Translating Technology and Culture Analysis of Translation of Non-literary Chinese Texts in Science and Civilisation in China

 Author(s): Yong LIANG; Shuli CHANG

Abstract: Science and Civilisation in China is needless to say important for understanding and studying China and its technology and culture, but the translation of those technical terms and books has been little systematically discussed. The study, through a self-collected bilingual corpus of culture-loaded texts in those volumes, describes the translation features and explains the translation effects brought by the series of Science and Civilisation in China. It finds out that the book editors tried to keep a balance between literal and free translation by maintaining pinyin spelling in Wade-Giles style in translating those cultural and technical terms, while necessary annotation and abundant illustrations are added. The translations of terms keep good consistency though those various volumes are published over decades. The translated texts constitute a significant part in each volume. The study highlights the important role of translation of non-literary texts in introducing Chinese science and culture. It argues that writing or editing books on Chinese science and technology is also a way of translating China and its civilisation, and therefore calls for academic attention on the translation study of more Chinese non-literary works. 

Keywords:  Chinese culture; translation studies; non-literary texts; Joseph Needham; Science and Civilisation in China
Open Access: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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