Translation Seminar Series (Since 2001)

Towards a Yin-yang Poetics of Translation: Getting Translation Down to a Fine (Martial) Art of ‘Pushing Hands’

Date: 27/03/2014

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Zhu Chunshen

Translation Seminar Series

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This seminar will begin with a few minutes of live Tai Chi demonstration to the accompaniment of a strain of non-Chinese music, to illustrate how the flow of energy enables a ‘stigmergy’ among the faculties of a human body, both physical and spiritual, to bring about a kinaesthetic experience of articulation in a yin-yang response to the rhythm of the music.

Towards a Material Poetics in Chinese: Text, Translation and Technology

Date: 27/02/2014

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Dr Lee Tong King

Translation Seminar Series

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How do text, translation and technology intersect and interact in contemporary poetics? This project attempts an answer to this question through a case study of the avant-garde Taiwanese poet Chen Li (b.1954). In Chen’s oeuvre, translation as a concept is instantiated in a number of different ways: as translingual signification where different languages encounter within a text; as the displacement of a printed book by its electronic version (media translation); and as the creative transposition (intersemiotic translation) of a poem into a musical performance complete with vocals and piano accompaniment.

Teaching Translation in Contexts: With Special Reference to the Social Context of Macao

Date: 21/01/2014

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Zhang Meifang

Translation Seminar Series

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Socio-cultural context is an important aspect in the study of language and translation, because the three, namely, context, language and translation are inextricably linked. This paper attempts to discuss the translation of different text types which are functioning in the social contexts of Macao and other areas of China.

Homer my Homey: Transatlantic Rewritings of the Iliad and Odyssey

Date: 09/01/2014

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Dr Scott G. Williams

Translation Seminar Series

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English-language and German-language cultures both claim the same shared classical Greek tradition. Even though knowledge of classical Greek is hardly wide spread, the Iliad and Odyssey are familiar to a wide audience through translations and other rewritings across different genres and media, from fiction to non-fiction, prose and poetry to film, stage, and the internet.

Traditional Chinese Theories of Translation: Terminology

Date: 05/12/2013

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Chu Chi Yu

Translation Seminar Series

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傳統翻譯研究主要集中在技術層面,強調與實踐的關係;這一點在中國尤其顯著。其中譯名問題的研究最為突出。本研討會試討論中國譯名方法的原則,並總結機構為統一科學譯名做出的努力。

Translating the Chuci: Old Approaches and New Problems

Date: 21/11/2013

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Dr Nicholas Morrow Williams

Translation Seminar Series

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The Chuci 楚辭 (Songs of the South or Incantations of Chu) is one of the two oldest and most influential anthologies of Chinese poetry. Its poems depict the enduring tension of loyalty and dissent for the scholar-official of traditional China. The anthology is also notable for its regional elements, representing the culture of the ancient state of Chu (centered in the area of modern Hubei and Hunan provinces).

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This talk examines the translator-author relationship against the backdrop of governmental and non-governmental (publishing, editorial, and the translator’s own) censorship in present-day China. I distinguish three types of translator-author relationship affected by censorship and/or self-censorship, resulting in three categories of translations, i.e. full translations, partial translations and non-translations.

Translation as Intercultural Event

Date: 25/09/2013

Time: 6:00-7:30PM

Speaker: Professor Anthony Pym

Translation Seminar Series

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Belated interest in the aesthetics of the event (variously from Badiou) has brought renewed attention to the performative nature of translation. Part of this might be attached to the technologies that now favour groups of volunteer translators, who are at once the producers and consumers of translations (hence “prosumers”).

Schleiermacher and Plato, Hermeneutics and Translation

Date: 26/07/2013

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Theo Hermans

Translation Seminar Series

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Schleiermacher’s German translation of Plato’s philosophical dialogues, the first five volumes of which appeared between 1805 and 1809, has received little attention from students of translation. Yet it embodies Schleiermacher’s understanding of Plato, which he further elaborated in the introductions he wrote to each of the dialogues and in his general introduction to Plato’s work as a whole.

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What constitutes the relationship between world literature and Chineseness? How has translation shaped Chinese poetry, and can translation be understood as at the foundation not only of world literature, but of Chineseness, as well? This talk will begin to answer these questions by demonstrating how Chineseness as an aspect of the Chinese poetic tradition is itself a result of translation.

What Is the “Original” in Cultural Translation?

