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Title: Translators as gatekeepers :gender/race issues in three Taiwan translations of The color purple
Authors: Lee, Tzu-yi Elaine
Issue Date: 2010
Publisher: Newcastle University
Abstract: Translation is regarded as a constrained activity (Boase-Beier & Holman, 1999: 7). During the process of translation, there are inevitably factors that influence the translator. However, the factors influencing Taiwanese translators have rarely been investigated in translation studies. This is especially so of the time in the late 1980s when society, culture, and politics were in rapid transition. This study sets out to investigate potentially influential factors operating on Taiwanese translators during the translation process by considering three translations focusing on gender and race issues in the novel The Color Purple. Three versions were translated into Chinese in the same year, 1986. Such a rare occurrence gives us the opportunity to examine how these potentially influential factors, particularly the ones from the wider social context, affected each translation, and to draw wider implications for how translators tackled issues of gender and race in a socially sensitive context. The study adopts and modifies Chesterman's causal model (1992) as the theoretical framework; the study also uses Leuven-Zwart's transeme model (1989) and the concept of critical discourse analysis to investigate semantic shifts and ideological concerns in the gender and race issues in the three Taiwanese versions. Interviews are used to provide additional data. Our findings suggest that each translator, while tackling ideologies of anti-sexism and anti-racism in the original text, was influenced by individual factors, leading to divergent re-presentations. Nonetheless, rather than simply being influenced and conditioned, these variables to some extent empowered the translators to push the boundary of the prevailing attitudes in their translations. The translators' decisions on linguistic items, therefore, became their distinctive, personal responses to the target society, the translation field and the original.
Description: PhD Thesis
Appears in Collections:School of Modern Languages

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