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Title: The translation of figures of speech in Cao Xueqin's 'Dream of the Red Chamber' : a comparative study
Author: Zhang, Shuyin
ISNI:       0000 0004 7229 2751
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2018
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The novel Hongloumeng (Dream of the Red Chamber), one of the four great Chinese classic novels, can be seen as an encyclopaedia of 18th-century China that abounds in cultural information. Its use of different figures of speech such as metaphors, proverbs, similes and puns is a major source of cultural information. There are two complete published English translations of the novel - A Dream of the Red Mansions (Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang) and The Story of the Stone (David Hawkes and John Minford), both of which have become well known since they appeared in the late 1970s. The thesis investigates the procedures that the translators use for translating the different figures of speech that occur in both the prose and poetry of the novel. It is one of the first studies of Dream of the Red Chamber in English translation that focuses on the two translations within the context of a study of metaphor and other figures of speech in English translation. It also offers a harmonisation of Western and Chinese writing on figures of speech and represents one of the very few works to discuss a range of figures of speech (such as simile, metonymy, hyperbole, reduplication and proverb) besides metaphor in translation. The rhetorical devices used in the translations are being studied and analysed to gain an understanding of the translation procedures used. In this context the research seeks to answer the following questions: How do the translators render figures of speech in prose and in poetry? How do the translators deal with figures that contain cultural information? What do the translators do when there is no English counterpart for a well-known Chinese figure? The conclusion includes topics such as the translators’ preferences for procedures to translate different figures of speech, both individually and in general.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available