This time, i’m gonna talking more strategies about news translation!

1. Indirect Translation

Since translation under the relevance theory is an inter-lingual interpretive use, it is the inter-lingual parallel to indirect quotation. Interpretive use intends to produce an utterance that exactly resembles the thought of the original speaker. According to relevance theory, every communication act promises to produce “an adequate range of contextual effects” and to do so “for the minimum justifiable processing effort.” (Wilson and Sperber 1986)

Taking into consideration of the features of news, indirect translation can be employed in the journalistic translation. News translation is also an interlingual interpretive use, which aims to achieve optimal relevance. The translation in interpretive use is a faithful representation of the original. Translators should express the original context in a way that produces the same contextual effects in the receptor language as it does in the original context.

2. Addition

Addition means adding information that is not in the source text so as to make the translation understandable to target readers. The information can be background knowledge and some explanatory notes. Gutt proposed the way of providing information through part of the contextual supplementary channels of communication, such as introductions, notes, footnotes or glossaries and the like. (Gutt, 2004) The common ways of adding information are putting notes in brackets. Consider the following examples:

E.g.1: Clancy is taking a red-eye flight to Chicago in order to attend an early-morning meeting there tomorrow.


red-eye flight is a flight late at night or during the early-morning hours, usually at a less expensive cost. The literal meaning is 红眼航班,but if it is translated like that, readers who are not familiar with this term may get puzzled and have to spend some extra processing effort to understand it. In accordance with the essence of indirect translation, translators must explain the term a little bit.

E.g.2 圆明园位于北京西郊,包括彼此连接的三个皇家花园—圆明园,常春园和万春园。

译文:Yuanmingyuan, located in western suburbs of Beijing, consisted of three interconnected imperial gardens—Yuanmingyuan (Garden of Perfection and Brightness), Changchunyuan (Garden of Eternal Spring) and Wanchunyuan (Garden of Ten Thousand Spring Sceneries).

The Chinese names are often translated in the form of Pinyin first and some notes ought to be added in order to make foreign readers get the same feelings as Chinese readers because Pinyin makes no sense to those that are ignorant of Chinese words.

3. Deletion

Modern English features conciseness and brevity. Journalistic English, in particular, has the traits of small words and simple sentences. Words, attributives and other unnecessary parts can be left out. Flesch once published some statistics: an English sentence in Elizabeth Age usually consisted of 45 words, one in Victoria Age had an average of 29 words and today a sentence has 19 , 20 words in average.

(Chen Dingan, 1998) In view of the Chinese language whose characteristic is repetition of words and meanings, translation from Chinese to English should omit and delete some parts. The reason is simple: we have to use more English words than Chinese ones to express the same meaning, to solve this problem, English favors brevity in language much more than Chinese to communicate enough information in the given time. The following examples are the cases of the deletion of those repeated words and meanings in the translation from Chinese to English:

E.g.1 我们就是要有这个雄心壮志!(《邓小平文选第三卷》,1993)

译文:We must have this ambition. (Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping,1994)

“雄心”and “壮志”are of the same meaning. When they are put together, they become a four-word compound. The compounding is not only acceptable in the Chinese language but also of symmetric beauty. But it is of no need to translate it into aspiration and ambition for ambition is enough to carry the same meaning for foreign readers.

E.g. 2 (中国共产党第十五次全国代表大会) 是在世纪之交,承前启后,继往开来,保证全党继承邓小平同志遗忘,坚定不移地沿着十一届三中全会以来正确路线胜利前进的大会。(《十五大报告》,1997)

译文:Held at the turn of the century to break new ground for the future, it will ensure that the whole Party will carry out Comrade Deng Xiaoping’s behest and … (China Daily, March 23,1998)

“承前启后”and“继往开来”are close in meaning, so combining the two words and translating the core meaning is clearer and more concise. The translation focused on “启后” in “承前启后”and “开来” in “继往开来”, thus being translated as “break new ground for the future”.

Read Also: Strategies and Approaches for News Translation under Relevance Theory (Ⅲ)