Red China, Red translation
An introduction to Fang Huawen and his translation theory
This thesis gives a concise introduction to Professor Fang Huawen, the most productive literary translator in contemporary China, and concentrates on his important translation theory “Red Translation in Red China”. He is most productive based on the fact that he has published translated works of about 6 million words. China’s translation is “red” based on the fact that politics plays a dominant role in China’s translation activities. To drive home this notion which is the key point in Professor Fang’s theory, the author of the thesis traces the reasons from the following four aspects:.1.Historical and social reasons. China’s weakness in the closing years of the Qing Dynasty and China’s failure of the war with Japan in 1895 dealt a heavy blow on the patriotic scholars of the country, so they regarded translation as the most important means of saving the nation from being enslaved; such “patriotic” translation developed into “red” translation as times changed. 2. Human reasons. Nearly all of the translators following the line of “red translation”, who had formed a large body in the teams of Chinese translators before and after 1949, were either communist leaders like Maodun and Liu Bocheng or ardent supporters of socialist cause. They guided the direction of translation in modern China by taking the lead in introducing “red” books into China. 3. Reasons of political systems. P. R. China is governed by the Party who sticks to “red” (proletarian) politics, which has decided the nature of translation in China. 4. Reasons of public wills. The scholars in old China were in continuous search of a way to save their motherland from slavery; Darwinism, Anarchism, Utopian socialism and many other “isms” had aroused their interests, but they chose socialism as the masses, who suffered in poverty, thought that only socialism could help them get rid of poverty and achieve national independence. The nature of socialist China permits only red translation.
Published online: 04 August 2008