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Translating Chinese political discourse: A functional-cognitive approach to English translations of Chinese political speeches

Li, J 2013, Translating Chinese political discourse: A functional-cognitive approach to English translations of Chinese political speeches , PhD thesis, University of Salford.

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Abstract

This thesis presents a theoretical attempt to look into the process of political translation in China and the textual products from a functional-cognitive perspective by combining the CDA models of Fairclough and van Dijk. The functional linguistic parameters parallel to Fairclough’s functional forms of textual analysis serve as a micro-level device for the close examination of texts. At the macro-level, van Dijk’s direction of CDA from a socio-cognitive perspective accounts for the core relation between the power enactment and discourse production in a more profound manner. Meanwhile, anchored in the Chesterman’s model of translation norms, it sets out to argue that political translation in China is both an institutional operation and a reciprocal process of norm-reformation practice in specific context models. The theoretical propositions are instantiated by comprehensive text analysis from a functional perspective. The corpus of data is formed by five sets of Chinese political speeches and their English translations delivered by the state leaders in each of their periods of leadership. The focus is on presenting a holistic picture of the translation of Chinese political discourse through a spectrum of political genres. The thesis is concluded with the theoretical insights that the roles translation intends to play in mediating between the source and target communities manifest themselves as the power-mediated knowledge transfer between the source group and the target group depending on which group holds more discursive power in specific context models. Practically, it is observed that translation, as a form of political engagement in an era when China is governed under a more open and settled leadership, demonstrates a growing tendency to interact with the target readership and engages in the negotiation with the orthodox norms.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Contributors: Feng, D (Supervisor)
Themes: Memory, Text and Place
Schools: Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences > Centre for Translating and Interpreting
Schools > School of Humanities, Languages & Social Sciences
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: J Li
Date Deposited: 23 Aug 2013 13:49
Last Modified: 30 Nov 2015 23:35
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/29385

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