Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

On Translation Ethics and the Translation of Chinese Drama

Author JiangHui
Tutor LvJun
School Nanjing Normal University
Course English Language and Literature
Keywords ethics translation ethics drama translation Teahouse
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Ethics is moral principles which exist in the relationships between people. Ethics exists in translation for it is a cross-cultural and cross-language communication activity with equally-based dialogues. In the last twenty years of the 20th century, when deconstruction paradigm of translation study was paid more attention to by most researchers, "Other" was over-emphasized. The emphasis on the objectivity of the translator broke the equal base of dialogues and hold back cultural diffusion. Then the study of the ethical norms in the process of translating became significant. In the late 20th century, western researchers began to study translation ethics. Andrew Chesterman puts forward five models of translation ethics:ethics of representation, ethics of service, ethics of communication, norm-based ethics and ethics of commitment.As a special literary genre, drama shares some characteristics with novel, poem and essay, and at the same time it has lines which have to be performed on the stage. That requires the lines to be readable and performable. As a result, the translation of drama becomes more difficult than that of other literary genres:the translation has to represent the meaning of the source text and deliver the cultural elements in it. At the same time, it should be easy to utter and be accepted by the translation users or the audiences—to represent the charm of the source text to the most. Translating Chinese drama into English is beneficial for spreading Chinese culture, so it is necessary to research drama translation.To discuss drama translation from the perspective of translation ethics and to apply Chesterman’s five models of translation ethics in the analysis is a new approach to discuss the principles in translating dramas. On the basis of reviewing the research on translation ethics and discussing the necessity of applying translation ethics to the study of drama translation, the thesis discusses the problems in drama translation by comparing two English versions of Teahouse, and puts forward the strategies of translating Chinese drama into English:The translator of a drama should be faithful to the meaning, culture and style of the source text. He should make clear the needs of the readers beforehand, and prepare different translations for different readers, and the translation should be colloquial and performable.

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