Translation for performance: Oscar Wilde in China

Wang, Linyuan (2015). Translation for performance: Oscar Wilde in China. In Leong Ko and Ping Chen (Ed.), Translation and cross-cultural communication studies in the Asia Pacific (pp. 73-88) Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill - Rodopi. doi:10.1163/9789004299245_006

Author Wang, Linyuan
Title of chapter Translation for performance: Oscar Wilde in China
Title of book Translation and cross-cultural communication studies in the Asia Pacific
Place of Publication Leiden, The Netherlands
Publisher Brill - Rodopi
Publication Year 2015
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
DOI 10.1163/9789004299245_006
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Year available 2015
ISBN 9789004299238
Editor Leong Ko
Ping Chen
Volume number 42
Chapter number 5
Start page 73
End page 88
Total pages 16
Total chapters 28
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Abstract/Summary In theatre translation, 'performability' of the translated text in the host culture is an issue of great significance. This paper studies the staging of Oscar Wilde's comedies in China, taking into consideration the specific historical and cultural contexts and linguistic and stylistic features of the Chinese language. It begins with a summary of existing theories of theatre translation, discussing the criteria of 'adequacy' in reproducing the original and 'acceptability' for the audiences. It then analyses various challenges and methods in translating Wilde, especially his humour. Special attention is paid to the techniques of adaptation and compensation. It proceeds to analyse the two staged versions, namely, Lady Windermere's Fan adapted by Hong Shen in 1924, and The Importance of Being Earnest translated by Yu Kuang-chung in 1983. Shifts between the original and the translated texts are compared concerning the aspects of language, style and culture. The paper suggests that a performable text is the compromise of 'adequacy' and conformation to 'acceptability'. It involves a certain degree of adaptation, which is the combined result of the features of the original text, the translator's priorities and the recipient culture at the given historical period.
Keyword Adequacy and acceptability
Oscar wilde
Theatre translation
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

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