Peter and Wendy in translation in China — a diachronic study

2017-05-18T02:24:44Z (GMT) by Yuan, Mingming
The present study analyses three Chinese translations of J. M. Barrie's Peter and Wendy (1911): Liang Shiqiu's translation published in 1929, Yang Jingyuan's translation published in 1991 and Ren Rongrong's translation published in 2011. Undertaking the cultural approach to translation studies (Bassnett and Lefevere 1990), translation is conceptualised as a culturally-oriented act under constant influence of the target culture environment. From this perspective, the study compares the three Chinese translations of the source text diachronically, aiming to identify whether and how changing socio-cultural factors in China from the 1920s to the present, in particular, the spread of the Anglophone culture in China, changes in the state censorship protocol and the position of translated literature in the target culture literary system influence the translation outcome. The study also takes into consideration the dual-readership status of the source text. In the source culture, Peter and Wendy is conceived as a dual-readership text that addresses children and adults simultaneously (Holmes 2009). In the target culture, different translations are produced for adults and children: while Liang's (1929) and Yang's (1991) translations are primarily intended for adults, Ren's translation (2011) is specifically marketed for children. The study compares the two translations for adults with the translation for children, in order to explore whether and how the intended readership of the target text influences translation strategy. Three translation challenges shall be focused on in analysis: culture-bound elements, taboos and the linguistic acceptability of the target text.