Normalization, motivation, and reception: A corpus-based lexical study of the four english translations of louis cha’s martial arts fiction

Kan Wu, Dechao Li

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


Combining both qualitative and quantitative methods in the research design, the present study examines the normalizing tendencies in the translations of Louis Cha’s martial arts fiction in such categories as lexical richness, normalized POS distributions, high-frequency words, and the naturalizing percentages of special martial-arts terminology. The result shows that among the four existing translations of the fiction, Minford’s one is marked by the highest degree of lexical normalization and enjoys the best reception in overseas markets. Closely following Minford’s tendency of lexical choices, Holmwood’s translation has gained instant popularity since its debut in 2018. Meanwhile, Mok’s rendition, which has a medium level of lexical normalization, has received the most negative feedback from foreign readers. On the other hand, Earnshaw’s translation, which has the lowest level of lexical normalization, has the most divided and varied reception among its readers. It is further revealed that the translators’ decisions for their lexical choices are highly governed by their translating motivation, which in turn affects the reception of their translations.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNew Frontiers in Translation Studies
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media Deutschland GmbH
Number of pages19
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Publication series

NameNew Frontiers in Translation Studies
ISSN (Print)2197-8689
ISSN (Electronic)2197-8697


  • Louis Cha
  • Normalization
  • Reception
  • Translation of martial arts fiction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language
  • Education
  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication

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