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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; Xiang, Xia

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


Authors

Xia Xiang



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.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Jan 1, 2014
Online Publication Date Jul 7, 2014
Publication Date Jul 7, 2014
Deposit Date May 5, 2014
Publicly Available Date Dec 5, 2014
Journal Translation and Interpreting Studies
Print ISSN 1932-2798
Electronic ISSN 1876-2700
Publisher John Benjamins Publishing
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 9
Issue 1
Pages 5-24
DOI https://doi.org/10.1075/tis.9.1.01zhe
Keywords Processing time, Metaphorical expressions, Translation quality, Cultural background knowledge, Translation strategies, Sight translation.
Public URL https://durham-repository.worktribe.com/output/1465686

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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.






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