Publication details [#706]

Chang, Nam Fung. 1998. Politics and poetics in translation: accounting for a Chinese version of Yes Prime Minister. In Venuti, Lawrence, ed. Translation and minority. Special issue of The Translator. Studies in Intercultural Communication 4 (2): 249–272.
Publication type
Article in Special issue
Publication language
Source language
Target language
Title as subject


Using largely acceptability-oriented strategies, the author of this article wished his Chinese translation of Yes Prime Minister to be a well-formed literary text in the target system and a satire on Chinese politics by way of allegory. It posed a challenge to the dominant translation poetics that favours adequacy, and also to the dominant ideology that upholds loyalty to those in power. After a description of the socio-cultural background - including the political situation, the system of literary patronage and the translation tradition, the skopos and constraints of translating, and translation strategies - this paper demonstrates that in the Chinese context an acceptability-oriented translation can be a non-transparent text that makes the translator visible, reforming rather than being conservative with regard to certain traditional values in the target culture, and rebelling against the majority culture from which the text is appropriated.
Source : Abstract in journal