Abstract:Chinese idioms are the crystallization of Chinese culture and language. They often express rich meaning with vivid imagery and simple structure. Because of these cultural differences on history, religion and custom, most Chinese idioms cannot find English idioms corresponded with them. So how to be faithful to the idioms and show the unique culture is a big problem in idiom translation. However the publishment of Relevance Theory provides a new perspective for the translation of idiom. In terms of Relevance Theory, this paper will take idioms of Hong Lou Meng for example to explain how can translator infer the communicative intention of the original writer from the source text and convey it correctly to the target language readers and achieve optimal relevance to make communication successful.
Key words: relevance theory optimal relevance translation of Chinese idioms context
关键词：关联理论 最佳关联 习语翻译 语境
As indicated by the comparison and analysis above, concerning the translation of Chinese specific cultural phenomena and the principle of relevance, the conclusion can be drawn that translator should first infer the communicative intention from the original text, and then has some basic knowledge about the cognition environment of the target language readers. Finally based on the theory, the translator can translate the unique cultural element and meaning of idioms to achieve optimal relevance between original writer and target language readers.
In the paper, I analyze the translation of Chinese idioms in Hong Lou Meng from religion, history and custom. Due to the differences among these cultural aspects, they may produce great effects on the translation versions. So in order to make sure the success of the communication, it is very important for the translator to interpret the communicative intention of the original writer correctly and convey it to the target language reader with clear expressions. So the translators should try their best to find the relevance between the original text and the cognition environment of the target language readers. Finally the relevance theory provides a new perspective for the translation and with the principle of relevance as the prime priority of translation, with the optimal relevance as the permanent pursuit of every line we render, the natural strengths and limitations of each translational approach can be understand better.