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Definition of the literal translation approach  Professor Liu Zhongde (1994: 172) defines literal translation as follows: “In the process of translation,

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Presentation on theme: "Definition of the literal translation approach  Professor Liu Zhongde (1994: 172) defines literal translation as follows: “In the process of translation,"— Presentation transcript:

1 Definition of the literal translation approach  Professor Liu Zhongde (1994: 172) defines literal translation as follows: “In the process of translation, literal translation treats sentences as basic units and at the same time takes the whole passage into consideration; a translator who attaches great importance to literal translation does his or her best to reproduce the ideas and writing style of the original work, retaining in the version as many rhetorical devices and sentence structures of the original as possible.”

2 Examples of literal translation approach(1)  He is said to be a rough diamond. 人们说他是一块浑金璞玉。  The rewards for the Chinese people are clear, most visibly in the dynamism and prosperity of Peking and the coastal cities. 中国人民 获得的实惠显而易见,北京和沿海城市的勃勃生机和繁荣兴旺就是 最明显的见证。  For the international community, the most striking consequence of these changes is that China has grown rapidly to be the world’s sixth largest economy, and is set to grow further. 对国际社会来说, 这些变化带来的最引人注目的结果是中国已跃居为世界第六经济大 国,而且今后注定进一步发展。

3 Examples of literal translation approach(2)  China’s rapid emergence as a major world actor is a tribute to the drive and entrepreneurial spirit of her people, and more particularly to the fundamental economic reforms she has pursued over the past two decades. 中国迅速崛起,成为世界舞台上表演重要角色的 一个国家,这应归功于中国人民的努力和进取精神,尤其应归功于 过去 20 年里中国所推行的根本性的经济改革。  I would draw a further conclusion, which I believe is central to assessing China’s future place in the world economy. 我想进一步得 出结论,我认为这个结论对于评估中国今后在世界经济中的地位是 至关重要的。  Marriage, with peace, is this world’s paradise; with strife, this life’s purgatory. 和睦的婚姻,是这个世界的乐园;对抗的婚姻,是这个人 生的炼狱。

4 Definition of the liberal translation approach  Liberal translation or free translation means giving up the original image or vehicle and making effort to find an appropriate way to express the intended meaning of the original.  Professor Liu Zhongde (1994: 173) defines the liberal translation approach as follows: Liberal translation is supplementary to literal translation. Liberal translation is employed for the purpose of expressing the original meaning instead of reproducing the original sentence structure or rhetorical device(s). Only when the literal translation approach is not suitable, can the translator resort to the free translation approach.  Many scholars agree with Prof. Liu on this point.

5 Examples of liberal translation approach(1)  Although it is used much less frequently, the liberal translation approach is quite necessary for translating some sentences, especially those that contain rhetorical devices, which are not fit to be handled by means of the literal translation approach. Please look at the following examples.

6 Examples of liberal translation approach(2)  Do you see any green in my eye? 你以为我是幼稚好欺骗的 吗?  Don’t cross the bridge till you get to it. 不要自寻烦恼。 ( 不要 过早担忧。 )  They love to boast, though often with tongue in cheek. ( = They love to brag, though they often do so insincerely or ironically.) 他们喜欢自吹自擂,尽管通常只是说说罢了。  If you are unfair to me, I will certainly hang out all your dirty linen. 你要是待我不公平,我就把你那些丑事都抖露出去。

7 Examples of liberal translation approach(3)  Similarly, to talk about a car culture, a throw-away culture, or the generation gap as exclusively American concerns makes little sense today. 同样,如果今天还把以车代步的生 活方式、热衷于使用一次性物品的生活习惯,或者代沟问题 当作只有美国人才关注的问题来谈论,那就没有什么意义了。  It is not just Britain’s breathing in which makes it so international, but also its breathing out. 英国之所以成为如此 国际化的国家,不仅仅在于她大量地吸纳国外的人力和物力 资源,而且还在于她大量地向国外输出其人力和物力资源。

8 Definition of the literal-plus-liberal translation approach  Some sentences have to be translated both literally and freely because of bilingual differences. Only thus, can they be translated into intelligible versions. The literal-plus-free translation approach is also desirable when reference books like dictionaries are compiled. The following examples are provided to illustrate this equally important method.

9 Examples of the literal-plus-liberal translation approach (1)  Blessed by year round good weather, Spain is a magnet for sun-worshippers and holidaymakers… 西班牙蒙上帝保佑,一年四季,天气很好,宛如一 块磁铁,吸引着 酷爱阳光、爱好度假的人们 ……  You can spread your wings with Open Studies. 开 放型大学让你展翅飞翔。  第一流产品,为足下增光。(红鸟鞋油广告标语)  This first-rate shoe polish adds luster to your shoes and honor to you, our friends.

10 Examples of the literal-plus-liberal translation approach (2)  世界看中国,中国有先科。 As she boasts Advanced Science, China attracts global eyes.  Every bullet has its billet. 颗颗弹丸都有它的归宿。 // 天命难违。  Hope is the poor man’s bread. 希望是穷人的面包。 // 穷人靠希望活着。  Today a man, tomorrow a mouse. 今天是一个人, 明天是一只鼠.// 今天得志,明天落魄。  Experience is the mistress of fools. 经验是愚人的 主妇。 // 经验支使愚人。

11 Function of each of those approaches  The literal translation approach acts like a mirror, reflecting almost everything of the original in the version. It helps the translator keep both the original form and content in the version. It is most widely applicable.  The liberal translation approach is applicable when the literal approach is not suitable. It helps the translator keep the original meaning though the original form is lost. It is absolutely necessary although it is less often used.  The literal-plus-liberal translation approach helps bring about better or more idiomatic versions.

12 The advantages of the literal translation approach  The literal translation approach exhibits many advantages.  By adopting this approach, we can preserve in the version not only the original meaning and form, especially the original figure(s) of speech and figurative meaning, but also the national and local colors and features in the original.  In addition, by employing this method, we can introduce many things foreign into China, such as new ideas, new fashions, new inventions, new technologies, new foods, and new expressions. Similarly, we can also export many new things in China into foreign countries by using the literal translation approach. That is why the literal translation approach is so commonly employed. That is why many famous professors actively advocate the literal translation approach, such as Liu Zhongde, Zhang Peiji, Sun Zhili, etc. Lu Xun, a great thinker as well as a great writer in China, vigorously encouraged the literal translation approach by urging translators to keep the exotic tone and preserve the authentic flavor of the original in the version (罗新璋, 1984 : 301 ).


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