On Chinese Parody Translation—-1

Abstract: Chinese parody, as a traditional figure of speech, has captured more and more attention from scholars. The researches conducted up to date are inadequate in theorizing and exploring its translation. This paper, based on the comparative data analysis of Chinese parody translation examples in different types of texts, attempts to probe into the means about how to achieve the clos­est function equivalence in rendering Chinese parody under the guidance of Sociosemiotic Approach. It is found that the nature of Chinese parody translation is to achieve the closest natural equivalence or similarity in expressive function, informative func­tion, vocative function and aesthetic function in its equivalents in English. And it is suggested that borrowing, imitating, para­phrasing and adapting are effective strategies in translating Chinese parody.


Key words: Chines parody; Sociosemiotic Approach; meaning; function; equivalence




Parody, as a traditional figure of speech, has captured more and more attention from scholars. Studies on parody in the West are mainly conducted from a literary or aesthetic perspective or a non- linguistic perspective. Comparatively, in China, researches mostly approach parody from rhetorical, psychological, cognitive and pragmatic perspectives, which are mainly about the defini­tion, classification, functions, comparative study between parody and other rhetorical devices, and features of parody used in dif­ferent styles. Nowadays, there are many dead translations or ran­dom translations for Chinese parody due to lack of effective theo­retical guidance. Sociosemiotic Approach is perceived to be the most holistic perspective by most translation theorists or scholars as a fundamental discipline in encoding and decoding signs, and using it as a vehicle to study translation is not only ideal but practical, because it s relatively all- inclusive in scope(Nida, 1982). Since Chinese parody translation has not been systemati­cally touched upon by scholars with this approach, it is of both theoretical and practical significance to conduct a tentative study about it from this perspective. This paper attempts to probe into the nature of Chinese parody translation from this perspective in order to End out some effective translation strategies, hoping that the findings may be of some help to the improvement of Chinese parody translation.


Sociosemiotic Approach

As this paper is discussing Chinese parody translation un­der the guidance of Sociosemiotic Approach, it is necessary to give a brief review on this theory before its specific application to the translation of Chinese parody can be touched upon.


Sociosemiotic Approach, based on social linguistics and se­miotics, is also called as sociosemiotic-oriented translation prin­ciple. It holds that everything in the world can be regarded as a sign. A sign not only includes the combination of signified and signifier, but also covers the user s interpretation in a specific context. Just as Hatim & Mason holds that “there is no inherent association between an object and its interpretant: The link only occurs when it is so intended in some context (Hatim & Mason, 2001: 109). The three constituent elements, namely, the referent, the sign vehicle and the interpretant, form a triangular relation­ship, and each is in the causal relation with the other. These three elements constitute the semantic triangle just as the follow­ing chart shows:


Charles Morris regards a sign as a tripartite entity, consist­ing of sign vehicle, referent of the sign and interpretant. He has divided semiotics into three branches: semantics, pragmatics and syntactics. Semantics touches upon the relation between the sign vehicle and its referent. Pragmatics touches on the relation be­tween the sign and interpretant. Syntactics refers to the relation between the sign and other signs. Accordingly, linguistic signs contain three kinds of meanings: l)designative meaning, which indicates the relation between the verbal sign and the thing it des­ignates; 2) linguistic meaning, which shows the relation between signs; 3) pragmatic meaning, which reflects the relation between the verbal sign and its interpretant (Li Ming, 1997: 6).Moms’ tri­chotomy enables the translator to understand not only the literal meaning between the sign and what it designates, but also any possible meanings between the sign and its users, such as asso­ciative meaning, affective meaning and social meaning. It indi­cates that, when dealing with interlingual translation, translators need to convey the meaning of source text as closely as possible to that of target text by taking into account both the linguistic and cultural and contextual as well as social factors.


Chen Hongwei puts forward a far-reaching translation crite­rion from the sociosemiotic perspective, i. e. correspondence in meaning and similarity in function. This criterion deals with two basic factors, meaning and function. “Correspondence in mean­ing is correspondence in referential meaning, linguistic meaning and pragmatic meaning; “Similarity in function is similarity in the functions advocated by Peter Newmark, that is, the informa­tive function, expressive function, vocative function, aesthetic function, phatic function, and metalingual function. (Chen Hong­wei, 1998: 64-66)

All in all, in the sociosemiotic modal, translation is ap­proached as a cross-cultural, cross-social, and cross-linguistic communicative activity. In this light, the process of translation is perceived as one of establishing functional equivalence between the source text and target text, in order for the latter to be as faithful as possible to the former in both meaning and function.

