Chinese Corporate Profiles Translation: A German Functionalist Perspective

By Ma, Ruixue | Studies in Literature and Language, May 1, 2012 | Go to article overview

Chinese Corporate Profiles Translation: A German Functionalist Perspective


Ma, Ruixue, Studies in Literature and Language


Abstract

With the trend of economic globalization, more and more Chinese companies are using bilingual webpage as a new channel to penetrate into international markets. Online English corporate profiles play a very important role in the establishment of a company's public image on international economic stages. However the quality of C-E translation is far from satisfactory as a result of ignoring target readers' habit of expression and cultural differences, which has a negative impact on the penetration of Chinese products into international markets. Based on 24 authentic and reliable samples of corporate profiles, the paper analyzes the Chinese corporate profiles' different features from that of companies of English speaking countries and classifies the translation errors into three categories: pragmatic translation errors, cultural translation errors and linguistic translation errors. Error samples and suggested versions are given to analyze the types and causes of errors. With the German functionalist approaches as its framework, the paper puts forward some strategies to avoid the translation errors and improve the C-E translation quality of Chinese corporate profiles.

Key words: Functionalist approaches; Corporation profiles; Translation strategies; Skopostheorie

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INTRODUCTION

More and more Chinese companies resort to internet as a platform to market their products, and the English version of the corporate profiles means a lot to the establishment of their international images and effects of products propaganda. However, the quality of the English version of the corporate profiles is far from satisfactory. To improve the quality, translators must have a thorough understanding of the differences between Chinese corporate profiles and Western corporate profiles. Moreover, the avoidance and correction of translation errors must be based on efforts in two aspects. Firstly, translators should accurately know the categories of errors. Secondly high quality translation should be guided by a right translation theory. Therefore the paper classifies the translation errors into linguistic, pragmatic and cultural categories. Functionalist approaches are chosen to guide the translation, because the theory emphasizes that translation should be target-oriented and the target readers' background knowledge, culture and convention should be given full consideration when choosing translation strategies.

1 . Function s of Cor porat e Profiles

Online corporate profile refers to communicative messages of a company published on the company's website, the content of which mainly covers the corporate history, quantity and quality of human resource, corporate financial and physical property, scope of business, its reputation, selling points of its goods, organizational and management structure, geographical location and contact information. The functions of corporate profiles lie in the following three aspects.

1.1 Informative Function

Firstly, it has informative function. A good corporate profile should be complete with all necessary information that target readers need for decision making. The missing of any necessary aspects will cause delayed and inefficient business. Here are the first three paragraphs of a company's profile:

D a l i a n J i n g a n g G r o u p C o . , L t d . ( h e r e i n a f t e r referred as to Jingang Group), founded in 1992, was restructured into a limited liability company in 1999.

Jingang Group now has 9 holding enterprises, 8 share-holding enterprises, 5 Sino-foreign joint ventures and 1 subordinate branch office, with a registered capital of RMB140, 072,400.

Jingang Group covers the industries and fields of fine chemical industry, biopharmacy, machining, real estate development, construction and building materials, municipal works, industrial park rental, hotel and restaurant.

The above profile keeps the target readers well informed of the necessary information such as the history, business scope, corporate financial and physical property, organizational and management structure, etc. …

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