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Title: Translating 'others' as 'us' in Huckleberry Finn : dialect, register and the heterogeneity of standard language
Authors: Yu, J
Keywords: Dialect translation
Huckleberry Finn
Literary dialect
Standard language
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Source: Language and Literature, 2017, v. 26, no. 1, p. 54-65 How to cite?
Journal: Language and Literature 
Abstract: Studies on the translation of literary dialects have devoted much attention to linguistic features used in the recreation of source text dialects. Only limited discussions can be found on what strategies have been used in the translation of the source text (ST) standard language that the ST dialect is contrasted with. This is because studies on dialect translation have often rested on two assumptions: that standard language in the ST is always translated into a standard neutral target variety and that the use of standard language invariably leads to the erasure of literary effect in the target text (TT). Both assumptions are related to the misconception that standard language is a single neutral register. This article challenges these assumptions by proposing that translating dialect requires translating both sides of the dialect variation, that is to say, translating both the dialect itself and the standard language against which it is set in relief. Drawing particular attention to the translation of the standard side of the variation, this article sets out to achieve two purposes: (1) to explain how register varieties from standard language can function as sociolects in dialect translation, and (2) to build a dynamic model that incorporates both sides of the linguistic variation into the translation process. The following case study on the canonized Chinese translation of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Zhang Yousong and Zhang Zhenxian shows how social hierarchies and power structures in Twain's work have been reversed in the translation so as to construct social 'others' as 'us' and a socially elevated version of 'us' - a 'better us'.
ISSN: 0963-9470
EISSN: 1461-7293
DOI: 10.1177/0963947016674131
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