A Corpus-Based Comparative Study on George Orwell’s 1984 Chinese Translation Strategies

Keli Li, Yufang Ho

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This paper adopts a corpus-based approach to compare the translation strategies employed by Dong Leshan (1979/1998) and Lau Shiuming (1984/2011) in their translation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The linguistic features are first retrieved from our translation corpora using the corpus tools, ICTCLAS 5.0 and AntConc 3.4.3, and then compared and analyzed
quantitatively. Statistics show that the two translators differ significantly in their employment of four types of function word: modal particles, conjunctions, prepositions, and numerals. Equivalent textual examples from the two translations are extracted and analyzed qualitatively, to illustrate how the use of these function words embodies different translation strategies. The analysis specifically focuses on the comparison between hypotactic and paratactic features in the English-Chinese translations. The findings in this study indicate that Dong shows the tendency of aiming to achieve formal equivalence to the English source language in his Chinese translation. By contrast, Lau tends to provide a translation that conforms to the customary convention of the Chinese target language by adding modal particles and adversative conjunctions as well as adjusting the sentence order, to make the implied meaning in a sentence explicitly for the target reader.
LanguageEnglish
Pages26-33
Number of pages8
JournalStudies in literature and language
Volume13
Issue number2
Early online date26 Aug 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Aug 2016

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title = "A Corpus-Based Comparative Study on George Orwell’s 1984 Chinese Translation Strategies",
abstract = "This paper adopts a corpus-based approach to compare the translation strategies employed by Dong Leshan (1979/1998) and Lau Shiuming (1984/2011) in their translation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The linguistic features are first retrieved from our translation corpora using the corpus tools, ICTCLAS 5.0 and AntConc 3.4.3, and then compared and analyzed quantitatively. Statistics show that the two translators differ significantly in their employment of four types of function word: modal particles, conjunctions, prepositions, and numerals. Equivalent textual examples from the two translations are extracted and analyzed qualitatively, to illustrate how the use of these function words embodies different translation strategies. The analysis specifically focuses on the comparison between hypotactic and paratactic features in the English-Chinese translations. The findings in this study indicate that Dong shows the tendency of aiming to achieve formal equivalence to the English source language in his Chinese translation. By contrast, Lau tends to provide a translation that conforms to the customary convention of the Chinese target language by adding modal particles and adversative conjunctions as well as adjusting the sentence order, to make the implied meaning in a sentence explicitly for the target reader.",
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A Corpus-Based Comparative Study on George Orwell’s 1984 Chinese Translation Strategies. / Li, Keli; Ho, Yufang.

In: Studies in literature and language, Vol. 13, No. 2, 31.08.2016, p. 26-33.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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AB - This paper adopts a corpus-based approach to compare the translation strategies employed by Dong Leshan (1979/1998) and Lau Shiuming (1984/2011) in their translation of George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-Four. The linguistic features are first retrieved from our translation corpora using the corpus tools, ICTCLAS 5.0 and AntConc 3.4.3, and then compared and analyzed quantitatively. Statistics show that the two translators differ significantly in their employment of four types of function word: modal particles, conjunctions, prepositions, and numerals. Equivalent textual examples from the two translations are extracted and analyzed qualitatively, to illustrate how the use of these function words embodies different translation strategies. The analysis specifically focuses on the comparison between hypotactic and paratactic features in the English-Chinese translations. The findings in this study indicate that Dong shows the tendency of aiming to achieve formal equivalence to the English source language in his Chinese translation. By contrast, Lau tends to provide a translation that conforms to the customary convention of the Chinese target language by adding modal particles and adversative conjunctions as well as adjusting the sentence order, to make the implied meaning in a sentence explicitly for the target reader.

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