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On Chinese Translation of Cultural Connotations in English People's Names

By Darrell Foster,2014-06-13 11:18
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On Chinese Translation of Cultural Connotations in English People's Namesof,in,On,name

    On Chinese Translation of Cultural Connotations in English People's

    Names

    Submitted by (Lu honglan)

    Student ID number (082013110014)

    Supervised by (Cai Jing)

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    A paper submitted in fulfillment of the requirements of the

    degree of Bachelor of Arts

    The Institute of Online Education

    Beijing Foreign Studies University

    (December) (2012)

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    北京外国语大学网络教育学院

    学士学位论文诚信声明

    本人郑重声明; 所呈交的学士学位论文,是本人在导师的指导下,独立进行研究工作所取得的成果。论文所涉及的项目为本人亲自负责或者参与实施的项目。除文中已经注明引用的内容外,本论文不含任何其他个人或集体已经发表或撰写过的作品成果。本人完全了解本声明的法律结果由本人承担。

    学士学位论文作者签名;鲁红兰

    日期; 2012 12 10

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    摘要

     人名具有悠久的历史和丰富的文化内涵,又鲜明地体现了民族文化的特点。生活在不同文化环境中的人,对姓名的态度和看法有所不同。随着对外交往日益频繁,英语人名的汉译问题也越来越受到关注。因此,研究英语人名文化及其汉译问题具有理论意义和实践意义。

     在现有其他学者已取得的研究成果的基础上,本论文旨在对英语人名的汉译问题进行系统的研究。本文将通过具体的人名翻译实例,来分析英汉语民族人名文化的差异对英语人名汉译的影响。本文重点探讨了英语人名在汉译过程中所采用的一些翻译策略,如音译、汉化、约定俗成以及译名选字等,并作了相应的解释、归纳和总结。

    本论文的研究在一定程度上有助于人们更加清楚地认识到英语人名汉译的重要性,鼓励更多人从事相关翻译研究,从而推动我国翻译事业更加繁荣与发展。

    关键词;英语人名~文化内涵~汉语翻译~翻译原则~翻译策略

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    Abstract

     People's names have both a long history and rich cultural connotations and also can distinctly reflect the features of national culture. People living in different cultural environment have different attitudes and views toward names. With the rapid development of foreign exchanges, the Chinese translation of English people's names has drawn increasing attention. Therefore, it is of both theoretical and practical significance to study the culture of English people's names and its translation.

    This thesis intends to carry out a systematic study of of the Chinese translation of English people's names on the basis of what other scholars have achieved. Through the descriptive-explanatory method, together with case studies, the thesis will analyze the influence of the cultural differences between Chinese and English on the Chinese translation of English people's names. The thesis will mainly focus on the analysis of some translation strategies adopted in the process of Chinese translation, such as transliteration, Chinesization, the following of the previously widely-accepted Chinese versions and the choice of words. The author will also make corresponding explanation, induction and conclusion.

    This thesis, to some extent, is of certain significance to help people have a better understanding of the importance of the translation of English people's names and to encourage more people to do relevant translation studies, then promoting the standardization of the translation of English people's names in our country.

    Key words: English people's names; cultural connotation; Chinese translation; translation principles; translation strategies

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    Table of Contents.Table of Contents

     Pages

    1 1. Introduction........................................................................................ 1.1 Research Background........................................................................................ 1 1.2 Research Objective............................................................................................. 2 1.3 Project Design..................................................................................................... 2

    3 2. Rationale............................................................................................. 2.1 Definition of Culture........................................................................................... 3 2.2 Cultural Connotations in English People's Names.......................................... 4 2.3 The Principles of Translation............................................................................. 5

     2.3.1 Based on relevant guidelines of name translation..................... 5

     2.3.2 Based on English pronunciation.................................................. 5

     2.3.3 Based on widely-accepted Chinese versions........... 6

    6 3. Data Description................................................................................

    9 4. Data Analysis..................................................................................... 4.1 Transliterated Names.......................................................................................... 9 4.2 Chinesized Names.............................................................................................. 9 4.3 Conventional Names.......................................................................................... 10 4.4 The Choice of Words.......................................................................................... 11

    12 5. Results and Suggestions.................................................................. 5.1 Results................................................................................................................. 12 5.2 Suggestions on the Translation of English People's Names.......................... 13

    15 6. Conclusion.........................................................................................

    17 Bibliography...........................................................................................

    18 Appendix................................................................................................

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    On Chinese Translation of Cultural Connotations in

     English People's Names

1. Introduction

    In view of the increasing importance of the Chinese translation of English people's names, it is necessary to carry out a systematic study of the related translation principles and strategies. This chapter provides a brief introduction of the background and objective of the research and the project design.

