Volume 69, Issue 4
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
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This study examines the performance of the neural machine translation system DeepL in translating Shakespeare’s plays and . The aim here is to explore the strengths and limitations of an AI-based English-Chinese translation of literary texts. Adopting a corpus-based approach, the study investigates the accuracy and fluency rates, the linguistic features, and the use of various methods of translation in the Chinese translations of Shakespeare’s plays conducted via DeepL. It compares these to the translations by Liang Shiqiu, a well-known Chinese translator. The study finds that DeepL performs well in translating these works, with an accuracy and fluency rate of above 80% in sampled texts, showing the potential of the use of neural machine translation in translating literary texts across distant languages. Our research further reveals that the DeepL translations exhibit a certain degree of creativity in their use of translation methods such as addition, explicitation, conversion and shift of perspective, and in the use of Chinese sentence-final modal particles, as well as Chinese modal verbs. On the other hand, the system appears to be limited in that a certain amount of translation errors are present, including literal translations.


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