Patronage is an important social and literary phenomenon widely discussed in various fields of humanities and social sciences. This article mainly discusses the relationship between patronage and translation through a case study in twentieth-century China. The article reveals the prior function of a patron, i.e. to support instead of hindering the work of a translator, and demonstrates that a patron-translator relationship can be a harmonious collaboration, especially when the translator and his/her patron share some common principles and purposes. In the field of translation studies, patronage thus could be understood as the action of persons or organizations that offer financial support or use their influence to advance a translation activity.
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