Translating Alice in the Chinese context : a critical stylistic approach to characterization in the Chinese translation of Alice in Wonderland by Chao Yuen-Ren

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Translating Alice in the Chinese context : a critical stylistic approach to characterization in the Chinese translation of Alice in Wonderland by Chao Yuen-Ren

 

Author: Zhang, Daozhen
Title: Translating Alice in the Chinese context : a critical stylistic approach to characterization in the Chinese translation of Alice in Wonderland by Chao Yuen-Ren
Degree: Ph.D.
Year: 2016
Subject: Translating and interpreting.
Literature -- Translations -- History and criticism.
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of English
Pages: xi, 263 pages : color illustrations
Language: English
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2935036
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/8810
Abstract: Characterization is a vital issue in the creative and imaginative writings for children (Wilson 1983:iv). Through the deployment of language patterns in the construction of characterization, the author can establish the audience's identification with the protagonist so that the fictional fantasy world can be achieved successfully. It is thus very significant for the research on translating children's fantasy to find out how character are constructed in translation and based on what kinds of linguistic options in the system of language. This research focuses on the translation of the language patterns in constructing the characterization of the protagonist Alice in the work of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (AW henceforth). Attention is particularly concentrated on how the original language patterns in the purpose of creating a typical fantasy protagonist along the cline from extreme passiveness to interactive status in a mysterious and magical underground world are transplanted into the translated text. Thus this research aims to study the language patterns in constructing characterization of Alice in the ST and their translations in the TT. Based on the communicative framework of a critical stylistic approach that aims to reveal obscure links between textures and social practice of the author by manipulating the transitivity patterning to achieve certain effects, this research makes a detailed classification of material and mental processes based on the precedent research (Hasan 1985; Halliday and Matthiessen 2004; Kies 1992; Perèz 2007) of transitivity analysis. First and foremost, three stages of characterization development (the so-called SCD) of Alice in the ST by means of transitivity analysis are identified. Then a research is conducted to find out how the three stages are represtented in the translation in terms of transitivity construal in a comparative fashion.
In comparing the language shifts, this research examines how the language patterns representing Alice's changing status are translated in the TT. After a description of the so-called shifts at both the clausal and textual levels, a detailed interpretation is followed up before an explanation is given of an investigation as a third step of the research. All the observed shifts are expected to work in a cumulative manner as to affect the characterization constructed out of the original choices as style when translated into the TT. Apparently, it can be concluded that the choices made at the textural levels can produce semiotic effects in the context, which may further influence Alice's characterization in the translation across the dynamism cline developed in the three stages in the ST. So when the three SCDs are looked at in parallel, it has been found the characterization of the ST along the progressive cline of characterization has been damaged or distorted in one way or another because the transitivity patterning has been damaged or distorted at many places in the TT. As a general trend in the translation, the translator has erratically increased Alice's dynamism in the SCD1, while decreasing hers at some places in the SCD2 and SCD3, which thus delivered the protagonist to be erratic and irregular in character, without signals for the audience to follow on the level of transitivity at the linguistic level. The dreamland world constructed out of the choices of language patterning chosen by the original author has thus been demystified and decentered to different degrees at different places in the translation, which may further damage the dream fantasy as a particular genre. At a deeper level in relation to the theme represented through transitivity patterning, the interpersonal meaning expressed in the ST is also changed in some way in the TT.

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