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No.1 2023

April 27, 2023

English Abstracts of Major Papers

Translation Behavior Studies: A Criticism-oriented Conceptualization 

By ZHOU Lingshun (Yangzhou University, Yangzhou, China) p.16 

Abstract: With its distinctively human orientation, the studies of translator behavior has emerged as a major area in translation studies, and an important subject for both translation criticism and sociology of translation as well. This article takes a close look at the theoretical background of translator behavior studies and its  three research paradigms, defining its disciplinary attributes and identifying its relations to adjacent fields. It argues that since a critical approach to translator behavior studies was first proposed and adopted in China, and especially since such an approach has been systematized over the past decade by Chinese translation scholars, translator behavior criticism ought to be counted as one of the areas in which the Chinese school of translation studies has made significant contributions to the international dialogue on translation. 

Keywords: translator behavior studies; translator behavior criticism; research paradigm; the Chinese school of translation theory

Towards a Dao/Qi Poetics of Translation 

By ZHANG Hongyu (Shanghai Maritime University, Shanghai, China) & LIU Huawen (Shanghai  Maritime University & Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China) p.24 

Abstract: This paper proposes that the conceptual pair of dao (道, the way or the guide) and qi (器, utensils)  from the ancient Chinese classic Zhouyi (The Book of Changes) be applied to the theorization of translation, for from such an act a dao/qi poetics of translation would result, shedding new light on core questions in translation studies, such as how to be faithful, what is translatable and what not, or what is the appropriate style. Within the framework of such a poetics, the translator should strive to be faithful not just to the qi, i.e., the literal expression, of the source text but also to its dao, i.e., its underlying essential meaning. In the light of Zhouyi, translation thus means to use language as a carrier for both the literal and the between-the-lines meaning of source text, which renders possible a new way of representing the source text in the translated version and justifies a multitude of stylistically variable target texts that convey nonetheless the same essential meaning of the original. 

Keywords: Zhouyi (Book of Changes); daoqi; poetics; the principle of change; translation

The Concept of Complexity and the Theory of Emergent Semiotic Translation 

By SONG Meihua (Southwest Jiaotong University, Chengdu, China & University of Leeds, Leeds, UK) p.33 

Abstract: Of the translation scholars in China and abroad who have recently taken a keen interest in the notion of complexity, Kobus Marais from South Africa is the most notable. Drawing on Peirce's semiotic conception of translation and taking the philosophy of complexity as his epistemological point of departure, Marais formulates an emergent semiotic translation theory in response to some fundamental issues brought to the fore by current trends in translation studies. Transcending the conceptual divide between traditional, modern (empirical) and post-modern approaches to the study of translation, Marais's new model provides a unified theory of translation capable of explaining the nature of translational phenomena, and thus adds significance to translation studies in both its epistemological, methodological and transdisciplinary aspects. 

Keywords: complexity; emergence; semiotic translation; constraints; attractors

National Translation Capacity and Its Index: An Interdisciplinary Perspective 

By REN Wen & ZHAO Tianyuan (Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China) p.44 

Abstract: As a cultural, political and economic activity, translation provides a country with both a critical means for its international/intercultural communication and an important contribution to its socio-economic development. As such, it is becoming increasingly crucial to countries engaged in a fierce competition among themselves for soft and hard power. This paper revisits the concept of National Translation Capacity (NTC)  and, on the basis of the findings, proposes a NTC index system with three levels of measurable indicators by  drawing on economics and management science. Having elaborated the method of index construction and tested the stability and validity of the proposed index system, the paper argues that the study of NTC and its index is an interdisciplinary expansion of applied translation studies that offers an important tool for understanding the characteristics and development level of each country's NTC, and for conducting a comparative evaluation of country-specific NTCs as well. In China's case, the information conveyed by the index would be conducive to the  improvement of its NTC, and to the enhancement too of its soft and hard power globally. 

Keywords: interdisciplinarity; NTC; NTC Index; soft and hard power

The Ideological Underpinning of Liang Qichao's Thought on Strengthening 

the Nation via Translation 

By HE Aijun & HOU Yingying (Ocean University of China, Qingdao, China) p.53 

Abstract: Liang Qichao's thought on translation, influential in China at the turn of the 20th century, is made up of three components: the teleological component of translation as a means for strengthening the nation and enlightening the people; the methodological component of translating by following a trio of guidelines;  and the intermediary component of introducing Western ideas and institutions to China through translation. Of these the idea of "strengthening the nation via translation" constitutes the ideological core on which center all his translation-related practices and publications. Only in the light of this ideological core can we  properly understand not just Liang’s translation activities and literary creations, but the ethos of modern  Chinese tradition of translation as a whole.  

