Literary Translation in Contemporary China
11 1. Introduction 1.1 Research Problem and Objectives Over the last several decades, translation has become a more proliﬁc, noteworthy and respectable activity than ever before. From diplomatic talks to business negotiations, from court interpreting to news editing, from literary criticism of classic works to movie productions of recent best-sellers, translation is taking up a central role in this world full of texts and mediated information. After all, it is undeniable that nowadays translation is a common experience and an increasingly important factor in global communication. It makes it possible for speakers of different languages to communicate with each other and brings together cultures which might once have been clearly apart. Alongside the boom in trans- lation itself, Translation Studies have also started to achieve institution- al authority in the academic system. From James Holmes’s classic essay ‘The Name and Nature of Translation Studies’ (1972) which announces the emergence of a young discipline, to the development of Descriptive Translation Studies which establishes an empirical scientiﬁc method of translation research, and to the more recent ‘Cultural Turn’ and ‘Pow- er Turn’ which brings a critical edge to the empirical investigation of translation, Translation Studies in the West has already grown into a dy- namic and independent discipline with its own objectives and methods. In China, Translation Studies is an even younger discipline which was established under heavy inﬂuence from western theories. As Chang Nam Fung (2008) observes, traditional Chinese discourses on transla- tion have been impressionistic, unsystematic and...
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