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No.6 2022

December 19, 2022

English Abstracts of Major Papers

From Cross-cultural Rewriting to the Translator’s Creativity: The Poetics of Translation

By SUN Yifeng (University of Macau, Macao, China) p.25

Abstract: Cross-cultural rewriting, whether through ideological, stylistic, or other mode of manipulation, is intimately intertwined with translation especially literary translation, whose lack of transferability creates the space for rewriting and manipulation. When differently motivated and contextualized, rewriting tends to perform different poetic functions and produce different regulative effects. Since literary translation remains essentially a cross-cultural act even with whatever rewriting it involves, its success depends on effectively overcoming the communicative barriers generated by transnational, interracial, and intercultural contexts. At stake in efforts to surmount these barriers are the translator’s identity in a cross-cultural context, the readers’ experience of receiving and reading the translated text, and the form and manner of rewriting and manipulation. Moreover, literary translation cannot avoid identifying, capturing, and rendering literary qualities in the translated text. Successful literary translation requires therefore the translator’s creativity in constructing expressive and aesthetically satisfying literary language in a cross-cultural context, so that the translation can initiate a dialogue, produce a resonance, and bring about a fusion of vision with the target reader.

Keywords: translational poetics; transcultural poetics; rewriting and manipulation; translator’s identity; transcultural reading

Translation’s Double Mediation Effect

By WANG Kefei (Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China) p.36

Abstract: Since translation takes on the mission of simultaneously transplanting the source culture and enriching the target culture with foreign elements, it produces a double mediation effect. In the first phase of the mediation, i.e. language transference, translation helps to deepen target language users’ understanding of another culture by making the best it has to offer accessible to them. In the second phase, the target language becomes more energetic and expressive as a result of the effect of mediation at a higher level. This two-phased mediation constitutes the whole process of translation as a culture communication.

Keywords: translation; interlanguage; double mediation effect

A New Perspective of “Similarity in Form” and “Similarity in Spirit” in Literary Translation

By SONG Xuezhi (Jilin International Studies University, Changchun, China) & ZHAO Binbin (Jilin International Studies University, Changchun, China / Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China) p.45

Abstract: The dichotomy between “Similarity in Form” and “Similarity in Spirit” in literary translation is not primarily a technical issue like literal v. free translation, nor is it a strategic one like domestication v. foreignization. It concerns both poetics and aesthetics, dealing with the fundamental question of what makes a literary work. Following a close look into both concepts in question and the evolution of their relationship, this paper proposes a new perspective on some popularly held assumptions about the two kinds of “similarity,” and offers additional thoughts on how this pair of binary concepts could be reconciled in the actual practice of translation.

Keywords: similarity in form; similarity in spirit; contradictions; resolution

Retranslation as a Means for Reconstructing Values: A Case Study of the Late Qing Translation of Western Theories of State

By LI Ke (Nanjing University, Nanjing, China) p.53

Abstract: Retranslation is not only the reproduction of texts, but also a value-constructing and difference-making process that involves both the original works, their translations, and the new versions. This article focuses on the two retranslations of J. K. Bluntschli’s theory of state by Liang Qichao in the late Qing Dynasty, discussing his motivations and strategies for undertaking the projects as well as the influences of his retranslations. Taking this as a representative case, the article looks further into how values are determined by historical contexts, created in the process of interpretation, and challenged in readers’ reception of retranslations.

Keywords: retranslation; value; Liang Qichao; theory of state; Bluntschschli

The Newman Prize and the Translation of Chinese Jueju Poetry in the U.S.A

By XU Shiyan (Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing, China) & Jonathan Stalling (The University of Oklahoma, Norman, U.S.A) p.61

Abstract: Classical Chinese poetry is a treasure of Chinese culture, but conveying its charm to readers who do not understand Chinese has always been a problem. The Newman Prize for English Jueju Contest, held in the U.S., offers a promising way of solving this problem. Based on talks with Jonathan Stalling, founder of the Contest, this paper analyzes the diverse approaches the contestants for  - and especially the winners of  - the Prize have adopted to translating Chinese jueju poems and introducing them to English readers, in an attempt to offer some helpful pointers to those engaged in efforts to introduce Chinese literature to other parts of the world.

Keywords: classical Chinese poetry; English translation; literary translation; cultural communication; the Newman Prize for English Jueju Contest 

Conflicting Considerations Underlying the Course Design of Undergraduate Level “Intro to Translation”

By CHEN Shunyi (Guangzhou University, Guangzhou, China) p.79 

Abstract: Even though Introduction to Translation has been offered as a compulsory course by all B. A. level translation programs in Chinese colleges, suitable textbooks for the course remain scanty, academic studies on its teaching are lacking, and no consensus has been reached so far about the course’s objective, content, evaluation method, and even teaching language. This paper makes a tentative attempt at addressing these issues by drawing upon previous researches on related subjects and the author’s own teaching experiences as well. It argues, among other conclusions, that identifying and resolving the conflicting considerations that go into and underlie the course’s design holds the key to dealing with the problems it is now facing.

Keywords: Introduction to Translation; undergraduate; course design; course construction; contradictions

Translation in Metaphorical Terms: A Poetry Translator’s Reflections on His Own Profession

By GUO Guoliang & GAO Shuxian (Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, China) p.84

Abstract: Celebrated poetry translator Fei Bai has offered his reflections on translation in vividly metaphorical terms. This paper identifies and analyzes those of his metaphors which provide an especially valuable insight into his thoughts on translation, and finds that Fei Bai tends to use color metaphors to express his belief in the intrinsic value of poetry translation and in the diversification of criteria for its evaluation; that he employs lexical metaphors for stressing the importance of form and style in poetry translation; that his dialectical thinking about poetry translation is manifested in the military metaphors he deploys; and that he also uses care-giver metaphors to highlight the need for fostering translated poetry readers and to urge for caution in using compensation as a strategy of poetry translation.

Keywords: Fei Bai; metaphor; translation thoughts