About the ban on foreign names in China, what do you think?

Some people think we should ban the foreign names of some places.


The reasons are as follow.


1. The Chinese names of the places have cultural and historical meanings but English names have no meanings at all.


2. Because of the supply-dominated nature of the Chinese real estate market, people don’t really have a choice when they come across a property they want to buy but which has a name they don’t like. Only by using the government’s power to battle developers can we solve this problem.

The Henan provincial government struck a *chord nationally when it released a new regulation last week banning the use of foreign names for naming places and buildings in the province. In particular, the ban applies to new residential *compounds, hotels and shopping *malls. The regulation quickly drew praise from Internet users nationwide, which shows the problem is much more widely spread than just in the province.

Indeed, the real estate industry has seen more than its fair share of *nonsensical foreign names in recent years. In order to appeal to certain consumers, developers have *racked their brains to find all sorts of foreign names to name their properties – from geographical names such as “Versailles”, “Cannes” or “Venice”, to famous people names such as “Beethoven”, “Picasso” or “Lincoln”, or even known *acronyms such as “Soho” or “Moma”. While many welcome the introduction of a “romantic” foreign element into the properties they buy, often for steep prices, others have complained that such naming practices are confusing, disrespectful, even *vulgar.

But popular as the new Henan ban may seem to some, there are also many *opponents who say that the government *overstepped the *boundaries of its power by banning something that is distasteful at worst, but certainly not illegal or even *unethical. It is yet another example of the government arbitrarily using its power to *outlaw things that officials don’t like, according to some commentators.

There are already national laws banning the use of foreign names in public places, such as for roads, squares, and natural scenery. But when it comes to private property such as residential buildings and hotels, the government shouldn’t *intervene, some legal *scholars have pointed out.

So, what’s your opinion? Was it right for Henan to issue the ban?


There is nothing wrong with using foreign names in China.

1. Cultural taste is a matter of choice. A decision by a few scholars or government officials on what is good and what is bad taste does not hold true for the whole population. Real estate developers use many foreign names because their consumers prefer it this way. In this case, the government has definitely overstepped the boundaries of its power.

2. China has never been so open to the world, and China is having an *unprecedented amount of *interaction with foreign countries. Therefore it is natural for China to absorb foreign cultural elements into its own culture, and using foreign names for Chinese places is one aspect of that.

About the college life in China

I had been looking forward to my first class for a long time. I imagined it would be casual, yet inspiring. In reality, however, I panicked a bit in my first class – calculus is definitely not what I’m good at. Mathematics and those complicated *equations give me a headache.

I discovered that the professor won’t explain everything as clear as possible, like teachers do in high school. They are more like instructors who point us in the right direction, but we students are expected to figure out the details for ourselves.

I remember during that first class the professor mentioned a term that I’d never heard before. He didn’t expand on it but asked us to check it after class. I spent a whole afternoon reading related books at the library.

That’s the moment I understood the essence of university life. It’s not only about accepting and enjoying it, but also about taking the *initiative and *immersing oneself in self-study. If I keep this in mind, I think I can manage my academic life well.

By Yang Wenyue, 18, a freshman majoring in accounting at Capital University of Economics and Business


Hukou in China

‘I regret transferring my hukou’

Wang Jinbi, 20, is an accounting major at Beijing Union University. Coming from Chifeng, Inner Mongolia *autonomous region, she transferred her hukou when she enrolled at university.

“I didn’t think it was a big deal,” Wang says. “Since I’m registering under an urban hukou, it doesn’t matter whether it’s in Beijing or Inner Mongolia, I thought.”

What Wang didn’t expect, however, is that she would regret her decision later. “After two years of study, I’ve figured out my future plans. I want to return to my hometown and make a living there,” she says. That means Wang needs to transfer her hukou back again, which she worries will be a troublesome procedure.

“I have a friend who graduated last year. She spent a lot of time and energy transferring her hukou back to her hometown again due to complicated paperworks,” says Wang.

Guidelines for transferring hukou

Wang’s experience is not uncommon. Many students don’t know what their decision means for their future.

