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A Systemic Functional Study of Ode to the West Wind and Its Chinese Translations

Author: HuXiaoYing
Tutor: DuanManFu
School: Inner Mongolia University
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: poetry translation Ode to the West Wind Chinese translations Metafunctions SFL
CLC: H315.9
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2012
Downloads: 230
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Translation is a cross-language and cross-culture communication activity, which can be regarded as one of the most important ways to promote human communication and to accelerate the development of society. With the process of globalization, the significance of translation becomes more apparent in various fields, so the quality of translation has aroused wide concern. Recently, numerous translators and scholars have devoted to the inter-disciplinary study of translation so as to establish a systematic theory and to provide a more objective framework for translation studies.Translation is an activity which relates to linguistics. For this reason that many linguists dedicate themselves to the studies of translation from linguistic perspectives. Halliday’s Systemic Functional Linguistics (henceforth SFL) is a general linguistic theory, and major aim of the theory is text analysis (Halliday,1994/2000). SFL provides us with a reasonable and applicable theory for text analysis, and it acquaints people with the features, function and rules of language use. Recently, a great many translators have applied SFL to text analysis and translators have devoted themselves to poetry translation as well. The previous research results have shown the applicability and operability of SFL in translation studies. However, present researches of applying SFL to poetry analysis and translation are limited to Chinese-English translation of ancient poems, which has gained great achievements in China. There are rarely any researches analyzing English-Chinese translation of poetry from the three Metafuntional perspectives.Guided by Halliday’s Metafuctions, therefore, this dissertation attempts to make a comparative analysis of a well-known poem written by Shelly, Ode to the West Wind and its two Chinese translations, from the perspectives of the three Metafunctions. Through a careful comparative and contrastive analysis on the similarities and differences between the source text and target text from the perspectives of Ideational Metafucntion, Interpersonal Metafunction and Textual Metafunction, the research result shows that the translated texts can express the original texts more accurately and faithfully if the translated ones get more closer to the original in the aspects of the three Metafunctions. The purposes of this dissertation are to exemplify how a literary text, especially poetry, can be interpreted systematically with the assistance of linguistic theories, and to testify the applicability of the three Metafunctions to poetry translation, both in English and Chinese.

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