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Interpreting officials are rarely documented in standard histories of imperial China; civilian interpreters are even harder to trace. Surprisingly, however, Japanese monk Ennin’s (794‒864) diary of his China sojourn (838–847) contains thirty-eight references to Sillan interpreters. It is a significant first-hand archive that throws light on Sillan interpreters and interpreting in first-millennium East Asia. Based on a close reading of this diary, I attempt to clarify the idiosyncratic title of “Sillan interpreters”. Using quantitative and qualitative analyses, I outline finer categories of these interpreters, which in turn address questions pertaining to their identities and roles. This chapter demonstrates the value of textual analysis in empirically pursuing the definitions of “interpreter” at a particular place and time.
|Title of host publication||New insights in the history of interpreting|
|Editors||Kayoko TAKEDA, Jesús BAIGORRI-JALÓN|
|Place of Publication||Amsterdam|
|Publisher||John Benjamins Publishing Company|
|Number of pages||26|
|Publication status||Published - 2016|
|Event||First International Symposium on the History of Interpreting - Rikkyo University, Tokyo, Japan|
Duration: 24 May 2014 → 25 May 2014
|Name||Benjamins Translation Library|
|Conference||First International Symposium on the History of Interpreting|
|Period||24/05/14 → 25/05/14|
Bibliographical noteResearch for this chapter was supported by a General Research Fund (LU 341512) from the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong. I am thankful for the comments of two anonymous reviewers and I am grateful to Mr. Takahisa Ichihara for his kind assistance in my use of the Japanese sources.
- East Asian interpreting
- Sillan interpreters
- Ennin's travelogue
- Silla (ancient Korea)
- textual analysis
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