The Functional and Three Beauty Theory: An Alternative Perspective on the Chinese Translation of English Advertisement

Lee Pin Ling, Tengku Sepora Tengku Mahadi


Considering the multiracial, multicultural and multilingual background of the readers in Malaysia, it is very common to find advertisements with exactly the same graphics but in different languages. From the survey of previous studies, it is found that the Chinese translation of English advertisement in Malaysia has not received adequate attention from researchers. Apart from this, it is found that the adoption of the Three Beauty Theory into the translation of advertisement has not captured much attention from researchers. Thus, this study attempts to fill this gap by looking into the Chinese translation of English advertisement in Malaysian newspapers, based on the Functional Translation Theory and the Three Beauty Theory. The result of this study shows that the use of three aspects of Chinese language (meaning, sound and form) in analysing and identifying the appellativeness of a Chinese translated English headline is appropriate. In addition to that, the effectiveness of Chinese translation of English advertisement headline, in terms of meaning, sound and form could be analysed and improved, based on the Three Beauty Theory. In short, the Functional Translation Theories provides a guideline on the purpose of translation, typology, and language function and translation strategy in the Chinese translation of English advertisement. On the other hand, the Three Beauty Theory safeguards the effectiveness and the beauty of Chinese language, in terms of meaning (idea, message), form (structure) and sound (phonology).

Keywords: Chinese translation, English advertisement, Functional Translation Theory, Three Beauty Theory

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