Interpreting and Translation Studies: The Journal of the Japan Association for Interpreting and Translation Studies
Online ISSN : 2436-1003
Print ISSN : 1883-7522
Research Notes
A Study of Ito Sohei’s Translation of the “Won-Done Song”
Jun WU
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2018 Volume 18 Pages 121-132


The “Won-Done Song” in A Dream of Red Mansions and “Notes on the ‘Won-Done Song’” both provide a unique perspective to the understanding of this classic fiction. While three scholars have already made their research on Ito Sohei’s translation of the “Won-Done Song” in Japanese, each with quite different evaluations, the topic is still worthy of further exploration. This thesis aims to examine the plausibility of Ito’s rendering of “won” and “done” into “には ” and “とは ”, and the possible reasons behind this specific translation strategy. Ito’s refusal of the more prevalent method of “kundoku”(reading by literal translation), together with his strategy of domestication by adopting the form of traditional Japanese ballads, are by no means unconsidered mechanical translation. In all, the retaining of literal meanings of the Chinese characters “hao” and “liao” has undoubtedly better conveyed their original referential meanings.

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