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Cultura International Journal of Philosophy of Culture and Axiology

Volume 14, Issue 1, 2017

Peina Zhuang
Pages 43-58

On Translation of Literary Terminology as Cultural Sign
with focus on translation of literary terms in History of Chinese Literature

This paper examines the translation of literary terminology as cultural sign in the selected versions of the History of Chinese Literature in the Anglophone world. It argues that classical Chinese literary terminology with its rich connotations and strong prescriptiveness as „symbol‟ in semiotics, holds great difficulty for translators and scholars. Its inherent social and cultural elements in determining the meaning of these terms cannot be transferred across cultures, thus causing problems such as „neutralization‟ either in free or literally translation or transliteration of these terms. The paper points out that an ideal way out for translation of classical Chinese literary terms should be transliteration coupled with proper notes. Although not qualified as translation in the strict sense, transliteration could, in some way, remind the readers of the heterogeneity of the term, thus offsetting the negative effect by the “neutralization” of the term. It could also guarantee the term‟s independency with the ultimate aim to make the term accepted by and integrated into the culture of the new land.

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