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Title: Translation of Chinese American literature based on translator’s subjectivity : a case study of The Bonesetter’s Daughter
Authors: Khaw, Vivian Rui Fang
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2019
Abstract: The concept of translation has broadened ever since the cultural turn in the 1970s. Representatives of the cultural turn of studies, Andre Lefevere, Itamar Even-Zohar, and Susan Bassnett, have contended that translation should be studied in a set of culture. They take the target language as the first concern and expounded on translator’s subjectivity. Though most of the Chinese American writers were born American, they inherited old Chinese traditions through their immigrant parents. Subsequently, they grew up in an American society and received American education. Chinese American descendants then depict and collage the Chinese stories in their own vivid and creative ways. The Chinese cultural elements in their stories became a recreation, which may not be substantially accurate. However, these exotic depictions have gained the attention of American English readers, satisfying their curiosity for the Chinese culture and at the same time paved the way for the Chinese Americans’ smooth assimilation into the dominant white culture in America. A hybrid of Chinese and American culture is present in Chinese American Literature, and this presents a challenge to the translators as they find ways to reconcile the gap between the both cultures in their translation. From the perspective of translator’s subjectivity, this paper explores the features of Chinese American Literature, the translation strategies used in the translation and the manifestation of the translator’s subjectivity in the Chinese translation of The Bonesetter’s Daughter written by award-winning Chinese American author Amy Tan. Through analysis, this paper finds that the translator’s visibility is inevitable in the translation of Chinese American Literature due to its nature as a hybrid text. This paper also discusses the practical limitations of translating Chinese American Literature, including the inevitable loss of some features in the source text and the difference in reading experience of the readers in both cultures.
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
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