In order to help these students, Xie Yongqiang, from the Chengdu *Municipal Bureau of Justice, posted a guideline for transferring hukou on a micro blog. According to Xie, students should firstly think about where they’re going to stay. “If you like the city where you’re studying and are considering staying there after graduation, then you should transfer your hukou,” he wrote.

Students should also transfer their hukou if they intend to participate in an exchange program. According to Ju Haojie, deputy director of the household registration department at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, when applying for exchange programs, it saves a lot of trouble if students have a collective hukou registered under the university.

But Xie also made suggestions for students with a rural registration. “If your family has land and a house, it’s possible that you’ll get a share of *compensation in the event of a forced *relocation. For those students, I would recommend them not to transfer their hukou,” he wrote. This doesn’t affect students in terms of receiving medical insurance and other benefits at university.

‘I want to stay in Beijing’

Sometimes, students abandon their rural hukou for the prospect of a better future. Tang Yanwei is one of them. The 23-year-old from Yantai, Shandong province, had a rural hukou but transferred it after enrolling at Beijing University of Civil Engineering and Architecture.

Although there are a lot of preferential policies for rural residents, for Tang, an urban hukou in Beijing is attractive. “I want to stay in Beijing, so a students’ collective Beijing urban hukou is a promising start,” he says. “I’ll do anything that could help me stay here. After all, there’s no turning back for me now.”


Travel with a tight budget: couchsurfing

Of course, if you have a spare couch or room to share, you’re expected to extend the same hospitality to travelers coming to your city.

Couchsurfing is just catching on in China. Worldwide, the website has more than 6 million members in more than 100,000 cities. Its success is representative of a new trend in economic activity — the sharing economy.

Time magazine included the trend in a list titled “10 ideas that will change the world”. It said: “In an era when families are *scattered and we may not know the people down the street, sharing things – even with strangers we’ve just met online – allows us to make meaningful connections.”

The biggest sector of the sharing economy is travel. But people are also using websites and apps to rent out their cars, houses, tools, clothes and services to one another. Sharing has become big business.

According to Rachel Botsman, author of What’s Mine is Yours: The Rise of Collaborative Consumption, the global peer-to-peer *rental market is now worth $26 billion (159.13 billion yuan).

Trust between strangers and peer reviews are *paramount in the sharing economy. Many sharing websites ask members to *verify their identities. Some even take measures offline by asking members to send in a copy of their ID.

The sharing economy initially grew out of a need in a downturn economy, when many people couldn’t afford to buy new stuff. Gradually, however, the trend has turned into a lifestyle choice in which access is more preferable than ownership.

knee-jerk reaction to the recession. We have a lot of stuff, space and skills that we are not necessarily using in our nine-to-five job, and people are making money by sharing or selling these *underutilized services,” Farnoosh Torabi told the International Business Times.ê“The sharing economy was a

Torabi is a personal-finance expert and author of You’re So Money: Live Rich Even When You’re Not. “The truth of the matter is that people have been sharing for generations, it’s just more accessible now and there is more awareness of it because of the Internet,” she added.

How to apply for China tourist visa

The travelers can apply for Chinese tourist (L) visa and transit (G) visa without any backing from the business, academic and government institution. Almost all the travelers need to have a tourist visa to visit China and this visa category helps them journey freely in most of the areas of China. This is the visa that helps the visitors visit or go together with the family members of China.

When you do not fall in this visa category, you should have the other category of visa. Marrying a Chinese individual can make you live in China and you are not eligible for the other sorts of visas, you will be given a tourist visa having a longer duration. China private tour guide can help you in this instance. While traveling in an arranged tour group, you cannot have any individual visa in your passport. Alternatively, the leader of the tour can have the visa that covers the entire group. Under this circumstance, you need to provide your details to the organizer prior to the journey. Then, you do not have to think any. While traveling to the Hainan province within an organized group, you can also figure out that there is no requirement of visas there in Hainan.

The necessities of getting Chinese Visa

  • The passport of the applicant should be valid for the next six months along with the sufficient blank pages for using the visa purposes.
  • The Visa Application Form needs to be furnished truly.
  • When somebody travels with you, he or she can share the similar passport.
  • When you apply for a visa for a country or a territory other than the country of your existing nationality, you need to complete the Supplementary Visa Application Form. You are required to fill each column of the application form by using of N/A if it does    not seem necessary. When an application form is not filled out properly, entirely and legally, the application can be delayed or refused.
  • A current passport-size colored photograph along with the white background to be stuck onto the application form.
  • For the purpose of tourism, the applicants need to produce some documents.
  • Under the specific conditions, the original copy of Chinese Hotel Booking and Return Air ticket needs to be produced.

