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					 攀枝花学院本科毕业论文




习语及习语的汉英翻译




学生姓名:   王   梓   谕
学生学号:   200310206075
   :
院(系)    外国语学院
年级专业:   2003 级本科 3 班
指导教师:   张       春




    二〇〇七年五月
On Idioms and Their Translation
  from Chinese into English

                 Wang Ziyu




           Under the Supervision of

                 Zhang Chun




   School of Foreign Languages and Cultures

            Panzhihua University




                  May 2007
攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                                                                                                Contents


                                                                          Contents

Abstract ......................................................................................................................................... I
Key words ..................................................................................................................................... I
摘 要 ........................................................................................................................................... II
关键词 ........................................................................................................................................... II
Introduction .................................................................................................................................. 1
Section One: Introduction to Idioms ............................................................................................ 2
     I. Definition of Idioms .......................................................................................................................... 2
     II. Origins of Idioms ............................................................................................................................. 3
           (1) The Experience of the Common People ................................................................ 3
           (2) Myths and Fables .................................................................................................. 4
           (3) Historical Events and Anecdotes ........................................................................... 5
           (4) Classical Literary Works ....................................................................................... 5
           (5) Social Customs and Habits .................................................................................... 6
     III. Features of Idioms .......................................................................................................................... 6
           (1) Fixed Structure ...................................................................................................... 6
           (2) Abundant Connotations ......................................................................................... 7
           (3) Distinct Cultural Feature ....................................................................................... 7
     IV. Classifications of Idioms ............................................................................................................... 8
Section Two: Idioms with Similar and Dissimilar Implications in Chinese and English ............ 9
     I. Idioms with Similar Implications ................................................................................................... 9
     II. Idioms with Dissimilar Implications ............................................................................................ 9
Section Three: Translation of Idioms with Similar and Dissimilar Implications from Chinese
           into English .................................................................................................................. 10
       I. Methods of English Translation of Chinese Idioms with Similar Implications in English
       ................................................................................................................................................................. 10
     II. Principles for English Translation of Chinese Idioms with Dissimilar Implications in
        English. ........................................................................................................................................... 12
         Principle 1: Translating Chinese Idioms into English in a Correct and Accurate Way 12
         Principle 2: Keeping Chinese Cultural Colors ............................................................. 13
         Principle 3: Making English Readers Understand the Meaning in Any Possible Way 13
Conclusion ................................................................................................................................. 15
Acknowledgements .................................................................................................................... 16
Bibliography .............................................................................................................................. 17
   攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                               Abstract




                                               Abstract


      Idioms are just like incomparably resplendent bight pearls emitting dazzling rays in the
palace of literature. Throughout the ages, they animate the works of countless men of literature and
writing. Idioms have fixed patterns and abundant connotations. Their vivid images explicitly
convey incisive meanings. Chinese idioms are part of the essence of Chinese culture with a history
of thousands of years. In this thesis, the English translation of Chinese idioms will be discussed on
the foundation of simply introducing the definitions, origins, features, and classifications of idioms,
and a series of principles and methods of idiom translation will be put forward, mainly involving
the translation of the Chinese idioms which have similar and dissimilar implications in English.



                                               Key words


      Chinese idioms; similarity;dissimilarity




                                                    I
 攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                              摘要


                     摘 要



  习语犹如文学殿堂里一颗璀璨无比的明珠放射着历久不衰的光芒, 古往今来,无数文人墨客的笔

下都闪耀着它的异彩。它结构固定而涵义深刻,用生动的形象明确地表达着深刻的思想。汉语习语是几

千年华夏文化的精髓之一。本文在简单介绍习语就的定义,来源,特点及分类的基础上,研究汉语习语

的英语翻译并提出一系列的汉语习语英译的翻译原则和翻译方法,其中主要涉及对似和非对似汉语习语

的英语翻译。




                     关键词


  汉语习语; 对似性; 非对似性




                       II
攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                         Introduction




