Nowadays, with the rapid growth of economy, people are getting richer, and have a need and requirement of going-out. Nature is always with a special charm which automatically attracts people. In China, no matter the mysterious Tibetan, the beautiful Lijiang (city), or the famous Great Wall, the captivating Hainan Island, are always the destinations in the heart of travellers. But, awkwardly, foreign travelers sometimes found that those given “English” language are difficult to understand. Indeed, this is the responsibility of Chinese-English translators.
Though the traveling industry developed a not very long time in China relatively, it is very fast. So maybe the numbers of professional translators in tourism cannot meet the growth needs. Some mistakes have taken in those language translation processes. For example, the “超重” pasted on an elevator is translated into “overweight”. But actually it should be “overloaded”, just because it is the elevator, not a person. When a foreigner sees this, he or she will certainly be puzzled. What the hell is the meaning of that?
Tourism translation, as an important subject in translation industry, has its own unique features:
1. The texts regarding to travelling are rich in genres. It can be the description text, narration or expository texts. Or many of them just combined these genres together.
2. They are also rich in contents, carrying a large number of culture messages, with outstanding culture features, crossing various kinds of industries. The scope of tourism texts are including travel guide, itinerary, tourism advertisements, spot introductions, tourism marketing manuals, brochure, maps, restaurant menus, public signs, etc.
3. They have strong characteristics of literature. And there is already a kind of literary form called tourism literature, which is very rich and colorful. There are numerous poems, couplets, ancient songs, prose, legend stories and so on regarding to the sites of interest.
Tourism translation is very important, as it is not only a bridge built to strengthen communication among people of different nationality, but also a certain indication of the image of the destination.
To be a good translator in tourism industry, there are some suggestions need to be paid attention to:
1. Bilingual and bicultural
Be familiar with both the original language and target language. This is a basic requirement. Get to know those background knowledge regarding to the original texts or subjects as much as possible, such as culture, technology, politics, economy, trade, science, and, of course, the tourism. A tourism translator should be the one that knows something of everything, and knows everything of something.
2. Competence of connecting the theory with practices
Have the ability that being good at dealing with non-standard translation under certain guidance of theory; have a comprehensive ability that being good at “changing the translation”. For example: when American people taking photos, they often say “say cheese!” When you say this English word “cheese”, you show smile on your face involuntarily, which makes you maybe look like a much happier person. But if you just translate this word into Chinese word “说奶酪”, oh, you see, that is a lot different. Some masters translated this into “说茄子!”. What do you say?
3. The objective of tourism translation is not to translate the original messages into a very equivalent translation, nor to a perfect one, but to translate based on the intended functions of the target text. Always remember that the service object of tourism translation is tourists. A tourism translator should be a “cultural ambassador”, who introduces the related messages on scenic spots or a destination, and spreads the culture and national customs there. Let tourists understand through reading, seeing, and hearing, and are pleased to see and hear.