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English Translation Of Chinese Idioms In The Light Of Functional Equivalence Theory

Posted on:2008-07-19Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:X H LinFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360242458063Subject:English Language and Literature
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Idiomatic expressions, because of their brevity, beauty in form and sound, and many other merits, enjoy the greatest popularity in almost every language. They are commonly regarded as the essence of a language. Chinese idioms, as one of the most important constituents of the Chinese language, reflect the long history and brilliant culture of China. They are regarded as crystallization of the Chinese culture and are frequently used in the Chinese language so as to enrich its stylistic dimensions.As Chinese and English belong to two linguistic families whose cultural backgrounds are so different from each other, what is evident and understandable for the Chinese may turn out to be unclear or unintelligible for the English. This constitutes a special difficulty in the case of the English translation of Chinese idioms. Chinese idioms are the linguistic symbols that are most heavily bound up with the Chinese culture. This explains why the English translation of Chinese idioms is one of the difficult yet unavoidable problems. Whether or not the translation of them can be faithfully done directly affects the quality of the English versions of the original text. Having studied lots of examples given in the English translation of Chinese idioms, the author comes to the conclusion that the problem really deserves close examination, and that only after a thorough and systematic study is made can we perhaps translate Chinese idioms into English properly.Eugene A. Nida's theory of functional equivalence has been highly valued and has influenced the practice of translation in general. It can be applied as a guiding criterion in translation of Chinese idioms, which is abundant in figures of speech and allusions that are deeply rooted in the Chinese culture. All these features make them a hard nut in translation. The primary purpose of this thesis is an attempt to analyze functional equivalence and apply it to English translation of Chinese idioms so as to overcome difficulties encountered by translation practitioners. And it comes to the conclusion that it is only the equivalence in both meaning and function that the essence of Chinese idiom translation counts on. Only in this way can the translated text properly convey the metaphorical meaning of an idiom, take its literal meaning into account as well, and retain its national coloring and linguistic features as far as possible. In other words, the translation of idioms can convey the meaning of the original in such a way that it will exert the same effect on the target reader as the original does upon the original reader.
Keywords/Search Tags:idiom, functional equivalence, translation techniques
PDF Full Text Request
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