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Methodology

The discussion in this chapter has mentioned that gender representation in Irish contemporary female popular fiction, as well as its recreation in Vietnamese translation, is an activity governed by norms. Norms in translation form an integral part of Descriptive Translation Studies (DTS), which was first introduced by James S. Holmes (1972) in his article The Name and Nature of Translation Studies. Holmes divides DTS into 3 main branches: product- oriented DTS, function-oriented DTS and process-oriented DTS. Since the mid-1970s, several international scholars, including Itamar Even-Zohar (1990), Gideon Toury (1995) and Andre Lefevere (1992), have contributed to the expansion of Holmes’ approach with a particular focus on literary translation. DTS can be defined as:

[...] a view of literature as a complex and dynamic system; a conviction that there should be a continual interplay between theoretical models and practical case studies; an approach to literary translation which is descriptive, target-oriented, functional and systemic; and an interest in the norms and constraints that govern the production and reception of translations, in the relation between translation and other types of text processing, and in the place and role of translations both within a given literature and in the interaction between literatures. (Hermans 1985, p. 10)

The purpose of the DTS approach is to study translations as historical and cultural phenomena rather than to evaluate the quality of translations. It can be said that the purpose of Toury’s DTS is very close to the principal goal of this chapter because the present research mainly aims at examining gender representation in Irish contemporary female popular fiction translated into Vietnamese and observing the strategies used in the process of translating popular fiction from English into Vietnamese. Toury regards translations as “facts of the culture which hosts them.whatever their function and identity, they are constituted within that same culture and reflect its own constellation” (Toury 1995, p. 24) so his DTS model will provide the possibility of studying translations both as a product of a target culture and as texts inspired by source texts. Putting the aims of this research in this light, the practice of DTS will be a key to discovering the position of the translated texts in the Vietnamese context.

According to Munday (2001, p. 112), Toury’s DTS methodology consists of three steps:

  • 1. Situate the text within the target culture system, looking at its significance or acceptability.
  • 2. Compare the ST and the TT for shifts, identifying relationships between “coupled pairs” of ST and TT segments, and attempting generalizations about the underlying concept of translation.
  • 3. Draw implications for decision-making in future translating.

Toury’s model of analysis can provide much detailed information, especially at the level of textual-linguistic norms, through the examination of which we can gain an insight into translation strategies, as well as the influence of culture on the choice of the replacing segments in the target language.

 
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