Functionalist Approach to the Translation of Cosmetic

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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 renovations.

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.

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Under such circumstances, the renovations 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 Approach to the Translation of Cosmetic Brand Names By coloration 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 lays 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. 1 The 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.

Nor 2001) Naiad’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 asses and asses. At the same time, structuralism 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 asses, the focus shifted from the word or phrase to the text as a unit of translation, but the fundamental trend was not broken. (Nor 2001) Most translation theories shared the idea of translation equivalence. However, equivalence-based translation theories are source text oriented and tend to preserve the features of the source text. As a result, equivalence-based translation theories cannot meet the demands for solving many translation problems in real life ND even can hardly describe some common phenomena in translation research.

Therefore, some scholars became increasingly dissatisfied and began to question the equivalence-based translation theories. A new theory was indispensable. This is the reason why functionalism emerged in asses to bridge the gap between the translation theories and practice. Functionalist theory is derived from action theory and communication theory. The embryo of the theory was firstly put forward by a Germany scholar, Katharine Regis in her book: Translation Criticism: The Potentials and Limitations, published in 1971.

In the book, Regis formulates appropriate types of texts and objective criteria for the evaluation of all kinds of translations. According to her, translation criticism requires a comparison of the target and the source texts and develops a model of translation criticism based on the functional relationship between the source and the target texts. She categorizes the types of texts into content-focused, form-focused, and appeal-focused ones and thinks that different kinds of texts call for different kinds of standards and translation methods.

To conclude, although still firmly within equivalence-based theory, Regis’s text-type uncommunicative function and functional translation units. Later, Hans Vermeer made a breakthrough by putting forward his famous Sophistries, which is the core theory and landmark of functionalist approaches. Spooks is a Greek word for “purpose” or “function”. Vermeer argues that linguistic alone cannot solve all the translation problems. Thus he put translation in a broader human context. He regards translation as a kind of human action.

As any action has a purpose, so translation “is an intentional, purposeful behavior that takes place in a given situation; it is part of the situation at the same time as it modifies the situation. (Nor 2001) According to Sophistries, “the prime principle determining any translation process is the purpose of the overall translational action. ” The Spooks rule goes as the following: translate in a way that enables the translation to function in a situation where it is used and with the people who want to use it and precisely in the way they want to function.

This means that the reader or the addressee is the main factor determining the spooks of the target text. The translator is required to fulfill this purpose by using every possible means to meet the need of the receiver and the communicative function of the source text. Just as Vermeer says, “The end Justifies the means. “(Nor 2001) To conclude, the coming-into-being of Sophistries marked the general shift from linguistic and formal translation theories to a more functional and socio-cultural oriented translation. After that, Justas Hold Maintain further developed the theory.

She regards translation as “a complex action designed to achieve a particular purpose”. The purpose of translating action is to transfer messages across cultural and language barriers by means of message transmitters produced by experts (translators). Justas Hold Maintain pays special attention on the sectional aspects of the translation process. She also analyzed in detail the roles of the participants and the situational conditions in which their activities take place. It is based on these considerations that Nor described translation as “interpersonal interaction”.

After the three German scholars, Nor, one of the representatives of functionalist theory, published the book Translating as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained, which systematically introduces functionalist theory, according to which, translating is regarded as “purposeful activity’, that is, it is communicative action carried out by an expert in cross-cultural communication, playing the role of the text producer for some communicative purposes. Communicative purpose is directed at the target audience.

Norm’s theory of “Function plus Loyalty’ is a complement to Spooks theory. 1. 2 Basic concepts of Functionalist Translation Theory 1. 2. 1 Spooks and Function The school argues that translation is a particular variety of translational action based on source text. Any translational action, including translation itself, is an action. Any action has a purpose or aim. It has mentioned that Spooks is Greek word for purpose”. (Nor 2001) It indicates that in a translational practice, Spooks is the prime principle and should enjoy the top priority.

