Re-writing and Re-constructing British Culture: a Case study on Chinese Translations of a Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
Tzu-yi Elaine Lee

According to Chester man’s causal model, three conditions can influence translators. At the same time, her/his translation may reveal her/his viewpoint toward the culture. The fiction A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers, shortlisted for the Orange Broadband Prize for Fiction in 2007, is written by a Chinese female writer, Guo Xiaolu, about a love story between a young Chinese woman and an older English man. Through writing to the never-named man, the young girl gradually finds her own positioning and recognizes her stance in this relationship and in this foreign country. In this way, the “other” culture is constructed from a Chinese girl’s standpoint and cultural differences on the one hand prompting her to seek her identity in the “other” culture, and on the other re-constructing the “otherness” in her writing. In translation, translators need to re-present the “other” culture from the standpoint of an outsider. In this study, we feel like learning how British culture is re-written and re-constructed by the Chinese girl in Chinese translations of the fiction. Versions produced by translation trainees and an official version published in 2008 will be studied to see how each translator rewrites and reconstructs cultural differences and the “otherness” in the novel.

Full Text: PDF      DOI: 10.15640/ijll.v4n1a9