All languages have words and expressions that can hardly be translated in other languages. Often, words are not only containers of meaning, but also encode information on the linguistic and situational context where they may – or must – occur. These may include cultural elements, the type of relationship, attitude, and emotional dynamics between the interlocutors, or the purpose of the communication, among others. This is even truer for Chinese, a language whose evolution is tightly intertwined with that of Chinese history, culture, and society and in which context plays a crucial role in the interpretation of utterances and texts. This essay offers a little taste of untranslatability in Modern Standard Chinese: after a short overview of the concept of (un)translatability, it discusses some examples of lemmas, expressions, and constructions bearing meanings that are hard to translate into Italian.

Parole intraducibili? Uno sguardo al cinese moderno

Anna Morbiato
Writing – Original Draft Preparation
2020

Abstract

All languages have words and expressions that can hardly be translated in other languages. Often, words are not only containers of meaning, but also encode information on the linguistic and situational context where they may – or must – occur. These may include cultural elements, the type of relationship, attitude, and emotional dynamics between the interlocutors, or the purpose of the communication, among others. This is even truer for Chinese, a language whose evolution is tightly intertwined with that of Chinese history, culture, and society and in which context plays a crucial role in the interpretation of utterances and texts. This essay offers a little taste of untranslatability in Modern Standard Chinese: after a short overview of the concept of (un)translatability, it discusses some examples of lemmas, expressions, and constructions bearing meanings that are hard to translate into Italian.
Mantua Humanistic Studies
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3728027
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