A Tentative Study on the Strategies in Translating Chinese Idioms Into English

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范文:
A Tentative Study on
the Strategies in Translating
Chinese Idioms into English

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A paper submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the degree of Bachelor of Arts

摘要

习语是语言的精华,经常出现在人们的日常交往和各种传媒中。随着中外交流的不断加强,在跨文化交际时恰如其分地把汉语成语翻译成英语,对于弘扬中国文化和促进沟通不仅是有益的,也是不可或缺的。 众所周知,中国和与以英语为母语的国家相比,在生活方式、社会风俗、自然环境等方面都有着很大的差异,英汉习语各自包含的内容和重点也不尽相同。因此,要在目的语中找到与源语完全对等的表达几乎是不可能的,这就给习语翻译造成了更大的困难。 本论文首先对汉语习语做出界定并分析其特点,然后提出五种汉语习语的英译方法即:使用意思和形式都相似的习语翻译;使用意思相似但形式不同的习语翻译;同意解释翻译;保留原有形象并补充解释;省略法。全文结合四十个汉语习语重点讨论了如何有效地采用这五种方法进行习语翻译,并归纳出翻译中所需要遵循的原则和规律,希望对以后的翻译有所借鉴。 习语是文化的载体,因此译者应遵循奈达的功能对等翻译原则去寻找能够替代源语的“最接近、最自然”的译文。作者接着论述了贝克的四大习语翻译策略和相关的中外翻译理论,并认为恰当的选择翻译方法有助于忠实地习语翻译。 因此本文提出在习语翻译时译者应根据不同情境,采用适当的翻译策略,优先传递习语的语用意义。由于语料的局限性,在汉语成语翻译过程中必将遇到更多复杂的问题,因此,更多的方法和理论还有待于开发和研究。

关键词:习语翻译;功能对等理论;翻译原则;翻译方法

Abstract

Idioms, widely regarded as the cream of language, are frequently used in daily communications and all kinds of medium. With increasing exchanges between China and other parts of the world, a proper translation of Chinese idioms is not only helpful but also necessary for intercultural communication and promoting of Chinese culture.

However, we all know quite clearly that the English speaking countries and China are different in the way of living, social customs and natural environment etc.; hence the contents and focus of the idioms are quite different from each other. It is almost impossible to find the equivalent idioms or expressions in the target language. Thus idiom translation is a quite a challenging task.

The paper first describes the definitions and characteristics of Chinese idioms, and then puts forward the five strategies for translating Chinese idioms into English with 40 examples. They are using an idiom of similar meaning and form; using an idiom of similar meaning but dissimilar form; paraphrase; keeping the original image while supplying explanation and omission. Based mostly on Baker’s four strategies on idiom translation and Nida's functional equivalence theory, the author stresses that translators should employ suitable strategies according to the characteristics of idioms.

Idioms are carrier of culture and it is advisable that translators reproduce the closest natural equivalent to the source language in the receptor language. And this paper maintains that a proper use of translation strategies can contribute to faithful and smooth idiom rendition. It is hoped that the result of this study can be conducive to future idioms translation. Nevertheless, due to limit of data size and research design, the result may not be conclusive and more follow-up studies can be done in the future.

Key words: idiom translation; principle of functional equivalence; translation principles; translation strategies

Table of Contents| Pages|
1. Introduction …………………………………………………………. ……| 1| 1.1 Background of the Research…………………………………………………………| 1| 1.2 Objective of the Research………………………………………….…………………| 2| 1.3 Significance of the Research……………………….………………………………...| 2| 1.4 Organization of the Paper …………………………………………………………….| 3| 2. Rationale ……………….…………….………………………………..…...| 3| 2.1 Definitions and Characteristics of Idioms…………………………………………| 3| 2.2 Definitions and Characteristics of Chinese Idioms………………………………| 5| 2.3 Basic Translation Theory……………………………………………………………... | 7| 2.3.1 Definitions of translation…………………………………………………………| 7| 2.3.2 Criteria for translation ……………………………………………………………| 8| 2.4 Strategy and Principles on the Translation of Idioms……………………………| 11| 2.4.1 Using an idiom of similar meaning and form…………………………………| 12| 2.4.2 Using an idiom of similar meaning but dissimilar form……………………| 12| 2.4.3 Translating by paraphrase………….………………. …………………………..| 12| 2.4.4 Keeping the original image while supplying explanation ………………….| 12| 2.4.5 Translation by omission………………………………………………………….| 12| 3. Data Description …………….....
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