                                   Introduction



   Language is the most important communicative tool of all human beings. It plays its role as
not only the carrier and form of culture but also the most vital element of transmission and
inheritance of culture. Language of any kind is the crystallization of the culture of its own
nation. As the cream of the culture, the idiom is a kind of widespread set phrases or sentences,
with specific implications, abstracted from the spoken language and experience of the people
and the classical works. Due to its vivid image and profound connotation, the idiom is deeply
loved by the masses, as a member with fine expressible ability in the family of language.
Idioms frequently appear in the spoken language and literary works. Chinese idioms have a
solid cultural base to take root, develop and flourish now that the Chinese nation has broad and
profound culture.
  Nowadays, the international status of China is upgrading gradually. People all over the world
take delight in acquainting themselves with Chinese culture. As the essence of Chinese culture
and the crystallization of the wisdom of the common Chinese people, idioms are bound to
become an important part to promote the Chinese culture to the knowledge of people of all the
other countries. The idiom is a contact point of the knowledge of the Chinese culture for people
all over the world. To sum up, in order to make the western peoples know Chinese culture
thoroughly, the study of the English translation of Chinese idioms is quite necessary and of
far-reaching significance.




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攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                                 Body




                                           Section One

                                    Introduction to Idioms


     Idioms are those set phrases or short sentences abstracted from the spoken language or
classical works, and the like. They were passed down from generation to generation for
centuries. Idioms are scientific summary of people’s experience and the crystallization of
people’s wisdom. After thousands of years’ accumulation, idioms are provided with vivid
images, profound implications and exquisite rhythms.
     Idioms could mirror the local customs and practices of different regions, the living style of
the people, the natural environment and so on. We could see that the idiom has a very strong
color of its nation. Therefore, to understand and study the idiom is supposed to start from its
definition, origin, features, and classifications.


I. Definition of Idioms
    As for the definition of idioms, there are various versions according to different dictionaries
and scholars. I picked out some of those definitions from some authoritative dictionaries as
follows:
   (1) An idiom is an expression which functions as a single unit and whose meaning cannot be
worded out from its separate parts (Longman Dictionary of Applied Linguistics, 1985) and (2)
An idiom is a phrase, construction or expression that is recognized as a unit in the usage of a
given language and either differs from the usual syntactic patterns or has a meaning that differs
from the literal meaning of its parts taken together. (Webster’s New World College Dictionary
3rd Edition, 1996)
   Some experts, who have been engaged in the study of idioms for many years, also have
opinions of the definition of idioms.
  (1) Weinreich held the view that a phraseological unit involving at least two polysemous
constituents, and in which there is a reciprocal contextual selection of subsenses will be called
and idiom.
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攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                                 Body


  (2) Schweigert and Moates have the idea that idioms are common expressions used in
colloquial speech with accepted, figurative meanings that differ from their present-day literal
meanings. These above are from dictionaries and experts or scholars. To sum up, we may come
to the conclusion that idioms are those concise and incisive set phrase or short sentences, which
mean something different from the literal meaning of the individual words, refined from
people’s long-term employment, whose elements cannot be changed at random with simple
words producing profound truth, thus widely spread among the common people.


II. Origins of Idioms
    The formation of idioms is on intimate terms with the culture of the nation which its
language relies on. In a sense, the culture gives birth to the idioms. On the contrary, the idioms
reflect all the features of the culture. Each nation has its own national culture which owns a
distinctive style and tradition that come into being in the course of their work and life,
including history, language, custom, life style, ways of thinking, and so on . Idioms, a kind of
language form used by the people for a very long time, to a great extent, rely more on the
specific social cultural connotations than the common words.
    Idioms, having an extremely strong color of a nation are one of the marks differentiating
one language from another.
   Thus, the origin of the idioms may be quite varied.
(1) The Experience of the Common People
     For thousands of years, people drew lessons and experience from their daily life, and then
wrote them down to tell their offspring what they had got from their experiences. As a result,
most of the idioms could invariably mirror almost everything related to the life of the common
people. Take those reflecting the geographic environment of people’s inhabitations as example,
Britain is a country with small land area but a long coast line; so many English idioms are
relevant to the ocean. People in Britain always compare fish to the people. For example, they
use ‘cold fish’ to describe a person who is indifferent to something and ‘feel like a fish out of
water’ to express a feeling that is uncomfortable and unnatural.
     People always wrote down the lessons they got from their experience, just as the idiom
‘who has never tasted bitter knows not what is sweet’ telling the people if you don’t undergo
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攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                                  Body


