, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 275–292 | Cite as

Cross-cultural translation: attitudes, feelings and affective interactions

  • Yifeng Sun


Translational attitude varies from culture to culture, and different underlying assumptions about how translation functions merit careful attention. The supposed neutrality of translation belies principal points of political contention and cultural conflict. While violations of strict neutrality are committed all the time, either consciously or unconsciously, when complex emotions, attitudes, moods and dispositions are entangled with cultural politics and aesthetic norms of the target language, its negative side also becomes apparent, for it may well result in apathy or aloofness. Thus, the translator’s intervention, though often politicized, is required to make the task of cross-cultural communication possible. It is mainly in response to cultural differences embodied in translational attitude that intervention is called for, which then determines the way in which appropriation is implemented. Aside from thoughts, feelings and emotions in the original should be translated to be inferred and represented to enable and empower the target reader to fully engage in cross-cultural experiences. This paper offers a way of understanding the nature of translational attitude in relation to the complexity of the original with its nuanced feelings and emotions, and of examining their reproduction in shaping and determining the end-product of translation.


Cultural attitude Feelings and meanings Emotional response Intertextual allusions 


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Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of TranslationLingnan UniversityTuen MunHong Kong

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