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No.4 2022

August 23, 2022

English Abstracts of Major Papers

Translation Distance and Its Dynamic Adjustment

By HU Zuoyou & ZHONG Shali (Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China) p.5

Abstract: The differences in language and culture necessarily result in a distance between a translation and its original. Co-determined by factors such as the source language, the target language, the author, the reader and especially the translator, the formation of such a distance is not arbitrary and unrestricted, and it is informed by a tension whose intensity changes constantly along with the changes in social, cultural and linguistic conditions. As a major contributor to the formation, the translator should strive to adjust the translation distance in response to relevant contextual requirements so as to better achieve fidelity in his or her rendition. Only by keeping the translation distance within an objective and appropriate range can the translator offer a balanced treatment of the source language and the target language, enable a genuine dialogue between different cultures, and promote cultural diversity with his or her translation. An appropriately kept translation distance is conducive to enriching cultural forms throughout the world.

Keywords: translation distance; dynamic adjustment; source language; target language; author; translator; reader

Ecological Concerns and the Literal Sense of Eco-Translatology

By CHEN Yuehong (China Three Gorges University, Yichang, China) p.13

Abstract: In recent years, an increasing number of researchers in China and abroad have conducted ecotranslatological studies from the perspectives of anthropocene, environmental humanities, ecocriticism, ecophilosophy, etc. Whereas researchers abroad are better at rethinking translation's nature and function by absorbing the latest findings in the fields of environmental humanities and anthropocene, Chinese researchers tend to focus more on introducing the Chinese eco-culture to the outside world. Having highlighted the deep ecological concerns that inform the translation field as a whole, this paper calls on the Chinese researchers to pay more attention to the literal, as opposed to the metaphorical, sense of eco-translatology, arguing that a shift to the literal sense of the term would strengthen the discipline’s theoretical construction, enabling it to more actively project China's eco-image internationally and to enhance people's ecological awareness domestically.

Keywords: eco-translatology; literal sense; metaphorical sense; ecological concern

The Degree to Which the Chinese Structure of Chong 'Er Is Untranslatable

By ZHU Anbo (Beijing Information Science & Technology University, Beijing, China) & WEI Shengxin (Capital University of Economics and Business, Beijing, China) p.22

Abstract: Translation scholars have so far tended to see the issue of translatability/untranslatability in terms of a binary opposition, which makes it impossible to fully explain and explore the degree of untranslatability at all levels of the language system. As an effort to address the problem, this paper offers an in-depth explanation of untranslatability based on an analysis of a unique linguistic phenomenon in Chinese known as Chong 'Er. The analysis throws light on the fact that untranslatability actually varies in degree at different linguistic levels. In English-Chinese translation, for example, the untranslatability encountered is relatively weak at the semantic level yet much stronger at the lexical-grammatical and the contextual level. The variation is largely accountable by the fact that English language is temporally oriented whereas Chinese language shows a distinctive spatial orientation. As such, no full equivalence can be achieved in their translation at the lexical and grammatical level. And the differences in geographical locations and cultural conditions between Englishspeaking countries and China, which endow even the same object with different connotations, virtually rule out the possibility of a full translatability at the contextual level.

Keywords: Chinese-English translation; untranslatability; language; comparative study; Chong Er

The "Romantic" Mode of Poetry Translation in China during the May Fourth Period: A Cultural Perspective

By HUANG Yanjie (Anhui Normal University, Wuhu, China) p.30

Abstract: Taking a close look at translated poems published in major Chinese literary journals during the May 4th period (1915-1927), this paper finds that early 20th-century Chinese poetry translators tended to choose as their source texts radically and sentimentally romantic poems from Europe, India, Japan and some small dominated nations, and that these poems tended to be rendered into Europeanized Chinese vernacular in the form of free verse. Flamboyantly "romantic" in terms of both their source texts, poetic mode and target language form, the translated poems published during this historical period were apparently meant to perform the ideological and instrumental functions of enlightening the population, innovating the culture, and developing a new poetic form.

Keywords: May 4th period; poetry translation into Chinese; translated poem; romantic mode of translation

A Hundred Years' Translation of Marxist Texts in China

By ZHUO Xiang (Party School of the CPC Central Committee, Beijing, China), LIN Xu (Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications / Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing, China) & WANG Lifei (Beijing Language and Culture University, Beijing, China) p.45

Abstract: This paper looks back at the process whereby Marxist texts have been translated into and from Chinese from 1921 to 2021, calling attention to the important role translation has played in the introduction of Marxism into China since the founding of CPC and, more recently, the dissemination throughout the world of new developments of Marxism in China. The study shows that this process is characterized by an evolution from a piecemeal approach to rendering Marxist canons into Chinese to a systematic effort in the new era to translate Marxist texts in Chinese into other languages; an increase in the types of source texts chosen and the number of target languages involved; and a change in agency from individual translators to collaborative teams or organized efforts.

