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Limitations of Nida's "Reader's Equivalent Response" by Analyzing Two Chinese Versions of Gone with the Wind

Author: HuYanChao
Tutor: HuChunYu
School: Changchun University of Science and Technology
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: reader’s epuivalent response cultural differences hybridity limitations Gonewith the wind
CLC: H315.9
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2013
Downloads: 1
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The famous American translation theorist Eugene Nida’s translation theory has influenced Chinese translation circles profoundly and extensively. His translation thought and important works have poured a stream of fresh blood into the field of our translation and formed, say, Nida’s situation. Nida points out that the highest standard to measure the translation is to see whether the reader’s understanding with the source language is equivalent to that of the target language in their reading process, i.e."Reader’s Equivalent Response" theory. It must be admitted that as far as the transformation in different language structures are concerned, Nida’s functional equivalence principle is beyond doubt. That "Reader’s Equivalent Response" is so widely accepted by the Chinese translation circles is because the theory features the language version as content first, regardless of the language itself, and as reader’s response first, irrespective of the language difference. Language, after all, is the outcome of a certain culture and translation is not merely the activity in a language. Essentially, translation is intercultural communication. Language is the carrier of culture, and culture is deeply rooted into language and translation is the best link to achieve communication between language and culture. From the angle of culture and hybridity to rethink Nida’s "Reader’s Equivalent Response" theory whether it can be used as the top standard in language translation to assess a text is worthwhile exploring.Based on the cultural translation theory and hybrid theory and with the help of results of previous researchers, the author has chosen two Chinese versions of the novel "Gone with the Wind" as research materials to analyze Nida’s "Reader’s Equivalent Response" theory and try to point out the limitation of Nida’s theory. The author analyzes the limitations of "Reader’s Equivalent Response" respectively from the following three aspects:First of all, from the perspective of cultural differences. The objectivity of cultural difference shows that come from different cultural readers could not to reflect the same response for different culture texts; second, from the perspective of reader’s response. Nida’s theory gives readers an unprecedented attention, but this does not mean that the reader lost the ability to accept new things, and reader’s different levels influence the readers’different reaction; the author holds that it is difficult to grasp original reader’s feeling and reaction; third, from the perspective of translation strategy. The author points out the hybrid strategy in accordance with the time and cultural exchange; it is an organic element reflects the combination of domestication and foreignization. In the cultural globalization context, this discussion will help scholars in the translation practice to take corresponding method to deal with cultural differences with much clearer understanding on Nida’s theory.

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