Translation Strategies Used by Nian and Sod Kurmarohita in Translating the Erotic Literature Jin Ping Mei from Chinese into Thai
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This research is about Dok Meoi Nai Chaekan Thong, a Thai translation of the Ming-era Chinese classic novel Jin Ping Mei. The research covers three major aspects of the translation: the translation of erotic scenes, the translation of songs and poetry, and the translation of cultural words. Apart from applying an analysis of the translation strategies employed in the aforementioned categories, the author also studies the constraints that the Thai society at the time had on the translation of Jin Ping Mei. The analysis is constructed using André Lefevere’s rewriting theory as its framework, which proposes three types of constraints: ideology, poetics, and patronage.
The author has found that Lefevere’s three types of constraints affected the translation of Dok Moei Nai Chaekan Thong in the following ways. The ideology constraints had direct impact on the translation of erotic scenes. Thailand during the period the work was translated viewed sexual topics as taboo; therefore, instead of translating the content in full, the translators chose to omit details and use sensuous words to indirectly imply erotic encounters. The poetic constraints are exhibited in the translation’s abridgement of the source text, which, albeit not conforming to the norm of literary translation in Thailand today, was considered a common practice back in the years Dok Moei Nai Chaekan Thong was translated. The patronage constraints, namely the Saen Suk newspapers and the Thai readers at the time, were contributing factors that caused Dok Moei Nai Chaekan Thong to prematurely cease publication and motivated major abridgement towards the end of its serialization.
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