Nominalization and Domestication: Reconsidering the Titles of the English Translations of Pu Songling’s Liaozhai zhiyi = 名词化与归化:蒲松龄《聊斋志异》英译本之标题新探


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


Since the publication of Herbert Giles’s first English translation of Pu Songling’s Liaozhai zhiyi entitled Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio in 1880, there have been at least eleven book-length English translations in the space of 140 years. Whilst there is obvious diversity in their translation strategy—some versions display more signs of domestication than others; their English titles are found to be invariably domesticated irrespective of
the translation strategy therein—they are generally in line with the English tradition. It will be argued that, with the title being the first point of contact between the book and the reader, a domesticated book title has a role to play in securing the acceptability of the translation product on the English-speaking market. There will be four parts to the main body of this paper. The first is a descriptive report of the titles of Liaozhai zhiyi in the English versions, which is followed by a close reading of these titles in the next part, casting light on the nominalization of the Chinese title in the process of translation. The third part is an analysis of nominalization as domestication with reference to the yawning chasm between Chinese and Graeco-Roman world views. Attempts will be made in the last part to explain, with the aid of the Polysystem Theory, the preference for domestication in the titles of the English editions of Liaozhai zhiyi.

1880年,蒲松龄《聊斋志异》的首部英译本出版,即翟理斯(Herbert Giles)的Strange Stories from a Chinese Studio。140年以来,至少有11部英译本问世。各译本的翻译大异其趣,或归化,或异化,而归化异化的程度不一。然而,各译本的英文标题总是归化的,与英语的标题订定传统暗合。大家看书大抵先看书名,因此,归化书名可以吸引英语读者,确保译品为英语读者所接受。本文主体分为四部分:第一部分先胪列《聊斋志异》各英译本的标题及详细出版资料;第二部分便仔细分析这些标题,揭示了翻译过程中英文标题的名词化倾向;第三部分根据中国与古希腊罗马世界观之间的显著差异,分析了名词化之为归化的现象;最后一部分则运用多元系统理论,尝试解释《聊斋志异》英译本标题中的归化倾向。
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)70-84
JournalTranslation Horizons
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020


  • title
  • domesticating
  • nominalization
  • Graeco-Roman culture
  • world view
  • 标题
  • 归化
  • 名词化
  • 古希腊罗马文化
  • 世界观


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