hardships, you will never know what happiness is.
     At the beginning of human society, owing to the low productivity and lack of further
knowledge of most common phenomena of the society at certain stage, people always held a
kind of belief in some imaginary things or power. People believed that there existed another
world in the heaven where the immortals lived and to which their ancestors would go after
death. They regarded it as a carefree place where happiness lives permanently. Thus, when they
were in trouble or suffered from hardships, they would rely their hope to good fortune on going
to the carefree place or afterlife which they firmly believed to exist. So many idioms are about
people’s religions or beliefs. For instance, there is an idiom ‘man proposes, god disposes’.
Because people in the western countries consider that God is almighty, and human beings are
paltry before God. ‘As poor as church mouse’ indicates that somebody is as poor as the mouse
in the church where everything had been washed clean.
(2) Myths and Fables
   In any nation, of any culture, there exist plenty of myths. At the first birth of the nation, its
culture began to come into prosperity as well. A large mass of myths were produced orally and
in the written form. Those myths were passed down to next generation for centuries and were
read by the people in each period of time. Hence those myths left a deep impression on
people’s mind. Nearly everyone in a nation has an intimate knowledge of those myths. From
generation to generation, lots of symbolic idioms stand out from those myths and are employed
to convey some special or specific and regular meanings. Take the idioms from the Greek-
Roman myths as examples, people constantly use ‘Achilles’ heel’ to indicate the crucial and
strategic point or fatal weakness (Achilles is the hero in the Trojan War), and apply ‘Pandora’s
box’ to signify the root of the disaster (Pandora, a beauty who brought the disasters down to the
world). Chinese myths also generate numerous idioms, such as, ‘Baxianguohai,
gexianshentong’ which originated from the myth about the eight immortals, it shows us the
denotation that Eight Immortals crossing the sea, each one showing his\her special prowess.
Therefore, people always apply this idiom to deliver the figurative meaning that several
outstanding persons try to outshine each other.
     Fables are a sort of literary form, in which the animals or things are often personified to
teach people a lesson or truth, with satiric and admonitory feature and is widely spread for its
                                                  4
攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                                 Body


short form, vivid image, appropriate comparison and profound message. For this reason, most
of the fables are condensed and sublimated into idioms to be frequently used in people’s
everyday life. The idioms coming from the fable lie in the following examples,
‘Zixiangmaodun’ from a Chinese fable, reveals its meaning that someone contradicts himself.
‘Aesop’s fables’, which are known well by the people not only in the western countries but also
in China, give birth to numerous idioms. Such as, ‘count one’s chicken before they are hatched’
meaning resting one’s hopes on the uncertain things. The idiom ‘look before you leap’ is
regularly applied to tell the people to give a matter the second thought or act with prudence.
(3) Historical Events and Anecdotes
     In any nation, any country, people once experienced periods of ups and downs. They not
only achieved brilliance but also suffered from miseries. In that way it maybe, those events,
great or not, indeed had branded the history deeply. They’re so innumerable that even the
historians can hardly record thoroughly. Most of those events left deep impression on people’s
mind and taught us many lessons, thus were often mentioned and later fixed in the form of
idioms. As we all know that Waterloo is the place where Napoleon was defeated by the allied
forces of Britain, Germany and Netherlands, etc, commanded by Duke of Willington.
Therefore, ‘meet one’s Waterloo’ is employed to represent a crushing defeat.
     In the Spring and Autumn Period (770-476) in Chinese ancient times, GouJian, the king of
the Yue kingdom, slept on brushwood and tasted gall after he was defeated by the Wu kingdom
so as to undergo self-imposed hardships to remind himself never to forget the humiliation
given by the king of the Wu kingdom and go all out to make his country strong. So we Chinese
people later make use of the Chinese idiom ‘Woxinchangdan’ to sing a kind of a spirit if
enduring tremendous hardships and humiliations to remind oneself to make a determined effort
to accomplish some ambitions.
     There are also many idioms originated from anecdotes. For instance, ‘eat crow’, formed in
the period of the war between Britain and America, was employed to give us the meaning that
somebody is forced to confess the mistake he has made.
(4) Classical Literary Works
     Literature is a kind of artistic form of language and also the constituent and carrier of the
culture of a nation. Most classical literary works written by great masters of literature in every
                                                5
攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                                 Body