Keywords: Marxism; history of translation; review; enlightenment

A New Approach to Rhythmic Translation of English Poems: With a Retranslation of Ode to the West Wind as an Illustration

By WANG Dongfeng (Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou, China) p.82

Abstract: This paper discusses the feasibility of a new method in poetry translation that uses ping-ze, the flat-oblique tone sequence in Chinese, to represent a typical metrical foot in English poetry. Traditional methods of poetry translation have hardly given any attention to the tone pattern of the rhythm. They tend either to ignore the rhythm of the original poem altogether or to pay attention only to the beat of the rhythm, without noticing that whether in English or Chinese metrical poetry, the rhythm always results from an organic combination of beat and tone. Therefore, if the beat is represented while the tone left untouched in a rendition of a metrical poem, the rhythm of the translated poem must suffer serious defects. To avoid such defects in E-C translation of metrical poetry, this paper proposes that the ping-ze pattern be applied to representing the rhythm of the original. For an illustration of this proposed approach, a re-translation of the Ode to the West Wind is offered. An analysis of this new version shows that it better captures the musical effect and the poetic impact of the original. The re-translation also demonstrates that Chinese is fully capable of retaining the rhythm of English metrical poetry.

Keywords: ping-ze for foot; poetry translation; rhythm

Yang Zhouhan's Practice of and Thoughts on Literary Translation

By WANG Jing (Minzu University of China, Beijing, China / Yunnan Agricultural University, Kunming, China) & MA Shikui (Minzu University of China, Beijing, China) p.98

Abstract: Though regarded as among the best-known modern Chinese scholars in the fields of foreign literature and comparative literary studies, Yang Zhouhan's achievements in literary translation have yet to be fully appreciated. This paper presents a comprehensive profile of Yang Zhouhan as a literary translator on the basis of a survey of his translation activities and an analysis of his thoughts on translation. As the survey shows, Yang Zhouhan's translation practice was closely related to his academic researches, covering diverse literary genres and involving three source languages of English, Latin and Russian. His thoughts on translation, including insights such as literary translation being an essentially impossible but obligatory mission, the target texts being "evolutionary" by nature, and translation being an approximation of the original, have not lost their significance even today.

Keywords: Yang Zhouhan; literary translation; translation practice; translation thought

Renditions of the Neo-Confucian Keyword Li by Modern and Contemporary Translators in English-speaking Countries

By ZHANG Fan (Changzhou University, Changzhou, China) & LIU Huawen (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China) p.120

Abstract: This paper investigates how the Neo-Confucian keyword li has been rendered by modern and contemporary translators in the English-speaking world. Differing from their missionary predecessors who found mainly religion in classical Chinese texts, modern Anglophone translators treated Neo-Confucianism as a serious philosophy and endeavored to find a lexical equivalent for li in the target language. Contemporary translators are even more philosophically conscious and tend in general to command a deeper understanding of the concept li. Abandoning the convention of finding a literal equivalent for li, they put forward hermeneutically informed new renditions and, in some cases, use their interpretation of li to refer to the term in lieu of a translation. As such, contemporary Anglophone translators’ ways of rendering li are diversified and multi-dimensional, involving more insightful hermeneutical interpretations than those offered by modern translators.

Keywords: Li; Neo-Confucianism; English translation; Anglophone translator; modern; contemporary

A Corpus-based Exploration of Lexical Bundles’ Frequency Effects on Interpreting

By LI Yang (Northeastern University, Shenyang, China) & DENG Yi (Xiamen University, Xiamen, China) p.147

Abstract: From PACCEL, a corpus of the trainees' Chinese-English interpreting, this study retrieves 186 4-gram lexical bundles of high frequency. An examination of these bundles shows that their token frequency amounts to a total of 3,393 and that, when defined by the probabilities of each component word, most of them contain strong or medium prototypes with zero or 1 to 2 variable slots, while only 7 lexical bundles comprise the weak prototypes with 3 to 4 variable slots. Overall, the distribution of the three prototypes shows a powerlaw tendency. Since in the case of lexical bundles of the strong and the medium prototypes, the greater the frequency effects, the higher their entrenchment, it takes less efforts to store and retrieve them holistically. Thus, the trainees are apt to use lexical bundles as both an unmarked interpreting strategy, a translation technique for reformulating the sense of source language, and an approach to reducing cognitive load.

Keywords: lexical bundle; frequency effect; Chinese-English consecutive interpreting; trainee