On the Translation of English Idioms
In essence, the idiom was one of the most important components of language. As the pith of the language, idioms have come from many origins and different formations. In other words, the fusion of many distinctive cultures has crystallized the idiom, and it has many nations’ characteristics which was born with and never changed. And English idioms was one branch of idiom. The English idioms have an extensive scope; it was formed from regular phrases or short verses during a long period use. Therefore, in view of these features, for the sake of understanding the English idiom better, the translation of idioms should not just stay in literal meaning, and it is very important to translate the idioms from their context and comprehensive meaning. And this dissertation mainly discusses the methods of the translation of idioms. When we translate the idioms, we should make sure that we not only get a good knowledge of the correct meaning of idioms but also do our best to keep the original structure and unique feature of idioms. Key words: translation; culture; idioms
The Britain linguist, Jennifer Seidl, had said in the preface of his books “English Idioms and How to Use Them (1978)”, that “Idioms are not a separate part of the language which one can choose to either to use or to omit…”. So, if we want to learn English well, we must attach more importance to English idioms. Since the idiom was the product of the development of different national and regional culture, so it intensively has the special cultural features of some nations or regions. And the idiom was the particular form of the language; it is quite obvious that the idiom has many distinguish characteristics, for example, abundant connotation, independent meaning, and grammatically irregular, permanent structure and so on. The translation of idioms is not only including link up two languages, but communicate with the culture information between two languages. The Britain writer, John·O·Londo , said that the idea like a pixy plays pranks with speech，rejoicing in its freedom from all conventionalities．Without the idiom there can be no vivid communication. Therefore, the translation of English idioms has been become an extremely important problem. English idioms are one branch of idioms and the essence of English language and they have unique structural，semantic and cultural features．English idioms have an extensive scope; it was formed from regular phrases or short verses during a long period use. In a broad sense, English idioms mainly consist of set phases﹑idiomatic phases﹑idioms﹑sayings﹑proverbs﹑slang﹑maxim ect. In a narrow sense, English idioms refer to those phases or clauses that their literal meaning was different from their actual meaning, for example:“ I am all ears”. The meaning of this sentence literally translates as“我浑身都是耳朵”, but the meaning of this sentence actually is close to Chinese idioms“我洗耳恭听”. From this sentence we can know that the differences of the cultural diversity and the way of expression, and even the logic explanation of the literal meaning of one phrase or clause is not correct have an influence on the translation of English idioms. So, what we should do next is to do our best to learn more idioms, the more the better. Only in this way can we translate English idioms more appropriately. And this dissertation mainly discusses the methods of the translation of English idioms from some different points of view. In general, the main methods and skills of the translation of English idioms just as follows: idioms; culture; the methods of translation II. Translation of Idioms
1. Definitions of Idioms
It is difficult to give a clear definition to idioms. First, people are often confused with their scope, content and form. Second, experts have different opinions about how to divide idioms from narrow sense and general sense. What kind of...
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