"Colonization," resistance, and the uses of postcolonial translation theory in twentieth-century China

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Discussions of postcolonial translations have come into vogue in recent years. Originally a term used extensively in literary theory, “postcoloniality” seems suddenly to have been given a prominent part to play in research on translation in Third World countries, particularly India. Undoubtedly, postcolonial theory should have some relevance to all countries that were colonized in one way or another. That being the case, much thought ought to be given to the relevance of postcolonial translation to China. To be sure, China has not been formally occupied by a foreign power in the past century, so she has not experienced a “colonial” period as did her Southeast Asian neighbours, India and most African countries. Indeed, extraterritorial rights over certain parts of the country (like Shanghai and the Yangtze River) were claimed at certain times by foreign powers: Hong Kong was ceded to Britain (though she entered her postcolonial period with the 1997 Chinese takeover); and Taiwan was colonized by the Dutch and by the Japanese (from the end of the nineteenth century to the end of World War II). However, for mainland China, where the majority of translations are still carried out and published, the term “postcoloniality” may not mean much. What use do we have for postcolonial theories of translation in the Chinese context?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChanging the terms : translating in the postcolonial era
PublisherUniversity of Ottawa Press
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9780776605241
Publication statusPublished - 27 Nov 2000

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