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Rhetorical Effects of Puns in English and American Literature and Their Translation

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DOI: 10.38007/Proceedings.0000361


Shu Yu

Corresponding Author

Shu Yu


With the continuous development of China’s science and technology and economic globalization, literary works can not be ignored as bridges between people in various countries and regions. However, in British and American literary works, most famous writers like to use pun rhetoric methods in their literary works, making it more difficult for readers to understand the meaning of the works. The purpose of this article is to study the rhetorical effects of puns in English and American literature and their translation. This article analyzes the meaning and form of puns, and studies the rhetorical effects and translation methods of puns in depth. The translation strategies include equivalent literal translation and free translation. This article uses a combination of literature research, theoretical analysis, and statistical analysis. The experimental object is four literary works. Ten chapters of each work are randomly selected to count the number of puns using translation strategies in these ten chapters. Statistics show that more translation strategies are used for equivalent literal translation. The experimental statistics of this paper show that the number of equivalent translations is 116 and the number of free translations is 32.


British and American Literary Works; Pun Translation; Rhetorical Effect; Homophonic Pun; Word Meaning Pun