Translation as International Trade, Translation as Language Service

Research output: Book Chapters | Papers in Conference ProceedingsConference paper (refereed)Researchpeer-review


Contemporary Chinese notions of translation have to be understood against a globalized world where international trading and business transactions are the order of the day. This paper proposes to discuss one current school of thinking about translation in China. In the past decade or so, translation has been seen as playing a crucial part in exporting Chinese culture in order to build a favorable national image and increase the country’s soft power. This has occurred as a result of the perception of an imbalance between the importation of things foreign (qing jinlai) and the exportation of things Chinese (song chuqu). To compete successfully on the international scene, cultural exports have to be promoted. Since globalization forces are dominating the scene, translation becomes an “industry” governed by the operational logic of a “socialist market economy”—a notion unheard of two decades ago. While translation can still be seen as inter-linguistic transfer, its value is no longer to be judged on the basis of whether the rendering is faithful or not. The “classical” theories of translation—wen (refinement), zhi (straightforwardness), xindaya (faithfulness, fluency and elegance), zhiyi (literal translation) and yiyi (free translation)—are slowly losing ground to the new conceptualizations of translation in the contemporary world, and the present paper focuses on the one most discussed, debated and disseminated in the past two decades or so.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationKorea University of Foreign Languages Institute for Translation and Interpretation Conference
Subtitle of host publication한국외국어대학교 통번역연구소 학술대회
PublisherKorea University of Foreign Languages Institute for Interpretation and Translation
Publication statusPublished - 6 Jul 2019
EventThe 9th Asia-Pacific Translators and Interpreters Forum: Reality vs. Illusion: From Morse Code to Machine Translation - Seoul, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 5 Jul 20197 Jul 2019


ForumThe 9th Asia-Pacific Translators and Interpreters Forum
Abbreviated titleAPTIF9
Country/TerritoryKorea, Republic of
Internet address


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