Translation Transforms: New Faces of Asia Through Translation Activities

Title: 1350 | Translation Transforms: New Faces of Asia Through Translation Activities
Area: Border Crossing and Inter-Area
Stream: Translation
Presentation Type: Panel Presentation
Wen-chun Liang, Lingnan University, Hong Kong (organizer, presenter)
Yun-fang Lo, Chung Yuan Christian University, Taiwan (presenter)
Tusi-ling Huang, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan (presenter)
Yi-chiao Chen, National University of Singapore, Singapore (presenter)
Hung-hsiu Lin, Wenzao Ursuline University of Languages, Taiwan (presenter)


Translation as a cultural activity for conveying different intended agendas across borders through various semiotics is at a crossroads and faces the risk of transformation due to its unique historical, cultural, and geopolitical significance in the world. Indeed, translation is largely influenced by human’s mobility and migration that the ideas and perceptions of the world are transformed in their new host culture. Wen-chun Liang explores the transformation of Hong Kong’s cultural images with a specific reference to the renowned Hong Kong writer Liu Yichang and his literary works represented in different semiotics, i.e., literary translation and film adaptation, to examine the shift of local cultural images to the global audience. Yun-fang Lo uses the Taiwanese writer Wu Ming-Yi and the English translation of Wu’s Fuyan Ren to discuss the literary re-territorialization of Taiwan’s position in the Asia-Pacific region. Similarly, Tsui-ling Huang studies the verbal and visual semiotics of Taiwanese cartoonist Mickeyman’s comic book in the Spanish translation to understand the translator’s approaches to constructing Taiwan’s locales for Spanish readers. Yi-Chiao Chen probes into how foreign literature is promoted through a case study on the translation of Le Petit Princes to Singlish in Singapore. Lastly, Hung-Hsiu Lin discusses the travelling of the Madalena image from Europe to China and then to Taiwan in a diachronic discourse through one of the most ancient translation activities—religious translation. This panel argues that cultural identities could be transformed to a new soil while their fundamental concepts might be challenged.

Panel Abstracts:
Hong Kong Literature in Translation: Liu Yichang's Literary Works and Translations
Roman Jakobson's (1959) classification of three types of translation—interlingual translation, intralingual translation, and intersemiotic translation—discusses translation proper. In the field of Translation Studies, numerous studies have focused on literary works that deal with different languages, yet very few have investigated the (re)construction of cultural images through the process of translation and the (re)construction of cultural images—if there are any—through different semiotics in the process of intersemiotic translation (i.e., literary to multimedia). Inquiring into the processes of translating cultural images often probes into the narratives surrounding the origin and characteristics of other countries and people depicted in works of literature at the textual level. It thus accounts for the mental representation or reputation of a specific person or place and its associated attributes (Beller and Leerssen 2007). The centrality of studies on the traveling of cultural images is on the relationship between the decision the translator makes and the possibility of reshaping the stereotypical understanding of a culture. Hong Kong has been positioned at the intersection between the East and West, which makes the way the (re)construction of cultural images through translation quite intriguing. The present study aims to study one of the most influential Hong Kong writers, Liu Yichang (1918–2018), and the translations of his literary works, in both verbal and audio-visual semiotics, to understand the shift of the cultural images of Hong Kong in the process of translation.

Literary De/re-territoricalization of the Ecological Fantasy Fuyan Ren
Before 2011, many Taiwanese stories had been published in English, but all sponsored by the Taiwanese government and published with university or boutique presses like Columbia University Press or the Gay Sunshine Press. Wu’s work was the first to be published by major English language trade publishers like Harvill Secker and Vintage Pantheon. Taiwan’s literary writers often portrayed images of suffering in the period of Japanese colonization or under the suppression of the Nationalist government. Wu’s work extends the regional territory of Taiwan to the Eastern Pacific and even to the global environmental crisis.The objective of this study is to investigate the literary de/re-territoricalization of Wu Ming-Yi’s ecological fantasy Fuyan Ren and analyze the English translation of the novel and see how the translator deal with a transnational plot that contains the East coast of Taiwan, ecological issues, the myth of aboriginal people, foreign scientists, and the imaginary ethnography of the island Wayo Wayo. Translating literature related to natural disasters, major national constructions, ethnic groups, regional languages and global environment posed a great challenge to the translator. The translation of this ecological novel has been beyond of language and national boundaries. The study will try to examine how area of concern was addressed in the novel and how the literary re-territoricalization of Taiwan’s position in the Asia-Pacific region was represented in its translation.

