Translation of Onomatopoetic Words
One of the translation corners, translation of onomatopoetic words, involves with the cultural difference. Therefore, it becomes something that calls for our attention. Handling this problem requires some strategies.
Onomatopoetic words can vividly express the wriers’ feelings and emotions, which create so many beautiful articles since time immemorial.
Here is a list of those amazing words.
A horse neighs/whinnies/nickers.马嘶/马鸣/马萧萧。
A dog barks/yaps/yelps/bays/snarls/growls/howls.狗汪汪叫/犬吠。
A fly hums/buzzes/drones.苍蝇嗡嗡/哼哼叫。
A mosquito hums /buzzes/drones.蚊子哼哼/嗡嗡叫。
A pig grunts/squeals. 猪咕噜咕噜/哼哼叫。
A cow moos.母牛哞哞叫。
A pigeon coos.鸽子咕咕叫。
萧萧──(a horse) neighs, (the rain) patters, (the wind) whistles, (the
鸣──(birds) chirp, (frogs) creak, (a bugle) honks
1. When there are some onomatopoetic words in English, there are the correspondent words in Chinese transltion.
Whee-ee-ee! Whee-ee-ee! The police whistles shrilled suddenly.
All was quiet and still except for the distant tinkling of a piano.
I lay down, listening to the rippling beneath the boat.
The dishes and bowls slid together with a clatter.
2. When there are some onomatopoetic words in English, yet sometimes in Chinese translation there are not suitable words to fill in. The reason may be that the onomatopoetic words in Chinese would hinder readers’ understanding of the text. (消声)
A profound silence prevailed over all and the only thing she could hear was the tap of ivy on the pane.
On my way to school I can see the babbling water in the brook, hear the frogs creaking, cuckoos cuckooing, sparrows chirping in the woods.
Love pit-a-patted in their hearts.
The cop carried a stick, ready to thwack anybody who offended his ear or eye.
3. When there are not onomatopoetic words in English, but in order to convey the essential meaning of the text, we should add some sounds into the Chinese translation. (增声)
He crashed down on a protesting chair.
There were no sound but that of the tread of the men and the footsteps of the two shaggy ponies which drew the van.
Read Also: Translation Memory (TM) Server Guide
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