Linguistic Adaptation and
• ⅠTheory of Linguistic Adaptation
Language Using: Continuous Making of Choices
Three Properties of Language
• ⅡThe application of linguistic adaptation in
ⅠTheory of Linguistic Adaptation
• Theory of linguistic adaptation is put
forward by Verschueren
• Pragmatics is a general cognitive, social
and cultural perspective on linguistic
phenomena in relation to their usage in
forms of behavior.
Language Using: Continuous
Making of Choices
• Using language consists of continuous making
of linguistic choices, consciously or
unconsciously, for language-internal
(i.e.structural) and/or language external reasons.
• These choices can be situated at any level of
form, phonetic, semantic, lexical ,syntactic, as
well as the choice of language strategies. The
choice of language strategies is restrained by
cognitive, social and cultural elements, which in
turn influence the choices of language forms.
Three Properties of Language
• Variability （变异性）is the property of language which
defines the range of possibilities from which choices can
• Negotiability（商讨性） is the property of language
responsible for the fact that choices are not made
mechanically or according to strict rules or fixed formfunction relations, but rather on the basis of highly
flexible principles and strategies.
• Adaptability （顺应性）is the property of language
which enables human beings to make negotiable
linguistic choices from a variable range of possibilities in
such a way as to approach points of satisfaction for
• The three key notions are fundamentally
inseparable from each other. Variability
and negotiability provide possibilities and
means for the language use, and
adaptability give us enlightenment that
language choices can be made to realize
communicative needs based on variability
• “你们俩感情好不好？” 毛主席问陈妻。
• Chairman Mao talked with Chen’s wife. He
was pleased to know that they had a
happy home life.
ⅡThe application of linguistic
adaptation in translation
• The choice of language is the reflection of
the translator’s mental process. Change
can be made to meet social needs to
• The adaptation of language includes the
choice of language, language code,
language style, language discourse.
• Translation consists of two parts.
• The micro parts: lexical, phological.(语音，
• The macro parts: the language code
• In the translation process, in other words,
in the choice-making process, the
translator has to take his language ability,
the utility of language into account.
• He also has to consider the social facts,
political stance, ideology and language
• Let’s make things better.
• The original version is very simple, which is in
accord with the requirement of ads. The
translated version has the same style with the
original one. The language is very colloquial, the
syntax is simple. All these create a warm
atmosphere.That is ,the company is willing to
provide good service to customers.
• 词素和词汇 使词语具有变异性和商讨性
• 句式 名词性成分之间的语义功能关系，语
• “Ah!” said Joe. ”there’s another conwict
• Conwict is the misspell of convict. The aim
is to show Joe’s poor English. The
translated version use 患 to replace 犯 to
achieve the same humor effect.
• Sense and simplicity
• 精于心 简于形
• Alliteration and language structure is retained in
the translated version.
The choice is yours, the honor is ours
Antithesis(对偶) is retained in version2.
The sign want to give warning to the
customers. Stop can make the customer
feel impolite. However, the 2nd version
can show respect to the customers.
• The considerable amount of wine Hsin-mei
had consumed earlier was burning inside
and made him sick with jealousy.
• 醋酸 sour vinegar, is very hard for the
western readers to understand，so
adaptation is made here .It’s translated
into sick with jealousy.表示“妒火中烧”
• Anyone who’s meddled with officialdom for
long must be lower than a snake’s belly.
• Dog is a adorable pet in western countries,
but in Chinese tradition, dog is not that
• How many winter days have I seen him,
standing blue-nosed in the snow and east
• East wind is cold and chilly in western
countries, but it’s warm in China.
• Little Melilot came bounding in and sat
down on the bed with a giggle. I’m in luck.