Macquarie University
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The features of translated language in children’s literature translated from English to Chinese

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posted on 2022-03-28, 23:11 authored by Xiaomin Zhang
Much research in Descriptive Translation Studies has focused on the proposal that translated language demonstrates unique linguistic features, compared to non-translated language. Most studies of these recurrent features of translated language depart from Baker’s (1993) formulation of four translation universals: simplification, explicitation, normalisation and levelling out. The claim that these features are “linked to the nature of the translation process rather than the confrontation of specific linguistic systems” (Baker, 1993, p. 243) points to the idea that the features of translated language are supposed to be the result of the translation process in itself, existing regardless of text type, language pair or context involved. In addition to these four features, interference, transfer or “shining through” effects are also often identified as a recurrent feature of translated language. Against this background, this study investigates the features of Chinese translated from English in a specialised corpus of children’s literature. It may be proposed that the features of translated language would be particularly salient in translated children’s books, as a consequence of the importance assigned to the needs of the child reader. The study investigates simplification, explicitation and normalisation in a self-built comparable corpus of translated and non-translated Chinese children’s books. In addition to these features, it also considers “shining through” of the source language as a possible feature. The objective of this study is to determine whether translated children’s literature demonstrates the features mentioned above. To answer this research question, a set of linguistic operationalisations of explicitness, complexity and conventionality were investigated. The independent samples t-test or Mann-Whitney U-test was used to determine whether these linguistic operationalisations demonstrate significant differences in the translated Chinese children’s books compared to the non-translated Chinese children’s books. In addition to the quantitative analysis, the study includes qualitative analysis of particularly conjunction use, optional subject pronouns and modal particles in order better to understand the quantitative findings.


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Introduction -- Chapter 2. The recurrent features of translated language and children’s literature in Chinese -- Chapter 3. Methodology -- Chapter 4. Findings and discussion -- Chapter 5. Conclusion -- References -- Appendices.


Theoretical thesis. Bibliography: pages 75-84

Awarding Institution

Macquarie University

Degree Type

Thesis MRes


MRes, Macquarie University, Faculty of Human Sciences, Department of Linguistics

Department, Centre or School

Department of Linguistics

Year of Award


Principal Supervisor

Haidee Kruger

Additional Supervisor 1

Jing Fang


Copyright Xiaomin Zhang 2017. Copyright disclaimer:




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