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Đoạn Trường Tân Thanh (A New Cry from a Broken Heart), more commonly referred to as Truyện Kiều (The Tale of Kiều), by Nguyễn Du is considered to be among the most prominent works in Vietnamese literature. Therefore, Truyện Kiều has been translated into multiple languages around the world, including French, Japanese, Chinese, and English with a considerable number of versions available. This study focuses on analyzing, assessing, and comparing the quality of the English translations of Truyện Kiều by Huỳnh Sanh Thông (1983) and Michael Counsell (1994), using Juliane House’s Model of Translation Quality Assessment (2015). In general, Huỳnh Sanh Thông’s translation (1983) is more faithful to the original version in terms of content and figurative language, along with a detailed list of footnotes. Regarding Michael Counsell’s translation (1994), there is a complete lack of footnotes, and there are many changes compared to the original version, with additions to and reductions from the content in order to maintain the poetic form and rhyme scheme. Afterwards, recommendations for future poetry translations from Vietnamese into English are provided, including the followings: (1) the translation must include sufficient and detailed footnotes to provide clear explanations on the cultural, historical, and linguistic elements in the original version, (2) the translation needs to be faithful to the original version with limited changes made to the content, the order of events, as well as limited additions and reductions made to the original content, (3) the translation should prioritize the content over the poetic form, and (4) the translation needs a specific function and target audience.

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Article Details

Issue: Vol 7 No 4 (2023): Vol 7(4): Under publishing
Page No.: In press
Published: Nov 18, 2023
Section: Research Article - Social Sciences

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Creative Commons License

Copyright: The Authors. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License CC-BY 4.0., which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

 How to Cite
Ngo, K., & Nguyen, T. (2023). A comparative study of the English translations of Truyện Kiều. VNUHCM Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, 7(4), In press.

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