Publication details [#8662]

Ukai, Kuniko. 2005. The translation of classical Chinese poetry: literal or free? Génesis 5 : 50–64.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language
Source language
Target language


This paper aims to consider some problems of ‘literal’ or ‘free’ translation of classical Chinese poetry into a European language (English) by showing a number of simple examples. This kind of texts may be among the most complicated cases when considering these problems, because of the big differences between the original and target languages, their respective literary conventions, historical and cultural contexts. According to the author, translation in general contains a purposeful and creative aspect. When translating classical Chinese poetry into a European language, this aspect inevitably becomes strongly manifest. It is in fact almost always impossible to make a translation that is at the same time ‘literal’ and intelligible.
Source : Based on abstract in journal