Publication details [#4476]

Chan, Leo Tak-hung. 2004. Twentieth-century Chinese translation theory: modes, issues and debates (Benjamins Translation Library 51). Amsterdam: John Benjamins. xvi + 277 pp.
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US ISBN: 1-58811-511-9 Also reviewed in: Jeremy Munday (2006). “Translation Studies”. #Years Work Critical and Cultural Theory# 14 (1): 195-208.


Past attempts at writing a history of Chinese translation theory have been bedeviled by a chronological approach, which often forces the writer to provide no more than a list of important theories and theorists over the centuries. Or they have stretched out to almost every aspect related to translation in China, so that the historical/political backdrop that had an influence on translation theorizing turns out to be more important than the theories themselves. In the present book, the author hopes to pay exclusive attention to the ideas themselves. The approach adopted centers around eight key issues that engaged the attention of theorists through the course of the twentieth century, in the hope that a historical account will be presented that is not time-bound. On the basis of 38 articles translated into English by teachers and scholars of translation, the author has written four essays discussing the Chinese characteristics of this body of theory. Separately they focus on the impressionistic, the modern, the postcolonial, and the poststructuralist approaches deployed by leading Chinese theorists from 1901 to 1998.
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