Affiliates

Tao Li (李涛)

Investigating Evaluation in Chinese-English Translation of Political Discourse:
A Corpus-based Discourse Analysis Approach

Drawing on a corpus-based discourse analysis approach and a combined framework of Appraisal System and Ideological Square, this study investigates the translation patterns of the appraisal resources and the variations of stance towards China and other countries, found in the Chinese-English translation of political discourse. Research findings have been generated from the comparisons and the statistical analyses with different parameters between China and other countries at both lexico-grammatical and discourse semantic levels. This thesis proves to be theoretically valuable to the Corpus-based Translation Studies and Discourse Analysis. A revised model of Ideological Square this thesis proposes on the basis of the empirical data of the English translation of Chinese political discourse makes noteworthy theoretical contributions in that it not only offers a more feasible and flexible framework for Translation Studies, but also moves forward one more step to promote the academic status of Translation Studies as a theory-exporting discipline rather than a discipline that always borrows theoretical models from other academic areas. This study is also of practical significance because it reveals the factors that influence the Chinese-English translation of political discourse, which sheds new lights on the publicity of China and its policies worldwide.

 

Xiaoqian Li (李晓倩)

Image of the Chinese Government in the English Translation of Chinese Political Discourse: A Corpus-based Study

A positive image is increasingly important for China with its rising status in the global arena. The English translation of Chinese political discourse is pivotal to image of the Chinese government due to its inherent authority and directness in articulating voices from China itself. This study investigates the construction of image of the Chinese government in the English translation of CPD via a corpus-based study of keywords and collocations. With British National Corpus as the reference corpus, keywords in the English translation of CPD from 1978 to 2015 and that in the English translation of Chinese government work reports (hereafter CGWR) from 2000 to 2016 are generated. Collocational profiles of keywords are further analyzed with the manual analysis of concordance lines. Moreover, these linguistic features can be related to broader social-institutional contexts. The ways in which image is presented and factors influencing the construction of image will be probed into. A corpus-based approach is adopted to identify keywords and collocations, making this research a combination of quantitative and qualitative analysis.

 

 Xin Li (李鑫)

The Reconstruction of Modality in Chinese-English Government Press Conference Interpreting: a Corpus-based Study

Government Press Conferences (GPC) during the annual “Two Sessions” of National People’s Congress (NPC) and Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC) every year serve as an important window for the world to access first-hand information about the Chinese government’s policies and stances towards domestic and diplomatic issues. Modality as a semantic-grammatical category construes important interpersonal meanings such as the speaker’s attitude or stance in communication, so it is no surprise that modality markers are used frequently at the GPCs.

Drawing largely on the descriptive and comparative model for translation shifts proposed by Toury (1995), the semantic system of modality outlined by Halliday & Matthiessen (2014), and the integrated model of sociocultural context analysis developed by interpreting scholars (Diriker 2004, Alexieva 1997, and Pöchhacker 2009), this thesis attempts to conduct a corpus-based study of modality shifts in Chinese-Englsih GPC interpreting.

Based on a corpus of 21 GPCs featuring the premiers or foreign ministers of China during the “Two Sessions” from 1989 to 2014, the study reveals the following patterns: 1) Modality shifts are outnumbered by zero-shifts, but the degree of modality shifts (around 40%) is still fairly high considering availability of equivalent Chinese/English modality markers. 2) “De-obligation” is predominant in terms of shifts of modality type. 3) “Subjectivisation” and “weakening” shifts (mainly caused by the addition of English modality markers) are predominant in the overall reconstruction of modality. 4) The identity of ST speaker doesn’t affect the general degree or predominant types of modality shifts but does affect the degree of the “strengthening” shift.

The juxtaposition of the regular patterns of modality shifts and the meta-discourse and typological features of GPC interpreting reveals the close relationship between the interpreters’ choices concerning modality and the socio-cultural context of interpreting: the institutional norm of “fidelity first and acceptability second” for Chinese diplomatic interpreting extracted from the meta-discourse proves to have strong but not absolute governing power for GPC interpreters, and the actual interpreting choices in the reconstruction of modality are clearly motivated by the distinct typological features of GPC interpreting, which include its participants and their goals of communication, its temporal and spatial setting, topics, text type, working mode, and directionality.

 

Shuangzi PANG (庞双子)

Language contact through translation: The effect of explicitness in E-C translation on original Chinese texts

Based on the diachronic and composite corpora consisting of the literary translations (from English to Chinese) produced in the 1930s, 1960s and 1990s, Pang examines whether translation as a site of language contact can impact on target texts in terms of coordinating conjunctions. She investigates explicitness in Chinese translations of English texts and the effects these translations may have on the texts originally written in Chinese. Initial findings have shown that non-translated Chinese texts have in general changed concomitantly with translated Chinese texts in terms of the frequencies of the conjunctions. However, in the second period the occurrences of conjunctions employed in both translated and non-translated texts branched off in opposite directions. Furthermore, the analysis of the correlation coefficients of the frequencies of coordinating conjunctions in both translated Chinese texts and non-translated Chinese texts over the three periods has shown that they are closely interrelated, and the explicitness in translated Chinese texts may transfer into the original Chinese texts. Source language interference in translated Chinese texts has increased over the three sampling periods, as evidenced by gradual increase in the occurrences of the equivalents to the original English. In contrast, the reduction of explicitation and implicitation in Chinese translations from the first to the third period suggests that literal translation has been preferred to free translation. Her future research will focus on the relationship between translation and language change from different linguistic levels such as lexical collocations, syntax and semantics, and the evolution of western philosophical concepts in Chinese translations will also be examined.

 

Xujun Tian (田绪军)

A Corpus-based Study on the Evolution of China’s National Image Constructed Through Its Diplomacy(1949-2018)

In light of theories of Imagology, Critical Discourse Analysis and Corpus-based Translation Studies, the study takes an interdisciplinary approach to explore China’s national images constructed through its diplomacy between 1949 and 2018 based on the diachronic Chinese Diplomatic Discourse Corpus, with a combination of qualitative and quantitative method. The research firstly investigates what internalized images and strategic images (of three different periods, namely, 1948-1978, 1979-2012, and 2013-2018) of China have been constructed through the scrutiny of the language features of the diplomatic discourses. Then, the study examines the social-historical factors that contribute to the construction of the said images by recontextualization. Lastly, the author summarizes the insights of the study and tentatively puts forward some suggestions for the construction of China’s national images, and the Chinese-English translation and interpretation of the diplomatic discourses. It is hoped that the results of this research will be of some theoretical and practical significance for the study of national images and translation and interpretation of diplomatic discourses.