Translation in Communist China: Using 'the First National Conference of Translation' as an Example
Date of Issue2014
Proceedings of the XXth FIT World Congress, Berlin 2014 (volume 2): Man vs. Machine? The Future of Translators, Interpreters and Terminologists
College of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
China was in the firm grip of the communist ideology from the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) on October 1, 1949 to the eve of the Cultural Revolution in 1966. With the communist ideology looming large in the background, literary translation during this period was greatly influenced by political factors such as China’s alliance with the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (Soviet Union), its friendship with communist countries in Eastern European, its antagonism against the Western capitalist camp, and its literary policy stipulating that literature should shape and reflect the revolutionary spirit. How did the unique translation phenomenon in China occur? Why did the Communist Party of China (CPC) hurry to systematize translation activities and set a unified translation standard as soon as the PRC was founded? The paper seeks to answer these questions through analysing the 1951 First National Conference of Translation, an influential event in the modern history of translation in China in the 1950s and 1960s.
© 2014 The author. This is the author created version of a work that has been peer reviewed and accepted for publication in Proceedings of the XXth FIT World Congress, Berlin 2014 (volume 2): Man vs. Machine? The Future of Translators, Interpreters and Terminologists, published by BDÜ Fachverlag on behalf of the author. It incorporates referee’s comments but changes resulting from the publishing process, such as copyediting, structural formatting, may not be reflected in this document.