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Title: Different times, different translations : translation of notices in Hong Kong
Authors: Kong, JWP
Keywords: English-Chinese translation
Hong Kong Government
Language policy
Issue Date: 2013
Publisher: John Benjamins
Source: Babel, 2013, v. 59, no. 1, p. 25-40 How to cite?
Journal: Babel 
Abstract: The varying sociohistorical contexts of Hong Kong which was ceded as a colony to the British in the mid-nineteenth century and returned to the Chinese in the late twentieth century have shaped different language policies, which in turn have ascribed a growing importance to the use of Chinese in society and established various normative requirements for its use accordingly. This article endeavors to show how sociohistorical factors have governed the use of Chinese in the translation of two kinds of notices, one published in The Hong Kong Government Gazette, which is aimed at giving publicity to the orders issued by the government, and the other posted in public places. Drawing on bilingual samples of these notices, it will examine how English notices conveying a similar message but written in different periods of the history of Hong Kong have been translated into Chinese and whether the translations are acceptable to the receivers of the target texts. Regarding the translation of notices from the government gazette, it will, firstly, investigate how an English notice can be modified stylistically, syntactically and lexically since the Chinese translation incorporates some conventionalized textual features of the classical language, and secondly, discuss how the classical language as the medium of translation has gradually given way to the vernacular. As for the translation of notices posted in public, it will scrutinize Chinese texts which exhibit the interfering effect of the linguistic habit of the English, meanwhile presenting some examples showing how Chinese poetic devices are employed to evoke a sense of familiarity. It will affirm by way of conclusion that there are diverse views on the way to do translation under altered sociohistorical conditions.
ISSN: 0521-9744
EISSN: 1569-9668
DOI: 10.1075/babel.59.1.02kong
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