In translation study, the term Spooks/ Vermeer, “function” refers to what a text means or is intended to mean from the receiver’s point view. It is the use of the receiver that makes of a text or the meaning that the text has for the receiver. In functionalist theory, function is the main guiding principle of the translation. The above-mentioned concepts are mostly different from each other. “Aim” is of a person, e. G. From the sender, whereas “function” is from that of the receiver. All action has an “aim” while a translation text has a “purpose”. 1. 2. Intellectual and Intellectual Coherence Functionalists view translation as intercultural human interaction and study translation from macroscopically social cultural background with a much broader research scope. In the functionalists’ view, participants involved in the translation process are quite a few, in which initiator, translator, and target-text receiver are relatively crucial. They, the people or agents involved in the translational action, have certain functions or roles. The process of translation is commenced by the initiator, which can be a person, group or institution.

The initiator can also determine the process by defining the purpose of the target text. Under ideal conditions, he is supposed to specify the reason why he wants the target text, the circumstance in which the target text is going to be used, the expected functions of the target text and some other relevant details. All these factors make up the translation brief which expounds to the translator what type of translation is needed. The translator is a crucial link in the translational process for being as the decision maker.

He should iris have the source text and the translation brief, analyze the acceptability and viability of the translation brief in legal, then produce a target text that functionally meets the demands of the translation brief after agreeing with the commissioner on the conditions involved. In the translational process, there is not only one purpose, it’s the translator’s responsibility to decide which particular purpose should be the most important and which strategy will be employed in the whole process.

The translator is encouraged to employ every possible means to meet the needs of the argue receiver and fulfill the communicative function of the source text. 1. 2. 3 Culture and Culture-specificity For Vermeer,” a culture is the entire setting of norms and conventions that an individual as a member of his society must know in order to be ‘like everybody or to be able to differ from everybody'(Nor 2001). According to Vermeer, every cultural phenomenon is assigned a position in a complex system of values, is ‘evaluated’.

And every individual is an element in a system of space-time coordinates. If this is accepted, transmutable action or communication across culture barriers has to take count of cultural differences with regard to behavior, evaluation and communicative situations. As translation is an action that takes place between two or more languages and different languages reflect different cultures, the translator must compare the two cultures: the source-text culture and the target-text culture and then find out the differences.

He/she must not only be proficient in the two languages. A culture-specificity phenomenon is one that in found to exist in a particular form or function in only one of the two cultures being compared. (Nor 2001). It is unique and reflected by different cultural images, which have many annotations and meanings covering actions, feelings, ideas, states of mind and any sensory experience. And culture images are connected and influenced by certain culture, they are mostly culture specific. Poems and novels have cultural images, so do brand names.

The significance of discussing culture specificity in Sophistries lies in the fact that everything different from one culture is specific to the other culture. A translated cosmetic brand name with familiar and positive meaningful words in the target language can be decisive in the success of translation of cosmetic rand names because this can avoid the unintended cognitive effect and facilitate the memory of the translated brand names. Bonds can be more easily created to the objective brand names and products, increasing memorabilia and improving its recoverability.

It is true that the original text is written for the readers who have the common cultural background and cognitive cultural schema. Within the same language and same culture community, people can communicate with each other with little effort as they share the common cultural cognition schema and the interpretation will work out sufficient effects at minimal processing cost. Moreover, they can also activate the relevant cognitive schema and filling the lacking part consciously according to the relevance.

However, when it is referred to translation which is actually an intercultural communication, things would be much more complicated because the cognitive environment is disesteemed between the original readers and the target readers. When there’s a circumstance cultural schema default, which means the relevant cognitive cultural schema in the author’s cognitive environment is incomplete or nonexistent in the cognitive environment of the target traders, the target readers will be likely to interpret partially or even fail to interpret because they cannot search for the relevant schema in the schema in the cognitive inferential process.

And when there is cultural schema dissimilitude, which means the relevant cultural schema in different or mutually conflict in the cognitive environment of the author’s and the target readers, the target readers will be likely to interpret the text in a wrong way or even distort it because they may comprehend the text according to their own cognitive habits. Besides the above two circumstances, here are also the one that the cultural schema is identical or partly overlapping between the original readers and the target readers’ own cognitive environment.

