A Sociocultural Analysis of Chinese Retranslations of English Novels
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The book attempts to make a sociocultural analysis of Chinese (re)translations of classic English novels in mainland China in the past six decades (1949-2009) through a case study of Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens. The findings show that the retranslations done in the 1990s are not necessarily closer to the original than are the translations and retranslations done in the 1950s; a canonical translation does not necessarily stop the retranslation cycle, since it can be overriden by the commercial criteria of publishers; in addition, choice of translation strategies may be associated with translators' own preferences or idiosyncrasies, not necessarily with the universally acknowledged norms of the times; further, the 1990s translations do not improve considerably in translation quality; and finally in this case, more retranslations tend to appear when the target culture becomes more prosperous.
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