Translation, Globalisation and Localisation: A Chinese Perspective
Wang Ning and Sun Yifeng (eds)
Clevedon, UK, Buffalo, NY, and Toronto,ON: Multilingual Matters, 2008. (
Topics in Translation 35.
) Pp 220. ISBN 978-1-84769-053-1 (hbk): US$99.95.Translation studies as a discipline is well established in Europe, but it is stillnew in North America and in Asia. Some would still dispute its parameters, but as its proponents define the field, it necessarily includes theoretical andanalytical studies as well as the practice of translation. All of these areas aredeveloped in Europe, but the USA lags behind in analyses of translations andChina in theoretical formulations of the problems of translation. All areas of the world move quickly forward with the production of translations, of course;the increased pace of globalisation necessitates nothing less. Ever since the‘cultural turn’ in translation studies of the 1990s, it has been a commonplacethat choices made in the process of translation are shaped by the culturalcontext of the translator as well as political pressures she might not be fullyaware of. So, too, is the field of translation studies. The present collectionresponds to a need to interject Chinese perspectives into the larger discussionsof translation studies theory, most of which go on in English. Despite thesignal contribution already made by this journal and other such collections,the essays here make a splendid addition to the field, based on rich experience,careful theoretical formulation, and incisive analyses of selected texts. Thevolume deserves widespread circulation and careful attention by anyone whois seriously engaged in translation or translation studies; it marks a newmilestone in this rapidly expanding field.As one might expect, despite its subtitle this volume presents far more thanone Chinese perspective. Like China’s translators and readers, its contributorscome from diverse backgrounds and share little more than deep knowledge of their field and a sincere desire to contribute to its development. Thedistinguished contributors here are based in various parts of China (ChenYongguo, Wang Ning, and Xu Yanhong in Beijing, Mu Lei and Wang Dongfengin Guangzhou), in Hong Kong (Eugene Chen Eoyang and Sun Yifeng) and inMacao (Mao Sihui); others write from Europe (Cay Dollerup, Copenhagen),the United States (Edwin Gentzler, Amherst, Mass.), and Canada (Xie Ming,Toronto). Their levels and types of engagement in China differ: even so, all areremarkable for the information they present as well for as their insights.After an introduction by Wang Ning and Sun Yifeng, its 10 essays aredivided between ‘historical overviews’ and ‘current developments’. But thesedivisions should not prompt readers to focus on only one area: Introductionand essays in both sections all thoughtfully address both the brief history of self-conscious theorising of translations in China and recent accomplishmentsin this area. The divisions are more a convenience than substantive; reading
D o w nl o ad ed A t : 23 :23 18 F eb r u a r y 2009