Date: 23/05/2013

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Dr Nana Sato-Rossberg

Translation Seminar Series

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Those with an interest in Ainu oral narratives will soon come across the name of Mashiho Chiri (1909 – 1961), who today would be called a ‘native anthropologist’. Mashiho’s translation style is strongly influenced by the work of his well-known sister, Yukie Chiri (1903 – 1922). Regrettably, most translations of Mashiho appeared only with the Japanese text.

Self-Translation and the Nobel Prize: 100 years of Tagore’s Gitanjali

Date: 28/03/2013

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Harish Trivedi

Translation Seminar Series

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The first non-European and Asian writer to win the Nobel Prize for Literature was the Indian poet Rabindranath Tagore; he is still the only Indian to win the prize and one of under half a dozen writers from Asia. Though the prize is awarded not for a single book but for a body of work, Tagore won it apparently for just one slim book of poems published in his own English translation under the non-translated title Gitanjali (A Handful of Offerings of Songs; 1912).

談翻譯文化史研究的若干模式

Date: 21/03/2013

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Wang Kefei

Translation Seminar Series

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翻譯文化史重在探討翻譯對於文化(尤其是譯入語文化)的意義和影響,翻譯在文化史上的作用,以及文化對翻譯的制約。翻譯的過程也是一個文化感受的過程,它不同程度地包含著理解、比較、選擇、融會和創新,從中可以對翻譯的原因和意義獲得更充分的理解。
不同於一般翻譯史的是,翻譯文化史注重對種種翻譯現象、事件作文化傳播意義上的分析與解釋,而不僅僅是翻譯史實的敍述和鈎沉;即不僅僅是描述性的,還應是解釋性的。

Institutions of Translation, (Literary) Modernization and the Problem of Knowledge

Date: 28/02/2013

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Dr Omid Azadibougar

Translation Seminar Series

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A notion that has long dominated our understanding of the role of translation in (literary) modernization comes from postcolonial theories that emphasize the agency of the translational space (i.e. the third space) in the process of “importing” ideas. The descriptive and analytic limits of post-colonial thoughts are due to their reliance on colonial institutions (e.g. languages, literatures, universities, etc.) which are/were immediately available and advantageous to them.

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Teaching translation in a research-informed instead of an impressionistic manner to ensure the pedagogical quality of translator training is, ceteris paribus, dependent on the extent to which the formulation of a text, be it a source or a target text, can be perceived and explained as accountable for its function and effect. This presentation will focus on an on-line platform (the Platform) specifically designed for an accountability-driven mode of teaching and (self-)learning for translation and bilingual writing, which is currently under construction at the City University of Hong Kong.

Translation and Globalization. Why, How and Where Translation May be a Key to the Dynamics of Culture

Date: 06/12/2012

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor José Lambert

Translation Seminar Series

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This lecture focuses on fundamental and fast GLOBAL(izing) changes;
In fact most academic guest lectures are an illustration of mobility (in – scholarly – communication). (Cf. Ong 1982.)
In the present case: (a) intercontinental contacts/exchanges (are in fast progress); (b) the focus is on (global and other) Communication

Art in Translation

Date: 29/11/2012

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Mr Zoran Poposki

Translation Seminar Series

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There is a growing tendency in contemporary art to explore the bonds and interconnections between text and image. The plethora of possible relations between the textual and the visual, across a variety of contemporary art practices, creates a vast geography of image as language and language as image, from typography to language-based art practices.

Mutual Acceptance between American Redology and the Two English Versions of Hong Lou Meng

Date: 25/10/2012

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Dr Zhang Hui

Translation Seminar Series

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There exists mutual acceptance and interaction between American Redology and the two English versions of Hong Lou Meng. Obviously, the translations influence American Redology and are also being influenced by American Redology. The translation serves to enhancing reputation and foreign understanding of the original text, hence making it not only a part of Redology, but also a key element in promoting the Redology and enriching the original.

Culture, Interculture, Intraculture: Brave New World

Date: 27/09/2012

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Eugene Eoyang

Translation Seminar Series

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“Culture—Interculture—Intraculture” identifies three stages of cultural identity: cultural: where the foreign is clearly marked, as in Euripides’s Medea, the book of Ruth in the Bible, Shakespeare’s Henry V; intercultural: where the foreign is absorbed in the native, as in the Pole Joseph Conrad, the Czech Tom Stoppard, and the Japanese Kazuo Ishiguro in Great Britain, the Pole Czelaw Milosz, the Russians Vladimir Nabokov and Josef Brodsky in the United States; and the Romanians Paul Celan, E. M. Cioran, Eugène Ionesco, the Irishman Samuel Beckett, and the Chinese François Cheng in France.

