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中國古代器英譯初探 ── 以《三國演義》的英譯本為例

An Investigation of English Translations of Terms for Weapons in Classic Chinese Literature – A Case Study of Two English Translations of Romance of the Three Kingdoms

Author/Editor: 孫坤

Year of publication: 2011

Place of Publication & Publisher: Translation Quarterly 翻譯季刊 (Hong Kong: The Hong Kong Translation Society), 59(2011): 51-83

Publisher URL: http://www.hkts.org.hk/cgi-bin/pub.pl

ISBN/ISSN: 1027-8559

Publication blurb:

Ancient weapons, an essential part of Chinese culture, arenot often discussed in translation studies, so this paper attemptsto carry out an investigation into the ignored field. It firstcompares the differences between ancient Chinese weapons andwestern ones, which account for the impossibility of obtainingequivalence for expressions associated with most weapons. TwoEnglish versions of a classic Chinese novel, Romance of the Three Kingdoms, are used to analyze the issue of translations, with alarge corpus deployed as an auxiliary analysis tool. It is foundthat the domesticating translations, which employ Englishconcepts to replace Chinese ones, distort Chinese culture and failto convey the meanings correctly. The corpus analysis of somekey weapons reveals the omission of the names of weapons andspecial collocations in English translation. This suggests that thetwo translators didn’t realize the importance of translating these items. Hereafter, the paper proposes several specific strategies totranslate ancient weapons asculture-specific items guided by theprinciple of “persistence in expressing core Chinese culturalvalues”, such as adding notes, inserting pictures and so on, tryingto keep variety as much as possible. 

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