Translation Approaches in Rendering Names of Tourist Sites

Siowai LO

Abstract


This article identifies the translation approaches adopted in the translation of names of tourist sites in China and examines how ‘fame’ and ‘popularity’ may influence these approaches. Upon analyzing a corpus of scenic site names, it is found that ‘pure phonetic’, ‘phonetic (name) + semantic (class)’, ‘pure semantic’, and ‘phonetic (location) + semantic (name) are the four major patterns in the translations of site names. On the whole, the data shows that phonetic translation is dominant over semantic translation. Meanwhile, ‘fame’ and ‘popularity’ have great impact on the translated names of scenic sites. The findings also suggest that a phonetic translation approach is preferred in rendering names of world-famous sites whereas a semantic translation approach is more frequently used for the name translation of sites located in places with higher popularity. The conflicting results reflect China’s struggle between preserving its cultural flavor for the sake of national identity and catering to foreign visitors for the benefit of the country’s tourism development.

Keywords


Attraction Names, Phonetic Translation, Semantic Translation, Foreignization, Domestication

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7575/aiac.ijclts.v.9n.1p.31

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