Translating Chinese culture into English: from sole patronage to joint patronage

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

Abstract

Since the 1990s, there has been a significant change of the form of patronage in translating Chinese culture into English, that is, from sole patronage by one Chinese organization to joint patronage by both Chinese and Western institutions. This article investigates the advantages of joint patronage and whether it can remedy the shortcomings of sole patronage in translating Chinese culture for a Western audience through a case study of ‘Culture and Civilization of China Series’ (CCC project), a project jointly undertaken by the China International Publishing Group and Yale University Press. The study demonstrates that the CCC project is a success thanks to the close collaboration among the writers, translators and editors on both the Chinese and American sides. The analysis of the translations demonstrates that, with full consideration of the needs and expectations of Western readers, the English versions of the CCC series are not rigid literal translations of the original Chinese texts, but involve considerable adaptation so as to achieve the goal of introducing Chinese culture to both general and specialized readers. The study indicates that, compared with sole patronage, joint patronage is a better form of introducing Chinese culture to Western anglophone audiences via translation.
Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Pages (from-to)689-701
Number of pages13
JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice
Volume28
Issue number5
Early online date27 Jan 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Sep 2020

Bibliographical note

I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Mr. Li Zhenguo, the former Editor-in-Chief at the FLP, Prof. Taiping Chang, the former Executive Chief Editor of the CCC project, for kindly providing very valuable first-hand information about the CCC project, and Prof. Roberto Valdeón as well as the anonymous reviewers for their insightful comments and constructive suggestions for improvement. My heartfelt thanks also go to Prof. Leo Chan Tak-Hung, Prof. Darryl Sterk and Prof. Duncan Poupard, who kindly edited the article at the time when they were very busy.

This research was fully supported by a grant from the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, China (Project No. LU23600017).

Keywords

  • Culture and Civilization of China Series (CCC project)
  • Joint patronage
  • sole patronage
  • translation

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