“Colonization”, resistance and the uses of post colonial translation theory in twentieth-century in China

  • “Postcoloniality” seems suddenly to have been given a prominent part in research on translation in Third World countries.
  • The body of ideas associated with postcolonial translation theory, when shorn of its temporal-historical dimension becomes applicable to earlier eras in which, postcolonial translation practices were only nascent.
  • First position could be designated as an act of resistance: the call for using a “pure” Chinese language when translating.
  • New language emerging out of translations into Chinese:
    1. Insertion subjects where none is needed.
    2. Increasing use of conjunctions and other linking devices.
    3. Proliferating passive structures.
    4. Affix-like morphemes.
    5. Widespread use of lengthy modifiers.
  • Europeanization is fought against by numerous people – language colonization.
  • Alternative: the traditional vernacular used before the 20th century, resembling the spoken language of the past, used to serve “low-culture functions”.
  • Second position: a consequence of the recent introduction into Chinese critical and academic circles of new theories: postmodernism, postcolonialism, post-Enlightenment ideas, etc.
  • Shen Xiaolong: explain the peculiarities of the Chinese language:
    1. The preference for economy of expression.
    2. the aspiration toward achieving phonological harmony.
    3. close attention to balance between empty and concrete words.
    4. the tendency to use the various parts of speech freely, so long as what it said makes sense.
  • They reveal the extent to which Chinese can be said to favor “associative thinking”.
  • Third position?