Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

A Study on "Dynamic Equivalence" in Contemporary Chinese Translation of the Bible from the Perspective of Text Typology

Author ZuoLiLi
Tutor RenDongSheng
School Ocean University of China
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Chinese translation of the Bible text typology dynamic equivalence the Deuterocanonical/ Apocrypha
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Being the holy book of Christianity, the Bible is one of the most influential works in the world. It is a great work with enormous historical, cultural and literary value. Meanwhile, there is a variety of translation versions which reach more than ten kinds. Bible translation is the first and foremost event of religious institutions and the study on it also boasts a long history. As an inseparable part of Bible translation, the contemporary Chinese translation of the Bible, especially the literary-oriented translation, is worth studying.With respect to guiding translation theories of Bible translation, the principle of dynamic equivalence is one of the most influential theories. Eugene A. Nida, a distinguished American theorist and director of Bible studies, put forward the principle of dynamic equivalence in the 1960s, which emphasized the meaning and spirit of original texts but weren’t confined to their forms. The theory of text typology, put forward by German theorist, Katharina Reiss in the 1970s, is the basic theory of“Translation Criticism and Assessment Mode”. According to the language function mode of Karl Bühle, she divided texts into such main types as informative, expressive and operative texts, and meanwhile held that corresponding translation strategies should be adopted for different text types based on their distinct characteristics.This thesis will focus on the relationships between the Chinese Bible translation and the principle of dynamic equivalence from the perspective of text typology, exploring the new findings of them. One thing worth mentioning is that this thesis is different from the previous ones in terms of the translation examples adopted. Earlier theses usually took examples from the New Testament or the Old Testament, while this thesis takes instances from the Deuterocanonical/ Apocrypha of the Bible and analyzes them in detail to explore the translation effects of different text types under guidelines of the principle of dynamic equivalence. That is, from such texts with fewer literary characteristics (narrative style being representative) and texts with more literary characteristics (poetry being representative), this thesis aims to find out on one hand, whether dynamic equivalence has similar aesthetical effects in both kinds of texts and on the other hand whether it can be seen as a universal theory to guide Bible translation, especially the poetry translation of literary translation in the Bible. In addition, in the last chapter, this thesis summarizes the relations of text typology and translation principles (strategies), in the hope that they are of great significance for the literary translation and studies of the Bible.The thesis is made up of five chapters:Chapter One is the brief introduction of this research from such aspects as the background and significance, purposes and methodology, and the structure of this thesis.Chapter Two is literature review. First of all, it introduces the history and some major trends of Bible translation. Then it discusses the text typology and the principle of“dynamic equivalence”from such aspects as backgrounds, main ideas as well as their special effects. Finally, it points out the shortfalls of previous related studies.Chapter Three discusses the influences of dynamic equivalence on the contemporary Chinese translation of the Bible. At first, it analyzes and explores the nature of dynamic equivalence from perspectives of its popularity, criticism and denial. Then it tests functions and effects of dynamic equivalence by taking examples from TEV (Good News Bible: Today’s English Version, 1976) and TCV (Today’s Chinese Version, 1979).Chapter Four is the case study. By taking narrative texts and poetry as examples from the Deuterocanonical/ Apocrypha of the Bible translated by Hongkong scholar, Zhang Jiuxuan, this chapter dwells on the advantages and disadvantages of dynamic equivalence in guiding the contemporary Chinese translation of the Bible. Meanwhile, this thesis particularly discusses the effects of literary translation of the Bible by illustrating literary translation devices displayed in it. Chapter Five is the conclusion. It summarizes the findings of this thesis and points out the openness and limitations of this study.

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