Abstract: Based on the first-hand pictures of mistranslated public signs, this paper focuses on the analysis and improvements on the current translation of public signs in Changzhou City. Classification and contrastive approaches are adopted to analyze the data. With the detailed discussion of examples, the paper uses linguistic functionalist approaches by Peter Newmark as the theoretical framework to raise some suggestions on the improvement of public signs translation. Through the exemplified analyses, three major types of mistakes are revealed, namely: Linguistic Failure, Pragmatic Failure and Cultural Failure. Accordingly, three main public sign translation strategies are adopted—strategy of Pragmatic Equivalence, Context Analysis and Cross-cultural Analysis. It is aimed that the current explanation can inject new vigor and vitality to the city image through the improvements of the translation of public signs.
Key words: mistranslations; public signs; linguistic functionalist approach; translation strategies
摘要：本文以实地拍摄取证，实地走访常州市区各类公示语所在场所的方式，通过搜集、分类、归纳、整理、分析相关的错译、误译实例，探讨其存在的问题，并报告常州市区公示语英译现状及其看法与评价。文章以英国翻译理论家Peter Newmark的语言功能理论为指导，对实地拍摄所得的具体公示语英译实例进入深入探讨，归纳并总结为三类主要错误：语言失误，语用失误和文化失误。并在Peter Newmark的语言功能理论为前提下，提出了三大类公示语翻译策略：语用等效策略，语境分析策略和跨文化分析策略，旨在提高公示语的翻译质量，为提升常州市城市形象，注入公示语英译新的宣传活力。