Reshaping China’s image: a corpus-based analysis of the English translation of Chinese political discourse
(2020) Reshaping China’s image: a corpus-based analysis of the English translation of Chinese political discourse, Perspectives,
Drawing on a combined framework of Appraisal System and Ideological Square Model, this paper conducts a corpus-based investigation of the ways in which the image of China is (re)shaped in the English translation of Chinese political discourse in terms of appraisal epithets. The results show that (1) shifts regularly occur in the English translation of the appraisal epithets in Chinese political discourse, though an equivalent translation strategy is a canonical option for the translators of Chinese political discourse; (2) translation patterns of the appraisal epithets vary within the three sub-categories of Appraisal System, with shifts found mostly in the translation of the negative appraisal epithets under ‘engagement’ and ‘graduation’ subcategories; (3) discursively, China is more negatively represented in the translated than in the source Chinese texts. A two-layered Ideological Square Model is proposed to account for the research findings in terms of ideological factors in the translation of Chinese political discourse.