Volume 63, Issue 5
  • ISSN 0521-9744
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9668
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes


The futility of decades of government efforts to disseminate Chinese literature has triggered discussions among Chinese scholars on how to translate and who should be entrusted with this task. Some blame the failure on traditional concepts of translation that overemphasize faithfulness to the original to the point of disregarding target cultural conditions, but others insist that China should have control over its cultural export and that Sino-English should be used to internationalize English. Findings show that traditional concepts should not be blamed, as aggressively source-oriented strategies have been used in outbound translation only in recent years, and that this shift in translation norms in government-initiated outbound translation has spread to non-literary text types, and also to Hong Kong and Taiwan. The same kind of aggressiveness has recently been displayed in other forms of cultural export, triggering resistance in other cultures. All these changes may be attributable to a heightening of cultural self-image. What is needed to address the issue is cultural self-reflection, which will lead to the awareness that economic growth does not immediately bring cultural prestige, and that source-initiated cultural export efforts may make little difference in central cultures. Cultural awareness at a higher level can be achieved only through empathy.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Allen, E.
    (ed.) 2007To Be Translated or Not To Be: Pen/IRL.Report on the International Situation of Literary Translation. Barcelona: Institut Ramon Llull. www.pen-international.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/Translation-report_OK-2.pdf.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Berger, David M.
    1987Clinical Empathy. Northvale, New Jersey: Jason Aronson.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Chang, Nam Fung
    2000 “Towards a Macro-polysystem Hypothesis”. Perspectives: Studies in Translatology8 (2): 109–123. doi: 10.1080/0907676X.2000.9961378
    https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2000.9961378 [Google Scholar]
  4. 2004中西譯學批評 (Zhōngxī yìxúe pīpíng) [Criticism of Chinese and Western Translation Theories]. Beijing: Tsinghua University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. 2008 “A Missing Link in Even-Zohar’s Theoretical Thinking”. Target20 (1): 135–148. doi: 10.1075/target.20.1.08cha
    https://doi.org/10.1075/target.20.1.08cha [Google Scholar]
  6. 2015a “Auto-Image and Norms in Source-Initiated Translation in China”. Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies2 (2): 96–107. doi: 10.1080/23306343.2015.1059588
    https://doi.org/10.1080/23306343.2015.1059588 [Google Scholar]
  7. 2015b “Does ‘Translation’ Reflect a Narrower Concept Than ‘fanyi’? On the Impact of Western Theories on China and the Concern about Eurocentrism”. Translation and Interpreting Studies10 (2): 223–42. doi: 10.1075/tis.10.2.04cha
    https://doi.org/10.1075/tis.10.2.04cha [Google Scholar]
  8. China.org.cn
    . n.d. “What is ‘Three Represents’ CPC theory?” www.china.org.cn/english/zhuanti/3represents/68735.htm.
  9. Davidson, Martin
    2017 “China’s Soft Power: A Comparative Failure or Secret Success?” InThe Soft Power 30: A Global Ranking of Soft Power, ed. by Jonathan McClory . https://softpower30.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-Soft-Power-30-Report-2017-Web-1.pdf.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Epps, Henry
    2012The Universal Golden Rule. Raleigh. Morrisville, North Carolina: Lulu Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Even-Zohar, Itamar
    1990a “Polysystem Theory”. Poetics Today11 (1): 9–26. doi: 10.2307/1772666
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1772666 [Google Scholar]
  12. 1990b “The Position of Translated Literature within the Literary Polysystem”. Poetics Today11 (1): 45–51. doi: 10.2307/1772668
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1772668 [Google Scholar]
  13. 2010 “Laws of Cultural Interference”. Papers in Culture Research: 52–69. citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Fiskesjö, Magnus
    2015 “Stockholm University Terminating its Confucius Institute”. H-Net Humanities and Social Sciences Online, 1January. https://networks.h-net.org/node/22055/discussions/56521/stockholm-university-terminating-its-confucius-institute.
