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The Analysis of “Ah(雅)”, Translation Theory of Yan Fu

Ji-Bong Son 1

1이화여자대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

This paper is to disclose the meaning of “Ah(雅), the translation theory of Yan Fu,” which has come under intense scrutiny in academia. Yan Fu, a scholar of ancient literary writings of Dong Sung School, was a translator of modern Western studies and translation theorist. Shindalah (信達雅), the translation theory of Yan Fu, has been the focus of academic debate since Tang Dynasty. It is a unique theory of translation built on the three principles of translation advocated by Taylor. Whereas Taylor set great store by the loyalty to the original text, Yan Fu emphasized readability, arguing that deviation from the original text is possible if it helps to convey the original meaning. Yan Fu said that Ah(雅) is about rendering the Western literature, product of two thousand years of discrete culture into oriental language. Students of his theory have held the view that Ah is more important than “Shin(信, faithfulness)”and “Dal(達, mastery).” They thought that translator should have a full grasp of the original text before rendering in an easy-to-comprehend manner to the readers, which requires capability, efforts and creativity of the translators. Yan Fu classified the degree of understanding of the original text into superficial, general and fundamental understanding and the level of translated version into a level produced by best efforts, a level enough to convey the original meaning to the readers and a level that can have an extensive impact on the wide strata of readers. Ah is a level that befits the translation born of deep understanding of the original so that it can have an impact on wide strata of readers.

Citation status

* References for papers published after 2022 are currently being built.