Publication details [#491]

Wan Ngan, Yuen. 2002. Translation as cultural '(de)colonisation'. Perspectives 10 (4) : 283–292.
Publication type
Article in jnl/bk
Publication language


The present article discusses translation as a “colonising” as well as a “decolonising” strategy in the dynamics of cultural representation and interpretation. Most translation, in particular the literary kind, is a matter of culture. China is taken as the key example, since translation has played an important role in forming China’s modern culture and in reconstructing the literary and critical discourse of modern Chinese literature. Some conservative Chinese intellectuals have it that translation has ‘colonised’ modern Chinese culture. However, if there is “cultural colonisation”, the progress of globalisation has also brought about a cultural multiplicity, which means that the process is interactive. As a dynamic practice, translation also “decolonises” source cultures by introducing their aesthetic essence and spirit into target languages and cultures. Thus the binary opposition between cultural “colonisation” and “decolonisation” should be deconstructed since translation plays a double role in international cultural dialogues.
Source : Based on abstract in journal