When translating cosmetic brand names, the translator should have a clear idea of the difference of the cognitive cultural schema between the author and the target readers, then make an endeavor to dissolve the differences and eliminate the barriers in understanding by building new cultural schema in the target readers’ cultural schema when there is a cultural schema dissimilitude, which should be guided by the Spooks. And when there is identical or partly overlapping cultural chem., the translator Just have to reserve the similar one in the target cosmetic brand name.

Chapter 2 Overview of Cosmetic Brand Names 2. 1. 1 Definition of Brand Names A good brand name shoulders the responsibilities of carrying out the unique features of the commodity as well as arousing the consumers’ interests in buying. However it is difficult to find a uniform definition of brand name from dictionaries, laws and books concerning marketing practices and the alike. Different definitions of brand are collected as follows: 1. A brand name is that identifies the goods or services of a company. (Introduction To Business, 1994) (AWE 2.

A brand name is a name, symbol, design, or combination of them, intended to identify the goods and services of one seller or group of sellers and to differentiate them from those of competition. (American Marketing Association) 3. A brand is a synthesis of all these elements, physical, aesthetic, rational and emotional and cultural, which is a perception created in the mind of consumers who ascribe beliefs and values to the product. (Murphy, John, M. 1987) 4. A brand, I. E. Trademark is a name, symbol, design, or combination of them which tells who makes it or who sells it, distinguishing that that product from those made or sold by others. Basic Marketing, 1979) 2. 1. 2 Analysis on Formation of Cosmetic Brand Names As people’s names are formed with a family name, a given name and sometimes a middle name, brand names are also formed in their own way. From the perspective of the linguistic structures, brand names can be mainly divided into proper name brand names, the common word brand names and the coined word brand names. However, there are some similarities and differences in the formation of Chinese and English cosmetic brand names. (a) Cosmetic Brand Names from Proper Names Using proper names refer to the using of place names, personal names, etc.

To view the English and Chinese cosmetic brand names, there are some which are using personal names and place names. In marketing field, adopting a place name as a brand name is called “Topknot”. This is especially the case in the formation of the brand names of Cosmetically, which are the new wave in skin care and intend to enhance the health and beauty of the skin. Botanical that have not been over- processed as well as naturally derived organic minerals are most often the active ingredients in cosmetically.

As a result, using a place’s name can make the consumers associate the cosmetics with the credit of the noted place. For example, “Saint-Gravers”, the famous French cosmetic brand name, is from the place renowned skiing and spa resort. Under the Mont Blanch for thousands of years, the mineral springs are pregnant with amazing functions of relieving and comforting the skin by supplying rich nutritious substances, especially for sensitive skins. They can nourish the skin with the needed moisture and leave the skin harmonize, refreshed and soft.

Apparently, from the brand name Saint-Gravers, consumers will associate it with the above functions of the springs and have a confidence that the cosmetic can keep al after the places noted for the natural mineral springs. Then are the ones adopting a person’s name. Using a person’s name can create a sense of amicability between the product and the consumers. A good name will inspire the consumers to think about the image under that name. Take some brand names for example, “Charlie” in English has the long-standing image of being a confident but warm little girl.

Venus” is the Goddess of beauty and youth in the mythology. As for those adopting the name of the founders, it can not only create an affable sense between the products and the nonusers but a sense of pride and loyalty between the employees. Examples are as follows: Revolt—shortening form of the founder’s name (Charles Revolt) Elizabeth Arden—the founder’s name D?E—– the founder’s name (b) Cosmetic Brand Names from Common Words Common words will add more amicability and friendliness in the cosmetic and names and provide the denominators and translators more choices.

A table below will show the examples of the brand names from noun and adjective: Formation English Chinese Noun(s)) Doctors, Safeguard 4? E, Adjective(s) Clean & Clear Adjective+noun Nice Baby, Fair Lady c) Cosmetic Brand Names from Coined Words Coined words are also known as Neologisms. When certain qualities, characteristics, and functions are taken into consideration, coined words can be created. Since they are coined, they are unique and novel as there is not much possibility that another similar one will appear.

