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The impact of cultural background knowledge in the processing of metaphorical expressions : an empirical study of English-Chinese sight translation.

Zheng, Binghan and Xiang, Xia (2014) 'The impact of cultural background knowledge in the processing of metaphorical expressions : an empirical study of English-Chinese sight translation.', Translation and interpreting studies., 9 (1). pp. 5-24.

Abstract

This study aims to explore the role and possible impact of cultural background knowledge (CBK) on performance in sight translation, specifically the translation of metaphorical expressions (MEs). A between-subjects experiment was designed for 68 interpreting students who were assigned to a control group (CG) and an experimental group (EG). They were asked to sight translate a speech containing ten MEs, with only the EG members given relevant CBK beforehand. The study triangulates data from the recordings of sight translation outputs, the transcriptions of the recordings, and the subjects’ guided interviews. The paper concludes with two main findings: (1) CBK markedly alleviates the cognitive load imposed by MEs and thus facilitates the process of translation by shortening the processing time and improving the translation quality; (2) although CBK does not exert a significant influence on the choice of translation strategies as a whole, it discernibly reduces the use of omission as a coping strategy to deal with inadequacies in the understanding of metaphorical meanings.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:Processing time, Metaphorical expressions, Translation quality, Cultural background knowledge, Translation strategies, Sight translation.
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Status:Peer-reviewed
Publisher Web site:https://doi.org/10.1075/tis.9.1.01zhe
Publisher statement:The copyright of this article is owned by John Benjamins Publishing Company. They should be contacted for permission to re-use or reprint the material in any form.
Record Created:04 Dec 2014 16:35
Last Modified:09 Dec 2016 10:19

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