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Gao, Fang , and Jun Xu
    2010 “Literary Translation and China’s ‘Going-out’ Cultural Strategy: Current Situation, Existing Problems, and Suggestions for Improvement [in Chinese]”. Chinese Translators Journal6: 5–9.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Gao, James Zheng
    2004The Communist Takeover of Hangzhou: The Transformation of City and Cadre, 1949-1954. Hawaii: University of Hawai’i Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Geng, Qiang
    2014 “How Government-Patronized Translation of Chinese Literature Is Received: A Case Study of the Panda Books Series [in Chinese]”. Comparative Literature in China1: 65–77. doi: 10.1215/23290048‑2749479
    https://doi.org/10.1215/23290048-2749479 [Google Scholar]
  18. Graham, A. C.
    1965 “The Translation of Chinese Poetry”. InPoems of the Late T’ang, transl. by A. C. Graham , 13–37. Harmondsworth: Penguin.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Greatrex, Roger
    2014a “Letter of Protest at Interference in EACS Conference in Portugal, July 2014”. 30July. chinesestudies.eu/?p=584.
  20. 2014b “Report: The Deletion of Pages from EACS Conference materials in Braga (July 2014)”. 30July. chinesestudies.eu/?p=584.
  21. Inside Higher Ed
  22. 2014b “Another Confucius Institute to Close”. 1October. https://www.insidehighered.com/quicktakes/2014/10/01/another-confucius-institute-close.
  23. Jiang, Xiaohua
    2008 “Orientalism and Translation: A Re-consideration [in Chinese]”. Chinese Translators Journal5: 11–18.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. 2012 “Occidentalism and the Translation in 18th- and 19th-century China [in Chinese]”. Chinese Translators Journal2: 32–37.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. Jin, Di , and E. A. Nida
    1984On Translation: With Special Reference to Chinese and English. Beijing: China Translation & Publishing Corporation.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Lefevere, André
    1992Translation, Rewriting, and the Manipulation of Literary Fame. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Li, Ping , and Hui Huang
    2013 “中國文學走出去——漢籍英譯模式再究 (Zhōngguó wènxùe zǒu chūqù: Hàn jí Yīng yì móshì zài jiū) [The Dissemination of Chinese Literature: More on the Modes of Translating Chinese Classics into English]”. Modern Chinese12: 156–157. doi: 10.1080/17535654.2013.850862
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17535654.2013.850862 [Google Scholar]
  28. Lu, Xun
    1984 “魯迅和瞿秋白關於翻譯的通信:魯迅的覆信 (Lǔ Xùn hé Qú Qiūbái guānyú fānyì de tōngxìn: Lǔ Xùn de fùxìn) [Correspondence between Lu Xun and Qu Qiubai on Translation: Reply of Lu Xun]”. In翻譯論集 (fānyì lùn jí) [Essays on Translation], ed. by Xinzhang Luo , 273–279. Beijing: Commercial Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Luo, Xuanmin , and Wendi Yang
    2012 “Cultural Awareness and Chinese Classics Translation [in Chinese with English abstract]”. Foreign Languages and Their Teaching5: 63–66.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. Ma, Huijuan
    2014 “An Interpretation of Pen /IRL Report on the International Situation of Literary Translation [in Chinese]”. Journal of Xi’an International Studies University2: 112–115.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Mao, Yushi
    2016 “Television interview with Cable TV, Hong Kong”. 11August. https://www.facebook.com/pg/cablechinadesk/videos/?ref=page_internal.
  32. McClory, Jonathan
    2017 “The Soft Power 30: A Global Ranking of Soft Power, 2017”. https://softpower30.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/07/The-Soft-Power-30-Report-2017-Web-1.pdf.
  33. Nye, Joseph
    2012 “China’s Soft Power Deficit: To Catch up, Its Politics Must Unleash the Many Talents of Its Civil Society”. The Wall Street Journal, 8May. www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052702304451104577389923098678842.