Many cosmetic English brand names are created by means of lexical methods, such as shortening, compounding, blending, fixation, etc. While the Chinese cosmetic brand names tend to use word group. Examples are in the table below: English Shortening SIR, Cleaning Compounding Body Flower, Head Blending Delicate, Science Fixation Bother, Naive, Nitrogen Chinese Names of plants and animals ME, Words of noble and auspicious meanings -?-RA 2. 2 Functions of Cosmetic Brand Names 2. 2. Informative Function Brand name is by nature an essential part of advertisement, which calls for high- information value, so informative function should be ranked the top rung of the ladder of all the three functions. A good brand name should reflect certain attributes value, and etc. By which commodity sales can be promoted and profits could be made. To be appealing, cosmetic brand names should be very informative to indicate he above-mentioned information about the product. First of all, some brand names provide the information about the producers or manufactures.

The brand names such as “Channel”, “Elizabeth Arden”, “Christian Dior”, etc. Are all after their initiators and become symbols of vogue as well as fashion which are adored and pursued by many females. Second, cosmetic brand names often include some information of the potential consumers. Brand names such as “E) that they are for babies. Thirdly, some brand names convey information about the basic function of the products and imply the characteristics of the products. For example, “Vichy’ suggests that it is competent of soothing the skin and maintaining skins natural moisture balance.

The last but not least, on conveying the information, the language used for a cosmetic brand name translation usually make every effort to create favorable and fantastic feelings in the receivers because of the unique function of cosmetic is to help the people, especially the women remain beautiful and forever young. So there are “Clean &Clear” in English cosmetic brand names and in Chinese cosmetic brand names. The association of these cosmetic brand names responds perfectly to women’s desires of pursuing perfection. . 2. 2 Aesthetic Function Aesthetic function means the brand names must provide the receivers with aesthetic feelings.

As to cosmetic brand names, this function is the essential one. If a cosmetic brand name uses some vulgar and terrible words, there is no denying that it will fascinate nobody. A good cosmetic brand name should not only be informative but more importantly please people. In this way, consumers will be deeply impressed by the brand name and allured to buy the products by association of acquiring a healthy and good-looking face which is most of the time elicited by the brand names. Many English and Chinese cosmetic brand names possess the quality of creating a sense of beauty, either in form or in content.

Rhetoric devices such as alliteration, rhyming, assonance, consonance and repetition are employed to create sound beauty. Also, words with pleasant meanings and image association are used. For example, “f*”, are always in Chinese cosmetic brand names, as “*A “and are used to designate “beauty’, and the alike English one is “Fair Lady’ which can show the audience an elegant and graceful woman. 2. 2. 3 Vocative Function For the vocative function of language, Peter Newark has the following statements: The core of the vocative of language is the readership, the addressee.

I use the term “vocative” in the sense of “calling upon the readers to act, think, or feel, in fact to “react” in the way intended in by the text… For a the purpose of translation, I take notices, instructions, publicity, propaganda, persuasive writing (requests, cases, thesis) and possibly popular fiction, whose purpose is to sell the book/entertain the brand names also is the typical vocative text. Therefore, the vocative function of the cosmetic brand names is to draw consumers’ attention, arouse their interest and erasure them to purchase the commodities.

This is absolutely based on the informative and aesthetic functions. Only do the brand names contain information about the commodity or aesthetic value, they can draw the consumers’ attention and persuade them to buy. In another words, this is like when certain idea, subjective wish or emotion expressed in the brand names are in compatibility with consumers’ psychological needs, the sale of the commodity will be enormously promoted. For example, “Safeguard” is a brand name for soap which we use in our daily life for hygiene purpose to wash and clean our hands.

