Academic journal article English Language Teaching

The Bible of Confucianism

Academic journal article English Language Teaching

The Bible of Confucianism

Article excerpt

Abstract

The Analects is the most influential and enduring Chinese classics, which shows its splendor as early as 2,400 years ago between the spring and autumn and the warring states periods, covering a wide scope of subjects from politics, philosophy, literature and art to the education and moral cultivation. To the translator, the most important and most difficult problem is to understand the words and expressions of the archaic Chinese, and the culture background when translating literary classics. In this paper, we choose two versions to compare and analyze. One is from the Arthur Waley, whose version is considered to be the best and the complete one, another is from Ding Wangdao who is a Chinese professor. Compared to two versions, we will study the strategies of the book-domestication and foreignization from lexical level, syntactic level, stylistic level and cultural level.

Keywords: The Analects domestication, foreignization, compare

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1. Introduciton

To the translator, the most important and most difficult problem is to understand the words and expressions of the archaic Chinese, and the culture background when translating literary classics. The archaic Chinese has existed for a long time. It is still hard for us to understand it fully. Since the appearance of The Analects, many scholars have made many annotations on it. So it is even harder for us to understand the original texts. Besides, the Confucianism has existed for more than two thousand years. Even many Chinese people do not have a general idea about it, let alone a foreign scholar. So they can't translate it well to the readers who culture background differs so greatly. Because of these obstacles, the difficulties on translating, The Analects are growing bigger.

In this paper, we choose two versions to compare and analyze. One is from the Arthur Waley, whose version is considered to be the best and the complete one, another is from Ding Wangdao who is a Chinese professor. Compared to two versions, we will study the strategies of the book-domestication and foreignization.

2. Literature Review

2.1 An Introduction of Different Versions of The Analects

Among so many translated versions, the English version of Arthur Waley is generally acknowledged as having the highest quality. Its version is concise, and closer to the original text, enjoys much more popularity than any others. Besides, there are other foreign representative scholars, such as James Legge (1861), and Ezra Pound (1992), Thomas Cleary. As for the Chinese representative, there are Lin Yutang, Lai Bo and Xia Yuhe (1994), Ku Hung-Ming (1898), and Ding Wangdao, who recently translated 100 Sayings of The Analects, whose translation using the domestication more. In this paper, we will try to compare two versions of Arthur Waley and Ding Wangdao.

2.2 An Introduction to the Two Translators of the English Versions of The Analects

In this paper, we intend to set the English version of The Analects of Confucius by Arthur Waley and the 100 saying of Confucius by Ding Wangdao the researching texts. The Analects of Confucius by Arthur Waley is a complete translation version of The Analects, which contains twenty chapters and about five hundred entries. But Ding Wangdao just translated one hundred sayings of the five hundred entries.

3. Theory in Translation Strategy of The Analects-Domestication and Foreignization

Domestication refers to the translation strategy in which a transparent, fluent style is adopted in order to minimize the strangeness of the source text for the target language readers. It means to make the text recognizable and familiar and thus bring the foreign culture closer to the target language readers. Foreignization means "deliberately breaks target norms by retaining something of the foreignness of the original (Shuttleworth and Cowie, 1997: 59)." It means to narrow the distance between the reader and exotic culture, so that they can feel the differences of the language and culture. …

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