Article: Shiyang Ran, Philosophical Interpretation on E. A. Nida’s Definition of Translation

Philosophical Interpretation on E. A. Nida’s Definition of Translation

Shiyang Ran
School of Foreign Languages, Shandong University
School of Foreign Languages, Yangtze Normal University
No 35, Jiangdong Region, Fuling 408100, Chongqing, China

Since 1980s, E.A. Nida’s translation equivalence theory experiences a history of rising, booming and declining in China, and his translation theories and concepts are also widely quoted and discussed. However, the focuses are mainly on what is equivalence, the realization of equivalence, what levels of equivalence, the applicability of his theory and mistranslation of his translation in China, and no one discusses his definition of translation from the perspective of philosophy. As the definition of translation will represent the basis and starting point for translation studies, analysing on it will facilitate our understanding to the theory. In this article, based on the tendency of absolutization to his definition, it is to analyse the presupposition and shortage of the definition by philosophical analysis and to urge following researchers to adopt a dialectic and critical attitude to western translation theories, which may advance Chinese translation studies in future.