1.1 Research Background

    With the rapid development of international exchange, we Chinese people are having more opportunities to come into contact with foreigners from various countries. In certain situations we can directly call them laowai (老外), but, on most occasions, it is

    necessary for us to address someone respectfully by name. Furthermore, peoples

    name, as a cultural carrier, is endowed with the particular cultural connotation of various countries. The proper translation of foreign names can undoubtedly promote the understanding of other countries' culture. As a result, the translation of English people's names has inevitably played an important role in contemporary China. Yet its increasing importance still has not received adequate attention from the public and has been largely neglected for a long period in the field of translation teaching, translation theory and even translation practice. Consequently, there are little studies or academic works on the Chinese translation of English people's names, which should be regarded as a real regret in today's translation circle. This cannot meet the demand of cultural communication. Therefore, it is necessary and urgent for us to explore the appropriate principles and strategies in the translation of English people's names if we want to enable the public to fully obtain the equivalent messages implicated in these names and to have a deep insight of the English culture.

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1.2 Research Objective

    The translation of people's names is not as easy as it seems; on the contrary, it is unimaginably difficult due to the linguistic and cultural differences between Chinese and English.

    This thesis intends to make a though study of the Chinese translation of English people's names from the perspective of cultural connotation. Through the descriptive-explanatory method, together with case studies, the author mainly focuses on analyzing the cultural differences between Chinese and English, the related translation theories and principles, as well as specific translation strategies, hoping to present an objective and comprehensive conclusion on this topic.

    The study of the translation of English people's names is conducted with the aim of promoting the development of the current translation theories and practice in China. Hopefully, this thesis has both theoretical and practical values in that, to certain extent, it helps people have a better understanding of the cultural connotation of the English people's names and attracts more attention to the field of translation, then promoting the standardization of the translation of people's names.

1.3 Project Design

    Except the introduction and conclusion, the thesis consists of four parts. Part One will make a brief introduction of the definition of culture and the cultural connotations in English people's names and review the main translation theories related with this topic. Part Two will explain the data resource and present the data quoted in this thesis. Part Three, through the descriptive-explanatory method, together with case studies, will make a thorough analysis of some typical translation strategies. Part Four will give a preliminary summary of the translation strategies for the Chinese translation of English people's names according to the data analysis and put forward certain suggestions on the translation of English people's names.

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2. Rationale

    2.1 Definition of Culture

    In 1871, the British cultural anthropologist Edward Tylor first came up with the word "culture" as a concept in his book----Primitive Culture. Till now there have had more than 200 kinds of definition of culture. Experts and scholars with different academic background have given various definitions of culture from different perspectives.

    In our academic circle, culture is mainly defined by its coverage. The main points are as follows: 1. Broadly speaking, culture means the combination of the physical and spiritual productivity and the material and intellectual wealth which are created and obtained in the process of humans' practices; 2. Narrowly speaking, culture refers to the spiritual productivity and the intellectual products, including all forms of social consciousness----natural science, technical science and social ideology. Sometimes, however, it specifically means the knowledge and facilities in the field of education, science, literature, art, hygiene, sports and so on.(Xia Zhengnong, 2002)

    There are many other definitions made by other scholors from different perspectives. For instance, Li Deshun thinks the meaning and nature of culture, briefly speaking, is humanization and cultivation. That is to say, human beings transform the objective world, humanizing the natural conditions and meanwhile promote themselves through the cultivation of their experience and achievements.(Li Deshun, 2006) Chen Huawen considers that culture is equivalent to those tangible and intangible achievements concerning various relations among human, nature and society which have been created by human beings to maintain the continuous existence and development.(Chen Huawen) Ma Yunjie regards culture as the complex of various special qualities created by human beings.(Ma Yunjie)

    Although these definitions are made from different perspectives, there are something

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    widely acknowledged by all scholars----culture is created by human beings. Some scholars describe this meaning as humanization, considering that, from the original angle, culture represents the subjectivity of human beings or the objectification of essential forces.(Yuan Guiren, 2005)

2.2 Cultural Connotations in English People's Names

    As we all know, surname is a symbol for a family and given name is the sign for an individual. For a family, surname is the common mark for all its members and symbolizes the generality of the family, while given name is unique to each member and stands for the particularity. The order of English people's names is that surname follows given name, such as Taylor Swift (泰勒斯威夫特) and Michael Jackson (

    克尔杰克逊). The sequence of surname and given name fully reflects English people's opinion of the relation of generality and particularity. Westers lay emphasis on particularity, contrary to the Chinese traditional culture----advocating generality.

    In view of the emergence of surname and given name in English people's names, surname came into being much later than given name did. English people's surname appeared in about 11th century, while given name has been existing even before the birth of Christ. As a result, Westers don't pay much attention to the surname.

    The origin of English people's names is usually connected with place names, physical features, occupations, animals and natural phenomena. For example, names like Scott (斯科特) and Ford (福特) are related with place names; Stow (Stout: 大块头),

    Vaughan (Little: 小块头) and Campbell (歪嘴巴) are related with physical features;

    Carpenter (木匠), Smith (铁匠), Taylor (裁缝) and Butcher (屠夫) are related with

    occupations; Fox (狐狸) and Tiger (泰格) is related with animal; Snow () and Rain

    () is related with the natural phenomena. (Zhou Yan, 2003)

    The naming methods of English people's names profoundly reflect their values in different period and society, such as feudalism, superstition, worship and social trend

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