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On the Translations of Nie Xiao Qian from the Perspective of Pragmatic Adaptation

Dai Qingxuan
Published 30 May 2020

Abstract

Nie Xiao Qian, translated into THE MAGIC SWORD by Herbert Giles and THE MAGIC SWORD AND THE MAGIC BAG by John Minford, is one of the most famous stories in Liao Zhai Zhi Yi. Despite the fact that there are a lot of English translations for Liao Zhai Zhi Yi, few scholars have paid attention to Minford’s version and none of them have ever compared two translations from the perspective of pragmatic adaptation, more specifically, Chinese and English orientation differences. Therefore, this paper aims to introduce a new perspective for Liao Zhai Zhi Yi’s translation analysis to bridge the gap and figure out which one is more result oriented by comparing the translation of Herbert Giles and that of John Minford. Based on the theory of pragmatic adaptation, more specifically, the theory that Chinese is more process oriented and English is more result oriented, this paper analyzes some translated sentences of the two English versions, and as a result, finds that both English translations are more result oriented than its Chinese version while Herbert Giles’s version is more resulted-orientation.

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