The use of the term functionalism as a synonym of skopos theory is not correct. Functionalism is the umbrella term for the applications of skopos theory both to translator training and translation practice and to those areas of translation studies which draw on the basic principles of skopos theory.
What is nowadays often referred to as functionalism or functional approaches to translation (sometimes also as the German School in Translation Studies) is based on the skopos theory, a general theory of translation and interpreting (T&I) first published in 1978 by the German translation scholar and translator Hans J. Vermeer. This theory is called Skopostheorie in German, because its core concept is the aim or purpose (Greek: skopos) for which a “translational action” is needed to allow communication between members of different cultures.
In this entry, we will first describe the situation of translator training in Germany in the 1960s and 1970s, before looking at the main authors of the theoretical foundations (Katharina Reiss, Hans J. Vermeer, Heinz Göhring, and Justa Holz-Mänttäri) and of the first applications to translator training (Hans G. Hönig, Paul Kussmaul, Sigrid Kupsch-Losereit, Christiane Nord, and others), emphasising their contribution to “functionalism”. The main chapter will be dedicated to the impact of functionalism on translator training and its fundamental aspects derived from the skopos theory, followed by a brief look at some recent developments, such as adaptation and transfer studies. By way of conclusion, we will deal with the research potential of functionalism.
|Nord, Christiane. 2022. "Functionalism" @ ENTI (Encyclopedia of translation & interpreting). AIETI.|