К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2011
Автор: Васютина К.В.
"text type" refers to a specific "mode of discourse" or
"mode of presentation" that aims to fulfill a certain rhetorical and
communicative purpose (Trosborg, 1997). Neubert recognizes text types as
"socially effective, efficient, and appropriate molds into which the
linguistic material available in the system of a language is recast"
(Neubert, 1985, p. 125). Hatim and Mason look at text types as "a
conceptual framework which enables us to classify texts in terms of communicative
intentions serving an overall rhetorical purpose" (1990, p. 140). These
statements clearly define text types as the functional benchmark against which
we may classify or categorize various texts into a certain type for achieving
text types is controversial because a text type tends to be multifunctional and
overlaps with certain textual elements of other text types. Nevertheless, for
the convenience of translation studies, a number of ways of distinguishing text
types have been suggested. Crystal and Davy (1969) classified texts according
to field of discourse or subject matter, "giving rise to types such as
journalistic texts, religious text, scientific texts and so on".
Beaugrande and Dressler (1981) raised a "different classification of texts
into types such as literary, poetic and didactic" based on domain. Hatim
and Mason (1990) classified text types according to their rhetorical purposes:
argumentative, expositive and instruction-based. Argumentation is subdivided
into counter-argumentation "in which a thesis is cited, then opposed"
and through-argumentation, "in which a thesis is cited, then extensively
defended" (Hatim, 2001, p. 179). Exposition is subdivided into
descriptive, narrative and conceptual types. In addition, Bühler's theory
of functional typology proposed a three-way distinction depending on the foci
of "the producer (emotive), the subject-mater (referential) or the
receiver (conative)" (qtd. in Bell, 1991, p. 204). This functional
typology labels three text types as expressive, informative and vocative.
Similar to this functional typology is Reiss's three-way division of texts into
"informative texts which convey information, expressive text which
communicate thoughts in a creative way, and operative text which persuade"
(qtd. in Hatim, 2001, p. 77).
linguists the problem of text classification was reviewed many times.
Classification of functional styles suggested by V.V. Vinogradov has been
developed recently. Other texts focused on the features of different language
systems and their functions have been added there. This new functional style is
the object of a special philological branch called pragmalinguistics. The problem
of modeling educational texts was first viewed in the framework of this
science. In our work we stick to Vinogradov’s classification as the only one
including educational texts.
is a variety of literary language, that serves certain function in the
communication process. Traditionally there are five functional styles:
colloquial, scientific, official, journalistic and bella-letters styles. Each
functional style is characterized by at least three properties:
conditions of communication (formal/informal);
task. (Solganik p. 173-174 qtd. in Tyulenev p. 310).
texts are not included in this classification. For a long time linguists did
not pay attention to these texts, and they were not studied. Moreover
educational texts were not considered a functional style. However if we apply
the above criteria to educational texts we can see that these texts have their
own unique application different from the other five styles. These texts solve
their special communicative task – to educate – that neither of the other
styles does. Their main task is not to convey the information or influence the
feelings and emotions of a reader but show in a clear way all peculiarities of
the language system under study. As far as the conditions of communication are
concerned we can say that they depend on task of a text. If an educational text
includes the most widespread colloquialisms or slang vocabulary the
communication conditions reflected there are informal. The other task of a text
may require formal conditions. This peculiarity places educational texts in a
row with bella-letters texts that is they change their “face” depending on the
We propose that
study of the educational texts modeling methods is very relevant because
principles of teaching a foreign language and teaching translation are very
different. That is why teaching aids and methods of their creation are
different as well. By the way principles and methods of teaching translation
are only at the beginning of their development.
In the books
describing methods of teaching translation there are a lot of approaches to
what an educational text should look like. Some books offer exercises in which
students are supposed to translate certain lexis and grammar units, syntactic
constructions and stylistic devices. But the problem of such exercises is that
they do not provide a student-translator with broad context that is a text on
the whole. We know the drill: it is almost impossible to translate anything
without using the context. On the other hand books with sentence and even part
of sentence translation are numerous. Their authors claim that the sentences
they suggest do not require broad context. However it is difficult to call such
a translation a fully-functioning one. Thus we see the contradiction between
the teaching principles and existing teaching materials.
not forget that educational texts should be authentic and full of materials
that make students use this or that translation method. If the text is designed
specially to satisfy educational requirements it still should be a perfect
sample of a foreign language. Being a separate functional style itself the
educational text however should bear the features of a functional style under
study. That is if students study the journalistic style educational texts
should be full of journalistic clichés and lexical units characteristic
of that style.
the cultural aspect in modeling educational texts for teaching translation. One step is to "identify which
features are indicators of text type and whether the same features are used in
the target culture to make the same text types" (Colina, 2003, p. 16). The
other step is to "decide, in combination with consideration of the
translation brief and the norms for the [target text] and culture, which units
are relevant to a translation purpose, which aspects need to be changed,
whether the function/purpose of the translation can be the same, and what strategies
will be used to accomplish the translation goal" (Colina, 2003, p. 16).
