A Study on Semantic and Communicative Translation of Magical Things in Harry Potter

Miaomiao WANG


Developing prosperously in the contemporary, fiercely competitive literary world, fantasy literature, with its mysteries, has attracted the attention of and been admired by readers from every corner of the world. Nevertheless, being worldwide popular regardless of countries and languages, its great success should be attributed to translators who introduced the spectacular works to the target language readers. As the fantasy literature is deeply rooted in Western Culture, in order to conform to the original texts’ meaning and meet with the target language culture as well as be easily understood by readers, the paper chooses Peter Newmark’s semantic translation and communicative translation theories as the guiding principles to analyze the translation of fantasy literature which takes both the Western and Chinese culture into consideration, keeps its mysterious magical mood and realizes the effects of clarity and straightaway. Semantic translation aims at replicating the original texts’ forms within the target language, reproducing the original context, and retaining the characters of the SL culture in the translation. In contrast, communicative translation centers on the specific language and culture and focuses on the TL readers. The translation under this method is clear, smooth and concise. This paper takes the simplified Chinese version of Harry Potter as an example to illustrate the strategies used in the translation of magical things. It finds that there are generally three ways used in the translation of Harry Potter: semantic translation, communicative translation and the combination of the two.


Fantasy, Harry Potter, magical things, semantic and communicative translation

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


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