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The Application of Skopos Theory to Translating Children's Literature

  • The Journal of Translation Studies
  • Abbr : JTS
  • 2005, 6(2), pp.125-140
  • Publisher : The Korean Association for Translation Studies
  • Research Area : Humanities > Interpretation and Translation Studies

신지선 1

1한국외대

Candidate

ABSTRACT

Although skopos theory in translation studies has been sometimes regarded as inappropriate and irrelevant for literary translation, this study aims to present that skopos theory could be rightfully applied to the translation of children's literature. 'Skopos' is a Greek word for 'aim' or 'purpose'. The skopos theory was developed by Hans Vermeer in the early 1980s, effectively shifting the focus of translation studies from ST-oriented approach to TT-oriented one. Vermeer views translation as an action that has clear purposes and subsequent results. The very action of translation would be successfully completed when its purpose is given due consideration. The skopos theory underlines the fact that purposes and intentions of ST should be reflected in translation. The skopos theory is based on two assumptions: translation action is determined by translation purpose, and the purpose varies by readership. With regard to these assumptions, critics have questioned whether all actions have an intention, all translations have a purpose, and all translators have specific addressees in mind in translating a source text. As far as children's literature is concerned, however, such arguments are dwarfed by the fact that children's books have a clear goal to help children form a lifelong habit of reading. Besides, it is hard to imagine a translator translating children's books without considering the prospective readership. If translators were aware of skopos theory and its applicability to the translation of children's literature, young readers could benefit from high-quality translations.

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