country are invariably appreciated by people all over the world. Thus, the words and sentences
with profound meaning and enlightenment always form idioms, the essence of the languages.
Shakespeare, who is known as the greatest playwright in the world, is also a poet in the
Renaissance in Britain. His works are greatly enjoyed by people all over the world from his
time to the present. His works give birth to lots of idioms, Such as ‘one’s pound of flesh’
coming from The Merchant of Venice, which is used to describe a legal but unreasonable
requirement. The Chinese idiom ‘Yaquewusheng’ from the Chinese classical novel The Dream
of the Red Mansions is employed to express a perfect silence.
(5) Social Customs and Habits
     Each nation has its own social customs and habits which are created by people of its own
nation living together for a very long time. The formation of those customs and habits is
closely linked with the natural condition, social environment, life style, tradition, etiquette and
belief or even superstition. In Britain, where people like to wear hats, when they greet
somebody or extend their respects to others, they will take off their hats. Therefore, they
employ ‘take off one’s hat to somebody’ to express the meaning that a person pays one’s
respects to somebody. In China, people take the red color as their favorite color since ancient
times; for they think the red color symbolizes happiness, flourish, brightness and success. For
instance, people in China apply ‘Hongyungaozhao’ to indicate that someone has good fortune
on his side. On the contrary, people in the western countries always regard red as ill omen or
violence. Thus, when they describe an ill omen, they will use ‘red for danger’. So we could
come to the conclusion from this phenomenon that different nation has different customs,
habits and cultures.


III. Features of Idioms
     Idioms display its differentiation from other general expressions or structures in its own
distinctive features.
  (1) Fixed Structure
     A specific idiom is a set phrase or accepted phrase. So the main feature is that it has fixed
structure, which cannot be divided and split into small parts. For example, ‘make haste’ (hurry
up) cannot be separated as ‘make him haste’. Meanwhile, a complete idiom cannot be used
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攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                                 Body


separated in two different sentence or subordinate clauses. For instance, ‘read the riot act’ (give
a warning) cannot be used like ‘it was the riot act that John read to me’. The word in the idiom
cannot be changed at random, even though the replacement of the synonyms will make the
idiom lose its original meaning. Such as, ‘smell a rat’ (be suspicious of something) cannot be
changed into ‘smell a mouse’.
     Some of the structures of the idioms violate the normal grammatical rules, but we also
cannot shift them into correct grammatical forms for the reason that it has a fixed structure.
Give an example, ‘as sure as eggs is eggs’ (absolutely true).
     All in all, the idioms have fixed structure, words, voice, order, forms of number and part
of speech. All above mentioned cannot be altered. What we need to do is to employ the idioms
directly not to transform them into any other forms.
(2) Abundant Connotations
     Seidl and McMordie once said that meaning is the most important thing for the idiom.
The abundant connotations of the idioms mainly lie in its figurative meaning. The idiom’s rich
implications also depend on the fact that the words forming the idioms do not mean literally or
not the addition of the simple meaning produced by each word. We must understand them on
the whole or from their origins. For example, ‘rain cats and dogs’ means rain heavily.
     Many idioms have duality in meaning both literally and idiomatically. On most occasions,
the literal meaning and idiomatical meaning of the idioms are totally unrelated. So we can
simply judge its meaning by the context, which could help us a lot to figure out its connotation.
Moreover, through similes and metaphors, the idioms could express their meanings more
vividly and specifically.
     Even some of the idioms disobey the correct grammatical rules; it can also produce a
special and specific meaning. By contrast, the other common structures and forms cannot
achieve such a purpose.
(3) Distinct Cultural Feature
     Idioms are the gorgeous treasures glittering with the light of wisdom in the literary
treasure-house of their own nation either in Chinese or English. So the idiom is just as a mirror
reflecting the distinguishing feature of a nation or culture. Chinese and English nations are
entirely different ones with respective characteristics in history, geography, culture, customs,
                                                 7
攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                               Body


religion and the like. As a special language phenomenon, idiom has a strong color of its own
nation either in content or in form. For example, to describe the fact that some kind of newly
emerging things develop very rapidly, we Chinese people use ‘Yuhouchunsun’ (it means that
something springs up like bamboo shoots after a spring rain). However, in English, people will
say something springs up like mushrooms after raining.
     Most idioms have symmetrical pattern, exquisite syllables and harmonious rhythm.
Besides, penetrating implication, vivid images and succinct wording characterize the idioms
likewise. Those unique features of idioms should be retained as much as possible in translation.


