Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

On C-E Translation of Chinese Neologisms from the Perspective of Functional Equivalence Theory

Author WangYuPing
Tutor ZhuRongLan
School Jilin University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords functional equivalence Chinese neologisms translation strategies foreignization domestication
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2013
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Language is a rather open system. With the development of social life and humandevelopment, it is changing constantly. Language also serves as a mirror of social changes.However, when it is compared with other branches of language, vocabulary can be regarded as themost active and sensitive element. Ever since New China was founded in1949, especially sincethe adoption of reform and opening-up policy in the late1970s, China has undergoneunprecedented changes of its society, such as policies, economy, ideology, culture and social life.And along with the continuous overall progress, the Chinese language has also witnessed greatchanges. Such changes usually result in the increase of Chinese neologisms. Faced with theemergence of these neologisms, as foreign language learners, we are responsible for properlytranslating them or some of them into correct and idiomatic English, in order to get more foreignreaders acknowledged of the current trends and developing situations of China nowadays.Nevertheless, because of the shortage of enough relevant theories and the lack of books andarticles related to the research on C-E translation of Chinese neologisms, in addition that thoseworks or dictionaries just list Chinese neologisms and their English translated versions and fail tomake a systematic analysis on the definitions, classifications and features of these neologisms oroffer some guiding strategies of translation, there exist considerable problems in the C-Etranslation of Chinese neologisms. The main reasons for the failures in the translation of Chineseneologisms may be caused by many factors and among them at least two deserve our attention.One of them is the characteristics of neologisms, which bring us lots of difficulties in translating.Another factor is that there is no standard translation guidance or principle for us to follow, whichleads to the various translated versions of the same word. Therefore, the author thinks it necessaryto have a thorough research on C-E translation of Chinese neologisms so as to do better in thecross-cultural communication with foreign countries.In the recent years, people have increasingly easy access to social media and the Internet. Theadvanced communication devices also help to keep people informed of what is happening all overthe world. Information gets updated at a higher speed than ever and neologisms come into beingconstantly. Faced with the neologisms springing up, translators should shoulder the responsibilityto work as sounding boards. Then how to translate these neologisms properly comes as a problem.This thesis base itself on the theory of functional equivalence and attempt to seek for the most suitable methods of translating Chinese neologisms, through which functional equivalence can beachieved.It is generally believed that the work of translators can be viewed as a bridge connectingsource language writers and target language receptors and the purpose of this interculturalcommunication is to get our culture spread to the outside world. Then how to translate Chineseneologisms idiomatically while remain cultural flavor becomes an issue. To cope with the culturalaspects in translation of the heavily cultural-loaded neologism, foreinization and domestication arethe most important methods. And of the two methods, which to choose is another issue.This thesis aims at analyzing the strategies of Chinese neologisms translation from theperspective of functional equivalence. Firstly, the author gives general analysis to the researchbackground of neologisms translation. Then, she gives definitions of neologisms and casts light ontheir formation causes and features, which is followed by an overall introduction of functionalequivalence---the theoretical basis of this thesis. What’s more, the author sizes up the failures inthe translation of Chinese neologisms. In order to get rid of translation failures, the author putsforward translation strategies by taking E. A. Nida’s functional equivalence theory as thetheoretical framework. Meanwhile, the author lays her fingers on that translators should employflexibly the translation strategies to serve different purposes and various translation situations. Theauthor believes that in order to get the unique Chinese culture well-known by foreign friends, themethod of foreignization including literal translation, literal translation with adding or interpreting,transliteration and transliteration with adding or interpreting is preferred.

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