Chinese To English Translation Of Tourist Materials Cultural Studies Essay

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Nowadays, tourism has become one of the most important industries all over the world. China is of no exception. Owing to its fast economic development and opening-up policy, China has become a paradise for tourists around the world. As the representative of private gardens in China, Suzhou Classical Gardens attract tens of thousands of tourists each year. They are not only famous for their beautiful scenic spots but also for their abundant cultural relics. Thus, either before or in the process of traveling in Suzhou Classical Gardens, tourists may need help from the C-E translated tourist materials. In this thesis, TMs are defined as all the materials which offer basic and sufficient information on tourist destinations with a goal of publicizing and promoting the tourism products. They may appear in various forms including guidebooks, brochures, pamphlets, picture albums, tour maps, websites, etc. It is OK to use abbreviations like C-E or TM - but the first time that they are used they should be spelled out - Chinese - English (C-E)… "Products" usually refer to material goods that can be purchased. We do not use etc. in any papers. Instead you can state something like "and other similar mediums."

The aim of the research Watch your margin

By analyzing the existing problems in C-E translation of tourist materials of Suzhou classical gardens and comparing them with English tourist materials under the guidance of pragmatic, skopos not a word and functional equivalence theories, the researcher tries to provide a way to balance two important factors in C-E translation of tourist materials in Suzhou classical gardens: culture connotations and making the translation understandable, readable and enjoyable for the TL readers. The research also aims to help translators improve translation competence by finding proposing some strategies and skills of translating TMs. A title or name of a place is always capitalized: Suzhou Classical Gardens

The significance of the research

The research field is relatively new, the research of this paper will to some degree serve as a stimulus and reference to more thorough research.

Suzhou classic garden is a the best specimen of private gardens in China, which holds an very important role in Chinese history and culture

It has a great reputation at home and broad, a gem of the world. According to who?

attracts more guests from home and abroad if the TMs are properly translated how do you know this happens? You are talking about the future perhaps?

the TMs' translations exist now have various problems which harms the publicity of Suzhou classical garden and need to be improved

Scope, data and methodology

Scope: the publicized tourist materials. They are divided into the proper name and introduction text of Suzhou classic gardens, 景点名和æ-…游材æ-™

Data: collected through published tour books, tour pamphlets, photo albums, related articles in newspaper and magazines. The focus is on Chinese tourist guidebooks, postcards, maps, tourism manuals or brochures introducing scenic spots or culture relics in China. In addition, some data are downloaded from the internet.

Methodology: contrastive, theoretical analysis and induction, for example, the contrastive analysis between TL readers and SL readers and the contrastive analysis between two translation versions.


1. General introduction of Suzhou classical gardens

Suzhou, known as the Venice of the East, is a Chinese city of historical and cultural renown. The classical gardens, elected as one of the ten best scenic spots on China, are a dazzling gem in the treasure-trove of the city's historical and cultural heritage. The Suzhou classical gardens enjoy a world wide reputation for its great number, highly polished artistry, long history, diverse forms, and exquisite workmanship of landscaping. It is said that "Chinese gardens are the mother of gardens on earth and Suzhou gardens are the brilliant representative of Chinese gardens".

Suzhou gardens first came into begin in the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476 BC), matured and reached its prime in the Tang (618-907 AD) and Song (960-1279) Dynasties, and were further refined in the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) Dynasties.

With a unique style in the art of landscaping, the Suzhou classical gardens represents the fine essence of the classical gardens in the southern Yangtze Delta, and a systematic art form in the field of expressionist landscape gardens, which integrates the art of gardening with literature. The aesthetic appeals of nature, architecture and art are so well combined that the gardens, inspired by nature, surpass nature, so that "man-made as they are, they appear like the work of nature." 邵忠 苏州古典园æž-艺术 中国æž-业出版社 åŒ-京 2001, p4

On Dec, 4th, 1997, the 21st session of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee was unanimous in support of the decision of inscribing on the World Heritage List the classical gardens of Suzhou with the Humble Administrator's Garden, the Lingering Garden, the Master-of-nets Garden and the Mountain Villa with Embracing Beauty as the finest specimens. In Nov, 2000, the Couple's Garden Retreat, the retreat & Reflection Garden were inscribed on the World Heritage List by UNECO, making a supplement to the Classical Gardens of Suzhou.