IV. Classifications of Idioms
     The word ‘idiom’ in English has its semantic meaning in a narrow and broad scope. In a
limited sense, idioms just signify the set phrase or short sentences with fixed structure and
complete meaning employed by the people for a long time. They usually contain four words in
Chinese but uncertain number of words in English. However, in a broad sense, the idiom is
also defined in an almost same way, but it is composed of set phrases, idioms (in the narrow
sense), two-part allegorical sayings, allusions, proverbs, maxims, sayings, epigrams, slang
expressions colloquialisms, quotations and jargons.
     Those listed above are all revised and rewritten again and again, and then handed down
from generation to generation. Up to the present, they are widely applied and studied by all the
people.




                                               8
攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                             Body




                                         Section Two

    Idioms with Similar and Dissimilar Implications in Chinese and English


        Chinese and English are two languages with great discrepancies either in phonetics,
grammar, or in written forms. There exists a world between them, whereas people of the
Chinese and English nations have more or less the similar or even identical experience and
feeling owing to some unavoidable similar or equal experience in their production and daily
life.
        Those experiences and feelings that were written down and employed again and again and
then widely spread have finally shaped concise and comprehensive idioms, which have
astonishing similarities in implication and occasion in which these idioms are used, even
though the idioms are from entirely different languages. As a result, there emerge idioms with
both similar and dissimilar implications in Chinese and English.
I. Idioms with Similar Implications
        The so-called idioms with similar implications are those with similar meanings and
applied on nearly conformable occasions both in Chinese and English.
II. Idioms with Dissimilar Implications
        Idioms in Chinese and English with dissimilar implications refer to those having
completely different meanings and the occasions in which the idioms are used are not alike as
well.




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攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                               Body


                                       Section Three

                        Translation of Idioms with Similar and

                Dissimilar Implications from Chinese into English


     Just as what I said before, there exist so many idioms with similar and also dissimilar
implications both in Chinese and English. When we translate the Chinese idioms into English,
we could employ those idioms with similar implication in English directly for the reason that
the implications of some English idioms are nearly exactly the same as some Chinese idioms’
except for some differentiations posed by different cultural background. Then, the ways of
translation of idioms with similar and dissimilar implications from Chinese into English will be
discussed bellow.


Methods and Principles for English Translation of Chinese Idioms


I. Methods of English Translation of Chinese Idioms with Similar Implications in English
     Some Chinese idioms are so close to the English idioms both in literal meaning and in
connotation. So when we translate those idioms from Chinese into English, we’d better borrow
them directly so as to make the English readers easily understand, because as the language of
their own nation, they could comprehend the connotation and cultural background obviously
without any impediments. However, what we must pay attention to is that we could not apply
those idioms with very strong color of the western nations and culture when we translate the
Chinese idioms into English in order to avoid confusion of meaning and misunderstanding of
the writing purpose of the author. The idioms, with similar implications in English that we
could casually use are those neutral idioms without any colors of the western nations and signs
of the English cultural background. Otherwise, the rendering will be neither fish nor fowl.


