Transcreation in marketing: A corpus-based study of persuasion in optional shifts from English to Chinese

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Abstract

This study proposes that creation in transcreation involves optional shifts, shifts made to achieve intended effects in translation. Drawing on Martin and White’s Appraisal framework to address a parallel corpus of English marketing texts and Chinese translation, this study identifies the translation patterns of optional shifts in the form of evaluative epithets and compares the way the intended effect – persuasion – is achieved between the source text (ST) and the target text (TT). Although both the ST and the TT share the same intended effect, persuasion in the Chinese translation is shown to differ significantly in three ways: 1) it is more noticeable because it has many more explicit epithets; 2) the level of persuasiveness is higher because, in the same category of epithets (e.g. newness, amount, time, quality and infinity), the TT relies more on maximally upscaled epithets and; 3) a more emotive approach is taken to persuasion because the TT relies more on Reaction epithets, the only type related to emotion. It is suggested that these results inform and reflect transcreation practice between English and Chinese in the genre of marketing.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)426-438
JournalPerspectives
Volume29
Issue number3
Early online date25 Jun 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 May 2021

Keywords

  • transcreation
  • optional shifts
  • appraisal
  • persuasion
  • marketing
  • English-Chinese translation

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