Module Catalogues

Translating China I: Culture and History

Module Title Translating China I: Culture and History
Module Level Level 3
Module Credits 5.00

Aims and Fit of Module

This is an advanced and key module in the BA Translation and Interpreting programme.  Through case studies featuring salient translators and translational phenomena in the modern and contemporary era, this module brings together Translation Studies and China Studies. With particular importance to cultural, historical and literary dimensions, it offers a critical stance from which students’ awareness and understanding of what constitutes a successful translation of China to the English-speaking world can be cultivated. This module hence nurtures students’ critical thinking ability to analyse effective strategies for disseminating the Chinese cultural and historical works to the world, the rationale behind the emergence of their afterlives in the target context, factors accounting for their success (or failure), and ultimately how translation can offer a means through which the image of China can be conceived and mediated on the global scene. In that way it aligns perfectly with the essence of the BA Translation and Interpreting programme – the recognition of translation’s key role in promulgating the Chinese perspective on global agendas, and China’s interaction with the world.

Learning outcomes

A	demonstrate a thorough understanding of a broad range of forms and genres of translations pertaining to Chinese culture, history and literature   
B summarise the significance of the translations in the broader cultural, historical and literary contexts in which both Chinese source texts and the translated English target texts were produced
C effectively translate and critically evaluate major issues generated by the process of translating Chinese culture, history and literature
D critically evaluate strategies and actions necessary to secure a successful translation of Chinese culture, history and literature

Method of teaching and learning

This module is delivered by a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures are designed to provide the basics and salient theories of Translation Studies, Literary Studies and Cultural Studies. The purpose of doing this is to nurture students’ awareness of frameworks and methodologies through which analysis and evaluations are performed. Through case studies (each of which features a significant form of translating China), this module contextualises and analyses the historical and cultural parameters that exert impact on the Western conceptualisation of Chinese history and culture. Seminars are based on pair/group discussion, in-class debate and individual/ group reflection. They aim to provide students with a learning opportunity designed to deepen the examination of the cases and broaden the scope of the materials introduced in the lectures.