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一代翻译巨匠尤金奈达纪念:Eugene Nida,forever

已有 19073 次阅读 2011-8-27 16:20 |个人分类:我所景仰的学者 My Respected Scholars|系统分类:人物纪事| 巨人, 翻译家尤金奈达, 动态对等, 功能对等, 圣经翻译

今日中午,从迷糊中挣扎起来,想看点什么,打开邮箱,就看到老师发来的消息:Eugene Nida dies!!刚开始,几乎不敢相信自己的眼睛。打开链接,接二连三的消息冲击着我的视网膜。


Eugene Nida dies
Written by  Mona Baker

Dr Eugene Nida, a giant and pioneer of Bible translation in the last century, died yesterday, 25 August, aged 96.

The article below is by Dr Philip C. Stine.

Eugene Nida, the giant of Bible translation in the twentieth century, died in hospital in Brussels on August 25. He was 96. Conveying the news, his widow Elena said, “My adored husband has passed away 10 minutes ago. Thank you for your prayers. He was a saint. The Lord is with him.”

For more than 50 years Eugene Nida was the leader of the translation program of the American Bible Society, and subsequently the intellectual leader of the global program of the United Bible Societies, as well as consultant to that organisation.

Dr Nida will be best remembered for the revolution he brought about in the field of Bible translation in the mid-twentieth century. The resulting impact on the growth and development of the Church continues to be felt as millions of people in hundreds of languages around the world have access to the Bible because of the approach he developed and promoted.

Using concepts from linguistics, cultural studies, communication sciences and psychology, Nida developed a practical approach to translation he called dynamic equivalence or functional equivalence, the goal of which was to make the translation clear and understandable as well as accurate. He also influenced the emerging field of modern translation studies and is generally acknowledged as having set in motion the developments that led to that discipline. Through his numerous books and publications and extraordinary lecture schedule, he was able to help scholars, translators and specialists in Christian missions find new ways to think about effective communication.

Nida graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles, in 1936, summa cum laude, with a major in Greek and minor in Latin. He received his Masters degree in New Testament Greek in 1939 from the University of Southern California and doctorate in linguistics from the University of Michigan in 1943.

In 1943 he joined the American Bible Society and immediately embarked on extensive travel to work with Bible translators, gradually developing the dynamic equivalence approach. He was an extraordinarily effective communicator, and was able to train translators with a wide range of educational backgrounds how to use his approach. The resulting translations were both accurate exegetically and understandable. The Bible has thereby become available and accessible in an unprecedented way.

When a number of national Bible Societies, including the American Bible Society, joined together for mutual support and formed the United Bible Societies in 1946, Nida was present at the founding meeting, and subsequently was responsible for shaping the translation programs of the new organisation.

Nida recognised the need for translators to have the very best base texts to work from, and led major projects on both the Greek New Testament and the Hebrew Old Testament. He was also responsible for a new approach to lexicography. The Greek-English lexicon project that he headed up resulted in an invaluable tool for translators.

His legacy continues in the Eugene A Nida Institute for Biblical Scholarship at the American Bible Society.

Nida’s wife of 50 years, Althea Lucille Sprague Nida, passed away in 1993. Some time later, he met a distinguished translator and interpreter, Dr Elena Fernandez-Miranda, whom he married in 1997 and who survives him.

Dr Philip Stine was Director for Translation, Production and Distribution Services for the UBS from 1992 to 1998. Prior to that he was the UBS Translation Services Coordinator (1984-1992), Africa Regional Translation Coordinator (1982-1984) and a translation consultant in Africa (1968-1982).

See http://www.unitedbiblesocieties.org/news/794-eugene-nida-dies/.

Born November 11, 1914(1914-11-11)
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
Died August 25, 2011(2011-08-25) (aged 96)
Brussels, Belgium
Occupation Linguist
Spouse Althea Sprague (m. 1943–1993) «start: (1943)–end+1: (1994)»"Marriage: Althea Sprague to Eugene Nida" Location: (linkback:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eugene_Nida)
Dr. Elena Fernadez (1997 to 2011)

         奈达先生的著述在中国,影响深远。几乎每一个从事翻译研究与翻译教学的人,或多或少都受益于他的理论:功能对等或动态对等。这里引介一下他的翻译理论与语言学理论(Translation and Linguistic Theories):

Nida has been a pioneer in the fields of translation theory and linguistics.

