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Translation Of Chinese Four-Character Idioms In New Century Edition Chinese-English Dictionay

Posted on:2004-01-31Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:X L LiFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360095450308Subject:English Language and Literature
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Chinese four-character idioms are a special yet important component of a Chinese-English dictionary. Whether they are properly translated will directly affect people's understanding of the idioms as well as the quality of the bilingual dictionary. However, characterized by their prominent features of stability, habitual usage, historical aspects and national aspects, Chinese four-character idioms do not make their translation into English an easy job to do.Many scholars have expressed their opinions on the translation methods of Chinese idioms, attempting to find an ideal one. Among them, literal translation, free translation, literal +free translation and translation + notes have proved to be the basic translation methods. For a long time, scholars argue on translation methods of Chinese idioms in a bilingual dictionary. But few of their arguments were supported by statistic results from a quantitative angle. The author of this thesis wants to answer the following three frequently asked questions in the field of Chinese four-character idiom translation on the basis of statistical results.The three questions are: (1) Which translation method is most frequently used among the four basic translation methods? (2) To what extent are the four requirements of accuracy principle satisfied in the translation of the Chinese four-character idioms in the dictionary surveyed? (3) Is there any relationship between the methods used in the translation and the satisfaction of accuracy principle in Chinese four-character idiom translation?Samples of the idioms were randomly selected from a Chinese-English dictionary with another dictionary of Chinese idioms to verify the authenticity of the idioms. Evaluation of each translation version of the samples was performed by the author andtwo other raters independently, Three sets of ratings were then triangulated to achieve the internal validity of the ratings.Findings include the following. First, free translation and literal translation are the major translation methods used in the idiom translations surveyed. To be more specific, free translation takes the leading position when all the versions of translation of all the cases in the sample are taken into consideration. However, in version 1 acrossthe sample idioms, literal translation is used much more frequently than free translation. The other two translation methods seem to serve as supplementary ways to translate these idioms. Yet they are indispensable because each translation method has its advantages and disadvantages as well. Therefore, none of them is suitable for all the translation versions of all the idioms. Translation methods should be used flexibly and cooperatively in a bilingual dictionary.Second, the four requirements for accuracy are all well satisfied, it is worth mentioning that the pragmatics function correspondence is comparatively a difficult requirement to satisfy.Third, no significant relationship between translation methods and the extent of satisfaction of the requirements for accuracy is found. Thus the author concludes that an idiom must have its best translation method among those four translation methods. Therefore, each translation method will do a good job if carefully chosen and properly handled with its advantages carried out.Based on the findings of the present study, it is recommended that a bilingual dictionary may choose translation methods flexibly in compilation and pay more attention to the satisfaction of pragmatics function correspondence. Besides, various measures could be turned to for help, such as using pictorial illustrations and adding back matter.
Keywords/Search Tags:Chinese four-character idiom, Chinese-English dictionary, translation methods, statistical analysis
PDF Full Text Request
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