Translating onomatopoeia from Chinese into Spanish: a corpus-based analysis

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Abstract

This article analyses how Chinese onomatopoeias have been translated into Spanish. It is based on a corpus of seven contemporary Chinese novels and their respective Spanish translations. It begins with a brief overview of the features which distinguish onomatopoeias from other types of words and how the corpus was prepared. This is followed by an analysis of how the translators of the selected novels deal with onomatopoeias seen in the light of Toury's (2004) adequacy-acceptability conceptual framework and the classification of translation techniques proposed by Molina (2006).This study concludes that, although suppressing onomatopoeias or substituting them for another type of word are common practices, these are not the only possible techniques to transfer these text units. There are other choices that allow for the maintenance of their expressive capacity in the target text (TT), without violating the TT literary system and culture and that depend on the role of the translator in the translation. © 2013 Taylor & Francis.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39-55
JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translatology
Volume22
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2014

Keywords

  • Chinese-Spanish translation
  • acceptability-adequacy
  • corpus-based translation
  • onomatopoeia

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