The shifting identity of translation studies in China

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Journal article

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Intercultural Communication Studies

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Definition, identity, subjectivity, interdiscipline, intercultural connectivity


Because of an overwhelming interest in translation in recent years, Translation Studies has attracted considerable attention. Its disciplinary expansion in the 1990s has greatly increased its visibility. Yet its identity is still somewhat obscure, if not confusing. Translation Studies has borrowed theoretical paradigms and research methodologies from other disciplines, thus generating hybrid formations of transdisciplinarity. Thus it tends to focus on investigating the cross-cultural and interdisciplinary process of recognition, construction, confrontation, and transformation, which involves meaning, interpretation, signification, and representation. With dimensions of cultural and social attitudes, discourses, and myriad forms of power brought into Translation Studies to address the complex nature of translation practice, the subject has inevitably acquired an interdisciplinary identity. In an increasingly globalized world, academic research in China has long extricated itself from its past state of isolation. China has seen an unprecedented boom in Translation Studies thanks to its intercultural interaction with the outside world, brought about by massive translation practice, and Chinese translation scholars manifest an eagerness to learn from the West and also to play an active role in promoting the development of the discipline. Translation Studies purports to probe into the implications of translation strategies and resulting discourses, including conditions of signification and politics of appropriation.

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Sun, Y. (2012). The shifting identity of translation studies in China. Intercultural Communication Sutdies, 21(2), 32-52.