in another language to the translation reader who must also infer from the message, thus completing two processes of ostensive-inferential communication. Likewise, news translation also follows this principle.

1.2 News Translation as Inter-lingual Interpretive Use

We all know that translation is an interpretive use of language based on the content in the previous chapter and a more complicated use in that translation involves two languages. Misinterpretations and divergences often happen even within the same language, let alone between two different languages. And these misinterpretations and divergences make the translation unfaithful to the original text. The faithfulness interpretation of thoughts in languages and that of one language in another is a tough task to fulfill. The translator must solve two problems while translating, one is that the translator must try to figure out what the original writer intends by what he says or writes; the other one is that the translator expresses what he gets from the original writer by using the most possible resembled words in the target language.

2. Acquisition of Optimal Relevance in News Translation

As previously mentioned, human communication expects optimal relevance which in fact is an expectation on the part of the hearer that his attempt at interpretation will produce adequate contextual effects at minimal processing efforts. Therefore, whenever someone tries to convey his intentions, he automatically assumes that the hearer can obtain adequate contextual effects without spending unnecessary effort. In order to create optimal relevance and to guarantee successful communication, the translator should follow the principle of relevance to achieve the original text intended interpretation. Likewise, for the translation audiences, they also naturally obey the relevance principle to arrive at the translator-intended interpretation. Relevance theory holds that correct understanding of the original works is the prerequisite for a good translation.

3. Summary

In this post, relationships between relevance theory and news translation are established. News translation can be seen as an ostensive-inferential communication. Context plays a vital role in the interpretation of meanings. The translator should evaluate the cognitive environment of the communication partners before choosing appropriate translation techniques to present the meanings in another language. What strategies and techniques for news translation under relevance theory can be adopted? The following post will deal with this question.

Words translated by CCJK


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