1 Task Description
1.1 Background of the Task
The report is based on the E-C translation of Shaping Femininity: Foundation Garments, the Body and Women in Early Modern England written by Sarah A. Bendall and published in 2022. The book mainly introduces different foundation garments in early modern England.
As globalization quickens its steps, people have more opportunities to appreciate different cultures of other countries. As a kind of material culture, dresses and personal adornments have increasingly become a hot topic. Integrating a series of amazing visual and written materials, Shaping Femininity: Foundation Garments, the Body and Women in Early Modern England explores the relationship between material culture and femininity by studying the lives of many women from the queen to courtiers, peasants and servants.
Cohesive devices are extensively used in the source text so that the whole text can be connected effectively, improving the readability and coherence of the text. As one of the most important aspects in grammatical cohesive devices, references often cause misunderstanding on the meaning of sentences or even the whole text, and thus may be great challenge to the translator. Since references are essential to figure out the meaning of sentences, it is necessary for the translator to cope with references strategically to gain a clear understanding of the original text. Therefore, in order to better study and analyze the translation methods of different types of references in the selected text, the translator collects, classifies and analyzes those references, hoping to provide some experience to deal with references.
1.2 Choice of the Text
As a social science text, Shaping Femininity: Foundation Garments, the Body and Women in Early Modern England includes large amounts of research cases and beautiful pictures. The book provides fascinating insight into female foundation garments in early modern England, their makers and wearers, their materiality and their significance. There are many reasons why this book is chosen as the material of the translation practice.
Firstly, the source text covers many different grammatical elements that are worth studying, such as nominal structure, various modifiers, the passive voice and inanimate sentences. In addition, a large number of grammatical cohesive devices can be seen in the source text, in which references are the most prominent. The whole text is connected effectively through numerous references in the source text, leading to the readability of this book. However, some referential cohesive devices in the source text cannot be translated into the target language directly because of the differences between Chinese and English. English is characterized by numerous pronouns, while large amounts of pronouns should be avoided in Chinese. Therefore, the source text is valuable to study different types of references.
2 Process Description
2.1 Preparation before Translation
Preparation before translation is able to equip the translator with sufficient knowledge to have a deeper understanding of Shaping Femininity：Foundation Garments, the Body and Women in Early Modern England.
Firstly, the translator needs to understand the writing style, structure and background information of this book by reading the source text seriously, which is critical for the translator to further analyze the source text. As a social science text, the source text is characterized by careful wording and complex logical relations.
Secondly, the translator tries to find related information about the garments and characters introduced in this book. The book contains numerous characters, including queens, courtiers, farmers’ wives and servants from different periods, so the translator has to figure out the characteristics and lifestyles of these people. Some online search engines are frequently used to gain information as much as possible, including Bing, Wikipedia and Baidu. Besides, a large number of proper nouns can be found in the source text. To achieve more accurate translation, the translator understands the meaning of those proper nouns with the help of dictionaries and the Internet.
Last but not least, the translator sorts out the grammatical elements in the source text, and marks those are difficult to deal with and those occur frequently. It is difficult for the translator to cope with references in the source text, so the translator decides to take this point as a key research point of this translation report.
2.2 Translation Process
After adequate preparation, the translation process is to be conducted. The translation process lasts about two months and can be divided into three parts: analysis of the source text, translation and typesetting.
Firstly, the source text is a social science text with lots of proper nouns as well as long and complex sentences. The language of the whole text is objective, accurate and interesting. Accurate understanding of the source text is the prerequisite for the whole process of translation. Here, the translator takes one of the proper nouns as an example, the word “body” usually refers to “the main part of your body, dead body or an organized group of people who deal with something officially, etc.”, but in the source text, it refers to a kind of foundation garments. Therefore, the translator needs to consult large amounts of data and materials to clarify the real meaning of those proper nouns.
Then, the translator makes a plan to translate about 200-300 words every day. Because of differences between English and Chinese as well as the style of language in the source text, the translator thinks over the structure and style of translation. After about 55 days, the first draft is almost finished. During the translation, some difficulties need to be resolved to achieve more accurate translation. For instance, several ballads in the source text are difficult to translate, so the translator understands the characteristics and wording of English Ballads from the Internet. After that, the translator makes a new attempt and obtains better translation.
3 Case Analysis ......................................... 9
3.1 Theoretical Framework ................................... 9
3.1.1 Introduction to Cohesion Theory ................................................. 9
3.1.2 Reasons for Choosing Cohesion Theory .................................... 11
4 Conclusion ...................................... 35
4.1 Findings ................................................... 35
4.2 Limitations ................................................. 37
4.3 Suggestions ...................................... 37
3 Case Analysis
3.1 Theoretical Framework
Proper translation theory is important for smooth translation. To finish the practice more smoothly, the translator chooses Cohesion Theory as the guidance theory. This part includes the introduction to Cohesion Theory and the reasons for choosing Cohesion Theory.
3.1.1 Introduction to Cohesion Theory
3.1 Theoretical Framework Proper translation theory is important for smooth translation. To finish the practice more smoothly, the translator chooses Cohesion Theory as the guidance theory. This part includes the introduction to Cohesion Theory and the reasons for choosing Cohesion Theory. 3.1.1 Introduction to Cohesion Theory scholars as the beginning of Cohesion Theory.
As the translation of Shaping Femininity: Foundation Garments, the Body and Women in Early Modern England is finished, the translator finds that references in the source text, namely personal references, demonstrative references and comparative references, need more efforts to deal with, and the translation methods to cope with these references are also flexible.
Different methods can be chosen to deal with the translation of personal references, demonstrative references and comparative references according to the context. Under the guidance of Cohesion Theory, the translator takes five methods to translate all references in the selected text, including omission, repetition, specification, addition and conversion.
Among those five methods, the most frequently used method is specification. Based on those differences in references between Chinese and English, the method of specification is better for those references that may cause ambiguity. In this report, many references are translated for easier understanding of readers. Omission is a good method to deal with those references with less important meaning. Some pronouns serve in one sentence just as a grammar structure with less critical meaning. When the omission of specific meaning does not affect the meaning of the source text, translators can omit those meaning directly.