Reiss ‘ translation-oriented text-typology provides a systematic attack to interlingual rendition. More interestingly, it approaches interlingual rendition at the text degree. This essay will analyze Reiss ‘ typology with focal point on “ Separating the Waters ” , published in National Geographic, a monthly magazine that boundary lines on scientific discipline, geographics, history and civilization.


Reiss sees interlingual rendition as an act of communicating whereby the transcriber acts as a medium ( secondary transmitter ) . This presupposes that a message has to be passed across, from a primary beginning to a mark receiving system. The major media are the beginning linguistic communication and the mark linguistic communication. The purpose here is to bring forth a mark linguistic communication text “ that is functionally tantamount ” to the beginning linguistic communication text ( Reiss 2000:160 ) . This means the beginning text should be the advisory point for the transcriber. In order to accomplish this functional equality, Reiss proposes a functional attack of text-typology. This attack takes into history the major communicative map of a beginning text as a footing for interpreting into the mark text. In other words, a mark text that does non hold the same map as the beginning text is non wholly a interlingual rendition, but what Reiss calls ‘transfer ‘ . Reiss ‘ text-typology includes a two-phase attack in interpreting a text: Phase of analysis and stage of reverbalization. The analysis stage fundamentally involves set uping the text type, genre and manner ( lingual signifier ) .The stage of analysis is the most of import as that is what would inform the interlingual rendition method to use.

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Text-type of “ Separating the Waters ”

Reiss identifies three text-types harmonizing to their communicative map viz. : the enlightening type ( communicating of content ) , the expressive type ( communicating of artistically organised content ) and the operative type ( communicating of content with a persuasive character ) . There is another ‘hyper-type ‘ which she calls “ the audio-medial text type ” . This is more of a super-ordinate term for the other three and does non concern the text in inquiry since it is a written text. “ Separating the Waters ” can be seen chiefly as an enlightening text type ; foremost given the context of the text: magazine and 2nd because it gives factual information about a topographic point: Korea, and the geographical events that take topographic point at that place. The interlingual rendition scheme recommended in this instance by Reiss should therefore concentrate on conveying content.

Text assortment of “ Separating the Waters ”

This phase has to make with the conventions of construction and linguistic communication adopted by the text. However, Reiss explains that they may differ harmonizing to different civilizations. The importance of this is to be able to happen a functionally tantamount convention in the mark text civilization. In this visible radiation, “ Separating the Waters ” is a sort of popular scientific text. This suggests besides that it seeks a wider audience other than scientists. This leads to the concluding phase of analysis: manner.

Style in “ Separating the Waters ”

The concluding phase of analysis has to make with “ elaborate semantic, syntactic and matter-of-fact analysis ” of the linguistic communication usage ( Reiss, 2000:166 ) . Normally, one would anticipate that when a text is an enlightening type, even the linguistic communication used should be such that it is aimed merely at giving facts. But that is frequently non the instance, as Reiss herself admits, “ non in one individual linguistic communication do signifier and map show a 1:1 relation ” ( 2000:166 ) . Hence, looking at the text, one would happen a similar happening. The text has expressive linguistic communication such as the internal rimes: “ tides ” , “ Godhead ” , “ divide ” ; “ of 15 pess ” . There is besides an allusion to a scriptural narrative: “ non godly intercessions ” , an look that answers the presupposition in the rubric itself “ Separating the Waters ” . Reiss therefore considers this phase of analysis the most of import, as the transcriber is faced with a “ decisive conflict ” on what would inform the interlingual rendition: the linguistic communication or the map of the text. At this point, Reiss posits that if utilizing an tantamount linguistic communication manner may weigh on the content of the text, so the transcriber should lodge to the prevailing map of the text.

