Article published In:
BabelVol. 65:3 (2019) ► pp.399–423
A corpus-based study on imagery and symbolism in Goldblatt’s translation of
Research on Goldblatt’s translation of Red Sorghum has attracted more attention in recent years
after its author Mo Yan won the Nobel Prize for this work. This translation study has addressed the imagery and symbolism in this
classic Chinese work, an area that has yet to be investigated with the use of empirical data. The study employed the corpus-based
approach, and analysed the translation of images and symbols based on a parallel translation corpus of Chapters 1 and 2 found in
the text of Red Sorghum. Most important images and symbols are represented by 30 distinct nouns in the novel as
successfully translated into English as a result of the translator’s adoption of a literal translation strategy. A more focused
examination of a translation of the most prominent key word, sorghum, finds that the translator has faithfully adopted the imagery
and symbolism techniques in the source text whenever conveying the images and symbols of sorghum across cultures. Based on the
findings, this study argues that images and symbols in the source text may present themselves in the translation of novels if
translators adopt a source-oriented translation strategy. Our analyses of the translation of figures of speech, namely similes,
personifications and repetitions further highlight the importance of taking concert and literal translation strategies into the
realm of literary translation.
- 2.1Introduction to the novel and its translation
- 2.2Corpus construction
- 2.3Corpus access software
- 2.4Research procedure
- 3.Results and discussion
- 3.1Imagery and symbolism
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