Culturalisation in Translating Otherness in Cantonese Opera: A Case Study on Farewell my Concubine
Barriers could be found in the way of adapting foreign texts to the target culture because of the distinctive socio-cultural circumstance. How to culturalise the foreign work, namely, to accommodate a cultural product from other communities to the target society in a locally acceptable way needs the translator’s serious consideration. Translating Cantonese opera thus to some extent indicates culturalisation of the caption, suggesting that the English audience may need to get the performance with the help of culturally acceptable scripts.
Centred on the translation of Farewell my Concubine, it finds that poetry-like scripts for speech or singing, the culture-specific terms related to supernature, and the heroine’s special role are representative of cultural otherness. Stemmed from this, the study analyses the translator’s strategies in making the otherness in the play adaptable to English culture. And it becomes evident that the translator mainly employs semantic translation, to simplify the textual form with key meanings distilled and the heroine’s utterances represented, meshing the habitual English use. It finally implies future studies on translating Cantonese opera shall necessarily concentrate more on further improvement in its literary translation.