Keywords: Liang Qichao (1873-1929); conception of translation; ideology; strengthen the nation via  translation; modern Chinese translation

Richard Wilhelm's Renditions of Chinese Philosophical Classics and Their  

Impact on Modern German Culture 

By XU Ruonan (Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing, China) p.61 

Abstract: The series Chinesische Religion und Philosophie (1910-1930), as the most important and influential Chinese literature ever published in the history of 20th-century German culture, was translated by German missionary and sinologist Richard Wilhelm. This paper undertakes to examine Wilhelm's groundbreaking and innovative achievements in translating Chinese philosophical classics from the perspective of German society, culture and history at the turn of 19th and 20th centuries, so as to explain his impact on modern German culture. Combing through a large number of original historical materials, the study reveals the way Wilhelm reconstructed the universal humanistic value of Chinese wisdom in modern sense for European readers. With the intercultural approaches he adopted, Wilhelm's translations have simultaneously opened a new chapter of cultural understanding between East and West and contributed to the renewal of German culture. 

Keywords: Richard Wilhelm; translation of Chinese classics; modern; German culture; intercultural translation between China and the West

Constructing a TSCA-based Teaching Model of Simultaneous Interpreting Course 

By QI Taoyun (Beijing International Studies University, Beijing, China) & SUN Shuguang (Beijing Sport University, Beijing, China) p.92 

Abstract: Assessment is an important link in the development of students' simultaneous interpreting (SI) skills, and yet since a typical master-level interpreting class in China would now consist of 20-30 students,  their assessment-related interactions in class is less than sufficient. This study adapts Wen Qiufang's model  of Teacher-Student Collaborative Assessment (TSCA) to SI teaching by extending the common practice of in-class assessment into a full assessment cycle of "pre-class self-assessment- in-class collaborative assessment- after-class self-assessment -after-class in-group peer assessment.” Students' feedback to the application of this extended model has been overwhelmingly positive. With its effects of enhancing the  students' agency and strengthening the teacher's guidance, the new model has heightened the efficiency of interactions at multiple points and among multiple parties.

Keywords: Teacher-Student Collaborative Assessment (TSCA); simultaneous interpreting; teaching model;  Production-Oriented Approach (POA)

Translation as the Primary Model of Literary Creation 

By CAO Danhong (Nanjing Universtiy, Nanjing, China) p.106 

Abstract: Translation is generally seen as inferior to the original and hence a kind of second-rate  literature. Recently, however, French scholar William Marx has proposed that we see translation instead as the primary model of literature for three major reasons: that translation is based on the mechanism of transformation; that translation has to do with relations between continuity and transformation; and that translation always involves operations of choosing some possibilities and abandoning others. These mechanisms can also be found in other creative activities, including literary creation, but they are most evident and active in translation. Therefore, it is possible to use translation as a key to understanding the mechanisms of literary creation. Seeing translation anew as the primary model of literature prompts us to rethink the relations between translation and literature and to better appreciate the creative nature of the practice of translation. 

Keywords: model of literature; transformation; interanimation; choice; creativity 

Re-Conceptualization Across Languages: Cognitive Operations in the 

Translation of Chinese Classical Poetry 

By XIAO Kairong & WEN Xu (Southwest University, Chongqing, China) p.154 

Abstract: This article explores the cognitive mechanisms underlying translation shifts or departures from formal correspondence between the source text and the target text. Cognitive linguistics sees understanding as a dynamic process of conceptualization, within such a framework, translation is understood as a cognitive process that involves the translator's conceptualization of the source text meaning, his or her re-conceptualization of that meaning in the production of the target text, and the target readers' conceptualization of target text meaning. Of this process, the translator's cognitive operation of re-conceptualizing ST's meaning is the central part. In the translation of classical Chinese poetry, the translator may resort to construing, metaphorical, metonymic or categorizing operations to bridge the differing conceptualizations between the source and the target language cultures. The translator's cognitive operation is the cognitive mechanism underlying translation strategies and translation shifts and accounting for the linguistic non-equivalence between the source and the target text. An exploration of the translator's cognitive operation would not only reveal the underlying cognitive mechanism of translation shifts but also bring the translator's agency more sharply into focus in translation studies.  

Keywords: re-conceptualization; classical Chinese poetry; cognitive operation; translation shifts