The translator's style in the treatment of onomatopoeia from Chinese to Spanish: The case of the novel To Live!

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Abstract

© Fédération des Traducteurs (fit) Revue Babel. Onomatopoeia are words with peculiar phonological features and expressive capacity which distinguish them from other types of words. These traits together with other elements related to their use in each language often pose a challenge for translators of specific language combinations. This article analyses how Chinese onomatopoeia are translated into Spanish, and it is based on a case study of the Spanish version of the Chinese novel Huozhe (To live). This piece of creative writing has been chosen because the original text contains many onomatopoeia and because the target text can be regarded as a fine example from a translation point of view. The article begins with a brief overview of the main features of these words and their role in literary texts, as well as the general results of the analysis of a corpus of seven contemporary Chinese novels and their translations into Spanish. Subsequently, the study explores the translation of onomatopoeia in the selected work of fiction in order to identify the mechanisms and translation techniques the translator has adopted and the results in the Spanish target text.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)445-463
JournalBabel
Volume60
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

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