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Web of Proceedings - Francis Academic Press

A Research on the Textual Interpretation and English Translation of Chinese Taoist Metaphorical System in Zhouyi Cantong Qi

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DOI: 10.25236/etmhs.2022.024



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The metaphors in Chinese Taoist ancient works have unique literary features. The book Zhouyi cantong qi has received high attention since Tang dynasty as one of the most important works in Chinese alchemy. Metaphorical expressions are widely used to symbolize the alchemical process both for inner and external alchemy. From an intercultural perspective, the paper discusses the translations of metaphorical system and key terms in two English translations of Zhouyi cantong qi separately by Zhou Shiyi and Fabrizio Pregadio. It finds out that translators’ perception of the main idea of the book largely affected their translation process and strategies, Chinese translator used more liberal translation strategy than the western translator, and both translators effectively kept the images of metaphors of the source text. The use of metaphorical words in phrases and sentences makes the whole text of Cantong qi full of mystery.


Metaphor translation, Zhouyi cantong qi, Taoism, Traditional chinese culture