Translators’ Deliberate Interventions

Date: 06/08/2012

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Georges L. Bastin

Translation Seminar Series

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Shifts in translation have been extensively visited and revisited. Many different taxonomies exist that intend to list most decisions taken or choices made by translators, be these decisions called shifts, techniques, procedures or strategies. The problem is that there’s no explicit distinction between compulsory and deliberate interventions.

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Jiang Rong’s semi-autographical novel Lang Tu Teng (《狼圖騰》, first published in 2004) has been a huge literary triumph (winner of the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2007) and an unprecedented cultural phenomenon in Mainland China, breaking all-time sales records as the second most read book after Chairman Mao’s little red book. Howard Goldblatt’s lucid translation of Wolf Totem (2008) has also made the novel into an exciting popular work of narrative fiction for the international community of literary readers and cultural critics.

New Territories of Translation Research: the City

Date: 03/05/2012

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Sherry Simon

Translation Seminar Series

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This seminar will explore the ways in which the city has become an object of translation studies – by investigating some of the recent advances in translation theory that expand the field. Work to be discussed, among others, are books by Michael Cronin, Doris Sommer, Emily Apter, Maria Tymoczko, Edwin Gentzler, Vicente Rafael.

Considering the Reader

Date: 12/04/2012

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Dr Valerie Pellatt

Translation Seminar Series

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In the study and discussion of translation, the reader has not gone unnoticed, and deservedly is becoming more important to translatologists. Readers of translations span a spectrum, from those who do not speak any foreign language, and urgently need a translation for instrumental purposes, such as a manual, to those who, in spite of their proficiency in the target language, choose to read a translation in order to exercise their powers of critical analysis.

Translation in the Eyes of Klio: A Preliminary Research into Translation History

Date: 23/02/2012

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Mr Huang Yanjie

Translation Seminar Series

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Translation history, specializing in translation phenomena through history, has earned a niche in the hall of Klio, the mythical Muse of history. The knowledge system of translation history prepares for its research system as an inter-disciplinary subject. Then what is translation history? And what is its relationship with both history and translation studies?

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The first seventeen years of the People’s Republic of China (1949-1966) was a critical period for the newly-born modern Chinese nation to gain recognition in the international world. The same period also witnessed a unique translation activity, i.e. source culture-generated translation of a large number of classical and modern/contemporary Chinese literature into English and other foreign languages mainly undertaken by teams of Chinese and foreign translators in the Foreign Languages Press (FLP) in Beijing, a state-sponsored institute, in an attempt to reshape the image of China, hence rendering legitimacy to the newly-born nation.

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The creation, translation and publication of love letters boomed in the1920s-1930s, a period of the Republican Era of China. Quite a few renowned writers or the young keen to be literarily known were then in an effort to publish their love letters or novels written in letter format, or to render the love letters of famous persons.

Translation of Literature in Ancient Greece

Date: 24/11/2011

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Ruan Wei

Translation Seminar Series

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The translation of the Bible into Greek before Christianity took shape is well-known, but the translated nature of ancient Greek literature as a whole before Christianity emerged has not yet been fully explored. The present paper argues that ancient Greek literature was heavily indebted to West Asia.

Translating Theory: The Transparence and Opacity of the Japanese Intellectual

Date: 13/10/2011

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Dr Dennitza Gabrakova

Translation Seminar Series

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This presentation will focus on the significance of translation of theory for the self-fashioning of a type of identity of the Japanese intellectual. After briefly outlining the significance of translation for Japanese modernity, the work of several translators of theory will be discussed.

The Polysystem Writes back: On Prescriptive Cultural Relativism and Radical Postcolonialism

Date: 25/08/2011

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Chang Nam Fung

Translation Seminar Series

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In the past two decades there has been a tendency to politicize translation studies and other disciplines in the humanities, alleging that the dominance of theories originating from the West is the result of power differentials instead of academic merits. Scholars of periphery origin who embrace central theories and values are accused of “self-colonization”.

Translation and the Disciplinary Development of Rhetoric

Date: 25/07/2011

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Yameng Liu

Translation Seminar Series

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While a rhetorical perspective on translation has started to attract scholarly attention, translation’s impact on the disciplinary development of rhetoric remains unexplored by practitioners in the fields concerned. Even a cursory look into rhetoric’s long history, however, would turn up much evidence of translation’s crucial role in shaping up the conceptual and institutional contours of the art of persuasion.

