The 'Chineseness' vs. 'Non-Chineseness' of Chinese translation theory: An ethnoconvergent perspective

Zaixi TAN*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


Since the early 1980s, when China began to witness an influx of foreign, mainly Western, translation theories as a result of its opening up to the outside world, a number of Chinese scholars have argued that the importation of these theories has been excessive, that the Chinese have always had their own tradition of studying translation, and that this tradition must be preserved and protected from too much outside influence. The author accepts that a Chinese tradition of theorizing translation does exist and attempts to outline the main features of this tradition. He argues, however, that the 'Chineseness' of Chinese translation theory is not something to be deliberately designed and manufactured, that Chinese scholarship, like all scholarship, can only benefit from interacting with other traditions and, furthermore, that Sinocentrism can be as damaging to the development of translation studies as Eurocentrism.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)283-304
Number of pages22
JournalThe Translator
Issue number2 SPECIAL ISSUE. CH
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Communication
  • Linguistics and Language

User-Defined Keywords

  • Chinese tradition
  • Chinese translation theory
  • Chineseness
  • Dialectic
  • Ethnoconvergence
  • Non-Chineseness


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