On the English Translation of Terms of Traditional Chiense Architecture
|School||Fujian Normal University|
|Course||English Language and Literature|
|Keywords||Ancient architecture terms English translation Nida Functional equivalence Image Chinese Architectural History Liang|
Traditional Chinese architectural terms are the essence of ancient Chinese architectural culture and the academic crystal of the discipline proper. With the increasingly frequent cultural exchanges between China and the rest of the world today, the translation of traditional Chinese architectural terms is becoming more and more demanding.This thesis focuses on A Pictorial History of Ancient Chinese Architecture, an English-Chinese work written by Liang Ssu-ch’eung, an architectural master, translated by his son-Liang Congjie, and published in the U.S. and systematically probes into the prevailing translations of terms of traditional Chinese architecture. In accordance with the usual practice of the discipline of traditional architecture, the building parts the terms refer to are categorized into supporting parts, roof parts and decoration parts with sufficient pictures attached for reference. The Chinese terms and their English counterparts have been presented, which is followed by an analysis of cultural loads, and consequent suggestions for the most appropriate approach to related translation through comparative studies. Technically speaking, through transliteration, the cultural elements contained in the terms may be kept intact, and yet, it tends to cause difficulties for target readers to understand because of information vacancy; through free translation, the technical reference of the terms can be made clear, but the cultural elements may more often than not be lost; and the approach of transliteration plus free translation enables readers of the target language to understand both the reference and cultural messages of the terms. The translated terms from Chinese into English could be classified into four types, that is, English counterparts with Chinese cultural loads, English counterparts without Chinese cultural loads, non-English-counterparts with Chinese cultural loads, and non-English-counterparts without Chinese cultural loads. Translators may refer to Eugene Nida’s theories related with functional equivalence and adopt flexible translation approaches in different situations.