This paper is an exploration of Hu Shih, a poet-translator with some cultural authority, and his theory and practice of English poetry translation in the early twentieth century. The discussion will focus, in the light of Western translation theory, on the literary norms, poetics, and ideology of the poet-translator's rewriting of the source text. This approach will lead on to new insights on the translation strategies, the transfer of language from wen yan to baih hua in poetic translation, and the influence of the translated texts on poetic writing in the target culture.
Translation and Literary Revolution: An Analysis of the Translated Works in The New Youth from the Perspective of Polysystem Theory
LAM Lap Wai
The translation boom dating back to the late-Qing China reached its heyday in the May Fourth era when the so-called “Literary Revolution” broke out. Although the role of translation in this revolutionary literary movement has been examined before, the computerization of historical texts gives us a new vantage point to review this issue. This essay sets out to complement previous studies with quantitative evidence. It differs from the earlier studies in its quantitative approach, a methodology that is gaining momentum in the filed of intellectual history. Instead of giving an impressionistic description, it is aimed at providing a portrayal of The New Youth (a.k.a. La Jeunesse, the most significant journal during the May Fourth era) based on quantitative data. The proportion of translated texts in each volume of The New Youth was calculated and taken as an indicator of the importance people attached to translation. Polysystem theory, a descriptive translation theory formulated by Even-Zohar, was used as the theoretical framework within which the quantitative data was analyzed.
The Pragmatic Interference of Humorous Discourse in Two English Versions of the Hong Lou Meng
This paper examines some examples culled from two English versions, The Story of the Stone and A Dream of Red Mansions, of the Hong Lou Meng, a Chinese classic, translated by David Hawkes and Yang Xianyi, respectively. The author of this paper holds that a translator should focus on the equivalence of conversational implicature hangs heavily on pragmatic presuppositions of discourse. Thus, non-equivalence of a translated humorous discourse will probably arise if presuppositions of the discourse concerned are not handled properly. A translator is then expected to supplement presuppositions in the target text if necessary to ensure the equivalence of conversational implicature. In this regard, pragmatic inference provides a theoretical framework for us to study equivalence relating to the translation of humorous discourse.