论“文字游戏”的翻译——以西西小说《飞毡》及余丹译Flying Carpet为例

Translated title of the contribution: Translation of Wordplay—A Case Study on Xixi's Novel Flying Carpet and Its English Translation by Diana Yue

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

文字游戏诉诸读者对文学作品文化背景的高度熟悉,及对作品语言有土生土长程度的理解力。基于中西文化截然不同,和中英语言间的大幅差异,文字游戏往往被认为不可译。香港作家西西的小说《飞毡》里文字游戏例子众多,不少更含有文化或语言上的深层意义,造成翻译难题。然而,译者余丹的英语译本处理出色,摒弃在译文中加插注脚的做法,翻译文字游戏时完全在文本层面解决,在维持原文趣味和可读性方面相当成功,值得探讨。本文比较小说原文和译本,选取具代表性的例子并加以分类,分析各个文字游戏个案所造成的翻译难题,译者的策略和翻译技巧,评估译文的成功和不足之处,整理出一套翻译文字游戏的方法,证明文字游戏并非不可译。

Wordplay appeals to readers' knowledge of the cultural context of a work and native competence in the written language. The linguistic and cultural gaps between Chinese and English make wordplay a seemingly insurmountable barrier in translation. The Hong Kong writer Xixi is known for her keenness in wordplay. Her novel Flying Carpet is characteristic in this respect. However, in her English translation Diana Yue responded to the challenges posed by Xixi's wordplay effectively. It is seen that the translator solved the problems of wordplay entirely on the textual level without resorting to the aid of footnotes. Yue's translation methods are therefore a topic of interest in academic study. In this essay, I will identify and classify the wordplay examples by comparing Xixi's original work and Yue's English translation. I will also conduct a detailed analysis on the translation problems of each wordplay, and Yue's strategies and techniques in coping with each of them. As a conclusion, I will evaluate the success and shortcomings of Yue's translation, and establish a set of principles and methods in wordplay translation between Chinese and English. My goal, at last, is to demonstrate that wordplay is translatable.
Translated title of the contributionTranslation of Wordplay—A Case Study on Xixi's Novel Flying Carpet and Its English Translation by Diana Yue
Original languageChinese (Simplified)
Pages (from-to)50-56, 68, 78
Number of pages9
Journal当代外语研究
Volume13
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2013

User-Defined Keywords

  • 西西
  • 余丹
  • 文字游戏
  • 文化问题
  • 翻译方法
  • 中英翻译

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