As a representative work of Henry David Thoreau, the work is a record of Thoreau’s living alone at Walden, depicting his two years life there. And the work is a reflection upon simple life in natural surroundings. The work contains too many factors in it. Such as personal declaration of independence, social experiment and voyage of spiritual discovery. To some extent, it is a manual for self-reliance. In addition, there have already been many Chinese versions of this great work. Here the author chooses two representative versions of Walden. One is translated by Xu Chi, the other is by Li Jihong. From the perspective of social and cultural background, this paper makes a comparative study of the two versions in order to find out the different influences on translation.
This paper is divided into five chapters. Chapter One briefly introduces the original work of Walden, its status in foreign literature and the translators of the two Chinese versions. Chapter Two introduces the research methods of traditional translation: literary and artistic aesthetic methods and linguistic methods, and a turning point theory in the history of translation: cultural turn. Chapter Three mainly analyzes the two translators' versions from four aspects. Chapter Four expounds the times of the two translators, their social and cultural background, and points out how their cultural identity influences their translations. Chapter Five concludes a conclusion. The author points out that the translator’s social and cultural background plays an important role in the process of translation.
Key Words: translation approaches; cultural turn; Walden; translator's social and cultural background
1 Introduction 1
2 Literature Review 3
2.1 The literary approach 3
2.2 The linguistic approach 4
2.3 Cultural turn in translation studies 4
2.3.1 Language, culture and translation 5
2.3.2 The booming of cultural studies in translation 6
3 A Comparative Study of the Two Versions of Walden 7
3.1 The usage of nouns 7
3.2 The usage of adjectives 8
3.3 The usage of verbs 9
3.4 The usage of expressive meaning 9
4 Cause of Different Features in the Two Versions 11
4.1 Different historical backgrounds 11
4.2 Different life experiences 12
5 Conclusion 14
The Influence of the Translator's Social and Cultural Background on Literary Translation
Based on the Research of Two Chinese Versions of Walden
Since the second half of the 18th century, a large number of foreign literary works have been introduced into China. At that time, a large number of outstanding translators emerged. As is known to all, in the long history of translation studies, translators have experienced a process from being overshadowed by authors and original works, but much importance should be attached to the translators so that to encourage them to play their part in translation.
However, literary translation is a re-creation of literature and art, which has become a highly research field in today's society. As the first reader of literary translation and the reproducer of literary creation, the translator plays an important role in the process of literary translation, and his complex role in literary translation also deserves further analysis and discussion. In fact, the translation process is a choice and decision-making process. A translator can not get rid of a certain cultural background, social culture in which he also created a deep impact on the translator's brain. Therefore, the understanding of the socio-cultural factors that influence the translator's choice in the translation process is of great significance in revealing the laws of the translation process. The essay is concentrates on the aspect from the viewpoint of cultural translation. In this thesis, the author is attempt to identify such factors. Making a convincing description of them, and finally illustrating the way these factors determine or limit the choices that the translator makes during their translation. In this thesis, the author chooses two Chinese versions of Walden to analyze the influenced made by the social and cultural background.
Walden, first published as Walden; or, Life in the Woods, is a book written by famous Henry David Thoreau. The work is a record upon simple life in natural surroundings. The work contains too many factors in it. Such as personal declaration of independence, social experiment and voyage of spiritual discovery. To some extent, it is a manual for self-reliance. In addition, there are many Chinese versions of this great work. Thus, there are enough materials for the comparative study on the translation of Walden. Consequently, Walden is chosen to be the study object of this paper. Here the author chooses two representatives versions of Walden. One is translated by Xu Chi, the other is by Li Jihong. Xu Chi, a Chinese poet, essayist and "Father of Reportage", is also a prolific translator. In a time of cultural collision and ideological innovation of the Chinese society from the 1930s to the 1980s, Xu Chi had not only produced a large volume of literary creations but also translated many foreign literary works into Chinese. Li Jihong, born in 1980, is a Chinese poet, literary translator and critic. He is known for his literary translations, which includes the Chinese editions of The Kite Runner, Conversations with God, A Thousand Splendid Suns, The Fall of Public Man and many others. He also translated Walden in 2013. Since these two people’s life era is quite different, that is to say, the social and cultural background between them is quite different, it can reflect the topic of this thesis. Currently, many researchers have research the translations methods like domestication and foreignization, not many researchers combine the study of translation with translator’s social and cultural background at home and abroad.
This paper aims at making its own contribution to the Chinese translation of English literature masterpieces. As an old saying goes: There are not two identical leaves in the world. To be more specific, people who live in different ages also have different ideas which may have an effect on their works. Through the study on the influence of translators’ social and cultural background on literary translation, the author hopes to help the Chinese learners when they read or study the Chinese versions of English literature.
2 Literature Review
This part is intended to introduce the two Chinese traditional translation approaches and cultural turn. It begins with the traditional literary approach. Then, the linguistic approach. Finally, the cultural turn.
2.1 The literary approach
Translation is an intermediary means and transformation form for different nationalities and languages to communicate with each other in ideology and culture. It is a product that changes one language into another while keeping the content unchanged.
- 莫言作品中人名英译的特征研究——以《蛙》和《红高粱》为例 The Stylistic Features of the Translation of Characters’ Names in Mo Yan’s Works ——Based on Frogs and Red Sorghum毕业论文
- 解析布拉姆斯托克《德古拉》中的哥特传统 Interpretation on the Gothic traditions in Dracula by Bram Stoker毕业论文
- “离开科罗诺斯之路”中的联结主题 The Theme of Connection in The Road from Colonus毕业论文
- 《岛》的重生主题分析 A Thematic Analysis of Rebirth in The Island毕业论文
- 计算机辅助翻译技术的现状研究Status Quo of Computer Aided Translation Technology毕业论文
- 非语言交际中中美商务谈判的差异 On Differences of Nonverbal Communication in Business Negotiation between China and the United States毕业论文
- 基于纽马克文本功能下的汽车广告翻译 Translation of Automobile Advertisements Based on Newmarks Text Function毕业论文
- 文化输出视角下中文公示语英译研究 On the Translation of Chinese Public Signs from the Perspective of Culture Output毕业论文
- 新兴创伤理论视角下小说《反美阴谋》的分析 Analysis of the Novel The Plot Against America from the Perspective of New Trauma Theory毕业论文