Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Translation

An Analysis of the Translation of Culture-specific Terms and Dialogues in Vanity Fair by Using Mona Baker’s Approach to Equivalence

Author LiuZhiGuo
Tutor WangJingAn
School Inner Mongolia University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Vanity Fair Culture-specific Term Dialogue Mona Baker Equivalence
CLC H315.9
Type Master's thesis
Year 2008
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The purpose of any translation is to attain as much equivalence as possible between the target text and the source text by finding equivalents at similar degrees, levels, and ranks. Equivalence is an important objective for a translator to achieve and a criterion by which the quality of translation is judged as well.Culture-specific terms and dialogues are the two major factors which a translator should pay attention to in the process of translating a literary work. Culture-specific terms are the direct reflection of culture in the structure of lexemes, which is an issue of a real conundrum in translation. It requires the translator not only to transfer the semantic message of the source text in the most accurate sense, but also to retain the national flavor to the highest degree by deciding on one or more applicable translation strategies to reproduce the closest natural equivalents. While dialogues play an important role in portraying characters and promoting the development of plots, so the translator should throw more light on dialogue translation and reproduce the unique language style and the lasting charm of the original works to the greatest extent. Dialogues in literary works usually do not only mean what is said literally but imply something beyond the language itself. The transfer of the implied meaning into another language poses difficulties to translators.Based on Mona Baker’s approach to equivalence at word level and pragmatic equivalence, this thesis is intended to analyze the translation of culture-specific terms and dialogues in Vanity Fair by comparing Yang Bi’s and Peng Changjiang’s Chinese versions. It concludes that the process of achieving equivalence in translation is such a complex one that it can never be dealt with a once-and-for-all method, but rather, such a goal entails a comprehensive consideration in the translating process. And one thing a translator should bear in mind is that absolute equivalence is impossible. What is left for a translator to do is to exert his/her utmost to get the maximum access to the original and achieve as much equivalence as possible. In the process of translation, the translator should control the degree when different translation methods are used and the translator should be careful not to overdo things by explaining too much and leaving the reader with nothing to do.

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