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A Study on Humorous Language Translation from the Perspective of Relevance Translation Theory

Author: LiuQing
Tutor: MaShiKui
School: Central University for Nationalities
Course: Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: Humorous language translation Relevance Translation Theory Baptism
CLC: H059
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 65
Quote: 0
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Humor is a symbol of human wisdom, and in literary works, it creates a comic ambience in which the truth of life is exposed. With the increasing cultural exchanges, Chinese literature including humorous literature is constantly translated into other languages. Although there are many similarities between Chinese humor and English humor, the huge cultural and linguistic differences bring many difficulties in reproducing the humorous effects.Gutt’s Relevance Translation Theory, based on Dan Sperber and Deirdre Wilson’s Relevance Theory, points out that translation is actually an ostensive-inferential communication, aiming to pursue the optimal relevance with which people can attain the utmost equivalent effects. Generally, the efficient translation of humorous language is decided by the equivalent effect which is closely related to the optimal relevance. Therefore, with the guidance of Gutt’s theory, the author gains a new understanding of humorous language translation.Yang Jiang’s novel Baptism is of high aesthetic value for its rich humorous language. This thesis will take the English version of this novel as an example to analyze the humorous language translation from the perspective of Gutt’s Relevance Translation Theory. It can be found that most humorous effects in Baptism can be reproduced and the optimal relevance in the humorous language can be retained with the methods of direct translation including literal transformation and annotation as well as indirect translation including analogy, adding and interpreting implication.

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