INTRODUCTION OF EMPATHY INTO THE CLASSROOM OF TRANSLATION BETWEEN CHINESE AND ENGLISH

P.Y. Ning

School of Foreign Languages,North China Electric Power University (CHINA)
With the increasing amount of information exchange in the world, the age of globalization witnesses the growth of cross-cultural encounters both in frequency and intensity. Therefore, education on students’ cultural awareness has been attached unprecedented significant importance in Chinese universities, especially in the English language classroom.

Empathy, with cognitive connotation, refers to the psychological process in which a person shows a great consideration of the thinking and feelings of others by putting oneself in the others’ position. Dr. Milton Bennett developed the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI) and put forward the eight levels or stages (Denial, Defense, Reversal, Minimization, Acceptance, Adaptation: cognitive frame-shifting, Adaptation: behavioural code-shitting, and Encapsulated marginality) leading from benightedness to enlightenment. The present paper focuses on the introduction of empathy as the ability to understand the others from the other’s cultural perspective into the classroom of translation, especially in the study of translation process.

Many scholars, based on their translation experience and theoretical study, presented their views on translation process; among them are Roger T.Bell, Eugene A. Nida and Marianne Lederer, etc. On the study of translation process, the factor of translator can never be neglected. Translation, in some way, is the explanation process for the original author, which, to a large scale, relies on the understanding of the translator. Some scholar, like George Steiner, even mentioned that understanding is translation. Better understanding ensures better translation, and better understanding comes not only from the proficiency in the source and target languages, but, more importantly, from the harmoniously transition and integration between the two presented cultures. In the trend of globalization, translation can never be a simple language conversion. It more and more becomes the two-way cultural exchange. Combined with the study of translation process, the introduction of empathy and IDI would assist students in translation to develop keen awareness of the differences between cognitive and sentimental referents in Chinese and English languages and cultures, and helps them to properly deal with the intercultural translation.