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Idioms Translation Into Chinese

  • Date Submitted: 04/02/2010 11:29 PM
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Native English-speaking Translators’ Strategies for Rendering Four-character Chinese Idioms --- Using Taiwan Panorama as an Example

    Idioms are often referred to as the crystallization of language, and can frequently be found in classic literary works, folktales, and modern publications. Idioms can reflect the features of a language and culture, and thus idioms vary from culture to culture or from language to language.

On account of cultural and linguistic differences, idioms in a certain language or culture are likely to bewilder people outside that language or culture. Four-character Chinese idioms are employed extensively in the past and at present. For translators who engage in Chinese to English translation, four-character idioms appear in various sources every now and then. As a result, how to cope with four-character idioms has been a concern for translators. As what Li (李增萍 2006) states, translation is not only about switch of languages; it’s also about cultural exchange. Tseng (曾勇 2008) also indicates that translators should make an effort to embody the language style and cultural essence in the target language. Nevertheless, it’s improbable that all elements can be transferred perfectly into the target language. Hence, what should be emphasized is a weight issue.

Presumably, in performing Chinese to English translation, readers would largely be native English speakers. Given this, native English-speaking translators’ better command of English will certainly outperform Chinese counterparts in terms of readability and expressiveness. Therefore, the authors of this research are attempting to analyze how native English translators manage when they are confronted with four-character Chinese idioms.

    The present study adopts Taiwan Panorama as the source for data collecting. Taiwan Panorama is a widely recognized publication, and its translator staff is mainly native English speakers who also excel in Chinese. Hence, the...


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