You can also consult with your China private tour guide about your Chinese visas.

If you are a visa applicant for Tibet, you need to have a Tibet Travel Permit. This visa permit can be gained through a group or the permit can be gained from the Tourism Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region. The telephone number of Bureau of Tibet Autonomous Region is

+86 891 6834313 and Fax number is +86 891 6834632.

  • To visit family, the applicants need to produce the specific documents along with their visa application. It is the proof of relationship including the Marriage License. This proof is required for the people of Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong. Conversely, those who are born in China, they are to be exempted from producing the marriage license. They are born in China as it is to be mentioned in their respective passport.

While applying in person, the applicants can come to the Chinese Embassies, Chinese diplomatic missions or the Consulates. If the applicants cannot come in persons, you can find some agency or person to help. China private tour guide can help you derive your visa or provide you with the pertinent information in this circumstance. The applications through the mail are not accepted and most of the Chinese embassies or consulates mostly refuse the applications that arrive through the mail. There is no need to make the appointments.

The time of processing

Usually it takes four working days to process a visa. To obtain the visa in an express service, the extra fees are needed. It is $20 to get each visa on the third working day. Getting visa in a rush, the additional fee for each visa is $30. The visa will be obtained on the similar working day.

The fees for visa rely upon the nationality along with the number of the entries. Conversely, based on the Visa Fee Abolition Agreement, there are the seven countries and the nationals of these countries are exempted from the fees. Nevertheless, the nationals of these countries are to pay the express, rush or the mail services. The countries are:

  • Pakistan,
  • Maldives,
  • Bulgaria,
  • Bosnia-Herzegovina,
  • Poland,
  • Yugoslavia and
  • Slovakia.

Some Chinese embassies or consulates including the Chinese Embassy in Canberra, Australia accept the visa application via the mail.

How much does it cost to apply for a China visa?

Concerning the Chinese visa fees, you can have the assistance from China travel guide. Usually, the visa fees are varied based on the nationality, the number of the entries, the country of origin of the applicant or the fees for an express service. The visas are collected based on the payment. However, there are some locations in which the applicants need to pay while applying for the visas. The nationals of some countries are exempted from the payment of visa fees. These countries are

• Albania
• Bosnia
• Bulgaria
• Herzegovina
• Maldives
• Micronesia
• Pakistan
• Slovakia

Conversely, the applicants in the United Kingdom need to pay some more fees as the general passport holders need to apply for their visas through the Chinese Visa Application Service Center, CVASC. They are not required to apply for the visas at Chinese Embassy in London, United Kingdom. At CVASC, there are some charges against its provided services to the applicants. The travelers of the United States of America have the specific visa fee other than the other issues. The fee is 200 RMB for individuals of the specific countries and 900 RMB for most of the other visa applicants. However, it excludes the express service when someone selects this service.

The visa for overstaying needs an application by making an apology for your fault. While departing China, you are to arrive at the airport or the border and you can deal with this issue. In the other instances, the applicant has to settle the issue with 500 RMB for each day. And it can be extended up to 10000 RMB even though you are not refused a new visa generally or to be provided a new action. On the other hand, the individual can be expelled from the country and he or she is to be prohibited to get into the country for the next ten years. You can also consult with your China travel guide for this sort of issue.

There are the visa agents that are operating in China and in some other countries. Generally, these visa agents can take over the application and take care for you. One of them is China Visa Online. It is suitable when there is no visa issuing Consulate in your residing area. Perhaps, your condition seems more complicated. Or you are applying within the Chinese territories. There are many advertises including TGC. These can help you get the visas. It is hard for you while producing the supporting documents including the invitation letters.

There are some other visa agents and they need to prove their efficiencies. Many agents have already proven their efficiency as they can deliver the visas when they know the system. They have better communications as the rules can be flexible in comparison to the individual applicants. The cost of each single entry visa between South Africa and China is RMB 250. The citizens of the United States of America can stay in Hong Kong for ninety days so far they can have the valid passports. Therefore, there is no worry to arrive in Hong Kong. The nationals of the Unites States of America can enjoy having a seventy-two hour free transit in Beijing. Deciding to stay four days, in advance you have to apply for a visa. Ask your China travel guide to know the pertinent information about the Chinese visas.