A Study of Translation Strategies From the Perspective of Multimodality: A Case Study of Mickeyman's a Worst Trip to Europe
Mickeyman is an atypical Taiwanese cartoonist whose works mostly derive from his own tight-fisted travel experience. This paper aims to study the Spanish translation of Mickeyman’s comic book, A Worst Trip to the Europe, and attempts to discover how the translator dealt with the lively and expressive text and illustrations that Mickeyman carefully used in his comic work. The semiotic complex in the verbal and non-verbal signs used in the comic work is considered a thorny issue for translators. Thus, the present study adopts Kaindl’s (1999) model of the characteristics and elements of the comic translation to investigate the translator’s handing of the multimodality of the original work in translation in terms of the linguistic, typographic and pictorial semiotic signs. It is hoped that the study will shed light on how Taiwan’s cultural images travel from the local to the global through the lens of a multimodal model and further highlight the complex role between the linguistic and cultural interaction in comic translations.

Le Petit Prince Speaks Singlish: A Way to Promote Foreign Literature in Singapore
Being the Southeast Asian hub of the sea route for trade, Singapore is an island state resided by several ethnicities with Chinese, Malays and Tamils being the three largest communities. To facilitate communication among different groups of inhabitants and enhance the competitiveness of this country, English has been adopted to be the education and work language since the establishment of Singapore. In addition to English, the languages that the three major communities speak - Chinese, Malay and Tamil - have obtained the status of mother tongues. Over decades of interaction, the English that Singaporeans speak has begun to possess its own features, and local people name it Singlish. Although local children are educated in standard English at school, Singlish appears quite often in the daily life and hence has a sense of intimacy. It is because of this nature that a publisher decided to translate Le Petit Prince into Singlish in an attempt to arouse Singaporeans’ interest in this French masterpiece. This study examines the translation to understand what Singlish elements can be found, and three major characteristics are identified: (1) the use of common Chinese, Malay and Tamil words, (2) a mixture of the English sentence structure and the structures of other languages and (3) intentional awkward spelling to denote Singaporean accent.

In the Sea of Translation: Santa Maria Magdalena's Journey from Europe via China to Taiwan
Translation has served as the medium to transport religions. A case in point is the translation of Legenda Sanctorum. It was written by Jacobus de Voragine in Latin around 1260, translated into western languages entitled Legenda Aurea in the 1450s, and further translated into Chinese as Tianzhushengjiao Shengrenxingshi (SRXS) in 1629 by a Jesuit father Alfonso Vagnone. Selected in SRXS is Santa Maria Magdalena (Madalena hereafter). Best known as a sinner made a patron saint to midwives in Legenda Sanctorum, Madalena was introduced as a girl who went astray at young age in SRXS engraved in Jiangzhou, China. Madalena was later depicted as a patron saint to the filial Chinese Catholics in Zhubaodan (主保單)around 1670. From SRXS in 1629 to Zhubaodan around 1670, Madalena had her popularity built up among the Chinese faithful in Mainland China. However, Madalena is less venerated in Taiwan. In fact, Madalena only appeared in the daily readings of the Scripture. I contend that Madalena was less well-known in Taiwan because the first missionaries in Taiwan were Dominicans rather than Jesuits who heavily resorted to literature and translation. Also, when SRXS was engraved in 1629, it did not travel to Taiwan. Hence, Madalena, the patron of midwives in Europe, a filial role model in China, is not as highly venerated in Taiwan. My study suggests that the voyage of Legenda Sanctorum determines how the Catholic faithful perceives Sancta Maria Magdalene in Europe and Madalena in China and Taiwan

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