Why Bother? – Subtitling with Cantonese

Date: 23/06/2011

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Dr Gloria Lee Kwok-kan

Translation Seminar Series

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Subtitles do not simply transcribe the dialogues of a film. Subtitles involve specific groups of audience and seek to enhance their viewing experience. Based on this function of subtitling, I examine the Chinese/Cantonese subtitles provided in the DVDs of two films: The Brothers Grimm (2005) and Shrek 2 (2004).

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What would happen if translation theories and cultural studies talk to each other? In this talk, Dr Cynthia Tsui will reveal that “translation” can be used as a thinking method that sheds light on other disciplines. Although translation is traditionally viewed as a linguistic practice, it visualizes a reasoning model of the “in-between”.

What is Translator Competence?

Date: 07/04/2011

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Kirsten Malmkjær

Translation Seminar Series

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In this seminar, I will compare the concept of Translation Competence with a concept that I have called Translator Competence and which is more closely associable with (though very far from alignable with) the notion of competence which we find at play in theoretical linguistics.

Translation Studies and Adaptation Studies: Appropriation, Recreation and Cannibalism

Date: 03/03/2011

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor John Milton

Translation Seminar Series

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Adaptation Studies have become very popular in recent years in many university departments, especially those of English Literature and Film Studies, with a growing number of books, conferences and journals in the area. This talk begins by examining the interface (or lack of interface) between Translation Studies and Adaptation Studies, also introducing the concept of appropriation, and examples will be given from adaptations and appropriations of the works of William Shakespeare, particularly Othello.

English Translations of rén 仁 in Mencius

Date: 24/02/2011

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: 24/02/2011

Translation Seminar Series

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Chinese-English dictionaries typically offer as the closest English equivalents of rén 仁 “benevolent/-ce, kind/ness, humane/ness,” and Mencius’s English translators by and large stick to those translations as well. Following the lead of James Legge, for example, D. C. Lau and the translators of the Shandong Friendship Press edition meticulously translate it in almost every case as “benevolent” or “benevolence,” and most Mencius scholars writing in English, whether Chinese or non-Chinese, also translate it as “benevolent/-ce”; David Hinton uses “humane” and “humanity.”

“Culture” versus “Civilization”: Translation and Power Politics in Europe

Date: 27/01/2011

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Cheng Sin Kwan

Translation Seminar Series

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By the nineteenth century, “culture” and “civilization” had been translated into different languages in Europe and beyond, and both came to be regarded in the West as “international” concepts. A careful study of the translation history of these two terms, however, would reveal that European internationalism was not only deeply implicated in colonialism, but also heavily fraught with nationalism inside Europe.

The Many Lives of the Buddha – in Sanskrit, Chinese, English, Hindi, and Sanskrit Again

Date: 02/12/2010

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Harish Trivedi

Translation Seminar Series

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The foundational narrative of the life and deeds of the Buddha (c. 557- 483 BC) is the Sanskrit epic Buddhacharitam by Ashvaghosha (1st century AD). As part of the great enterprise of translating Buddhist texts from Sanskrit, this work too was translated into Chinese as Fo-Sho-Hing-Tsan-King by Dharmaraksha (420 AD).

Intertextuality and Interpretation; Or, How To Read Wang Dahong’s Tradaptation of The Picture Of Dorian Gray

Date: 25/11/2010

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Leo Tak-hung CHAN

Translation Seminar Series

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A key mechanism in the process of understanding a text involves the recognition and/or building of connections between the signs within the text and the systems of signs without. It can be said that because of the infinite possibilities for making such connections, a reader can interpret in myriad ways, though always within the parameters set by the text as well as by what Stanley Fish has termed the “interpretive community.”

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Spanning over more than forty years, Eileen Chang’s Chinese-English translation (1920-1995) constitutes an extremely important part of all of her translation activities. Her Chinese-English translation began in 1952, right after she had arrived in Hong Kong as an exile from the Chinese mainland.

Critical and Creative: A Dialogue between Translator and Poet

Date: 30/09/2010

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Eugene Eoyang

Translation Seminar Series

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This is an anatomy of the process that led to five translations of Chinese poems written in traditional modes – three jueju, one wuyan lüshi, and one qiyan lüshi — by the poet Wann Ai-jen (poems and translations to appear in the November issue of Renditions: A Chinese-English Translation Magazine).

