Interpreters in Early Imperial China

| Lingnan University
HardboundAvailable
ISBN 9789027224446 | EUR 85.00 | USD 128.00
 
e-Book
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
Preface
ix
Introduction
xi–xiv
Acknowledgments
xv
Chronology
xvii
1. Perceptions of translating/interpreting in first-century China
1–20
2. Bridging language barriers in encounters with China in sixth-century Asia
21–42
3. Türkish diplomatic correspondence to Sui China (581–618): Was it translated?
43–58
4. Translation officials in Tang China (618–907)
59–76
5. Interpreters and archival records of foreign contacts of imperial China
77–90
6. Interpreters and the writing of histories about interlingual encounters
91–102
7. Interpreters as consultants in historiography in eighth-century China
103–116
8. Interpreters and the making of the Kirghiz Memoir and Kirghiz accounts
117–134
9. Oral translators in outbound diplomatic correspondence
135–148
10. Sogdian interpreters in Tang China: An issue of loyalty
149–158
Conclusion
159–164
Appendix. The thirteen letters and the two exceptions
165–166
Bibliographies
167–176
Index
177–???
“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.

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Wang, Binhua
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 01 may 2020. 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

Translation & Interpreting Studies

Translation Studies
BIC Subject: CFP – Translation & interpretation
BISAC Subject: LAN023000 – LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2011026145