On the English Translation of Chinese Neologisms from the Perspective of Functional Equivalence Theory毕业论文_英语毕业论文

On the English Translation of Chinese Neologisms from the Perspective of Functional Equivalence Theory毕业论文


摘 要

新词的出现反映了社会和文化的变化,并满足了人们多样的生活形态。奈达的动能对等理论对于汉语新词的英译起到了重要的作用。本文通过对奈达的功能对等理论的概述,研究翻译汉语新词过程中出现的问题,以及使用的翻译策略, 使得汉语新词的翻译更加合理和实用。



  1. Introduction 1
  2. Demonstration 2
    1. An Overview of Functional Equivalence Theory 2
      1. Dynamic Equivalence 2
      2. Functional Equivalence 3
    2. Problems in the Translation of Chinese Neologisms 4
      1. Inaccurate Comprehension of the Original Meaning 4
      2. Differences between Chinese and English Cultures 5
      3. Misusage of Chinglish 5
    3. Strategies in the Translation of Chinese Neologisms 6
      1. Literal Translation 6
      2. Transliteration 7
      3. Free Translation 7
  3. Conclusion 9

Works Cited 10

Bibliography 11

On the English Translation of Chinese Neologisms from the Perspective of Functional Equivalence Theory


In order to catch up with the path of social rapid changes, people continuously create new words and these new words reflect this period’s transition and social progress. In the Oxford Advanced Learner’s English-Chinese Dictionary, new words are explained as “newly-invented words”. From the Merriam-Webster Dictionary amp; Thesaurus, they are named as “a new word or a new meaning for an established word”. According to Lin Chengzhang, these words are defined as “newly-combined words or a new meaning given for an old word with changes of the society, economy, politics, culture science and human’s technology”(Lin 1987), for example, 剩 女

(left-over women; 3S women); 房奴 (mortgage slave); 山寨 (something counterfeit;

chic fake; knock-off products; shanzhai).

Nowadays, Chinese culture has been gradually spread all over the world, and more foreigners are being interested in Chinese culture, so because of this, translation, especially English translation plays an important role in communicating. Besides lots of English translation works of Chinese classical literature, the English translation of Chinese neologisms also can help foreign people know Chinese society and people’s

life’s modifications, so it is beneficial that the world will learn more about China.

In China, many translations of neologisms don’t have systematic theories and they are scattered. There hardly exists similar or equal words in English to replace some particular newly-invented words, therefore, these neologisms cannot be directly translated. In other words, it is not easy to translate Chinese neologisms accurately and reasonably. In the Newmark’s book, it says that neologisms may be the serious problem for non-literature translators and professional translators (Newmark 1988). For most Chinese interpreters, their translations of these neologisms mostly tend to chinglish, but this translation is not native, so other foreign readers also don’t

understand. Moreover, in the process of translating Chinese neologisms, there occurs several kinds of typical problems, like inaccurate comprehension of the original and new meanings of the word, differences between Chinese and English cultures, and dissimilar levels of translators and using more chinglish. The thesis focuses on Nida’s Functional Equivalence Theory, from dynamic equivalence to functional equivalence, analyzing distinct effects that various translation strategies put on translating Chinese neologisms.


    1. An Overview of Functional Equivalence Theory
      1. Dynamic Equivalence

As we all know, translation is that in the target language, from semantic to style, there is the most related natural equivalence reappearing the meaning of source language. In the beginning, Nida puts forward the concept of formal equivalence, which means that the target language needs to reflect the form and context of original language as possible as you can. The formal equivalence focuses on information itself, including its form and context. Translation of formal equivalence aims at the source language, in order to likely put text’s linguistic meaning and style on hold.

Then later, Nida thinks that formal equivalence is limited in translation, so he comes up with an idea of dynamic equivalence. In his book, he states that dynamic equivalence is therefore to be defined in terms of the degree to which the receptors of the message in the receptor language respond to it in substantially the same manner as the receptors in the source language (Nida amp; Taber 2001). The dynamic equivalence stresses equivalent reaction instead of equivalent format. Translators don’t pay attention to corresponding to original message and target message, but a dynamic relation, which is that the relation between target language and receptors is equal to the relation between readers of original message and original text.

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