On Arthur Waley’s English Version of the View of “Tian”, “Tao” and Their Relevant Content in Tao Te Ching

Xiaojuan Peng


Chinese classic Tao Te Ching has been rendered into the English world overwhelmingly, but the controversial views on the translation of “Tian” (?) and “Tao”(?) are still in the ascendant. Among the diversified versions, Arthur Waley’s is highly acclaimed, however, translation analysis of historical semantic representation and comprehensive source text is far from sufficient. It is reasonable to start from the historical semantic representation of “Tian” and “Tao” in the relevant Chinese classic books, to observe and study the available diachronic and synchronic cross influence. With the assistant of general semantic interpretation and Arthur Waley’s relevant translation study, it analyzes three crucial sentences reflecting the view of “Tian”, “Tao” and their relevant content in chapters 16, 25 and 77, generalizing their culture sources, influential annotations, ideologies interplay, source and target text exposition. The translation appreciation would take on the profound comprehension to specific source text, bilingual cultural considerations, and some translation thinking, in order to evaluate the particular target text impartially in comparatively complete perspectives.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/eltls.v2n3p17


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