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Title: A study of the English versions of Lun Yu from the perspective of hermeneutics : taking the versions of Arthur Waley and Wu Guozhen as the examples
Authors: Geng, Bowen
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2018
Publisher: Nanyang Technological University
Abstract: Cultural soft power is a critical index of international competitiveness. China is the second largest economy in the world today and its culture should be attractive and influential, just as its economy is. (Li Wuwei, 2016). To fulfill this ambition, the Chinese government has put forward the Chinese Culture “going out” strategy. The language barrier necessitates translation to the strategy, which requires a translation that can deliver the Chinese culture to the world successfully. Lun Yu or Lun Yu of Confucius is a gem of Chinese Culture, fostering and influencing the characters of the Chinese in a significant and ingrained way. Lun Yu, is a gate through which the foreigners can touch the essence and spirit of the Chinese culture. Reasonably, the translation activities towards Lun Yu have been booming for a long time. According to Wang Yong, there are 39 English versions for Lun Yu since the sixteenth century1, making Lun Yu one of the Chinese books enjoys the most translation versions, only second to Tao The King(《道德经》). The research and study towards the translation of Lun Yu is still flourishing and in its ascendant, however, most of the research and study concentrates on the lexico-grammatical features of different translation versions. The exploration of why different versions demonstrated different features or contents is still a virgin land. In the author’s opinion, this scope is worthy of deep exploration. In November, 2015, a new translation version by Wu Guozhen was published, research and study toward this version still remains empty. This version by Wu Guozhen is quite popular among readers. The author deems it is valuable to investigate this version. What’s more, the author also holds the view that research and study towards the classical versions including the version by Arthur Waley, still has some empty aspects. Against the backdrop of the Chinese culture ‘going out’ strategy, to facilitate a better understanding of Lun Yu and popularize Chinese culture in the world at large, render the study and research of the translation of Lun Yu and probe an appropriate translation way are imperative and pertinent. In this paper, the author will carry out a comparison between the versions by Wu Guozhen and Arthur Waley, not only covering the lexico-grammatical features, translation features, but also the reasons why they performed differently. This paper aims to understand the choices for strategies and offer constructive suggestions to the rendition of not only Lun Yu, but also other Chinese classics in the background of Chinese culture ‘going out’ strategy. For the two versions by Arthur Waley and Wu Guozhen, the main differences are derived from the different horizons of them. In the background of Chinese culture ‘going out’ strategy, the translators can adopt a translation way or method that can reflect the culture essence of the Chinese culture, for instance, a foreignized method.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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