Intercultural communication in the global environment frequently involves recourse to translation. This generates new phenomena which, in turn, raise new questions for translation theory and practice. This issue is concerned with the concept of the hybrid text as one of these phenomena. In this introductory chapter, a hybrid text is defined as: „a text that results from a translation process. It shows features that somehow seem ‘out of place'/‘strange'/‘unusual' for the receiving culture, i.e. the target culture”. It is important, however, to differentiate between the true hybrid, which is the result of positive authorial and/or translatorial decisions, and the inadequate text which exhibits features of translationese, resulting from a lack of competence. Textual, contextual and social features of hybrid texts are postulated (see discussion paper). These are the object of critical reflection in sub-sequent chapters, in relation to different genres. The potential of the hybrid text for translation research is explored.
This concluding chapter provides responses to some of the issues raised in the individual chapters, highlighting similarities and differences in the interpretation of the concept of the hybrid text. The questions dealt with here concern the notion of hybridity and the definition of hybrid text; the contexts in which hybrid texts emerge; the functions of hybrid texts; the various levels at which hybrid phenomena manifest themselves; the genres to which the notion of the hybrid text applies; the effects of hybrid texts; and the status of a hybrid text in Translation Studies. It is concluded that the phenomenon of the hybrid text involves greater complexity than had initially been defined in the discussion paper. There-fore, the original hypothesis is reformulated to account for the fact that hybrid texts are not only the product of a translation process but that they can also be produced as original texts in a specific cultural space, which is often in itself an intersection of different cultures.
In Towards a Science of Translating, (1969) Nida asserts that “There will always be a variety of valid answers to the question, ‘Is this a good translation?’” In the professional translation environment, the whole question of how to evaluate a translated text is one which poses a challenge to the client, to the translator and to those responsible for training the translator.
Much has been written about the difficulty of identifying (objectively) verifiable and perhaps more widely generalisable criteria for this form of evaluation, which needs to relate to the functional adequacy (Nord 1997, Toury 1995) of the translated text for its intended purpose. Such criteria would be equally welcome as guidelines for the actual translation process, to assist the translator in selecting from possible translation alternatives.
Think aloud protocols have tried to identify what goes on the ‘lack box’ and the cognitive processes involved in the process of text production (Kussmaul 1991, 1995). However, TAPS are a means to an end, the end being the aim of achieving a better understanding of the process in order to minimise the occurrence of potential errors and rationalise and optimise the process. This article attempts to show how Descriptive Analysis (see Toury 1995) of text pairs can highlight potentially successful strategy types, in relation to aspects of a functionalist approach to text production.
Having determined which text production criteria can be of use in evaluating the potential success of a translation choice within a text, it should be possible to formulate a set of guidelines against which translators could test choices.at micro-and macro-textual levels. Such guidelines, if also used to evaluate the target text, would ensure that evaluator and translator were ‘alking the same language’ and might not only improve the evaluation process but also optimise translation output. Translation theory can suggest potential criteria: corpus analysis, using the DTS methodology, can identify authentic examples of criteria in action. Bringing the two together into a usable format is the aim of this paper.
To demonstrate our approach we have used samples of advertising text pairs.This text type is notoriously difficult to evaluate, relying as it does on persuasive effect through impact on the reader. Since (potential or real) impact is recognised as being difficult to quantify. It is particularly important, for this text type. to have some relatively objective means of evaluating the functional adequacy of the target text.
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