“Translator studies” : Wu Mi’s discourse on translation

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)peer-review


Wu Mi (1894–1978) was one of the most important scholars in China in the early twentieth century. Taking habitus of the translator into consideration, this paper investigates Wu’s discourse on translation within a research framework on translators, and discusses Wu’s discourse on the definition and purpose of translation, the criteria of translation, the selection of materials for translation, the method of translation, etc. The study indicates that Wu’s direct discourse on translation is greatly influenced by his indirect discourse on translation, and his discourse on translation is also influenced by his habitus as a “Babbittian.” Wu was confident about traditional Chinese culture and language as well as the Chinese means of punctuation and did not think translation should be used as a tool to reform the native Chinese language. He was against the foreignized translation method and preferred using natural native Chinese language. We can say that the essence of Wu’s translation principle is “to put new materials in old rules.” Wu’s discourse on translation is indeed a true reflection of his habitus and his stance on New Culture Movement and is inseparable from the cultural and historical background.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)583-599
Number of pages17
Issue number2
Early online date7 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2017
Event6th Tamkang International Conference on Ecological Discourse Location - Tamkang University, Tamkang, Taiwan, Province of China
Duration: 19 Dec 201420 Dec 2014


  • Wu Mi
  • Translator
  • Habitus
  • Discourse on translation


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