Looking for theories related to loss of cultural meaning in translation

asked 2020-03-14 18:48:35 -0400

JT gravatar image

Hello, I am an American student in China and am currently in the early stages of planning my thesis. I am comparing two authors' translations of Sunzi's The Art of War and analyzing specific sections where some meaning or significance that the original Chinese version had that were lost when the book was translated into English. I need a linguistic theory to plug into this whole equation(since I am studying linguistics), but I do not know which one I should use. My advisor recommended Relevance Theory by Wilson and Sperber, but from what I've read, this seems to relate more to spoken language and the listener's ability to fill in the holes of the story with what is inferred. I feel like this does not really pertain to translating a very old document into different languages today or have anything to do with culture. So if you could help me do one of two things, I would greatly appreciate it.

Let me know if there is a better linguistic theory that has more to do with my topic.

or

Let me know if my understanding of Relevance theory is incorrect, and I can actually use it when writing about translating and losing meaning.

Thanks a lot!

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