Translation Strategies for the Chinese Culture-specific Expressions in the Chinese Premier's Press Conferences
This research is located within the framework of descriptive translation studies and corpus-based contrastive discourse analysis. Modern Translation Studies has growingly taken into account the complexities of culture-specific expressions in literary translation. Conference interpreting setting has paradoxically not been touched upon. Through an empirical case study of the interpretation of Chinese culture-specific expressions in ten Chinese Premier’s Press Conferences, this thesis aims to contribute to a better understanding of interpreting culture-specific expressions in a conference interpreting setting. Methodologically, this thesis integrates the linguistic approach with the culture-oriented approach, empiricism with interpretivism and quantitative with qualitative research. It began with a detailed transcription of ten unrevised press conference video recordings downloaded from Internet. With such transcription, the specialized corpora constituted by the Chinese culture-specific expressions and their interpretations were built and coded innovatively using the four translation strategies converted from the six kernel theories within the theoretical framework of this thesis. Contrastive discourse analysis of the specialized corpora was carried out against such extra-textual resources as the media coverage of the press conference, the lectures given by the government interpreters and so on. Translation norms that reflect the regularities of how the four translation strategies are used were derived from such large-scale case studies and tested against more cases before being qualitatively analyzed to explain why they exist and how they were manifested in the selection of translation strategies in the specialized corpora. This thesis claims contribution to existing literature in terms of theory and methodology. Theoretically, it proposed six translation norms of the use of four translation strategies for the five categories of the Chinese culture-specific expressions in the Chinese Premier’s Press Conferences with a core argument that the interpreters’ selection of translation strategies is subject more to contexts than to their subjectivity, which empirically confirms for the first time Eco-translatology Theory’s central claim that an interpreter selects translation strategies by adapting to contexts. In addition, as a pioneering study on cultural expressions under conference interpreting context, this research increases the explanatory power of relevant translation theories because it spans literary translation and conference interpreting. Methodologically, translation strategies were converted from relevant translation theories and used as descriptive categories for corpus-based contrastive analysis, which constitutes an originality in contrast to previous research that teem with researcher-named strategies and confuse translation strategies with translation methods. Furthermore, this research improves transcription coding and corpus building tactics, making data analysis not only more systematic but also more accessible to readers who do not know both languages.
- PhD