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  • Author or Editor: ZAIXI Tan x
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The (de/re)construction through translation of the linguistic-cultural identity of the One in relation to that of the Other can only be made possible by the translator functioning as its core participant. The present paper offers a study of this type of translator function. Specifically speaking, it studies translatorial identity as manifested through translational metaphors. Stemming from a project on Chinese and Western metaphors for translation undertaken by the author, the paper examines a selection of images taken from history and discusses how they may be seen as depicting different aspects of the translator’s varied identity. The paper argues that by viewing this varied identity through the use of metaphors, we may be able to more fully understand the heterogeneous nature of translation and appreciate how best translation is to be performed, both within different languagecultural contexts and for various socio-political and intercultural communication purposes.

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The purpose of this paper is to provide a discussion of some of the basic differences and similarities between the Chinese and Western traditions of translation. After analysing some of the major findings about what is shared and what is unshared between the two traditions, as well as what lies beneath these differences and similarities, four basic conclusions are made; namely, (a) comparative translation studies is important and should be fully developed; (b) the differences between the Chinese and Western translation traditions are necessarily conditioned by differences in their broader socio-cultural framework; (c) quite similar ideas have been produced over the centuries between China and the West, which may be regarded as elements of ‘universality' as the most outstanding feature of theoretical discussions about translation across language-cultures; and most importantly, (d) an understanding of Chinese-Western differences and similarities should help create a meaningful environment in which translators and translation theorists from different traditions can draw upon one another's experiences. The rationale of the discussion is that by bringing culturally disparate translation traditions such as the Chinese and Western into comparison, important insights may be gained about the nature of translation and translation studies in general.

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Abstract  

Translation as a bridging means of communication across language-cultures has a double role to play: it both constructs and deconstructs, or deconstructs and constructs, the national cultural identity of the source and target texts. The present paper attempts to explore the nature of this double role of translation. By looking at what is constructed and deconstructed in the translation process, and how, it argues a ‘reciprocal’ relationship between the two, emphasizing that neither the ‘deconstruction’ of the source nor the ‘construction’ of the target is to be taken in the absolute. While the core area of what is regarded as a particular cultural identity is distinct, the peripheral areas are by no means as clear-cut. The more access there is to other cultural identities, the more cultural ‘common ground’ there may be between one’s own identity and the identity of the Other, hence the less distinctive the identity of One is from that of the Other. The paper argues that the reciprocal relations between the various processes in translation are in fact the reflection of an underlying postulation, namely the relativity of cultural identity in translation. To support the argument, the paper makes a case study of Lu Xun and his bother’s translation of Short Stories from Abroad by examining both the reasons behind its initial reception failure in Chinese society, and the reasons that can be used to account for an opposite view that the seemingly failed translation has in fact been a positive contribution to the evolution of modern Chinese literature.

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