Examples of Translation of Chinese Idioms with Similar Implications in English
     The Chinese idioms with similar implications in English could be translated in a relatively
easy way because we can make direct use of the English idioms having similar implications
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攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                               Body


with the Chinese idioms. The following are some of the similar idioms in Chinese (on the left)
and in English (on the right).
  (1) Aiwujiwu: love me, love my dog.
  (2) Yijianshuangdiao: to kill two birds with one stone
  (3) Huoshangjiaoyou: to add fuel to the fire
  (4) Luanqibazao: at sixes and sevens
  (5) Ruxiangsuisu: do in Rome as the Romans do
  (6) Zhizuchangle: content is happiness
  (7) Niaokan: a bird’s view
  (8) Shanyoushanbao: do well and have well
  (9) Zhulandashui: draw water with a sieve
  (10) Yiniaozaishoushengyuerniaozailin: a bird in hand is worth two in the bush
  (11) Yiqiuzhihe: birds of a feather
  (12) Renbukemaoxiang: don’t judge by appearance
  (13) Kongzhonglouge: a castle in the air
  (14) Shajiquluan: to kill the goose that lays the golden eggs
  (15) Loumajiao: to show the cloven hoof


Examples of Translation of Chinese Idioms with Dissimilar Implications in English
     In addition to those Chinese idioms that have similar idioms in English and we can
borrow directly to translate, there remains a great number of idioms which have no similar
idioms in English. Thus, we must employ other methods to translate.
     (1) Chushengniudubupahu: new-born calves make little of tigers
     (2) Chengmenshihuo, yangjichiyu: a fire on the city will brings disaster to the fish in the
moat.
     (3) Sanrenxing, biyouwoshi: if three of us are walking together, at least one of the other
two is good enough to be my teacher
     (4) Qingruhongmao: to be as light as a feather
     (5) Wangyangbulao, youweiwanye: it is not too late to mend the fold even after some of
the sheep have been lost
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攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                                 Body


     (6) Saiwengshima, yanzhifeifu: a loss may turn out to be a gain
     (7) Dayishijingzhou: to suffer a major setback due to carelessness
     (8) Jinguoyingxiong: a female hero
     (9)Cidiwuyinsanbailiang: a guilty person gives himself away by conspicuously protesting
he is innocence
     (10) Zhishangtanbing: to talk about stratagems on paper; empty talk, armchair strategy
     (11) Wanshijubei, zhiqiandongfeng: all is ready, but there is no east wind; all is ready
except what is crucial
     (12) Jingdizhiwa: a frog in a well     that sees the sky as small as the mouth of the well; a
person with a very limited outlook
     (13) Linyuanxianyu: just longing for fish by the waterside without doing any practical
thing; it is no use just having ambitions but no actions
     (14) Zuiwengzhiyibuzaijiu: the drinker’s heart is not in the cup; to have ulterior motives
     (15) Ganmianzhangchuihuo-----yiqiaobutong: one cannot flow into a fire with a rolling
pin; to be entirely dull or ignorant of apprehension


II. Principles for English Translation of Chinese Idioms with Dissimilar Implications in
English.
      Due to the discrepancies between Chinese and English cultures and the different life
 styles and customs between people in China and in English speaking countries, it is natural
 that we could not find similar idioms of one language in the other language. For the reason
 above, there occur several principles to be followed when the translation work of Chinese
 idioms into English is done.


Principle 1: Translating Chinese Idioms into English in a Correct and Accurate Way
      Translation means to change speech or writing form from one language into another. The
 most successful translation work could make the target language readers have a sense of
 reading the original by achieving faithfulness, expressiveness, and elegance (the three
 standards of translation) in the course of translation. Most Chinese idioms have no similar
 idioms in English; we have to translate those Chinese idioms by ourselves to English readers.
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攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                               Body


 The basic and main principle which the translators must obey is to render those idioms in a
 correct and accurate way. In this process, the translators must keep themselves away from
 false understanding of the original Chinese and ambiguous words which are employed. Only
 do we apply proper words which can render the accurate implications of those idioms, the
 English readers could have a better and comprehensive understanding of the essence of
 Chinese culture. That is the very goal that we all Chinese people are striving to achieve today
 when we energetically carry forward the splendid culture of the Chinese nation.


Principle 2: Keeping Chinese Cultural Colors
    At the time of translating the Chinese idioms into English, another important rule to be
 followed is to keep Chinese cultural colors. The formation of most Chinese idioms is bound
 up with plentiful historical events, names of the historical people, and some places where
 many great historical events or something special happened. Therefore, Chinese idioms could
 amply mirror the excellent cultural tradition of the Chinese nation from ancient times to the
 present. In order to make people outside China easily acquaint themselves with all the
 brilliant cultural achievements made by the great Chinese people through those idioms with
 strong color of Chinese national culture, the distinctive features of some Chinese culture must
 be properly kept rather than being abandoned in the process of translating. Only in this way
 could those idioms retain the cream of Chinese culture, thereby the English readers could
 have a thorough understanding of Chinese history, culture and customs, and then, all that
 could be widely transmitted all over the world and produce a far-reaching influence on the
 whole world. In the meantime, the splendid accomplishment of Chinese culture achieved by
 Chinese people could be passed down to the next generation.


