With the rapid development of China’s economy, Chinese public signs play an important role in many aspects of people’s daily life. However, many problems exist in the translation of public signs in our country, which arouses more and more concerns in translation circles. This paper, by using the contrastive method and lots of examples, analyzes the errors and their causes of public signs in C-E translation and puts forward some suggestions. This research offers more detailed strategies for the translation of public signs to make the translation more standard. Therefore, it can not only give an accurate delivery of the information but also improve the level of spiritual culture and the whole image of China, which is of great significance in sense of both culture and practice.
Key words: public signs; C-E translation; errors; translation strategies
The Analysis on the Errors in C-E Translation of Public Signs
摘 要 i
I. Introduction 1
II. An Overview of Public Signs 2
2.1 Definition of Public Signs 2
2.2 Features of Public Signs 2
III. Error Analysis in the Translation of Public Signs 3
3.1 Types of Errors 3
3.1.1 Linguistic Errors in the Translation of Public Signs 3
3.1.2 Pragmatic Errors in the Translation of Public Signs 6
3.1.3 Cultural Errors in the Translation of Public Signs 8
3.2 Causes of the Errors 10
3.2.1 Errors Caused by Culture 10
3.2.2 Errors Caused by Carelessness 10
IV. Strategies in the Translation of Public Signs 11
4.1 Solutions to Linguistic Errors 11
4.2 Solutions to Pragmatic Errors 11
4.3 Solutions to Cultural Difference 15
V. Conclusion 16
A public sign is a special kind of writing style, which is intended to offer the public exact and helpful information. Public signs are set up to give people information, instructions, and warnings on the material of paper, wood, or metal with words or pictures. With the rapid development of the economy, the communication and exchange between China and the outside world are increasing rapidly. The public signs both in Chinese and English are more and more popular in China. However, there are many problems in the translation of public signs in our country, such as mistranslation, non-standard translation. It can not only affect the delivery of the information, but also damage our spiritual culture and the whole national image. Therefore, the study of the translation of public signs has become the focus of many experts and scholars.
In 1959, two scholars, Vinay and Darbelnet began the research on public signs in their book Comparative Stylistic of French and English. Since the 1980s, some scholars in China have already conducted researches in C-E translation of public signs. Many articles concerning C-E translation have been published in academic magazines such as Chinese Translators Journal, Chinese Journal on Translation of Science and Technology, Shanghai Translation, Foreign Language and Teaching of Foreign Languages, Journal of Xi’ an Foreign Languages College. Since 2004, increasing number of articles on the translation of public signs has also been published, particularly in the leading journals in the field of translation like Chinese Translators Journal and Shanghai Translation on Science and Technology. After entering the 21st century, the translation of public signs has become the hot topic in translation circle.