Retranslation hypotheses revisited: A case study of two English translations of "Sanguo Yanyi" - the first Chinese novel

Lei Feng


This article aims to review the theoretical assumptions of the phenomenon of retranslation, and to test some of these assumptions by studying the data collected from three sample chapters taken from the two complete English translations of Sanguo Yanyi – the first Chinese novel. Firstly, the three suggested denotations of the concept of ‘retranslation’ are identified and clarified. Secondly, the assumptions of retranslation are described, i.e. the necessity for retranslation, motives for retranslation, and the relation between the first translation and the retranslation of the same source text. Thirdly, the data from the sample chapters are analysed to test these assumptions. The general macro-structural features and some of the micro-structural features of the two translations are studied and compared. Lastly, a conclusion from the findings is drawn as the verification of the assumptions of the retranslation. The hypotheses of retranslation are also briefly discussed.


retranslation, Sanguo Yanyi, retranslation assumptions, hypotheses of retranslation, domestication, foreignisation

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ISSN 2224-3380 (online); 1726-541X (print)

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