Literature

Lost and/or Gained When Translated

When an individual migrates from one language and culture into another, he experiences loss, particularly when his language and culture happen to be those of Chinese. This is pre-determined in the language. Examples abound in the linguistic loss in this process of transmigration—comprising translation and migration. For example, a Chinese idiom that consists of four characters with two images, perfectly balanced, when turned into English is cut in half, losing an image or two. Take ren shan ren hai (a mountain of people and a sea of people), a description of big crowds, which in English is a mere “sea…

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