Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

Studies on Functional Equivalence in the Translation of Euphemisms in Yang’s A Dream of Red Mansions

Author DengHuan
Tutor ZhouKeRong
School Tianjin University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords A Dream of Red Mansions euphemisms functional equivalence translation
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2010
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The classical novel Hongloumeng, a great Chinese novel written in the mid-eighteenth century during the reign of Emperor Chien-lung of the Ching Dynasty, has been widely popular throughout the last two hundred years and more. This classic literature is an encyclopaedia of Chinese literature. It is also the outstanding national cultural heritage. The author adopted hundreds of euphemisms concerning all kinds of fields, such as birth, death, funeral, sex, disease, secretion, excretion, menstruation, occupation, appellation and religion. These euphemisms are characterized by Chinese tradition, custom, values, religion, morals, life style and modes of thought, which are different from the English euphemisms in cultural source. So it becomes necessary to explore the research on the translation of the Chinese euphemisms in Hongloumeng. Actually many experts and scholars have done so.This thesis is to explore the translation of those euphemisms from the perspective of Nida’s functional equivalence, to explore the degrees of achieving equivalence when Yang translated the euphemisms in A Dream of Red Mansions, so as to offer some approaches to better achieve functional equivalence in euphemism translation. After the introduction about Hongloumeng and its translation in Chapter One and Chapter Two, this thesis introduces Nida’s functional equivalence theory in Chapter Three. Following that, Chapter Four is to describe the categories of euphemisms in Hongloumeng and the translation approaches Yang applied in A Dream of Red Mansions. And Chapter Five is focused on the degrees of achieving functional equivalence in translating euphemisms in A Dream of Red Mansions. For those euphemisms sharing similar or identical cultural connotation, total equivalence is achieved; for those having distinct cultural connotation and those having cultural vacancy, functional equivalence is merely partly achieved and cultural loss inevitably occurs. Chapter Six is to explore the causes why functional equivalence on some occasions can not be totally achieved, and then try to look for some solutions to better achieve functional equivalence. And the last Chapter is to conclude the thesis. Yang has mostly succeeded in achieving functional equivalence in translating the euphemisms in A Dream of Red Mansions. But cultural gap can not be filled up or bridged up merely by means of translation skills or strategies; worldwide spread of Chinese traditional cultures would be another effective tactic to help receptor-language readers receive the same message as Chinese readers do.

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