City University of Hong Kong Dep
Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
The Act of Self-Translation: A Case Study of Lin Yutang’s Confucius Saw Nancy
Mr. LI Ping
PhD candidate, Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics
City University of Hong Kong
Date: 9 October 2008, Thursday
Time: 4:30pm - 6:00pm
Venue: G7619 (Lift 3, 7/F, Green Zone),Academic Building,CityU
Although marginalized in the field of translation studies for a long time, self-translation as a special phenomenon is attracting more and more scholars’ attention now. In fact, as early as 1961, scholars began to remark on Samuel Beckett’s “unprecedented series of self-translations” and proposed to examine the textual changes necessarily introduced in the process. In the West, much has been done on the self-translations of Samuel Beckett, Vladimir Nabokov and other self-translators while in China self-translators as Lin Yutang, Zhang Ailing, Bai Xianyong, Xiao Qian, Bian Zhiling were not studied until very recently.
Dr. Lin Yutang (1895-1976) was one of the earliest self-translators in modern China. He was also one of the few bilingual writers who excelled in both translation theory and practice and succeeded home and abroad as a writer and translator. This research is based on a parallel corpus I create, in which Lin Yutang’s Zi jian Nanzi (1928) and its English translation Confucius Saw Nancy (1931) are included. The differences between the ST and TT are discussed from a social-semiotic perspective. The purpose of the research is to have a better understanding of language changes between the two versions and the self-translator’s psychological and cultural consciousness during the process of self-translating, and to observe how far the author, as a bilingual and bicultural subject, acts as a translator with respect to the different linguistic and cultural contexts.
Considering Lin Yutang’s achievements in the cross-cultural activities, a study of his self-translation will not only permit more objective analysis of the specific role of the translator in the translating process but also provide suggestions for the cross-cultural communication and examples for translators training.
Mr. LI Ping is a PhD candidate from the Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics. His research focuses on translation studies.