A Study of Chinese Translations of Pearl Buck’s China Novel The Good Earth

Date: 24/06/2010

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Ms Liang Zhifang

Translation Seminar Series

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American writer Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) is a significant figure in 20th century Sino-American interaction. Buck was “mentally bifocal”. Her nearly forty-year stay in China and the second half of her life back in America, put her in a unique position in Sino-American conflict. Buck’s masterpiece, The Good Earth describes family life in Chinese village in early 20th century.

English Translation of Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Medicine: From Dream to Whim

Date: 26/05/2010

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Li Zhaoguo

Translation Seminar Series

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This presentation tries to analyze cultural genes involved in understanding and translating Yellow Emperor’s Canon of Medicine, a great and large Chinese classic, conceived in antiquity, developed in Warring States and compiled in the Qin and Hand Dynasties, characterized by elegant language, abstruse concepts, excellent theories and detailed discussions.

How to Do Interpreting Research?

Date: 01/04/2010

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Ren Wen

Translation Seminar Series

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Interpreting research has generally been thought of as being too abstract, brain breaking and boring by interpreting trainees. This is true when compared with interpreting practice, which enables interpreters to make a fortune, meet interesting people, and travel to different parts of the world.

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After the U.S. forced the opening of Japan in 1854, the Japanese government was in desperate need of knowledge of Western countries, particularly their system of international law, which was the basis of the treaties that Japan was being forced to sign. Thus they began to send young Japanese scholars abroad who had been trained in Dutch learning and thus knew the Dutch language, hitherto Japan’s only window on the West.

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Most of the previous researches on translator’s notes were conducted from a prescriptive perspective, such as stipulating the situations under which the notes should be added or specifying the elements of notes, etc. Contrary to these studies, the present research will look into the early translation annotations of Zhou Shoujuan—a novelist and translator during the late Qing and early Republican period in China—from a descriptive approach.

Translation as Relation

Date: 07/01/2010

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Sandra Bermann

Translation Seminar Series

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In our complex world of migration, war, and globalization, translation among languages and cultures is everywhere. As citizens of the twenty-first century, we inevitably think in and through translation. Yet we have only begun to explore its contemporary modes of operation, its challenges and its promise for study in an international and interdisciplinary context.

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In his edition and translation of the 三字經 Sanzijing as a textbook for learning to read Chinese, Herbert A. Giles glossed each word’s etymology, semantics and connotations. When he glossed 家 jia as a pig beneath a roof, he parenthetically remarked to his intended British readership that “our” Irish neighbours would certainly understand this.

Status, Origin, Features: Towards a Flexible Model of Translation

Date: 22/10/2009

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Dirk Delabastita

Translation Seminar Series

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I shall present a simple, flexible and highly relativistic approach to the vexed question in Translation Studies of how to define and circumscribe ‘translation’. My main argument is that in our scholarly models we have to make a radical distinction between three dimensions of texts and discourses: their status (what a text is claimed or believed to be in a given cultural community), their origin (the real history of the text’s genesis, as revealed by a diachronically oriented reconstruction) and their features (as revealed by a synchronic analysis, possibly involving comparisons).

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The article attempts to re-perceive, re-think and hence re-define the category ‘traditional Chinese discourse on translation’ in the light of prototype theory. Arguing that ‘traditional Chinese discourse on translation’ is a prototype category with two defining prototypical features, i.e., fuzzy boundary and graded membership, the author holds that the statuses of different members in the category of ‘traditional Chinese discourse on translation’ range from center to periphery: those drawn heavily from classical Chinese aesthetics and poetics are in the center of the category, and other members such as those involving in the discussion of what makes a translation in the periphery.

天朝話語與喬治三世致乾隆皇帝書的清宮譯文

Date: 18/06/2009

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Speaker: Professor Wang Hui

Translation Seminar Series

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喬治三世致乾隆皇帝的國書,是英使馬戛爾尼訪華事件(1792-1794)中的重要文獻。這份文獻的翻譯過程曲折而耐人尋味,保存在清宮檔案中的中文副本顯示,英方以對等的姿態表達友好交往意願的國書,經由翻譯,變成了向中方輸誠納貢的英吉利國表文。本次講座引領大家追溯馬戛爾尼使華過程中的翻譯問題,並從話語的角度,對英王國書及其譯文進行解讀,以揭示從國書到表文的奇特變化,其實是天朝朝貢話語運作的必然結果。

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