, Volume 44 Issue 2 Previous Issue   
Scholarly Forum
What Are Good Translations?
Jiang Wangqi
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2022, 44(2): 3-16.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.379
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This paper intends to propose a set of simple and easy criteria for good translations. We begin with a discussion of “Xin Da Ya” (信达雅) by Yan Fu, what do they mean? Are Yan Fu’s translations up to the standards? Then we come to our own proposals, substantiated with examples: (1) a translation should not be in conflict with the central theme of the original; (2) translated works should be readable; and (3) the translator should aim at both spiritual likeness and formal likeness at the same time. The conclusion is: a translation will by its nature be at variance with the original in some way. In other words, a translator will have to do a hard job within all kinds of constraints.

Linguistic Studies (Special Column for Multimodality Studies, Guest Editor: Feng Dezheng)
Multimodal Metaphors in Political Posters on Socialist Core Values
Zhao Xiufeng
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2022, 44(2): 17-30.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.380
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Adopting the approach of a social-cognitive study of multimodal discourse, the present study conducts an analysis of the multimodal metaphors in 300 political posters on socialist core values. The major findings are as follows: (1) In such source domains as nature, animals, traditional cultural symbols, and event structures, three dominant conceptual metaphors are constructed: abstract concepts as entities, abstract values as concrete signs, and abstract moral/spirit/psychology as motor behavior. They are used to construct abstract concepts, mainly including grand political concepts such as country, civilization, and nation; social ideals such as happiness, auspiciousness, and harmony; and moral principles such as diligence, friendliness, and piety. (2) Multimodal metaphors as effective instruments for the specification and manifestation of political ideas provide cognitive resources and the means for realizing national grand narratives and individual identification. They are tools of political mobilization and the dissemination of mainstream ideology. It is suggested that the ways of constructing and disseminating these posters should be more diversified and individualized so as to improve their effect of communication and cultivation of socialist core values.

Multimodal Discursive Governance on Social Media: Short Video News about COVID-19 on TikTok as an Example
Wu Yuanzheng, Feng Dezheng
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2022, 44(2): 31-50.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.381
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In the era of the mobile internet, social media news, with its rich resources and huge user groups, has become an important way for government agencies to achieve effective publicity and management. On the basis of the characteristics of social media, we propose the concept of multimodal discourse governance and discuss how the official news media guide the emotions and attitudes of the public by constructing positive values to realize discourse governance in the context of COVID-19. On the basis of the appraisal system, this paper proposes a semantic framework of positive values and a multimodal analytical framework to systematically describe how positive values are constructed by text resources and image resources. Through the analysis of short TikTok videos produced by CCTV News, it is found that news videos represent positive emotions, people’s good qualities, and the rationality of events through bottom-up, persuasive, and triggering discourse strategies to achieve the purpose of building a community with shared emotions and shared values. This study points out that multimodal discourse governance on social media not only serves to improve the overall governance capacity of the country but also plays an important role in improving national soft power and building a harmonious society.

Multimodal Construction of the “Rule of Law”: A Genre Analysis of Anticorruption Public Service Advertisements
Liu Yujie, Yuan Chuanyou
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2022, 44(2): 51-65.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.382
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The question of how to raise legal awareness and cultivate a belief in the rule of law has been a vital issue that ongoing judicial reform in China must address. Focusing on multimodal anticorruption discourse, the present study seeks to investigate the process of how legal ideology concerning the rule of law is represented and transmitted through various semiotic resources. On the basis of a systematic functional multimodal discourse analysis and a Sydney approach to genre analysis and appraisal analysis, the present research explores the generic structure and register variables distributed in anticorruption public service advertisements (APSAs). The present study identifies three subgenres of APSAs and their respective generic structures. This research aims to provide linguistic references for the production of multimodal anticorruption discourse and thus contributes to the implementation of rule of law in the country.

The Multimodal Construction of Transcultural Identities in New Media: The Case of Short YouTube Videos of Li Ziqi
Wang Yilei, Zou Tiantian
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2022, 44(2): 66-78.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.383
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In recent years, the low-maintenance nature of social networking sites has allowed ordinary people to digitally circulate their products and construct transcultural identities. In this context, this article will explore the multimodal construction of individuals’ transcultural identities on social media by proposing a multimodal theoretical framework. Through the analysis of 108 YouTube videos by a popular vlogger, Li Ziqi, this study shows that she highlights her dual identity as a traditional Chinese woman and a modern woman. The image of a traditional Chinese woman is constructed through her promotion of traditional Chinese virtues and revitalization of local folk art; the image of a modern woman is characterized by her self-portrayal as an attractive young woman who pursues professionalism and a trendy lifestyle. In an effort of multimodal pragmatic analysis, this study demonstrates how this approach can help us understand the complex manifestation of transcultural identities in multimodal discourse. This study also contributes to an understanding of China’s soft power-building strategies, shedding light on how Chinese culture is promoted to a global audience.

