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International Journal of New Developments in Education, 2022, 4(6); doi: 10.25236/IJNDE.2022.040605.

A Study on the English Translation of Culture-Loaded Words in The Three-Body Problem from the Perspective of Manipulation Theory


Yuhan Huang

Corresponding Author:
Yuhan Huang

School of Foreign Language, China University of Geosciences, Beijing, China


Written by Liu Cixin and published in 2006, The Three-Body Problem is one of the most popular science fiction novels in China. Its English version translated by Ken Liu won a Hugo Award for Best Novel, which has pushed Chinese science fiction to a higher status in the world. Science fiction translation is an emerging topic in the field of translation research. Current studies mainly focus on the translation strategies adopted by the English version of The Three-Body Problem, and little research explores how culture-loaded words are translated from the perspective of Manipulation Theory. Employing a case-study approach, this thesis applies Manipulation Theory to the analysis of culture-loaded words in Ken Liu’s English translation of The Three-Body Problem. The results show: (1) manipulated by ideology, the translator rewrites the culture-loaded words containing political elements and religious elements with translation strategies such as amplification, transliteration and domestication; (2) poetics manipulates the translation of Chinese idioms, old sayings and proverbs, in which domestication, idiomatic translation and literal translation strategies are adopted; (3) to meet the patronage’s expectation, the translator adds many footnotes which provide extra information about Chinese culture. These results can shed light on culture-loaded words translation of science fiction and make a positive contribution to Chinese culture going abroad.


The Three-Body Problem, Manipulation Theory, Culture-loaded words

Cite This Paper

Yuhan Huang. A Study on the English Translation of Culture-Loaded Words in The Three-Body Problem from the Perspective of Manipulation Theory. International Journal of New Developments in Education (2022) Vol. 4, Issue 6: 26-36. https://doi.org/10.25236/IJNDE.2022.040605.


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