Translating and Rewriting Chinese Proverbs: A Case Study of Howard Goldblatt’s English Translation of Mo Yan’s “Shengsi Pilao”

  •  Jinyue Wang    


Howard Goldblatt’s translation of Mo Yan’s novels remains controversial because he has made various changes in his translation. As a result, a lot of original messages in Mo Yan’s novels were not completely conveyed. In this paper, this author compared and analyzed several examples of Chinese proverbs selected from Mo Yan’s novel “Shengsi Pilao” and their translation in “Life and Death Are Wearing Me Out” translated by Howard Goldblatt, in an attempt to investigate how Goldblatt coped with linguistic and cultural challenges in the examples. Findings indicate that based on rewriting, Goldblatt has basically used six translation methods to translate Mo Yan’s Chinese proverbs in the novel into English and his transcreation which was previously neglected can be uncovered in his translation of the proverbs. This study can help other translators reflect on how to translate proverbs in other Chinese literary works into English and provide valuable references to researchers who intend to conduct research into this area.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
  • ISSN(Print): 1925-4768
  • ISSN(Online): 1925-4776
  • Started: 2011
  • Frequency: quarterly

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