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On the Prescription Translation of Traditional Chinese Medicine

Xiong Le(Xi’an Eurasia University)


Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is an essential legacy of Chinese culture, which makes a great contribution to China and the world's medical fields. To make it accepted by more people from different countries, the translation of TCM becomes important. As an important branch of TCM, the study of prescription promotes the development of TCM, and its translation is also significant. However, there are various problems in TCM prescription translation and there are few standards in TCM translation. Thus, this research uses Christiane Nord's "Functionality plus Loyalty" Translation Theory to analyze the TCM prescription translation. Based on characteristics of prescription formation, the paper applies Christiane Nord's "Functionality plus Loyalty" theory to TCM prescription translation. It draws a conclusion that TCM prescription translation can be done according to "Functionality plus Loyalty" theory, and there are three ways of prescription names translation. They are literal translation, free translation and transliteration.


Prescription translation; Christiane Nord; Functionality plus; Loyalty

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Cui, Na., et al. “The Problems and Strategies in TCM Prescription Translation in View of Skopos Theory”. Asia-Pacific Traditional Medicine. 24 (2015): 152-153. Print.

Li, Zhaoguo. “On Translation of TCM Prescriptions”. Chinese Science & Technology Translators Journal.6.4 (1993): 22-25. Print.

Nord, Christiane. Translating as a Purposeful Activity: Functionalist Approaches Explained. Shanghai: 1sted. 2001. Print.

Li, Zhaoguo. “Standardizing English Translation of Traditional Chinese Medical Terminology: An Analysis of Concepts, Principles, and Methods Concerned”.Chinese Translators Journal. 4 (2008): 63-95.Print.

Nord, Christiane. Text Analysis in Translation. Leiden: 2nd ed. 2006. Print.



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