The Environments of Translation

Theoretical Explorations in Translation Studies - Readings Empowered by Systemic Functional Linguistics - Bo Wang

Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen [+-]
University of International Business and Economics (UIBE), Beijing
Christian M.I.M. Matthiessen is a Swedish-born linguist and a leading figure in the systemic functional linguistics (SFL) school, having authored or co-authored more than 160 books, refereed journal articles, and papers in refereed conference proceedings, with contributions to three television programs. He is currently Distinguished Professor in the Department of Linguistics at University of International Business and Economics, Beijing, Distinguished Professor of Linguistics, in the School of Foreign Languages, Hunan University, Guest Professor at Beijing Science and Technology University, and Honorary Professor at the Australian National University. Before this, he was Chair Professor, Department of English, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and Professor in the Linguistics Department of Macquarie University. Professor Matthiessen has worked in areas as diverse as language typology, linguistics and computing, grammatical descriptions of various languages, grammar and discourse, healthcare communication studies, functional grammar for English-language teachers, text analysis and translation, multisemiotic studies, and the evolution of language. He has supervised over 40 research students.


Matthiessen contextualizes translation and locates translation within a typology of systems, which he names as ‘the environments of translation’, i.e. the information translators have access to that influence their choices in translation. In this way, translation has been examined within an overall architecture of language in context. Matthiessen summarizes six dimensions that together define the environments of translation, including stratification, instantiation, rank, metafunction, delicacy, and axis. Along these dimensions, one can then investigate translation equivalence and translation shift between the source text and the target text.

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Matthiessen, Christian. The Environments of Translation. Theoretical Explorations in Translation Studies - Readings Empowered by Systemic Functional Linguistics. Equinox eBooks Publishing, United Kingdom. p. Nov 2024. ISBN 9781800504882. Date accessed: 24 Jun 2024 doi: 10.1558/equinox.45223. Nov 2024

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