On Lengthening and Explicitation in the Process of Translating: An Empirical Study Based on Translation Tests of MTI Students

Wei WANG, Weihong ZHOU


The concept of “universals of translation” was first proposed by Toury (1977). Later, Toury (2004, p.17) argues that he first used the word “universals”, but then he preferred the word “laws” because of the possibility of exception built into it. We believe that lengthening is a major manifestation of explicitation and thus the two aspects are consistent with each other. The current paper plans to seek empirical evidence to the argumentation of “universals/laws” of translation by designing two experiments. Statistical results indicate that there is obvious explicitation in English-Chinese translation, while Chinese-English translation negates the hypothesis of explicitation.


Universals; Laws; Lengthening; Explicitation; Translation

Full Text:



Baumgarten, N., & Meyer, B., & Özçetin, D. (2008). Explicitness in translation and interpreting. A review and some empirical evidence (of an elusive concept). Across Languages and Cultures, 9(2), 177-203.

Blum-Kulka, S. (1986). Shifts of cohesion and coherence in translation. In J. House & S. Blum-Kulka (Eds.), Interlingual and intercultural communication: Discourse and cognition in translation and second language acquisition studies (pp.17-35). Tubingen: Gunter Narr.

Chen, W. (2004). Investigating explicitation of conjunctions in translated Chinese: A corpus-based study. Language Matters, 35(1), 295-312.

Maugham, W. S. (1922). The Song of the River. On a Chinese screen (pp.129-130). New York, George H. Doran Company.

Øverås, L. (1998). In search of the third code: An investigation of norms in literary translation. Meta, 43(4). 557–570.

Toury, G. (1977). Translational norms and literary translation into Hebrew, 1930-1945. Tel Aviv: The Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics, Tel Aviv University.

Toury, G. (2004). Probabilistic explanations in translation studies. Welcome as they are, would they qualify as universals? In A. Mauranen & P. Kujamäki, (Eds.), Translation Universals. Do they Exist? (pp.15-32). Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

Wang, A. Y. (1996). Chang Hen Ge. Beijing: China Writers Publishing House.

Wang, A. Y. (2008). The song of everlasting sorrow: A novel of Shanghai, translated by Michael Berry and Susan Chan Egan. New York: Columbia University Press.

Wang, K. F. (2003). Sentence parallelism in English-Chinese/ Chinese-English: A corpus based investigation. Foreign Language Teaching and Research, 35(6), 410-416.

Vinay, J. P., & Darbelnet, J. (1995). Comparative stylistics of French and English: A methodology for translation. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/11546


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2020 Wei WANG

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


  • How to do online submission to another Journal?
  • If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

  • Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

  • Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases:
caooc@hotmail.com; hess@cscanada.net; hess@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Higher Education of Social Science are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mailcaooc@hotmail.com; office@cscanada.net

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Research & Development Center of Sciences and Cultures