Author: Wang, Runlang
Title: A study of two English translations of Fusheng Liuji : from a cognitive stylistic perspective
Advisors: Li, Dechao (CBS)
Degree: DALS
Year: 2019
Subject: Translating and interpreting
Shen, Fu, 1763-approximately 1808. Fu sheng liu ji -- Translations into English -- History and criticism
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Faculty of Humanities
Pages: viii, 276 pages
Language: English
Abstract: This thesis is a comparative study of the two English translations of Fusheng Liuji (《浮生六記》, hereafter abbreviated as Fu), known in English as Lin Yuntang's Six Chapters of a Floating Life and Graham Sanders' Six Records of a Life Adrift, from the perspective of cognitive stylistics. Following the framework of Descriptive Translation Studies proposed by Gideon Toury (1995; 2012), this study consists of a descriptive section and an explanatory section. In the descriptive section, a model of characterization analysis for translation studies based on the theories of cognitive stylistics, which is a discipline that combines linguistics, stylistics and cognitive science, is proposed. Readers' comprehensions of husband-wife and parent-son relationships in the two translations of Fu are analyzed based on the descriptions of these characters' behaviors, conversations and psychological status together with readers' prior knowledge, possible expectations and inferences. In the explanatory section, the main factors that may have influenced the two translations of Fu are discussed at both a social-cultural level and translator level by drawing on such factors as literary and cultural conventions and patronage for the prior level and translators' personal attitudes and experience for the latter level.
Disparate interpretations of the protagonist Shen Fu are summarized by taking into consideration descriptive results of the model. Specifically, the level of intimacy between Shen Fu and his wife Chen Yun is greater in Lin's translation than in the ST and in Sanders' translation. The parent-son relationship in Lin's translation is also closer to the original than that reflected in Sanders' translation. Hence, Shen's image in Lin's translation is that of a considerate and loving husband and a filial son. The level of intimacy between the couple in Sanders' translation is slightly lower than that in the ST and much lower than in Lin's translation. Shen and his father alienated from each other to a great extent in Sanders' translation. The image of Shen in Sanders' translation is that of a gentle husband who is incapable of supporting his family. Shen as a son in Sanders' translation is akin to a subordinate of his father instead of a son. The above tendencies identified in Lin's translation of Fu are mainly the result of Chinese literary and cultural conventions regarding descriptions of husband-wife and parent-son relationships, and the marketing strategies and aims of the two publishers T'ien Hsia Monthly and Shanghai Xifeng Publishing House as well as Lin's personal experiences and attitudes. The factors that may affect Sanders' translation decisions include the feature of diversity and hybridity of American literature in the 21st century, the preference in book selection of the publisher, i.e. Hackett Publishing Company, and Sanders' personal attitude toward Shen Fu. The current study lends strong support to the argument that different language cues in translations have huge influences on readers' understandings of characters and their relationships. Reasons based on the studies of cognitive stylistics, social cognition and interpersonal relationships are also provided to explain why and how these interpretations of Shen in Fu are formed via piecemeal accumulations, through both the top-down and bottom-up processes that take place in readers' minds. In addition, the various reasons that are provided to explain the differences in the characterizations of Shen in the two translations can also help readers to gain deeper insights into why Shen is portrayed so differently by the two different translators.
Rights: All rights reserved
Access: restricted access

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