By this brand name, consumer would think about a reliable and conscientious real guard to take good care of our healthy safety. 2. 3 The Existing Studies on the Translation of Brand Names The translation of brand names is a heated topic in the field of translation. Since the asses, many scholars have studied the translation of brand names and come up with a variety of theories about it. For example, He Changes, in his book Brand Name English, systematically analyzes the features, motivations and formations of English band names. (1997) Through searching database of CONK (http://CNN I. Et), more than 96 papers concerning brand name translation (BENT) come up spanning from 1978 to 2008. The first scholar researched specially the translation of English brand names is Iguana Hexing, he talks about the categories of English brand names and each of them should employ different translation methods. (CEQ&, 1988) Another significant change in BENT is the application of translation theories. Equivalence theory by Nadia was applied in many papers. Later, new theories and factors such as cultural differences, consumer psychology and aesthetic values, have been taken into consideration.

For example, Dad Ring in his paper indicates that brand name renovations promises to be complex and multi?disciplinary. (2004) Sophistries signals a watershed by shifting the attention to the target text with theoretically explaining all the complex phenomena appearing in brand name translation. To conclude, BENT involves not only two or more languages and cultures, but many other factors and theories. Chinese scholars contribute a lot to brand name translation studies, helping translators, translation scholars and the brand name translation users at large understand the problem much better.

Chapters Functionalist Approach to the Translation of Cosmetic Brand Names 3. The Spooks in Cosmetic Brand Names Translation Most translational actions bears a variety of functions, the two clear purposes are: 1) general purpose, which is aimed at by the translator in the translating process, namely to set up good images of the products in the target market and to persuade consumers to purchase them; 2) communicative purpose, to impress the target consumers in order to make them accept the products and finally to buy the are the most important factor that the translator should take into consideration first.

Let’s see some examples together. The Shampoo “”k”indicates the function of the reduce, that is, the shampoo can make your hair supple and flowing in the hair. “5 makes itself a good translation by conforming to the consumer psychology and Chinese culture. In a broad sense, this translated brand name reserves the sound trait of the original name, describes the product’s attributes and characteristics and builds great sense of novelty. The alike examples are: EYE(Herbalist), Clique (f? E), Pure etc.

This approach of translation pay less attention to conserve the original pronunciation, in other words, it doesn’t aim at acquiring phonetic relevance. The translation adopts product relevance strategy, that s, to highlight the attributes and characteristics of the commodities and cater to the psychology and expectation of the target consumers by the original meaning, associated meaning and cultural meanings. Clearly in the above translation, purpose (Spooks) runs through the whole translating action and finally the above two purposes have been successfully achieved. 3. The Role of Translator in Cosmetic Brand Names Translation The functionalist theory takes the translator as an expert in translation, who has the responsibility not only for carrying out the commissioned task but also for ensuring he functionality of the target text in the target culture. (Nor 2001) To well fulfill his responsibility, the translator must: 1) know clearly the purposes of the translation; 2) find out the difficult parts of the translation; 3) be proficient both in the source culture and in the target culture, and have a real talent for writing in his own language.

And then as regards the function of the target text and the target audience’s culture, the translator employs the appropriate method and gets successful translations. According to Regis, “… If a translator does not have a mastery f his own language and is incapable of writing well, his translation is bound to be poor, however well he may understand the text”(Regis 2004). That is, a good translator must be bilingual, especially be proficient in his own language (target language), thus, he can deal with the translation in an appropriate way and get good translations from the foreign into his own language.

There is an old Chinese saying which means that a fair and white skin can overshadow the defects and deficiencies in appearance reflect very evidently the preference of being Jade white among the Chinese women, In accordance with this Psychological need, some international corporations, such as Elizabeth Arden, Christian Dior, and Shied, have researched specially for the Asian women the products concentrating on lightening and whitening the skin complexion.

Take “Dior Snow’ for example, it is translated into which vividly illustrate the image of a lady with fine skin that is white and translucent like snow. On seeing this translated name, women consumers will be fascinated by its incredible effect of creating a skin as snow and jade. As a matter of fact, this brand name has won great popularity in the market. Undoubtedly, in this cosmetic brand name translation, the translator captures the

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