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A corpus-based study : translating tendencies in rendering culture-specific items from The Casual Vacancy into Chinese

English Abstract

Linguistic items of culturally unique connotations are a permanent source of translation problems. Scholars never cease studying the issue and keep experimenting with assorted genres of texts, hoping to sort out their translating solutions and motivations. Of research purposes on translations of culture-specific items with literary texts conducted in recent decades, not many have looked at the items‘ translating patterns statistically and relatively few researchers examine the social parameters, among others, behind the patterns in synchronically comparative studies. The author of this thesis launched a quantitative investigation with two versions of Chinese translations of The Casual Vacancy, a fictional genre rarely studied for this purpose, to observe the translating patterns with its culture-specific items and to learn the social and other major causes behind the translating trends. A bilingual parallel corpus was built for a close scrutiny of the items and their translations. Translating trends were observed and analyzed by reference to Aixala‘s variables and information obtained from participants of the translating projects. Results show that the translating patterns for the culture-specific items in the translations are highly similar, with most instances being foreignized. Translation conventions, the nature of CSIs and readers‘ expectation seem to be the key variables for the translating tendencies of CSIs in the novel.

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Chan, Wai


Faculty of Arts and Humanities


Department of English




Rowling, J. K. -- (Joanne K. Rowling), -- 1965- -- The Casual Vacancy

Translating and interpreting -- Cross-cultural studies

English language -- Translating into Chinese


He, Yuanjian

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