Chinese-English translation of public signs for tourism

Ko, Leong (2010) Chinese-English translation of public signs for tourism. Journal of Specialised Translation, 13 111-123.

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Author Ko, Leong
Title Chinese-English translation of public signs for tourism
Journal name Journal of Specialised Translation   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1740-357X
Publication date 2010
Sub-type Article (original research)
Open Access Status File (Publisher version)
Volume 13
Start page 111
End page 123
Total pages 13
Place of publication London
Publisher Journal of Specialised Translation
Collection year 2011
Language eng
Subject C1
970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
200323 Translation and Interpretation Studies
Abstract Bilingual public signs are extensively used in Chinese-speaking regions such as Mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. This article concentrates on issues relating to Chinese public signs at tourist attractions and their translation into English. Based on examples collected from these three regions, it finds that Chinese public signs in tourist areas constitute a special genre and tend to use a descriptive and/or figurative language style to convey a simple message, which creates challenges for translation. The data analysis indicates that three translation strategies are employed in translating public signs—i.e. literal translation, semi-literal and semi-adaptive translation, and free adaptation—and that literal translation is the most common strategy. It is found that all three strategies have limitations in conveying the message meaningfully and naturally. The article concludes that the unique nature of public signs in tourist areas suggests a need for further investigation of the language styles used in such signs in both languages and the most appropriate strategies for their translation.
Keyword Public sign
Bilingual sign
Public sign translation
Literal translation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2011 Collection
School of Languages and Cultures Publications
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Created: Wed, 14 Jul 2010, 14:51:57 EST by Jo Grimmond on behalf of School of Languages and Cultures