The purpose of this teaching is to help students to obtain generalization of
language features and pragmatic functions with respect to a certain text type
and to consider how to retain the same function in the target language text.
Beside all of the
above mentioned characteristics we suggest topical organization of educational
texts for the course of translation. We had an opportunity to teach a new
subject in the university curriculum – Special translation. Together with O.
Vitvitskaya we developed a syllabus for students. The course included 15 weeks,
6 hours per each week. We split 15 weeks into 5 topics; each of the topics
contained 3 subdivisions. During this course we primarily focused on two
functional styles: scientific and journalistic. Our topical plan included the
1) Head topic –
- New technologies
2) Head topic –
- Contract law
- Law of torts
3) Head topic –
Subtopics: - taxation
- Currency and
- Stocks and
4) Head topic –
5) Head topic –
of the course helps students acquire knowledge systematically. They have an
opportunity to study the features of two functional styles and make topical vocabularies
and glossaries to memorize new words.
Now let us view a
couple of excerpts taken from the texts that we chose to translate in class.
Most bodies in the
solar system with a visible solid surface exhibit craters. On Earth, we see very few because geological processes
such as weathering and erosion soon destroy the obvious evidence. On bodies
with no atmosphere, such as Mercury or the Moon, craters are everywhere. Without going
into detail, there is strong evidence of a period of intense cratering in the
solar system that ended about 3.9 billion years ago. Since that time, cratering
appears to have continued at a much slower and fairly uniform rate. The craters
were caused by the impacts of comets and asteroids. Most asteroids follow
sensibly circular orbits between the planets Mars and Jupiter, but all of these
asteroids are perturbed, occasionally by each other and more regularly and
dramatically by Jupiter. As a result, some find themselves in orbits that cross
that of Mars or even Earth. Comets, on the other hand, as noted in Section 2, follow highly elongated orbits that often
come close to Earth or other major bodies. These orbits are greatly affected if
they come anywhere near Jupiter. Over the eons every moon and planet finds
itself in the wrong place in its orbit at the wrong time, many times, and
suffers the insult of a major impact.
Following up three
criteria proposed by Vinogradov we conclude the following:
- this text serves
the educational function and has its special application in the
- it bears the
characteristics of the scientific text hence the terms: geological processes,
weathering, erosion, cratering, orbit, etc. That is why we can say that the
communication conditions are formal.
- its main task is
to show a student essential features and peculiarities of scientific style.
This is an
authentic text taken from the Web. Thus we can say that this text can serve as
a good educational text.
Let us view the
example of journalistic style.
call to be weighed comes at 6.30am but I am already awake. I stand on the
scales backwards, so I am not thrown into a panic by my increasing weight. In
many ways, I am sick of this beast, continually whispering in my ear that I am
too fat. Yet I am scared to lose what has become my best friend.
8 am I stand outside the dining room. I don't want to eat but if I run away, 17
other patients will be sent to find me, forbidden to continue their meal until
I return. Breakfast is a big meal: juice, cereal, cooked course and toast. By
8.45 I have already consumed several times the daily calorie ration I would allow
myself. Afterwards I have to rest for an hour with the other girls. They are
all so fragile and delicate, I feel obese. However low my weight drops, it is
never low enough. This is another trick the anorexia plays: by reaching a
magical number - a few pounds lighter - I will like and accept myself.
stomach is uncomfortably bloated from breakfast. This is my fourth hospital admission
and each time I have reached a lower weight and found re-feeding more of a struggle.
Verifying the same criteria we see the
- this text serves the educational function
and has its special application in the teaching-learning process;
- it bears the characteristics of journalistic
style: heterogeneity of stylistic means, use of special terminology and emotive
vocabulary, a combination of standard and expressive means language use and the
abstract and concrete vocabulary. Thus we can say that communication conditions
- its main task is to show a student essential features and peculiarities
of journalistic style.
This is an
authentic text taken from The Sunday Times newspaper. This text may well serve
its educational function.
In conclusion we
would like to say that nowadays there is necessity to apply achievements of
pragmalinguistics to making teaching materials for different translation
courses. Without thinking about methods of educational texts creation it is
impossible to develop both theoretically and practically valuable teaching
materials. Moreover we should bear in mind that we are to use such authentic
texts which can cause a student to apply as many translation techniques as
1. Beaugrande, R.
de & Dressler, W. (1981). Introduction
to Text Linguistics. London: Longman.
2. Bell, Roger T. (1991). Translation and Translating: Theory and Practice. London and New York: Pearson Education Limited.
3. Colina, Sonia (2003). Translation Teaching,
From Research to the Classroom, A Handbook for Teachers. Singapore: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
4. Crystal, D. and Davy, D. (1969). Investigating
English Style. London: Longman.
5. Hatim, Basil
& Mason, Ian (1990). Discourse and the Translator. New York: Addison Wesley
6. Тюленев С.В. Теория перевода – М.: «Гардарики», 2004.
К содержанию номера журнала: Вестник КАСУ №2 - 2011