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On The English Translation Of Chinese Idioms Expressing Joy From The Perspective Of Functional Equivalence Theory: A Study Based On The Two English Versions Of Hong Lou Meng

Posted on:2010-04-13Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y C PingFull Text:PDF
GTID:2155360272982996Subject:English Language and Literature
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The English translation of Chinese idioms remains a hard nut to crack. In order to reach comparatively more accurate conclusion, the scope of the study is narrowed down to the translation of idioms expressing joy. Idioms expressing joy play an important role in describing the state and expressing the intensity of joy, which are abstract in nature. Proper translation of idioms in the original text contributes greatly to the target readers'correct understanding of the translated text.This thesis, which is mainly based on the contrastive study of the translation strategies adopted in the two English versions of Hong Lou Meng: A Dream of Red Mansions and The Story of the Stone, explores the application of Functional Equivalence in the English translation of Chinese idioms expressing joy.The collected Chinese idioms are divided into two broad groups: metaphoric and non-metaphoric idioms, which are further divided into subgroups respectively according to their features. Their renderings are analyzed and explained by examining the different types of translation strategies they employ, aiming at finding some regularities of translating in achieving equivalence.Altogether ten strategies are adopted in the two translated versions from the perspective of Functional Equivalence. These strategies include general liberal translation, degraded liberal translation, specified liberal translation, literal translation, borrowing, amplification, omission, transposition, integration and combination.The results of the study lead to some valuable findings which are helpful in producing English translations equivalent to the source-language message for the target readers. They are: 1) Liberal translation is the most frequently adopted strategy, combination and borrowing ranks the second and the third respectively. 2) Amplification which bridges the information gap for the target readers is seldom used independently but accompanied by liberal translation. 3) The majority of idioms in the study are rendered by non-idioms. 4)When borrowing is employed, it is a common practice to alter the borrowed English idioms to make it more proper. 5) If an equivalent word can be found in the target language, the equivalent word or idioms made from it may be borrowed to create the"natural" response in the target readers'minds, such as"beam"for"眉开眼笑". 6) The top three words in all the renderings of Chinese idioms expressing joy in Hong Lou Meng are three adjectives"delighted","overjoyed"and"pleased".Overall, the main findings reflect the strong contribution of Nida's Functional Equivalence to the translation of Chinese idioms expressing joy. Firstly, strategies of translation are chosen on the principle of increasing the extent to which target readers understand and appreciate the translated text. Results show that, of all the strategies, liberal translation may better fulfill this function. Secondly, the producing of the closet natural equivalent first lies in the equivalent meaning, and style comes the second. Therefore, the majority of idioms are rendered by non-idioms; and for those borrowed idioms, it is a common practice to alter them to realize the equivalence in meaning. If there is an information gap, amplification accompanied by liberal translation contributes a lot. Thirdly, the choice of a key equivalent word may arouse the similar responses in the original readers and the target readers.
Keywords/Search Tags:Chinese idiom expressing joy, Hong Lou Meng, Eugene A. Nida, Functional Equivalence, translation strategy
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