1 Task Description
1.1 Background of the Task
This report is based on the book The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Transform Your Life, whose first two chapters are selected to be the source text in this translation task.
With the increasing pressure of modern society, more and more people begin to pay attention to psychological problems instead of just physiological problems. Our expectations are like the air we breathe. They accompany us everywhere, yet we are rarely conscious of their presence. Since most people do not know what impact expectations will have on their lives, it is necessary to understand the concept of expectations. In fact, our expectations and beliefs can influence our lives in many surprising and powerful ways. They can have truly effects on our health, happiness and productivity. According to psychologists, our beliefs and expectations can have an impact on our life, which is called expectation effect. In this book, The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Transform Your Life, the author shows how those beliefs shape our health and well-beings in profound ways.
1.2 Choice of the Text
The source text of the translation task is selected from a book called The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Transform Your Life, written by David Robson, an award-winning science writer based in London, specializing in psychology and neuroscience.
The reason for selecting this text to translate can be concluded as follows: First of all, the book has significant educational implications and can help readers know more about the relationship between psychology and real life. Knowing how the expectation of the human brain affects real life is conducive to actively coping with life and may eliminate the negative impact of expectations on real life. Since the expectation effect also may bring a certain negative effect, which will affect the judgment ability of correct assessment. Therefore, it is necessary to publicize the concept of expectation effect, so that people can use the positive aspects of the expectation effect to change their lives, and at the same time, they can avoid the negative effects of the expectation effect.
Secondly, the translation of this book is of great practical significance. As this book is a popular science text related to psychology, there are some psychological knowledge and terminology in this book that pose challenges to the translator. By translating this type of text, the translator can learn how to solve the difficulties brought about by translating popular science texts, providing some references for the future translation of similar texts.
2 Process Description
2.1 Preparation before Translation
During the process of translation, the preparatory phase was of great importance for translation, which laid a solid foundation of the translation. Therefore, before translation, the translator did a series of the preparatory work.
First of all, an accurate understanding of the type, characteristics and content of the text was a prerequisite for translation. To gain an accurate understanding, the translator understood the theme and characteristics of the text by reading the whole book carefully, which laid a foundation for the following translation process.
In addition, the translator searched relevant background information of the text and parallel texts on the Internet. As this book was about expectation effects, the translator had consulted some research materials related to expectation effects before translation, and had a full understanding of it, so as to better complete the translation task. Meanwhile, the translator searched some background information related to psychology and science, which brought some challenges to the translation task of translator. Therefore, the translator collected explanations of relevant terms on the Internet, so that the translator and readers could better understand the content of the source text.
2.2 Translation Process
After completing a sufficient preparation before translation, the translator began to translate the source text. The translation process lasted for 3 months from the source text reading to the completion of the third draft. And a clear schedule was drawn up to successfully complete the translation task.
In the first stage, the first two chapters were selected as the source text and translator set a translation task of about 500 words per day. Some dictionaries and online translation tools were used to improve the accuracy and quality of the translation. During the translation process, the translator looked up Oxford Advanced Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionary, Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English and some other dictionaries to ensure the accuracy of words and phrases. And Google Translate was also used as the translation tool to improve translation efficiency. With the help of dictionaries and the Internet, it took the translator about one month to finish the first draft.
3 Case Analysis ............................ 9
3.1 Theoretical Framework ...................................... 9
3.1.1 Introduction to Communicative Translation Theory ................... 9
3.1.2 Application of Communicative Translation Theory .................. 11
4 Conclusion ............................ 39
4.1 Major Findings .............................. 39
4.2 Limitations of the Study ............................ 40
4.3 Suggestions for Future Studies ........................... 41
3 Case Analysis
3.1 Theoretical Framework
The selection of appropriate translation theory is a crucial step in translation practice, which greatly influences the final effect of translation. According to the type and characteristics of the text, in this translation practice, Communicative Translation Theory is selected as the theoretical guidance to make the popular science text more accessible.
3.1.1 Introduction to Communicative Translation Theory
Before Peter Newmark put forward the Communicative Translation Theory, there had been an ongoing debate on liberal translation and free translation. Newmark (2001) mentioned “The conflict of loyalties, the gap between emphasis on the source and target language will always remain as the overriding problem in translation theory and practice” (p. 38). To solve this problem, he proposed the concept of semantic translation and communicative translation.
Proposed by Peter Newmark (2001), the concept of Semantic Translation Theory and Communicative Translation Theory first appeared in Newmark’s book Approaches to Translation. Semantic Translation attempts to reproduce the exact contextual meaning of the original text as much as possible when the semantic and syntactic structure of the target language allow. However, Communicative Translation Theory refers to a translation theory, whose purpose is “strive to make the translation have the same effect on the target language readers as the original. The effect is the same” (p. 22).
4.1 Major Findings
In the process of this E-C translation of The Expectation Effect: How Your Mindset Can Transform Your Life, the translator finds a number of parentheses in the source text, which brings difficulties to the translation task.
Guided by Communicative Translation Theory, the translator has adopted four translation methods to solve the difficulties encountered in the translation of parentheses, which are preposition, embedding, linear translation and adding brackets.
In most cases, preposition method is usually used in the translation of parentheses which express the author’s attitudes or opinions. In a few cases, the preposition method can also be used for the parentheses that play a supplementary function. Such supplementary parentheses usually act as adverbial components in sentences. The method of embedding is usually used for parentheses with supplementary and modifying functions. Such parentheses are usually short in length and often act as attributives in sentences. When the parenthesis is used to give examples, it can also be translated by using the method of embedding. When using the embedding method to translate the parentheses with the function to give examples, the examples should not be too long. Linear translation can be adopted to translate parentheses used to supplement or give examples, and linear translation has no special requirement for the length of parentheses. In some cases, linear translation can also be applied when parentheses are used to express attitudes. The method of adding brackets is often adopted when the parentheses are mainly applied to give explanations, and sometimes it can also be used to supplement information.