A Study on Textless Back Translation of China Boy From Acculturation Perspective

Lihong CHEN, Changbao LI

Abstract


Textless back translation refers to the kind of back translation in which the translator retranslates China-themed works written in English language back into the Chinese language. Based on English-Chinese bilingual corpus and acculturation theory, this paper attempts to probe into language features and translation strategies of the textless back translation of American Chinese writer Gus Lee’s novel China Boy. The paper holds that, compared with the original work, the diction of the textless back translation is not richer and less diverse; that the syntactical structure is briefer, making it easier to understand; that the translators attach great importance to the reproduction of the theme of the original while exerting their subjectivity at the textual level; and that the contents, foreword and preface, notes and interview with the author are inserted as its paratexts so as to help the target readers better understand the translators’ thoughts and subjectivity. As to translation strategies, the textless back translation as such, guided by integration and assimilation strategies, tends to adopt domestication in order to restore host cultural elements, which is of significance to the cultural feedback; the translation of this kind, guided by separation strategy, is inclined to employ foreignization in order to emphasize the preservation of guest cultural elements but weaken the reproduction of host cultural elements; the translation, guided by marginalization strategy usually gives rise to mistranslations, in which translators usually need to refer to domestication as so to correctly convey their connotations.

 


Keywords


Acculturation; China Boy; Textless back translation; Language features; Translation strategies

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10330

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