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Manipulation of Ideology in the Translation of Political Documents

Author: JiangFengMei
Tutor: DaiYuQun
School: Jiangsu University of Science and Technology
Course: Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords: ideology power and discourse political documents manipulation
CLC: H059
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2011
Downloads: 75
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Translation studies have experienced the shift from the philological paradigm to structural linguistic paradigm. Both paradigms are source text-oriented, mainly focusing on translation criteria or text comparison between the source language and the target language. In the 1980s, translation studies witnessed the coming of“cultural turn”, which went beyond linguistic confinements and attached by far more importance to social and cultural factors. Translation scholars began to put translation studies in the context of social-culture. Against the background of“cultural turn”, ideology and power, as new areas of translation studies, are drawing increasingly academic attention in the circle of translation studies. The academic finding has been made that no translation goes on in the vacuum. Translation is by no means a neutral linguistic activity from which power and ideology can be isolated.The ideological approach widens the horizon of translation scholars and provides a new angle for translation studies. However, up to now, the researches on the influence of ideology have mainly been confined to literary translation. Political documents, which are saturated with the dominant ideology and power of certain periods, serve as the discourses of either the party in power or the ruling class and therefore the translation of them is inevitably manipulated by ideology and power of certain historical periods. Based on the case studies of the Chinese political documents into English, with reference to Foucault’s power-discourse theory and Lefevere’s rewriting theory, this thesis attempts to explore how the translation of political documents is manipulated by power and ideology.This thesis analyzes the distinctive stylistic features of political documents and carries out researches on the manipulation of ideology in translating political documents. To be specific, ideology manipulates the purpose, principles and strategies of political document translation. In addition, this thesis also discusses the application of domestication and foreignization in political document translation. Moreover, the present author raises the issue of over-foreignization and ventures to offer some feasible solutions.This thesis consists of six chapters, including introduction and conclusion. The first chapter presents the theoretical background and significance of this study. The second chapter expounds Foucault’s power-discourse theory and Lefvere’s rewriting theory. In light of their theories, translation is essentially a process of rewriting manipulated by power and ideology. That especially holds true for political translation. The third chapter deals with the influence of ideology on the translation of Chinese political documents into English. The fourth chapter analyzes the application of the domestication and foreignization strategies in the translation of political documents. In fact, domestication and foreignization are more than two translation strategies, which are essentially so profound as to be associated with such issues of ideology and intercultural communication. In the fifth chapter, the present author brings about the issue of over-foreignization in translating political documents and follows up by pointing out accommodations to this issue. The last chapter comes to the conclusion that, of translation and ideology, the former is manipulated by the latter while the latter serves the former. In order to achieve the purpose of political document translation, the translator should predominantly resort to foreignization so as to implement the ideology of the source language. However, to some extent, it may also happen that he ought to accommodate the target language reader by adopting domestication, which means a loss in a way yet brings the improved acceptability of the version, ultimately resulting in the actualization of the textual function of the source language.

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