Distortion, Distraction and Diction in Chinese Short-Sketch Comedy (CSSC) Translation: A Hermeneutic Perspective

Jie Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this paper is to investigate distortion in comprehending CSSC translation, distracted constraints when translating CSSC and corresponding translation strategies from the perspective of hermeneutics. The prevailing CSSC performed by contemporary artists will be chosen as a case study to illustrate translation difficulties of this main-streamed but unassuming art form. Main challenges are language-dependence and informativeness. Compared with typical performance art forms in the West, The CSSC consists of sarcastic quips about current affairs or pure entertainment with deliberate misdirection. The CSSC is nourished by national humor and Chinese culture, which is derived from Chinese history or cotemporary matters, and which escalates the absurdity of real scenarios with different twists and endings. The third feature is the CSSC’s adoption of economy of languages. Uncovering loaded subtexts in a witty way is far from an easy task with time constraints. As a result, CSSC translation can be either devastating or constructively amusing. However, there is no consensus amongst translation scholars on how to reserve the aesthetics in CSSC, but at the same time lay out overtones of ambiguities and punchlines in translation. In order to attract a large and appreciative audience and guarantee maximum reception. this paper investigates the fundamental linguistic links and undertones in a hermeneutic way. Questions are three: 1) How to employ possible interpretations to rehabilitate the original when specific connotations occur? 2) How to avoid cultural misappropriations? 3) How to develop new translation technicalities when encountered with contradicts of standard narratives? The research will provide a new insight into translation comedy relevant texts, and improve understanding of economy of languages.
Keywords: CSSC, hermeneutic, distortion, constraints, aesthetics;

Original languageEnglish
JournalmTm Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2020


Dive into the research topics of 'Distortion, Distraction and Diction in Chinese Short-Sketch Comedy (CSSC) Translation: A Hermeneutic Perspective'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this