Wu Wentao, The classical Gardens of Suzhou, the world's heritage, Shanghai Sanlian Book Store, Shanghai, 2000, P6

2. Brief introduction of tourist materials

a. the definition of Tourist materials

Tourist materials concern different aspects of the tourism such as accommodation, restaurants, merchandizing, attractions, transport, entertainment, tourist activities, and the economic organization of tourism at micro and macro levels including market structure, role of public/private sector, community interests, strategic planning, marketing, finance, economic development. The broad sense of TMs includes a variety of materials related to tour, such as tour schedules, inscriptions or descriptions on signboards at scenic spots, videos, materials on internet, brochures, tourist picture albums, tourist maps, advertisements and so on. The narrow sense of tourist material is composed of brochures, tourist pictures albums and tourist maps. Tourist materials in this thesis refer to those tourist brochures and tour commentaries formally or informally published by the press, traveling agencies or relevant governments, which are aimed to provide information about Suzhou classical gardens.

The feature of Tourist materials

a). practical writing

b). have some literary characteristics

c). highly culture-bounded

d). Reader-oriented writing

The goal of Tourist materials is to promote natural landscapes and humanity resorts and persuade possible tourists to make a real visit, thus, they are not literary writing, but it has some literary characteristics, for example, it uses rhetorical devices to achieve a interpersonal function. Both natural landscapes and human resorts have rich cultural features and connotations. As a means of publicizing tourism, Tourist materials are the mirror which reflects those cultural features and connotations. As a reader-oriented writing, its language should be simple but persuasive, "it aims to make readers understand and learn knowledge about nature, geography, culture, customs, etc. (æ-¹æ¢¦ä¹‹ï¼Œ2004:274)"

The function of tourist materials

The main function of Tourist materials is to introduce tourism resources, with the average tourist as their readers. The ultimate purpose of tourism material is to spread local culture connotations of the scenic sports, broaden visitors' knowledge about the target scenic sports and arouse their interest of traveling or visiting the scenic spots.

the text type of Tourist materials

Tourist materials are informative, expressive and vocative texts, informative and vocative is the most important, informative is the premise, vocative is the goal. Some tourist materials focus on introducing the content of scenic spot, the history of the scenic spot, local customs, and specialties and so on, which states facts and cultural information. These materials are text oriented and have informative functions. Other tourist materials are full of rhetorical devices and the language is flowery and persuasive. They do not focus on providing information, in stead; they try to arouse the readers' interpersonal feelings. These materials are appeal-oriented and have vocative functions.

Literature review

1. Theoretical support:

This research is under the guidance of three theories: Nide's functional equivalence theory, Hans J Vermeer's Skopos theory and He ziran's pragmatic translation. As far as the researcher is concerned, these three theories have one thing in common, that is they all put the target readers as the priority. As analyzed above, tourist materials belong to pragmatic text and are reader-oriented; thus, these three theories well served the guidance function.

Nida's functional equivalence

Eugene A. Nida is a distinguished American translation theorist as well as a linguist. His translation theory has exerted a tremendous influence in the western translation circle as well as in the east. His most famous translation theory is Functional Equivalence, which defines translating as: "translating consists in producing in the receptor language the closest natural equivalent to the message of the source language, first in meaning and secondly in style" and "the relationship between receptor and message should be substantially the same as that which existed between the original receptors and the message". Then it is defined as "in terms of degree to which the receptors of the message in the receptor language respond to it in substantially the same manner as the receptors in the source language" (Nida & Taber, 1969:24)

According to FE, a rendering should be accord with the grammar rules of the target language, In E-C translation, that means translators must follow grammatical rules of English rather than impose Chinese grammar to English.

It emphasizes that the priority in the process of translation should be given to the target readers. They are not only the passive receptors during language communication but also participate. According to Nida, the rendering should be simple and readable because target readers are the core value of translation. Only when the readers understand the rendering, the functions of the text are fulfilled.