Advertisement

Direct and Inverse Translations of Jia Pingwa’s Novels: A Corpus-Based Stylistic Comparison

  • Libo Huang
Chapter
Part of the New Frontiers in Translation Studies book series (NFTS)

Abstract

Based on a corpus of Jia Pingwa’s novels and a reference corpus of English novels of local colorism, this chapter makes a stylistic comparison between direct and inverse translations of Jia’s novels in light of formal statistics, textual presentation mode and translation strategy. Research findings show that: (1) compared with non-translated English novels, translated English novels enjoy a larger vocabulary and direct translations are richer in lexical diversity than inverse translations; translated English novels have a higher information load than nontranslated English novels and direct translations are higher in information load than inverse translations; (2) in terms of textual presentation mode, Jia’s novels tend to start with description of the natural environment while nontranslated English novels focus more on portrayal of characters; (3) as far as translation strategy is concerned, direct translations of Jia’s novels are more likely to readjust word order of the original and provide additional information to achieve explicitation while inverse translations prefer to faithfully convey the original form and content. The authors maintain that difference in textual presentation mode of the same genre between different languages be taken into consideration by translators.

Keywords

Source Text Sentence Length Direct Translation Local Colorism Textual Presentation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

References

  1. Baker, Mona. 2000. Towards a methodology for investigating the style of a literary translator? Target 12(2): 241–266.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Geng, Qiang. 2010. Wenxue yijie yu zhongguo wenxue “Zou chuqu” [Translation and dissemination of Chinese literature in the world]. Journal of PLA University of Foreign Languages 33(3): 82–87.Google Scholar
  3. Geng, Qiang. 2012. Guojia jigou duiwai fanyi yanjiu—yi “Xiongmao Congshu” yingyi zhongguo wenxue wei li [A study of translations sponsored by the governmental institution: A case study of English translation of Chinese literature by “Panda Books”]. Shanghai Journal of Translators (5): 1–7.Google Scholar
  4. Hu, Anjiang. 2010. Zhongguo wenxue “Zou Chuqu” zhi yizhe moshi ji fanyi celue yanjiu [Translator model, translating strategy, and the “going out” project to promote Chinese literature abroad: With American Sinologist Howard Goldblatt as an example]. Chinese Translators Journal 31(6): 10–16.Google Scholar
  5. Hu, Anjiang. 2012. Zailun zhongguo wenxue “Zou Chuqu” zhi yizhe moshi ji fanyi celue yanjiu—yi Hanshan shi zai yingyu shijie de chuanbo wei li [The Translator Model and the Translating Strategy Revisited—With the dissemination of Cold Mountain Poems in the English World as an example]. Foreign Language Learning Theory and Practice (4): 55–61, 54.Google Scholar
  6. Li, Wenjing. 2012. Zhongguo wenxue yingyi de hezuo, xieshang yu wenhua chuanbo—Hanying fanyijia Ge Haowen yu Lin Lijun fangtan lu [Cooperation, negotiation and cultural dissemination in English translations of Chinese literature—An interview with Howard Goldblatt and Sylvia Li-chun Lin]. Chinese Translators Journal 32(1): 57–60.Google Scholar
  7. Liu, Yunhong and Xu Jun. 2014. Wenxue fanyi moshi yu zhongguo wenxue duiwai yijie—guanyu Ge Haowen de fanyi [Literary translation model and translation of Chinese literature—on Howard Goldblatt's translation]. Journal of Foreign Languages 37(3): 6–17.Google Scholar
  8. Marmaridou, Sophia. 1996. Directionality in translation: Process and practice. Target 8(1): 49–73.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Steiner, George. 1978. On difficulty. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 36(3): 263–276.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Wang, Jiankai. 2012. Zhongguo xiandangdai wenxue zuopin yingyi de chuban chuanbo ji yanjiu fangfa chuyi [The English translations of modern and contemporary Chinese literature: Their publication, spread and research methods]. Foreign Language Learning Theory and Practice (3): 15–22.Google Scholar
  11. Wang, Yingchong, and Wang Kefei. 2014. Xiandangdai zhongwen xiaoshuo yichu, yiru de kaocha yu bijiao [A comparative study of the importing and the exporting mode in English translation of Chinese fiction]. Chinese Translators Journal 35(2): 33–38.Google Scholar
  12. Wu, Zixuan. 2010. Zhongguo Wenxue zazhi he zhongguo wenxue yingyi—Yuan Zhongguo Wenxue fu zongbian Wang Mingjie xiansheng fangtan lu [Chinese Literature and English translations of Chinese literature—An interview with Wang Mingjie, the co-editor of former Chinese Literature]. East Journal of Translation (4): 52–55.Google Scholar
  13. Wu, Zixuan. 2012. Fanyi yu fanyi zhi wai: congZhongguo Wenxue zazhi tan zhongguo wenxue “Zou Chuqu” [Beyond translation: From Chinese literature to promoting Chinese literature abroad]. Journal of PLA University of Foreign Languages 35(4): 86–90.Google Scholar
  14. Xie, Tianzhen. 2011. Zhongguo wenhua ruhe caineng youxiao de “Zou Chuqu”? [How should the Chinese Literature be promoted abroad effectively?]. East Journal of Translation (5): 4–7.Google Scholar
  15. Zhu, Zifen. 2013. “Wo zhi yi wo xihuan de xiaoshuo”—Fang meiguo fanyijia Ge Haowen jiaoshou [“I only translate the novels I prefer”—An interview with American translator Howard Goldblatt]. Wenhui Book Review, 1–2.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press and Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Libo Huang
    • 1
  1. 1.Xi’an International Studies UniversityXi ANChina

Personalised recommendations