“Translator studies” : Wu Mi’s discourse on translation
Wu Mi, Translator, Habitus, Discourse on translation
Wu Mi (1894–1978) was one of the most important scholars in China in the early twentieth century. Taking habitus of the translator into consideration, this paper investigates Wu’s discourse on translation within a research framework on translators, and discusses Wu’s discourse on the definition and purpose of translation, the criteria of translation, the selection of materials for translation, the method of translation, etc. The study indicates that Wu’s direct discourse on translation is greatly influenced by his indirect discourse on translation, and his discourse on translation is also influenced by his habitus as a “Babbittian.” Wu was confident about traditional Chinese culture and language as well as the Chinese means of punctuation and did not think translation should be used as a tool to reform the native Chinese language. He was against the foreignized translation method and preferred using natural native Chinese language. We can say that the essence of Wu’s translation principle is “to put new materials in old rules.” Wu’s discourse on translation is indeed a true reflection of his habitus and his stance on New Culture Movement and is inseparable from the cultural and historical background.
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Paper presented at the 6th Tamkang International Conference on Ecological Discourse, Dec 19-20, 2014, Tamkang University, New Taipei, Taiwan.
Bai, L. (2017). “Translator studies” : Wu Mi’s discourse on translation. Neohelicon, 44(2), 583-599. doi: 10.1007/s11059-017-0389-6