Translating “ Separating the Waters to Yoruba ” : restrictions

Taking into consideration the content-focused map of the text, the transcriber is expected to use a method that would accomplish the same map as that of the mark text by interpreting “ harmonizing to the sense and significance ” ( Reiss 2000:167 ) . This suggests that the significance conveyed by the mark text should be tantamount to the significance in the beginning text. Bing a popular scientific discipline text, and specifically about geographics, “ Separating the Waters ” has footings such as “ peninsula ” , “ southwesterly ” , “ stat mi ” , “ breadth ” , “ pess ” , and “ spring ” . While some of them might hold some sort of equality ( i.e. “ peninsula ” , “ stat mi ” “ width ” ) , a climatic description like “ spring ” poses a job because Yoruba neither has a word nor group of words for it. This is fundamentally due to the different conditions conditions. The inquiry is: what should the transcriber ‘convey ‘ here? This is of import because “ spring ” as used in the text plays a major function in the content ; by stating us when an event takes topographic point. The lone option here would be to replace the word with the clip of the twelvemonth this season occurs in Korea. The job with this is that it might alter the significance, as the sense of ‘season ‘ is different from the calendar twelvemonth. To work out this interlingual rendition job, the transcriber could follow Nida ‘s rubric interlingual rendition of formal equality, that is, the usage of “ footers in order to do the text to the full comprehendible ” ( Nida 2000:129 ) . What this means is that Reiss ‘ method is non sufficient to work out this interlingual rendition job.

The look “ godly intercessions ” in the text makes allusion to a scriptural narrative about the Red Sea. This could be because the writer had a mark audience in head and presumes they know about the narrative in the Bible. Although this can besides be linked to the usage of expressive linguistic communication, it is nevertheless hard to disregard the fact that this type of linguistic communication usage plays a function in the text- to keep the involvement of the reader. If the original audience for the beginning text were specializers, there is uncertainty as to whether expressive linguistic communication would hold been used at all, since all that would be needed are facts. The inquiry is whether or non to include it in the interlingual rendition. The reply to this is dependent on another inquiry: who are the audience? Sacrificing the expressive signifier might alter the text to an wholly scientific or historic one. This means a different readership, as it may non appeal to a common reader. The job here is that Reiss ‘ method overlooks the fact there is an addressee for even an enlightening text type. She acknowledges this merely in the text assortment phase. However, communicating itself is non complete without a receiving system, in this instance the readers.

The rubric, “ Separating the Waters ” , besides draws attending. It foremost makes the reader think of the scriptural narrative of the Red Sea, and so makes a reader assume that is what the text is approximately. But this consequence can merely be achieved based on a shared cognition between the writer and the reader about the scriptural narrative of the Red Sea. This premise excessively must hold been informed by the fact that the writer had an audience in head. However, the writer rapidly attends to this wonder and possible misconception by the following gap sentence “ Tides, non godly intercessions, divide… ” Unfortunately, the mark linguistic communication ( Yoruba ) audience is a mixture of different faiths. In this text the rubric performs an expressive map, but that is non to state its prevailing map is expressive. Since it is an enlightening text, one would anticipate once more that the rubric would be informed by the major content being conveyed. But this is non the instance. Furthermore, attractive rubrics seem to be a common characteristic of this genre. This is besides a common characteristic of Yoruba magazines ( Salawu 2004:100 ) . The inquiry here is: since content is the purpose, should the mark rubric be informed by the content entirely and go forth the usage of expressive linguistic communication? This of class is possible, as Reiss already advises on disregarding such linguistic communication usage particularly if it will weigh on the content. Thus the interlingual rendition can merely hold “ Ipa-Ona Okun Korea ” which means “ The Path between Korean Waters ” . The effect of this nevertheless is that it might non appeal to the wider audience except a few, specializers. This brings up once more the inquiry: who are the audience? Reiss considers this an appropriate factor merely when the map of the mark text is different from the beginning text ( Reiss 2000:170 ) . What her typology fails to recognize is that both beginning and mark texts can hold the same map ( as in the instance of “ Separating the Waters ” ) but different addressees.


While Reiss ‘ translation-oriented text-typology provides a systematic method of nearing a interlingual rendition undertaking, it does non supply a complete solution to some jobs in English to Yoruba interlingual rendition of “ Separating the Waters ” . This suggests that it is non absolute that a text map will supply a interlingual rendition scheme. Fawcett ( 1997: 107 ) makes this same point:

There is merely no necessary nexus between text map and interlingual rendition scheme. Merely because we have identified a text map… does non intend that we are led inexorably to any logical or ‘translation-scientific ‘ imperative to take this map as an overruling parametric quantity to which we subordinate our interlingual rendition determinations.

( Fawcett 1997, p.107 )

This farther suggests that other interlingual rendition theories are valid and utile to the extent to which they proffer a solution to a interlingual rendition job.