Article published In:
BabelVol. 65:5 (2019) ► pp.633–647
Translating ancient Chinese legal works
A contextualized narrative approach
Dai Yongjun | Nanjing University | Anhui University of Technology
The notion of narrative is a very productive concept in many disciplines, and it has been introduced and applied
effectively in translation studies, where the specific narrative typology and narrative features are drawn and outlined. Based on
the understanding of translation and the analysis of narrative features by Baker, this paper examines the issues in translating
ancient Chinese legal works. The default narrative features in ancient Chinese legal works are firstly given a detailed
explanation, then the challenges to the Western sinologists in re-narrating ancient Chinese legal stories, especially for the
purposes of constructing a “moral” world for the Western readers. For the purpose of successful communication, the fundamental
elements in Chinese legal tradition should be given more attention. Thus a contextualized narrative strategy is proposed for
application in translating ancient Chinese legal works. For successful communication, it requires on the part of the narrator a
degree of creative adaptation.
- 2.The default narrative features in ancient Chinese legal works
- 3.Challenges to Western sinologists of re-narrating ancient Chinese legal stories
- 4.Contextualizing the re-narration for the construction of a “moral” world
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