His Ph.D. dissertation, A Synopsis of English Syntax, was the first full-scale analysis of a major language according to the "immediate-constituent" theory. His most notable contribution to translation theory is Dynamic Equivalence, also known as Functional Equivalence. Nida also developed the "componential-analysis" technique, which split words into their components to help determine equivalence in translation (e.g. "bachelor" = male + unmarried). This is, perhaps, not the best example of the technique, though it is the most well-known.

Nida's dynamic-equivalence theory is often held in opposition to the views of philologists who maintain that an understanding of the source text (ST) can be achieved by assessing the inter-animation of words on the page, and that meaning is self-contained within the text (i.e. much more focused on achieving semantic equivalence).

This theory, along with other theories of correspondence in translating, are elaborated in his essay Principles of Correspondence, where Nida begins by asserting that given that “no two languages are identical, either in the meanings given to corresponding symbols or in the ways in which symbols are arranged in phrases and sentences, it stands to reason that there can be no absolute correspondence between languages. Hence, there can be no fully exact translations.” While the impact of a translation may be close to the original, there can be no identity in detail.

Nida then sets forth the differences in translation, as he would account for it, within three basic factors: (1) The nature of the message: in some messages the content is of primary consideration, and in others the form must be given a higher priority (2) The purpose of the author and of the translator: to give information on both form and content; to aim at full intelligibility of the reader so he/she may understand the full implications of the message; for imperative purposes that aim at not just understanding the translation but also at ensuring no misunderstanding of the translation. (3) The type of audience: prospective audiences differ both in decoding ability and in potential interest.

Nida brings in the reminder that while there are no such things as “identical equivalents” in translating, what one must in translating seek to do is find the “closest natural equivalent”. Here he identifies two basic orientations in translating based on two different types of equivalence: Formal Equivalence (F-E) and Dynamic Equivalence (D-E).

F-E focuses attention on the message itself, in both form and content. Such translations then would be concerned with such correspondences as poetry to poetry, sentence to sentence, and concept to concept. Such a formal orientation that typifies this type of structural equivalence is called a “gloss translation” in which the translator aims at reproducing as literally and meaningfully as possible the form and content of the original.

The principles governing an F-E translation would then be: reproduction of grammatical units; consistency in word usage; and meanings in terms of the source context.

D-E on the other hand aims at complete “naturalness” of expression. A D-E translation is directed primarily towards equivalence of response rather than equivalence of form. The relationship between the target language receptor and message should be substantially the same as that which existed between the original (source language) receptors and the message.

The principles governing a D-E translation then would be: conformance of a translation to the receptor language and culture as a whole; and the translation must be in accordance with the context of the message which involves the stylistic selection and arrangement of message constituents.

Nida and Venuti have proved that translation studies is a much more complex discipline than may first appear, with the translator having to look beyond the text itself to deconstruct on an intra-textual level and decode on a referential level—assessing culture-specific items, idiom and figurative language to achieve an understanding of the source text and embark upon creating a translation which not only transfers what words mean in a given context, but also recreates the impact of the original text within the limits of the translator's own language system (linked to this topic: George Steiner, the Hermeneutic Motion, pragmatics, field, tenor, mode and the locutionary, illocutionary and perlocutionary). For example, a statement that Jesus "met" someone must be carefully translated into a language which distinguishes between "met for the first time", "met habitually" and simple "met".

Nida was once criticised for a controversial change in the Revised Standard Version Bible translation regarding the removal of the word "virgin" from Isaiah 7:14. However, as Peter Thuesen's book In Discordance with the Scriptures points out, Nida was not actually a committee member for that project.



Published Works include the following:

. Linguistic Interludes - (Glendale, CA: Summer Institute of Linguistics, 1944 (Revised 1947))

. The Bible Translator - (Journal founded and edited by Dr. Nida (retired), 1949- )

. Morphology: The Descriptive Analysis of Words - (Univ. of Michigan Press, 1949)

. Message and Mission - (Harper, 1960)

. Customs, Culture and Christianity - (Tyndale Press, 1963)

. Toward a Science of Translating - (Brill, 1964)

. Religion Across Cultures - (Harper, 1968)

. The Theory and Practice of Translation - (Brill, 1969, with C.R. Taber)

. Language Structure and Translation: Essays - (Stanford University Press, 1975)

. From One Language to Another - (Nelson, 1986, with Jan de Waard)

. The Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament Based on Semantic Domains - (UBS, 1988, with Louw)

. Contexts in Translating - (John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amterdam, 2002)

. Fascinated by Languages - (John Benjamins Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 2003)







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