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The translation of images in Tang poetry in view of relevance translation theory: A case study of the pipa image in three English versions of Three Hundred Tang Poems

Jinbao Cai, Yuexin Zheng, Jiacheng Xu

Article ID: 2050
Vol 6, Issue 1, 2024, Article identifier:

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Tang poetry is rich in images, and the pipa portrayed in Tang poetry mainly symbolizes compassion and melancholy, indifference and openness, and joy and resentment. With the approaches of case study and comparative analysis, the study built a framework of the relevance translation theory to compare the pipa images in three English versions of Three Hundred Tang Poems: The Jade Mountain: A Chinese Anthology (jointly translated by Witter Bynner and Kiang Kanghu), 300 Tang Poems: A New Translation (compiled by Xu Yuanchong, Lu Peixian and Wu Juntao) and English Translation of 320 Tang Poems (translated by Betty Tseng). Then, the contextual effects of pipa images in the three English versions are analyzed with the difference of the translators. The findings are conducive to enlightening translators’ mindset of creating optimal context relevance for target readers and maintaining sustainable development of traditional Chinese culture.


relevance translation theory; optimal relevance; Three Hundred Tang Poems; pipa image; translators’ mindset

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