Translation as a force for cultural change in Hong Kong in the 1950s

Date: 27/10/2005

Time: 7:00-9:00PM

Location: Centre for Translation, DLB 701, David C. Lam Building, Shaw Campus, Hong Kong Baptist University, Renfrew Road, Kowloon Tong

Speaker: Dr Yau Wai-ping

Translation Seminar Series


In 1956 Ma Lang (馬朗) launched Literary Current Monthly Magazine (文藝新潮) as a vehicle for publishing both creative work of Chinese writers and translations of modernist literature. These translations constituted the first systematic attempt in Hong Kong to introduce Chinese readers to modernist works from foreign literatures. The pioneering efforts of the editor and translators of this literary journal have been accorded scant attention by researchers on Hong Kong literature, however. This paper discusses these translations as a force for cultural change in Hong Kong in the 1950s. This paper draws on the polysystemic, norms-based paradigm developed by Even-Zohar and Toury, but puts greater emphasis on the ‘other’: a translation is seen as a response to other texts, and constitutes a dialogue among different voices and values. This orientation to the other not only renders the opposition between adequacy and acceptability problematic, but also requires an awareness of the difference that translation research can make to the construction of cultural knowledge.

About the Speaker:

Yau Wai Ping graduated from the University of Hong Kong with a BA in English Studies and Comparative Literature. He received his MPhil from the University of Hong Kong, and his PhD from the Hong Kong Baptist University. He currently teaches translation at the Chinese University of Hong Kong. He has published translations of poetry, fiction and translation theory. His research areas include literary translation, comparative literature, Hong Kong literature, and modern Chinese literature.

Translation as a force for cultural change in Hong Kong in the 1950s
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