Publication details [#6027]

Wong, Laurence K. P. 1997. Voices across languages: the translation of idiolects in the Hong Lou Meng. Journal of Translation Studies 1 : 120–139.


In studying, comparing, and evaluating the literary translations of the Hong Lou Meng, critics normally concentrate on problems arising from linguistic and cultural differences between the originals and the translations, with insufficient attention language varieties in the original, translation problems arising from these varieties, and the techniques used by translators to tackle these problems. Language varieties are defined as a subset of formal and/or substantial features that correlate with a particular type of socio-situational feature. In this paper, the author examines ‘idiolect’ (language variety used by a particular individual) as it appears in the original Hong Lou Meng and shows what functions it performs, what literary effects it creates, and whether or not the translations have succeeded in preserving the qualities of the original. In this way, a comprehensive picture of the nature and problems involved in the translation of literary language will be built up.
Source : Based on abstract in journal