Principle 3: Making English Readers Understand the Meaning in Any Possible Way
    Owing to the absence of the similar English idioms there appears a barrier to the English
readers’ understanding of Chinese works. Consequently, the task of the translators is becoming
heavier in a sense. They must make every attempt to bring the English readers an explicit and
plain image of what they have translated. The ways of Chinese idiom translation achieved in a
correct and accurate way and in which Chinese cultural colors are kept can be found as
                                              13
攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                                 Body


follows:


A. Literal Translation
     Literal translation is the first way of translation that should be adopted to achieve the very
goal of English translation of Chinese idioms which have no similar idioms in English on
condition that we don’t disobey the linguistic norms and habits, and don’t pose any improper
imagination which produces a bad effect on English readers’ understanding. This method will
bring about vividness and plainness, meanwhile, it will help to keep the original content and
pattern and also retain Chinese culture colors quite well.


B. Liberal Translation
     When we translate Chinese idioms into English, if it is impossible or unnecessary to use
transliteration to keep Chinese cultural characteristics or original expression, we could apply
liberal translation, ignoring the Chinese characteristics and original information, simply
rendering their connotation.


C. Literal Translation with Explanations
     As for those Chinese idioms which cannot be translated properly by means of the methods
of literal and liberal translation, then we could employ literal translation with appropriate
explanation to bring the English readers a clear image of its connotation. In this way, the
English readers could not only understand the implications that the idioms convey, but also
have a good knowledge of Chinese culture.




                                                14
攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                           Conclusion




                                           Conclusion


     As we all know that language is intimately connected with culture, and they cannot be
separated in any times. Chinese is a language with a long history and excellent tradition based
on Chinese culture. Thus, as the essence of Chinese language and culture, Chinese idioms are
comprehensively explained only to find out the cultural elements which the idioms contain. In
the course of studying the English translation of Chinese idioms, what we could attain is not
only the idioms both in Chinese and English themselves, but also more about the deep
understanding and analyses of both cultures that idioms represent. In other words, it benefits us
bilaterally. On the one hand, we get a better understanding of Chinese idioms and culture. On
the other, we understand English idioms and culture further. We could draw the conclusion that
English and Chinese cultures differ from each other obviously in the origin and development.
However, after studying and analyzing Chinese and English languages and cultures, we may
discover that both of them have such great similarities. All that lay a solid foundation for the
further study of Chinese and English cultures. Furthermore, the sedimentary accretion of
Chinese culture over thousands of years will run to the knowledge of the English readers by
means of the study of English translation of Chinese idioms.
     The analysis of the similarities between Chinese and English idioms, to some extent, is a
new-born subject. More endeavors are demanded to do a systematic and comprehensive job on
this topic, and if we do so, it is bound to have a brighter future.




                                                 15
攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                                    Acknowledgements




                                   Acknowledgements


    My idea for this thesis sprang from the enlightenment of my tutor, Mr. Zhang Chun—the
dean of the School of Foreign Languages and Cultures. He offered me bountiful academic and
constructive advice on composing this paper. Thus his invaluable encouragement and help are
worthy of my highest acknowledgements.

    And I also would like to take this opportunity to thank Ms. Li Li-qin, who is my thesis
course teacher and gave me some advice on how to write a paper. At the same time, my special
thanks should also be given to those teachers who had taught me and gave me much help these
four years, such as Mr. Deng Xingyi, Mr. Zhou Ronghui, and Ms. Huang Tianhong.
    At last, I will extend the most heartfelt thanks to all the leaders and teachers of the School
of Foreign Languages and Cultures, my friends and classmates, from whom I benefited
considerably.




                                               16
攀枝花学院本科毕业论文                                                             Bibliography




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