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Title: A sociological approach to the translation of Chinese martial arts fiction into Thai
Author: Jongjairuksa, Kulyanee
ISNI:       0000 0004 7234 0573
Awarding Body: SOAS University of London
Current Institution: SOAS, University of London
Date of Award: 2018
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Despite the fact that only a handful of Chinese martial arts novels have been translated into English, this genre of fiction has been extremely popular among Thai readers since 1957. Such novels occupy a space in the Thai literary field as a genre in its own right and continue to be popular at the present time. One aspect of this genre which makes it interesting to study is the unique hybrid style of the language that is used in the translations, and its pervasiveness in everyday Thai life. The martial arts language style is archaic with the hint of Chinese-ness, making it different from translations of other genres. Yet, despite the idiosyncratic nature of the language style, the genre has been well received in Thai society. The language style has also been adopted for use in other contexts, such as in political newspaper columns. Furthermore, it also has some influence on the language style of local literature written by Thai authors. In this study, I examine from a sociological perspective what lies behind the exceptional success of this translated literature in the target Thai society. Translation practice is looked at as a socially related activity and Bourdieu's sociology of cultural production serves as the key analytical device. The longstanding relations that pertain between China and Siam/Thailand, and the extensive immigration and assimilation of the Chinese into Siamese/Thai society that led to cultural hybridity between the two cultures, are the main factors that contribute to the acceptability of the language style and the success of such a culturally rich genre in a foreign country.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral