Intertextuality in Translating Romantic Folksong Hua’er Across Time and Space with English Love Poems

Ma Rui


Hua’er, a peculiar type of folk song in Northwest China, can be translated by referring to English love poems to recreate analogous but fundamentally different intertextual relations in English. The intertextuality perspective of translation enables the translator to see the rendition not as a product but as one of the numerous interpretive possibilities. Seen in this light, translating romantic Hua’er is able to open up one of many dialogues with English language and culture. By analyzing pieces of romantic Hua’er which the author translated, this paper aims to explore ways of representing the original intertextual relations in the English cultural context through three specific situations where the intertexts within Hua’er are recreated in the receiving language. The three ways are reproducing by substitution for intertexts likely to remain unrecognized in English, retaining intertexts with distinctive Chinese characteristics and constructing intertexts in a new context familiar to English readers.


Intertextuality, Romantic Hua’er, English Love Poems, Translation

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