1 Task Description
1.1 Background of the Task
This report is based on the E-C translation of Chapter II Biodiversity:Organisms Create It,Ecosystems Maximize It,which further addresses the impacts ofboth organisms and ecosystems on biodiversity.
Diverse creatures are the precious wealth shared by all human beings.Biodiversity provides many necessities for human survival and development such asfood,medicine,fuel as well as a large number of industrial raw materials.Biodiversity also maintains the ecological balance of nature and provides adaptablecircumstances for humans.There are countless studies on biodiversity,and people’sexploration of biodiversity has never stopped.Since 1992,China has been committedto protecting and managing biodiversity for so many years.In the 15th meeting of theConference of the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Biological Diversity in2021,China announced a series of major achievements in the field of biodiversityresearch,which was the latest achievement in China’s research on biodiversity.Therefore,understanding the significance of biodiversity is in line with the times.
1.2 Choice of the Text
When selecting the translation materials,the translator made her decision frommany aspects and finally chose this book.Two reasons for choosing Chapter II as thesource text will be given in the following:
Firstly,as living creatures on Earth with humans,animals and plants are veryimportant,but most people,except for experts who specialize in biodiversity,do notknow much about this field.The selected text shows various factors affectingbiodiversity,and also introduces different species and their relative position in theecosystem,thus making people realize the complexity of the ecosystem and themystery of life.
Secondly,when reading this book,the translator found that its content is uniquein style and rich in knowledge.And in the discourse,various cohesive devices areused to make the discourse more compact,and these cohesive devices help readersbetter understand the original text.The faithful translation of the cohesive devices cannot only clarify the text structure of the source language but also make the target language more logical.Because of the differences between English and Chinese,ithas the operational value of translation in reproducing the cohesive effect of thesource text in the translated text.
2 Process Description
2.1 Preparation before Translation
In order to fully grasp the main idea of the original text,the translator preparedfor two aspects.One was to comprehend the original text,and the other was to presenta qualified translation.
To understand the original text in depth,the translator made the followingpreparations.After confirming that there was no official translation of the source text,the translator searched Google,Amazon book reviews and the author’s introduction soas to clarify the writing background and theme of the source text.Then,it took thetranslator about two weeks to read through the original text.Through reading,thetranslator understood the framework and focus of the original text,and analyzed thesyntactic structure and rhetorical forms in the original text.Then the translatorprepared dictionaries,such as E-C Oxford Dictionary,the New C-E Dictionary andBing online translation tool to remove obstacles caused by vocabularies,such as theP-Tr extinction and the K-Pg extinction as well as the scientific name of species.Through these efforts,the preparation can be smoothly transitioned to the secondaspect.
Then,the translator searched for some relevant books and parallel texts inChinese to familiarize herself with the language style and tried to imitate their writingtone.Considering the characteristics of the selected text as an informational text,thetranslator paid attention to the academic nature of the language but also ensure thereadability for the masses.At the same time,the translator looked up some books ontranslation theories and finally chose Halliday and Hasan’s cohesion theory as thetheoretical foundation to better deal with various cohesive devices in the selected text.
2.2 Translation Process
Under the premise of a fortnight’s intensive reading and new word processing,the entire translation process lasted for about five months.
Firstly,it took about 30 days to complete the first draft with the help of the Bingonline translation tool.During this process,the quality of translation is poor,becauseit only explained the meaning of words mechanically,focusing only on the translationof a single sentence,which the translator did not notice at that time.After completingthe first draft,the translator read the first draft through,marking the parts that neededto be re-translated and highlighting the cohesive devices in the original text.
Then,the translator began to translate the original text a second time.This time,the translator paid more attention to grasping the translation as a whole and gavepriority to the translation of cohesive devices.For reference,the referential objectshould be clarified,and the translator needed to retrieve the information.Forconjunction,translation techniques need to be considered,because the conjunctionswithin sentences did not correspond exactly to the true semantic relationship of sentences.For reiteration,especially synonyms and the same words that appearfrequently,attention should be paid to lexical variation and overall consistency.Forcollocation,it is sometimes neglected and created semantic ambiguity whentranslating.
3 Case Analysis ............................................ 9
3.1 Theoretical Framework ........................................... 9
3.1.1 Introduction to Cohesion Theory ................................. 9
3.1.2 Reasons for Selecting Cohesion Theory ................... 11
4 Conclusion ............................... 36
4.1 Major Findings .............................................. 36
4.2 Limitations ......................................... 38
4.3 Suggestions .......................................... 39
3 Case Analysis
3.1 Theoretical Framework
Cohesion theory would be elaborated,including the core idea,theoreticaldevelopment,and reasons for selecting it.
3.1.1 Introduction to Cohesion Theory
Discourse research has developed rapidly since the 1960s.Jacobson analyzedthe parallelism in the literary texts caused by syntactic structure and repetition,and hisstudy was seen as the earliest research on cohesion.Later in 1962,the concept ofcohesion was first proposed by Halliday.In 1976,Halliday and his wife Hasancoauthored the book named Cohesion in English,and the publication of this bookmarked the establishment of the cohesion theory.They believed that cohesion is asemantic concept.From then on,the cohesion theory is widely used as a theoretical guidance of linguistics to conduct language research.
Since the 1980s,the cohesion theory has gained tremendous development bothat home and abroad.Later in Language,Context and Text,Hasan(1985)furtherdeveloped cohesion theory by enlarging the scope of cohesion,and divided cohesioninto structural cohesion and non-structural cohesion.This classification provided anew entry point for later research.Then,discourse cohesion gradually became a hottopic.Hoey(1991)believed that cohesion is“a method of connecting previous andsubsequent sentences in a discourse through certain words or grammars,so acomplete discourse is constructed by these connecting components that exist in thesentence”(p.56).Based on the previous studies,Mona Baker(2000)believed thatcohesion can be seen as the surface network of the text while coherence is theconceptual network behind the surface text.
4.1 Major Findings
According to cohesion theory,cohesion is achieved partly by grammar andpartly by vocabulary.The translation of cohesive devices emerges as a criticaltranslation problem that should be coped with properly.English and Chinese haveboth similarities and differences in the use of cohesive devices,thus making bilingualtranslation possible.Based on a detailed analysis of the English-Chinese translationpractice of How Life Increases Biodiversity,this report explores the translationtechniques of reference,conjunction,reiteration and collocation in the source text andlists different techniques for different cohesive devices.
For reference,specification and omission are frequently used to keep thefeatures of the target language.Chinese,as a theme-prominent language,tends to userepetition to convey emphatic meaning and the subject in Chinese is also flexible.English,as a subject-prominent language,usually uses pronouns to avoid repetition,and there is only one subject in a sentence.In this case,specification is a validtranslation technique to deal with personal reference,demonstrative reference as well as comparative reference.Through repeating,the focus of each chapter is highlightedand the formal and semantic cohesion of a discourse is constructed.But sometimes,repetition may make people feel wordy,producing the opposite effect.Therefore,thetranslator should sometimes specify the referential meaning when translating,andsometimes omits the unnecessary parts to fit Chinese linguistic habits,making thetranslated text concise.