Corps de l’article
Huang Zhonglian’s Translation Variation Theory (hereafter referred to as TVT) is a continuation of his previous On Translation Variation (2000). While On Translation Variation deals with the practical operation, i.e., stressing “how”, TVT excavates the theoretical basis for translation variation, i.e., stressing “why”. TVT is a creative achievement in translation studies. It fills the gap created by the absence of systematic theory in translation variation study. By studying the practice adopted by translators in the world and summarizing the author’s own experience, TVT establishes its unique theory of translation variation that revolutionizes translation theory and practice.
Part 1 of TVT “Establishing Translation Variation Theory” establishes a pair of new translation categories, i.e., full translation and translation variation, and definitely puts forward translation variation theory. It proves the necessity and possibility of establishing translation variation theory because translation variation theory is a sum-up of translation practices in the world’s history.
Part 2 “Translation Variation Theory” expounds the nature of translation variation, accurately defines translation variation as an activity aimed at deriving the relevant contents of the original version by using the appropriate adaptations such as expansion, deletion, editing, commentary, condensation, combination, and reformation in the light of specified readers’ needs under specified conditions. From the seven appropriate adaptations mentioned above, TVT derives eleven translation varieties: selective translation, translation and editing, translated narration, condensed translation, translated summarization, translated commentary, summarized translation commentary, explanatory translation, translation rearrangement, translation and writing, reference translation. TVT discusses the logical relations between the core concept (translation variation) and eighteen basic concepts (seven adaptation and eleven varieties) that constitute the overall theoretical system of translation variation. The system includes the nature and setup of translation variation, its means, its methods, its units, its rules, its mechanism, its process, its scope and its value. In this part the exposition advances step by step, and the proving process is developing gradually according to the rules.
Part 3 “Subject and Object” deals with the other two important elements in translation variation. Here “subject” refers to the reader and the translator, and the “object” the original text. “Adapting in the light of the reader’s need, adapting by the translator, and adapting the original” reflects the relations between reader, translator, the original, and translation variation.
To sum up, the work under review is an excellent one and it opens up a new field although some of the parts need further study such as “translation variation readers” in Part 3.