In Functionalism and its other terms andIn Functionalism and its other terms and

In this part of the
assignment, I will focus on the way Skopos theory and its effect on Bible
translation was discussed in the thesis I have chosen. As I mentioned before,
the thesis I chose is Functionalism and Foreignisation: Applying Skopos Theory
To Bible Translation by Andy Cheung. Firstly, Cheung studies on the brief
history of Bible translation and Translation Theory. He refers how theorists
opinions were in conflict and how they attempted to find a middle way in the
pre-20th-century translation history. Then he mentions the English and Roman
versions of Bible translation and pinpoints the very first time the mention of
concepts like ” word for word” and ”sense for sense”. Following he starts
to get more into the contemporary translation studies and he makes mentions of
significant things like James Holmes Mapping and its importance for the
translation history, Functionalism and Cultural Turn and how Cultural Turn was
a big change in the game. He then discusses the importance of equivalence in Bible
translation and application of Nida’s concepts of dynamic equivalence and
formal equivalence to it but then mentions how with the improvement of
functionalist approach equivalence lost its popularity within the translation
theorists community. Then he gets more into Functionalism and its other terms
and Skopos theory. However, I will be focusing on Skopos theory and discuss it
through the Cheung’s point of view since I am really interested in it.

Firstly Cheung starts
with a brief summary of  Skopos theory’s
main concepts. Cheung refers that Skopos’ two main ideas, the first one is
”translation is identified by its aim” and the second one is ”the aim of the
translation changes depending on the target culture’s wishes”.

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Cheung goes into it and
states how Skopos theory is mostly focused on the target culture and
translators’ decisions change depending on target cultures’ needs, wishes and
limits. Skopos theory is really attached importance to this issue since the aim
of translation is always depended on the target culture’s wishes. Afterwards,
he expresses how Bible translation may be varied according to the change in the
target cultures too. He clarifies that the type of translation changes again
depending on the target culture thus the translator decides which type of
translation he or she will use whilst translating to the Bible. For instance,
it may be dynamically, literally or it may be the free/ faithful spectrum, it
all depends on target culture.

Furthermore, Cheung
refers that Skopos theory does not insistent on a specific target text type and
circumstances must be detected by each and every different situation. Cheung
quotes Pym and states that functional approach is totally different from the
equivalence paradigm.

Following, Cheung sums
Skopos theory up and states that whether it is a translation, a direct source
text of information or research or an indirect source text of information or
research, it does not matter, any kind of texts should be examined in the
perspective of target cultures’ purposes, needs and requests and not in the
perspective of the source texts demands. Then 
Cheung defines that the function is determined not by examining the
source text but by examining the target text and by the purpose of the
translation of it and besides he points out that the content and structure of
the target text are determined by the established purpose of the target text
and not according to the source text.

Cheung continues with
referring Vermeer’s discourse about Skopos theory and refers his words by
stating that ”Skopos theory should be seen as a general theory of translation
since it is not limited by particular cultural circumstances.” He mentions
that according to Vermeer, Skopos theory is a general theory since it can be
applied in all cases.


Cheung goes on about
Skopos theory’s application on texts types and states that there is no
controversy over the application of Skopos theory to non-literary texts, but
there are some curious voices from who examine translation from the artistic
point of view and according to some people it was criticized that skopos theory
should not be used for literary texts. Thereafter he goes about the criticism
and mentions that Skopos theory could not be used on literary texts since
literary texts are not created with a purpose in mind nor could they be
degraded to a purpose or a specific aim.

Then Cheung states
Vermeer’s opinion on how translation is not only about language but it is an
intercultural communication tool and this shows the importance Vermeer gives to
the translation field. Furthermore, he mentions that there may be more than one
purpose (skopos) in a text and it is called ”skopoi”. However, these skopoi
should be in the order of their importance.

The next topic mentioned
in the thesis is about how all the text types should have Skopos since it is
seen as the general theory of translation hence even if it is not mentioned,
there is a skopos or skopoi in every text and next states that skopos can be
implemented to a finished translation.

Later on, Cheung
continues and getting into the Bible translation and touch upon the discussions
over which way to translate the Bible, however, Cheung states that it is
allowed to translate the Bible depending on target culture’s wishes. Then he
explains that Skopos is very suitable for Bible translation since there is more
than one function for it. This means a single one translation may not fulfill
the target’s requests. However a translation with many purposes also may not be
appropriate, on the other hand, a translation that focuses on a certain purpose
will be more likely to fulfill target’s requests. Cheung states that this is
more convenient since Bible has many usage areas and many different targets and
Cheung gives examples of these different areas and targets. Examples of usage
areas can be given as ritual reading or academic study and for the targets,
they can be children, adults or Bible scholars.