Multimodal Construction of the Anti-COVID-19 Spirit: The Documentary The Frontline: China’s Fight against COVID-19 as an Example
Li Xin, Xing Jingkun
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2022, 44(2): 79-95.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.384
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Recently, the mainstream media in China have launched several anti-COVID-19 documentaries that have been playing a very important role in transmitting positive Chinese stories, building up an anti-COVID-19 spirit, constructing a national discourse, and shaping national image. Therefore, relevant research on these anti-COVID-19 documentaries has gained more attention in academic circles. However, the existing research is mainly confined to the discipline of communication studies, with scant cross-disciplinary empirical research of the intrinsic discourse mechanisms of the construction and communication of an anti-COVID-19 spirit. To address this research gap, this research attempts to construct a working framework based on the analytical framework of the attitude subsystem (affect, judgment, and appreciation) of appraisal theory and the multimodal realization framework of attitudinal meaning to analyze the verbal resources and multimodal visual resources of The Frontline: China’s Fight against COVID-19, an English-language documentary launched by China Global Television Network. The main findings show that the documentary presents an aesthetic spirit of heroism, optimism, collectivism, and idealism. The judgment attitudinal attribute dominates the verbal resources, and affect appears the most frequently in the video resources, which echoes documentaries’ dual functions of cultivating ideal acceptance and sparking emotional resonance. In the era of media convergence, the transmission tactics of the documentary feature “affect-based” empathy communication and “all-media” targeted communication, serving as a conducive move in China’s international discourse formulation and national image shaping.

Studies on Multimodal Construction Grammar: Theoretical Motivation, Research Framework, and Prospects
Wu Suwei
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2022, 44(2): 96-108.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.385
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In recent years, the study of Multimodal Construction Grammar has received increasing attention. Against this background, this paper first provides an analysis of the rationale behind studies of Multimodal Construction Grammar, including two basic tenets of Construction Grammar: a usage-based approach to constructions and constructional meaning as conceptualization. Second, it summarizes the research framework, which involves the following elements: (1) the form and meaning of verbal constructions, (2) the form and meaning of gestures, (3) the formal relationship between gestures and verbal constructions, (4) the semantic relationship between gestures and verbal constructions, and (5) the conventionality of multimodal form-meaning pairings. Furthermore, a case analysis of a multimodal modal particle construction in German is provided to illustrate how this framework can be applied to examine the multimodality of constructions. After that, the theoretical implications of these studies are discussed. Multimodal constructional studies provide a new and more direct tool for exploring the meaning of constructions and help in reconsidering the nature of linguistic structures and broadening the scope of constructions. Finally, a number of theoretical and empirical challenges are raised; for instance, the criteria for defining multimodal constructions are still somewhat fuzzy, and research methods on multimodal constructions are still not quantitative or diversified enough.

Translation Studies
On the English Translation of Ruan Ji’s Poems and the Transference of the Implied Author
Ruan Shiyun
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2022, 44(2): 109-126.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.386
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Ruan Ji’s thoughts and emotions are full of conflicts and contradictions, and some scholars even think that he was schizophrenic. But this phenomenon can be explained with the theory of the “implied author” in narratology. The theory of the implied author helps us focus on the rhetorical intention of a certain text and distinguish the stance and image of the writer in the creation of a certain piece of work from his stance and image in his other works and in historical records. The image and stance of the implied author come into the limelight in the translation of traditional Chinese poems into English because of differences between the two languages. This paper takes examples from Ruan Ji’s poems to reveal the relationship and transformation of implied authors in the ST and the TT of poetry translation. A review is also made of the introduction of Ruan Ji’s works into the West. The image of the implied author(s) of Ruan Ji’s often ambiguous poems is, through translation, fully preserved, partly preserved (and deprived of ambiguity), or totally altered (but sometimes in conformity with the real author or the implied author in his other poems). The translator’s textual interpretation and expression are largely dependent on his/her impression of the implied author of Ruan’s other works or of the real author implied by the author’s biography and other historical records.

Academic Frontiers and Trends
Syntactic Research on Code-switching Abroad
Wang Lin
Journal of Beijing International Studies University, 2022, 44(2): 127-141.   https://doi.org/10.12002/j.bisu.387
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Code-switching is one of the most important language contact phenomena. The syntactic research on code-switching is of great value for understanding the discourse structures in language contact. This paper reviews the syntactic studies of code-switching abroad in the past 40 years, focusing on research paradigms and methods, and then puts forward future research directions. The syntactic studies of code-switching abroad can be traced back to the 1970s. They focus on the syntactic patterns of code-switching and further explore its universal constraints. Four main theoretical viewpoints are presented: (1) “specific constraints” (code-switching is governed by specific constraints), (2) “common constraints” (code-switching is constrained by the monolingual syntactic rules of the involved languages), (3) “no constraints” (no syntactic patterns can govern code-switching), and (4) “neutrality” (code-switching is considered a language strategy or follows general rules). Furthermore, it is found that there are still deficiencies in the syntactic research on code-switching. In the future, it will be necessary to further verify and supplement previous research theories, construct a syntactic research program for code-switching, and carry out interdisciplinary research on code-switching, such as in the fields of linguistics and psychology.

9 articles