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On the aesthetic ablation of fuzziness in Chinese expressions in Chinese–English translation

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Although fuzziness is one of the innate characteristics of language, shared by both Chinese and English, there do exist apparent differentiations between them as far as their roles in aesthetic-effect-generating, representation mode, application field suitability and aesthetic impact are concerned, which has remained a great challenge and regret in either English to Chinese (E–C) or Chinese to English (C–E) translation, particularly in the latter. It’s no exaggeration to say that translation is a profession with no lack of regret and translators are professional regret-tasters. The most impressive regret in C–E translation might lie in the fact that the talent and capability of the translators is painfully restricted in reproducing and conveying the aesthetic effect of Chinese fuzzy expressions.

As an artistically conceived language, Chinese invites macro-induction in terms of linguistic features while English, being logic-oriented, analysis-based and hypotaxis-dependent, is largely ignorant of what is called macro-induction. Hence abundant aesthetic genius of Chinese fuzzy expressions can hardly find its way into the English version. It can be said that generally the process of C–E translation is one of complementing continuously “meaning blank”, of changing “indeterminacy of meaning” into “determinacy of meaning”, with the E–C translation as the opposite. Many language problems in communication are essentially closely related to nationality psychologic archetype complex, which may be a significant try in translation study.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: August 13, 2010

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  • Revue internationale de la traduction / International Journal of Translation
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