    [Google Scholar]
  34. 2015Is the American Century Over?Cambridge: Polity Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Pan, Wenguo
    2004 “Translating into/out of One’s Mother Tongue: On the Feasibility of Translating Chinese Classics into English by Native Chinese Translators [in Chinese]”. Chinese Translators Journal2: 40–43.
    [Google Scholar]
  36. Pokorn, Nike K.
    2005Challenging the Traditional Axioms: Translation into a Non-mother Tongue. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. doi: 10.1075/btl.62
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.62 [Google Scholar]
  37. Sahlins, Marshall
    2013 “China U: Confucius Institutes censor political discussions and restrain the free exchange of ideas. Why, then, do American universities sponsor them?” The Nation, 30October. www.thenation.com/article/china-u/.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Shan, Dexing
    2013翻譯與脈絡 (fānyì yǔ màiluò) [Translations and Contexts]. Taipei: Shulin Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Sudworth, John
    2014 “Confucius institute: The hard side of China’s soft power”. BBC News, 22December. www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-china-30567743.
    [Google Scholar]
  40. Venuti, Lawrence
    1995The Translator’s Invisibility. London: Routledge. doi: 10.4324/9780203360064
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203360064 [Google Scholar]
  41. The Wall Street Journal
    2014 “China’s Dancing Aunties Strut Their Stuff Overseas”. 17June. blogs.wsj.com/chinarealtime/2014/06/17/chinas-dancing-aunties-strut-their-stuff-overseas/.
  42. Wang, Nongsheng
    2004 “十六大報告漢英翻譯的幾點思考 (shíliùdà bàogào Hàn Yīng fānyì de jǐ diǎn sīkǎo [A few thoughts on the translating of the Report at the 16th Party Congress into English]”. Chinese Translators Journal1: 56–59.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. 現代漢語詞典 (修訂本) (xiàndài Hànyǔ cídiǎn (xiūdìng běn)) [Dictionary of modern Chinese (revised edition)] 1996 Beijing: Commercial Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  44. Xie, Tianzhen
    2014 “The Translation and Dissemination of Chinese Literature: Problems and Essence [in Chinese]”. Comparative Literature in China1: 1–10. doi: 10.1215/23290048‑2749359
    https://doi.org/10.1215/23290048-2749359 [Google Scholar]
  45. Yan, Fu
    1901/1933 “譯例言 (yì lì yán) [Notes on the Translation]”. In天演論 (tiānyǎn lùn) [On evolution] (translation of Thomas H. Huxley’s Evolution and Ethics), transl. by Fu Yan , 1–3. Shanghai: Commercial Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. Zeng, Chunlian , and Xiaoling Fu
    2010 “On the Translation of Chinese Classics and Cultural Consciousness [in Chinese with English abstract]”. Language and Translation4: 57–60.
    [Google Scholar]
  47. Zhang, Jinghua
    2013 “龐德的翻譯是東方主義嗎?——兼論《神州集》的創造性翻譯 (Pángdé de fānyì shì dōngfāngzhǔyì ma?—jiānlùn Shénzhōují de chuàngzàoxìng fānyì) [Is Pound’s translation Orientalist?—And on the creative translation in Cathay]”. Chinese Translators Journal5: 84–89.
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Zhang, Qian
    2015 “Constructing the Diaspora Translator Model for Translation and Dissemination of Chinese Literature—A Case Study of Toming Jun Liu’s Translation of Mu Xin’s Short Story Collection An Empty Room [in Chinese]”. Foreign Language Education3: 105–109.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Zheng, Qiong
    2014 “Predicament Faced by Global Diffusion of Chinese Literature [in Chinese]”. Journal of Zhengzhou Institute of Aeronautical Industry Management (Social Science Edition)3: 60–63.
    [Google Scholar]
  50. Zhou, Meihui
    2014 “臺灣戲曲中心昨定名 (Táiwān Xìqǔ Zhōngxīn zuó dìng míng) [Taiwan Xiqu Center named yesterday]”. United Daily News, 24April, A13.
    [Google Scholar]
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error