A Cultural Study of Domestication and Foreignization in English Translation of Chinese Menus

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Abstract:Economic globalization has brought China into closer contact with the rest of the world. Chinese food, as an important part of Chinese culture, attracts foreigners who come to China. But in a lot of cases, when they look at the menus, they feel stunned and baffled. For the English translations of Chinese menus are often incomprehensible and misleading. However, such awareness has not led to an in-depth study on menu translation. In this paper, the author draws on theories of foreignization and domestication, and recommends foreignization as a main strategy and domestication as a supplementary choice. In conjunction with it, the author suggests a set of techniques for menu translation. It is hoped that this will contribute to the preservation and development of Chinese cuisine culture as a whole. Key words: Chinese menus;culture;translation strategies;domestication;foreignization 中图分类号:H315.9 文献标识码:A 文章编号:1672-1578(2010)03-0016-03 1 Introduction Since China opened its door to the outside world and especially after its accession into WTO, there has been an ever-increasing inflow of foreigners into the country. Many of them come as tourists, students, businessmen, or diplomats, but all of them are attracted by one thing: Chinese food. However, at present, many of the translations are so problematic that foreigners are often incomprehensible and puzzling at the best, and ridiculous and misleading at the worst. As a very important part of Chinese culture, Chinese cuisine is imbued with cultural implications which, when ill-rendered, can baffle foreign diners. Thus menu translation is by no means a simple and easy thing, but is, and should be, a way of cross-cultural communication. Based on the study and analysis of domestication and foreignization from the perspective of culture, the writer draws a conclusion that foreignization should be the major strategy for Chinese menu translation with domestication as a supplement. In the process of

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