Going social ? : A sociological approach to Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang’s Translation of the True Story of Ah Q: 翻譯社會學? 由社會學視角來看英譯《阿Q正傳》

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


The present study aims to explore how the construction of the target language's social discourses influenced the translator's habitus in the production of translated modern Chinese literature, with special reference to Yang Xian Yi and Gladys Yang's English translation of Lu Xun's "The True Story of Ah Q". Previous studies of Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang's co-translated modern Chinese literature have focused on various issues. For example, Feng (2011) borrowed André Lefevere's theory on rewriting and ideology to study two versions of Cao Xueqin's Hung Lou Meng, one that was translated by Yang Xianyi and Gladys Yang, and the other that was translated by David Hawks. Li (2007) studied the Yangs' translation of "A Dream of Red Mansions" from a postcolonial perspective, while Wu (2007) examined the Yangs' translation of Lu Xun's "The True Story of Ah Q" through the lens of functional equivalence. Relatively few studies, however, have focused on how the political powers of the target society affect the translator's habitus. Therefore, this study pays particular attention both to investigating the role of the translation agency and also to examining the social discourses that influence the translator's habitus. At the microscopic level, the translators' habitus will be understood through textual analysis alongside investigations of the social discourse that constituted the two translators' habitus and whether the two translators, in turn, reconstructed the literary field in China. It is hoped that this paper will provide further insights into the role of the translation agency in the production process of translation and, more importantly, that the findings will help us to understand the formation of the translators' behaviors in translating literary works from a sociological perspective.

本研究試以楊憲益及戴乃迭夫婦所英譯魯迅之《阿 Q 正傳》為例,探討目的語之社會文化因素如何影響譯者的翻譯慣習。

過去研究楊憲益與戴乃迭英譯的現代中國文學作品多從不同視角出發,例如:馮宇玲 (2011) 借用勒弗維爾 (André Lefevere) 的改寫及意識型態理論來探討分別由楊氏夫婦與霍克斯翻譯的兩個《紅樓夢》英譯本、李小妹 (2003) 以後殖民角度探討楊氏夫婦所英譯的《紅樓夢》,而吳凌飛 (2007) 則以功能對等論來分析楊氏夫婦所英譯的《阿 Q 正傳》。但甚少有研究探討目的語社會中的政治力量是如何影響譯者的翻譯慣習。因此,本研究旨在探討翻譯過程中譯者的角色,並以整個社會結 構分析影響譯者翻譯慣習的社會因素。

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-140
Number of pages20
JournalSPECTRUM : NCUE Studies in Language, Literature, Translation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • 阿Q 正傳
  • 翻譯慣習
  • 現代中國文學翻譯
  • 文學場域
  • The True Story of Ah Q
  • translator’s habitus
  • translation of modern Chinese literature
  • literary field


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