Dissertation
Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

Corpus-based Translation Studies of Chinese-english Translation Universals

Author ZhouHong
Tutor YangXiaoJun
School Hunan University of Science and Technology
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Corpus-based Translation Studies Chinese-English Translation Translation Universals Hong Lou Meng Cha Guan
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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The study about translation universals has been an explosion since the 1980s. Many linguists have made studies on universals from different perspectives including syntactic, pragmatic, cognitive and functional perspective. Universals of translation are the intrinsic characteristics, which are represented by simplification, explicitation, normalization etc, have nothing to do with the language cultural differences and translator’s personal preferences. In comparison with the English text in English translated text basis, we can find almost all the English translation text has several characteristics, a translation of the theorists of these universal to give simplification, explicitation, normalization, etc.With the development of descriptive translation studies (DTS), translation is no longer considered as a static process of text transfer from the source language to the target language. Descriptive translation studies (DTS) broadens the horizon of translation studies by shifting its focus to target-orientedness and target culture in contrast to prescriptive translation studies. It provides a theoretical framework for Corpus-based Translation Studies. The author chooses two English versions of Cha Guan and Hong Lou Meng by compiling a small corpora. A corpus-based study is carried out to examine universals of translation .The study aims at finding the similarities and differences in realizing translation universals.The study reveals that compared with Ying Ruocheng’s version, Howard shows a preference for reducing variant words and content words in the version. Lexical density in Howard’s version is lower than that in Ying Ruocheng’s version. Meanwhile, in Howard’s version the mean word length and sentence length is shorter, more explicit and precise. Punctuation marks in Howard’s version are more similar to the source text while Ying Ruocheng altered so much. At large, Howard’s version manifests more translation universals than Ying Ruocheng’s version compared with the source text Cha Guan.Compared with Hawkes’translated version of Hong Lou Meng, Yangs’version tends to use various complicated words , while Hawkes’version has a tendency to use fixed lexical phrases to follow native language culture closely which manifests simplification. Furthermore, Hawkes’version manifests a tendency towards explicitation by showing a higher frequency of conjunctions, determiners, personal reference, reporting that to make the translated version more coherent. By contrast, the Yangs’version tends to follow the source text closely.The hypothesis of translation universals has been verified in only some of the Indo-European language translation. This thesis attempts to verify the universals of Chinese-English translation based on my own corpus. It aims to use descriptive methodology to do an empirical analysis so as to verify translation universals from philosophical concept. Corpus-based study to the investigation of translation universals is helpful for English learners to broaden the research scope and support subjectivity of under different cultural backgrounds.

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