This is the final series of news translation…some more strategies…

1. Recreation

In the previous two parts, we have got some idea of how addition and deletion work in the indirect translation of news. In fact, there is another method that proves more common in the journalistic translation, that is, recreation or adaptation. In light of the pursuit of optimal relevance between two different cultures, news translation is edit-translation rather than full translation in many cases.

E.g.1 It seems to me that time is ripe for the Department of Employment and the Department of Education to get together with the universities and produce a revised educational system that will make a more economic use of the wealth of talent, application and industry currently being wasted on diplomas and degrees that no one wants to know about.

译文:在我看来,就业部门和教育部门同各所大学携手合作,改革教育制度,使之更加有效地利用学校丰富的人力资源,更加充分地发挥学生们的应用能力和发扬刻苦钻研精神,而不像现在这样把一切都花费在无人想知道其意义的文凭和学位上,这一切时机已经成熟。 (Li Ming, 2006)

The above English text is typical of linear structure with the main idea in the open sentence. If Chinese translation also follows this structure, the translation will be unnatural. The translator rearranged the sentence order and put the main idea in the conclusion, thus making the Chinese text balanced and readable to Chinese readers. It can boil down to the fact that translators should only focus on the syntactic and discourse feature in the target language instead of the source language.

Another example is as below:

E.g.2 近日,中国一位首席科学家在华东福建省福州市宣布,中国很快可实现成功克隆素有“地球活化石”之称的大熊猫。 (Wang Dawei, 2004)

译文:Cloning of the giant panda, known as a “living fossil (on Earth)”, may soon be achieved in China, a leading Chinese scientist announced recently in Fuzhou City, east China’s Fujian Province.

In the Chinese language, the usual order of the sentence is that somebody says something as can be seen in the source text. However, the important part comes in the beginning of the sentence in English. In English journalistic reporting, the main idea comes before the source of the news, so the translator rearranged the order by putting “a leading Chinese scientist announced recently in Fuzhou City, east China’s Fujian Province” at the end of the sentence.

Besides, English and Chinese are not only different in the sentence structures but also in many other aspects, for instance, the logical relations among sentences are not the same either. The following abstracts of news reporting can show how translators change the order of the source text in their translations:

2. Direct Translation

Direct quotations retain all the linguistic properties of the original. However, it is noted that direct translation is not simply the reproduction of the linguistic form of the original, otherwise, we just get a quotation of the original instead of a translation. Direct translation can be used in the situation that aims to achieve complete resemblance. Gutt points out that “direct translation picks up on the limiting case”. (Gutt, 2004:172) Therefore, direct translation is a special case in the news translation. Let’s see two examples.

E.g.1 现在不能削弱发达地区的活动,也不能鼓励吃“大锅饭”。(《邓小平文选第三卷》,1993)

译文:At present we don’t want to dampen the vitality of the developed areas or encourage the practice of having everyone “eat from the same big pot.”(Selected Works of Deng Xiaoping, 1994)

If “吃大锅饭”was translated as sharing everything, receiving equal pay or egalitarianism, the basic meaning was communicated but the original images were missing, so the translation was dull and unappealing. “eat from the same big pot” is better in this regard as it convey the intended meaning while retaining the original image.

E.g.2 The death of the Princess of Wales unleashed outpourings of newly-coined honorifics, for instance, “a present-day Cinderella whose clock struck midnight all too soon.”

译文:戴安娜王菲的逝世导致了大量新敬语的产生,比如“一个当代的灰姑娘故事,只是午夜钟声过早地敲响。” (Time, May 23, 1998)

Princess Diana was also born into an ordinary family, so she was a real-life Cinderella who also fell in love with the prince in Britain. In the fairytale, the midnight clock indicates the end of all the extravagance and happiness. In reality, Diana died at an early age just like the midnight clock stuck too soon. Since not only the foreigners but also the Chinese readers are familiar with the story of Cinderella, it is better to translate it directly so as to retain the original images.

Read Also: An Analysis of News Translation in the Framework of Relevance Theory