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Translation Zones in Modern China: Authoritarian Command Versus Gift Exchange By Bonn ...

Chapter 1:  Introduction
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Translation Zones in Modern China:

Chapter 1


Thanks to its remarkable size and linguistic diversity, the whole of China can be thought of as a massive translation zone. This book attempts to describe and analyze two specialized translation zones in modern China where the dominant Han written language (hereafter referred to simply as Chinese) interacts with foreign languages, chiefly English.1

Most translation studies textbooks in English, with some honorable exceptions, deal with activities that take place in cultures originating in Europe or America.2 Up until the last few years, Chinese-language research in translation tended to copy the methodologies that are used in Eurocentric studies, adapting them for interactions between Chinese and other languages. Translation practices in China that do not fall into well-known Eurocentric categories were largely ignored. English-language translation textbooks and theoretical studies tend to take for granted certain generalized notions about the transactions among authors, translators, and publishers in their variously active or passive roles in initiating, commissioning or accepting translation manuscripts. The modern translator is typically depicted as a freelance professional or an employee