Cautious about culture differences
Cultural difference is a major issue in the Chinese to English translation. Translators may also make mistakes without the awareness of target culture even if they are competent in English and translation strategies. It is very likely to misunderstand or offend others arising from ignorant of the information about target-text receivers such as socio-cultural background, expectation, values and beliefs. Never dwell on honorable titles, awards and splendid history, but focusing on key points and substantial information. It is acceptable to convey the message of efficiency, quality and services in an intimate way. Below are emblematic examples with cultural translation problems:
Hongguang enterprise tries to coruscate man’s highest quality, it always follow the idea of man first that “with originally been exactly” that.” trade with really first “, and with the personal value grade that ” the products reflect personality ” that ” the quality overweight life “, promising the sincere devotion of the Hongguang’s people, the staff wish us to cooperate sincerely ,respectfully waiting for the joining of the agent with smiling face, connive the slip altogether, add fuel to the flames , try their utmost into hand in hand, to construct the brilliant and beautiful brand-new platform of Hongguang brand.( Ruian Hongguang Electrical Auto Parts Co., Ltd)
It is a lengthy and tedious paragraph. In the view of foreigners, it does not achieve the expected goal and those ornate descriptions mean nothing to the readers. The readers need to know more detailed facts to judge whether the company is trustworthy, rather than these endless descriptions about awards and titles. These words, though grammatically correct, perform no useful function in the sentence. These unnecessary words are, as is put by Pinkham, “the hallmark of chinglish”.
Hongguang enterprise attaches great importance to humanity, integrity, and quality. We are sincerely welcome the join of agents, with the hope of forging ahead and making a splendid future together.
Confronted with this type of original text, a competent translator is supposed to be sensible and sober enough to keep the great distinction between Chinese and western values in mind. Although Chinese think highly of honorable titles, awards and glorious past records and achievements, yet it is not the prevailing view for westerners who are outgoing, reasonable, straightforward, and who stress briefness and concreteness.
A lot of Chinese terms are deeply rooted in the long Chinese history. For this reason, they are exotic to westerners and can’t be stated clearly by justly explaining the superficial meaning of a particular term. It is acceptable to translate liberally or adopt the strategy of equivalent translation if there are counterparts in English. What’s more, extra background information in the English version might well get through to foreign readers.