BICC Models and Meanings: China in Ten Words Network

Translating China

Co-ordinator: Dr William Schroeder, The University of Manchester, Chinese Studies. Partners; Dr James St. André (The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Department of Translation) and Dr Sher-shiueh Li (李奭學) (Institute of Chinese Literature and Philosophy, Academia Sinica)

Here we explore the tendency to use a few key concepts, often translated or adapted from Chinese such as xiao (filial piety), or guanxi (networking) to understand Chinese culture. A historical approach to the use of key terms in the past is combined with an anthropological analysis of current UK/China key terms.

This network  hosted an international conference called ‘The Translation of Key Terms in Traditional and Modern China’ (「中國文化中的關鍵詞及其翻譯」國際學術研討會) at Academia Sinica in Taipei from 02-04 January 2015. This interdisciplinary gathering will bring together specialists from literary studies, translation studies, anthropology, and other fields to discuss ways that translation might be brought to the centre of contemporary Sinology. Participants will come from the People’s Republic of China, Taiwan, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia to consider the history of translation between Chinese and English from both textual and social-cultural perspectives. Resulting conference publications will aim to help scholars in all fields gain a better understanding of how the practice of translation has influenced knowledge in both the Chinese and Anglo cultural spheres, and in fact just how important translation is to the way all people understand the world.