Interpreters in Early Imperial China

| Lingnan University
ISBN 9789027224446 | EUR 85.00 | USD 128.00
ISBN 9789027284181 | EUR 85.00 | USD 128.00
This monograph examines interpreters in early imperial China and their roles in the making of archival records about foreign countries and peoples. It covers ten empirical studies on historical interpreting and discusses a range of issues, such as interpreters’ identities, ethics, non-mediating tasks, status, and relations with their patrons and other people they worked with. These findings are based on critical readings of primary and secondary sources, which have rarely been utilized and analyzed in depth even in translation research published in Chinese.

Although this is a book about China, the interpreters documented are, surprisingly, mostly foreigners, not Chinese. Cases in point are the enterprising Tuyuhun and Sogdian interpreters. In fact, some Sogdians were recruited as China’s translation officials, while many others were hired as linguistic and trading agents in mediation between Chinese and Turkic-speaking peoples. These idiosyncrasies in the use of interpreters give rise to further questions, such as patterns in China’s provision of foreign interpreters for its diplomatic exchanges and associated loyalty concerns. This book should be of interest not only to researchers in Translation and Interpreting Studies, but also to scholars and students in ancient Chinese history and Sinology in general.
[Benjamins Translation Library, 96]  2011.  xvii, 181 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“China was international long before globalization, but this chapter in Chinese history is rarely, if ever, studied. Rachel Lung’s Interpreters in Early Imperial China will fill an important lacuna, not only in Chinese history, but in world history.”
“The study takes a purely document-based approach to discussing the role of interpreters and achieves persuasive strength in the diversity of archival research that guided her

reconstruction of the contexts in which interpreters worked over eight centuries in China.”
“Rachel Lung’s Interpreters in Early Imperial China, parts of which were previously published in Interpreting (Lung 2008, 2009), is a valuable contribution to our collective knowledge on the history of interpreting in the world. As Lung mentions, this book will hopefully be followed by more research on interpreters in many different parts of the world and different periods in history, allowing for new findings to be cross-referenced through collaboration and dialogue among international scholars of interpreting history.”
“Lung’s groundbreaking work makes an important contribution to the field of interpreting studies. The insightful argument she proposes in the book, that interpreters in early imperial China acted as historians, or consultants in the recording of diplomatic events, can be regarded as a great contribution enriching our knowledge of the history of interpreting.

Cited by

Cited by 13 other publications

Denecke, Wiebke
2014.  In A Companion to Translation Studies,  pp. 204 ff. Crossref logo
Gambier, Yves
2018.  In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge [Benjamins Translation Library, 142],  pp. 19 ff. Crossref logo
Gürçağlar, Şehnaz Tahir
2022. Translation Historiography. Baltic accent 13:1  pp. 14 ff. Crossref logo
Hart, Jonathan Locke
2017. The formation of (hybrid) identity through the translation of texts about culture and cultural encounter in a historical context. Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies 4:3  pp. 201 ff. Crossref logo
Palstra, Friso P., Evelyne Heyer & Frédéric Austerlitz
2015. Statistical Inference on Genetic Data Reveals the Complex Demographic History of Human Populations in Central Asia. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32:6  pp. 1411 ff. Crossref logo
Ren, Wen & Juan Huang
2019.  In Translation Studies in China [New Frontiers in Translation Studies, ],  pp. 135 ff. Crossref logo
Ross, Paul
2020.  In Barriers to Entry,  pp. 23 ff. Crossref logo
Tan, Zaixi
2019.  In Translation Studies in China [New Frontiers in Translation Studies, ],  pp. 9 ff. Crossref logo
Valdeón, Roberto A.
2013.  In Handbook of Translation Studies [Handbook of Translation Studies, 4],  pp. 111 ff. Crossref logo
Valdeón, Roberto A.
2018.  In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge [Benjamins Translation Library, 142],  pp. 255 ff. Crossref logo
Valdeón, Roberto A.
2021. Perspectives on interpreting. Perspectives 29:4  pp. 441 ff. Crossref logo
Valdeón, Roberto A.
2022.  In The Cambridge Handbook of Translation,  pp. 521 ff. Crossref logo
Wang, Binhua
2017. Takeda, Kayoko and Baigorri-Jalón, Jesús, eds. (2016): New Insights in the History of Interpreting. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 278 p.. Meta: Journal des traducteurs 62:3  pp. 664 ff. Crossref logo

This list is based on CrossRef data as of 28 july 2022. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.

Subjects & Metadata

Translation & Interpreting Studies

Translation Studies
BIC Subject: CFP – Translation & interpretation
BISAC Subject: LAN023000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2011026145 | Marc record