Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/147594
Title: War of translation, treaty of Nanking, and diplomatic deception : Sir George Staunton and the birth of two early Chinese programs at the University of London
Authors: Kwan, Uganda Sze Pui
Keywords: Humanities::Language
Issue Date: 2017
Source: Kwan, U. S. P. (2017). War of translation, treaty of Nanking, and diplomatic deception : Sir George Staunton and the birth of two early Chinese programs at the University of London. Journal of Translation Studies, 1(1), 183-206.
Journal: Journal of Translation Studies
Abstract: The British Empire was a latecomer in establishing Chinese studies. British Sinologists made strenuous efforts to establish the first program at the University College London in the mid-1830s. The empire did not contribute to the making of it. University College London, the institution where the program was set up, was apathetic about the whole establishment. When the first term ended, University College London was unwilling to continue the program despite the clamor for learning Chinese in the society. The program was finally revived in 1846, only this time at another college at the University of London. Relying on an extensive amount of private and public archival records centering on Sir George Thomas Staunton, this paper demonstrates that it was under his patronage that the Chinese program was reinstitutionalized in London. Known to be an unassuming political figure, Sir George Staunton was determined to rekindle the program. Not soon after the Treaty of Nanking was signed did a scandal of translation break out: an article in the peace treaty was missing in the translated version. The interpreter for the British Empire was accused of being bribed by the Chinese to betray the British Empire. Was it true? Or was this simply a political intrigue to humiliate the British? In fact, during the war, Staunton, being an old Chinese hand and an expert of Chinese translation, had already warned about the vulnerability of the government in view of the chronic lack of competent interpreters. However, as party politics prevailed, his good intentions were ignored. Even worse, he was sidelined. After seeing that the scandal had hijacked Britain’s war glory, he was resolute in fixing the problem. This time he used his own might to set the tone for British Sinology for years to come.
URI: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/147594
ISSN: 1027-7978
Schools: School of Humanities 
Rights: © 2017 Department of Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. Published by The Chinese University Press. All rights reserved.
Fulltext Permission: none
Fulltext Availability: No Fulltext
Appears in Collections:SoH Journal Articles

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