Interpreters in Early Imperial China

ORCID logoRachel Lung | Lingnan University
ISBN 9789027224446 | EUR 85.00 | USD 128.00
ISBN 9789027284181 | EUR 85.00 | USD 128.00
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This monograph examines interpreters in early imperial China and their roles in the making of archival records about foreign countries and peoples. It covers ten empirical studies on historical interpreting and discusses a range of issues, such as interpreters’ identities, ethics, non-mediating tasks, status, and relations with their patrons and other people they worked with. These findings are based on critical readings of primary and secondary sources, which have rarely been utilized and analyzed in depth even in translation research published in Chinese.
Although this is a book about China, the interpreters documented are, surprisingly, mostly foreigners, not Chinese. Cases in point are the enterprising Tuyuhun and Sogdian interpreters. In fact, some Sogdians were recruited as China’s translation officials, while many others were hired as linguistic and trading agents in mediation between Chinese and Turkic-speaking peoples. These idiosyncrasies in the use of interpreters give rise to further questions, such as patterns in China’s provision of foreign interpreters for its diplomatic exchanges and associated loyalty concerns. This book should be of interest not only to researchers in Translation and Interpreting Studies, but also to scholars and students in ancient Chinese history and Sinology in general.
[Benjamins Translation Library, 96] 2011.  xvii, 181 pp.
Publishing status: Available
Table of Contents
“China was international long before globalization, but this chapter in Chinese history is rarely, if ever, studied. Rachel Lung’s Interpreters in Early Imperial China will fill an important lacuna, not only in Chinese history, but in world history.”
“The study takes a purely document-based approach to discussing the role of interpreters and achieves persuasive strength in the diversity of archival research that guided her
reconstruction of the contexts in which interpreters worked over eight centuries in China.”
“Rachel Lung’s Interpreters in Early Imperial China, parts of which were previously published in Interpreting (Lung 2008, 2009), is a valuable contribution to our collective knowledge on the history of interpreting in the world. As Lung mentions, this book will hopefully be followed by more research on interpreters in many different parts of the world and different periods in history, allowing for new findings to be cross-referenced through collaboration and dialogue among international scholars of interpreting history.”
“Lung’s groundbreaking work makes an important contribution to the field of interpreting studies. The insightful argument she proposes in the book, that interpreters in early imperial China acted as historians, or consultants in the recording of diplomatic events, can be regarded as a great contribution enriching our knowledge of the history of interpreting.
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2023. Chapter 1. Voices from around the world. In Towards an Atlas of the History of Interpreting [Benjamins Translation Library, 159],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Balakhonov, Vladimir & Christopher D. Mellinger
2023. Developing and Using an Ad Hoc Corpus to Teach Specialized Interpreting: A Case Study of German Embassy Speeches. CLINA Revista Interdisciplinaria de Traducción Interpretación y Comunicación Intercultural 9:2  pp. 135 ff. DOI logo
Chan, Clara Ho-yan & Marcus Galdia
2023. Problems in English-Chinese and Chinese-English legal translation: with a case study of mistranslations. Comparative Legilinguistics 55  pp. 118 ff. DOI logo
Lung, Rachel
2023. Metamorphosis of a diplomatic interpreting event in ancient China. Interpreting and Society 3:2  pp. 111 ff. DOI logo
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2023. Introduction. In Tsūji, Interpreters in and Around Early Modern Japan [Translation History, ],  pp. 1 ff. DOI logo
Sato, Miki
2023. Concluding Remarks. In Tsūji, Interpreters in and Around Early Modern Japan [Translation History, ],  pp. 189 ff. DOI logo
Tanaka, Miyuki
2023. Oranda-tsūji (Japanese‒Dutch Interpreters) in the Eighteenth Century: The Case of Yoshio Kōzaemon. In Tsūji, Interpreters in and Around Early Modern Japan [Translation History, ],  pp. 27 ff. DOI logo
Gürçağlar, Şehnaz Tahir
2022. Translation Historiography. Baltic accent 13:1  pp. 14 ff. DOI logo
Ross, Paul
2020. History Lessons. In Barriers to Entry,  pp. 23 ff. DOI logo
Ren, Wen & Juan Huang
2019. Interpreting Studies by Chinese Scholars (1949–2017). In Translation Studies in China [New Frontiers in Translation Studies, ],  pp. 135 ff. DOI logo
Tan, Zaixi
2019. Chinese Discourse on Translation: Views and Issues. In Translation Studies in China [New Frontiers in Translation Studies, ],  pp. 9 ff. DOI logo
Gambier, Yves
2018. Chapter 1.1. Concepts of translation. In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge [Benjamins Translation Library, 142],  pp. 19 ff. DOI logo
Hart, Jonathan Locke
2017. The formation of (hybrid) identity through the translation of texts about culture and cultural encounter in a historical context. Asia Pacific Translation and Intercultural Studies 4:3  pp. 201 ff. DOI logo
Wang, Binhua
2017. Takeda, Kayoko and Baigorri-Jalón, Jesús, eds. (2016): New Insights in the History of Interpreting. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 278 p.. Meta: Journal des traducteurs 62:3  pp. 664 ff. DOI logo
Palstra, Friso P., Evelyne Heyer & Frédéric Austerlitz
2015. Statistical Inference on Genetic Data Reveals the Complex Demographic History of Human Populations in Central Asia. Molecular Biology and Evolution 32:6  pp. 1411 ff. DOI logo
Denecke, Wiebke
2014. Worlds Without Translation: Premodern East Asia and the Power of Character Scripts. In A Companion to Translation Studies,  pp. 204 ff. DOI logo
Valdeón, Roberto A.
2013. Nation, empire, translation. In Handbook of Translation Studies [Handbook of Translation Studies, 4],  pp. 111 ff. DOI logo
Valdeón, Roberto A.
2018. Chapter 4.4. Comparative history. In A History of Modern Translation Knowledge [Benjamins Translation Library, 142],  pp. 255 ff. DOI logo
Valdeón, Roberto A.
2021. Perspectives on interpreting. Perspectives 29:4  pp. 441 ff. DOI logo
Valdeón, Roberto A.
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This list is based on CrossRef data as of 16 june 2024. Please note that it may not be complete. Sources presented here have been supplied by the respective publishers. Any errors therein should be reported to them.


Translation & Interpreting Studies

Translation Studies

Main BIC Subject

CFP: Translation & interpretation

Main BISAC Subject

LAN023000: LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Translating & Interpreting
ONIX Metadata
ONIX 2.1
ONIX 3.0
U.S. Library of Congress Control Number:  2011026145 | Marc record