By Martha Cheung Pui Yiu, Lin Wusun
Translation has an extended historical past in China. Down the centuries translators, interpreters, Buddhist clergymen, Jesuit monks, Protestant missionaries, writers, historians, linguists, or even ministers and emperors have all written approximately translation, and from an grand array of views. Such an exhilarating range of perspectives, reflections and theoretical wondering the artwork and enterprise of translating is now introduced jointly in a two-volume anthology. the 1st quantity covers a timeframe from approximately the fifth century BCE to the 12th century CE. It bargains with translation within the civil and executive context, and with the huge venture of Buddhist sutra translation. the second one quantity spans the thirteenth century CE to the Revolution of 1911, which introduced an finish to feudal China. It bargains with the transmission of Western studying to China - a translation enterprise that modified the epistemological horizon or even the approach of chinese language humans. Comprising over 250 passages, such a lot of that are translated into English for the 1st time right here, the anthology is the 1st significant resource e-book to seem in English. It contains worthwhile basic fabric, permitting entry into the minds of translators operating in a time and house markedly assorted from ours, and in methods overseas or perhaps impossible to us. the themes those writers mentioned are widely used. yet instead of a snug journey on well-trodden flooring, the anthology invitations us on a thrilling trip of the mind's eye.
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Additional info for An Anthology of Chinese Discourse on Translation (Volume 1): From Earliest Times to the Buddhist Project
Where the methods of translation were concerned, they could largely be subsumed under one main principle: “follow the source” (ànběn ூ)ء, or “transmit by following the source” (ànběn ér chuán ூۖءႚ). When the difﬁculties of translating were lamented upon, it was because the danger of “losing the source” (shīběn ؈ )ءwas so real, while “capturing (the theme of) the source” (déběn )ءwas so difﬁcult and formidable a task. These same concerns were in the minds of the monktranslators when they argued about whether “reﬁned” (wén ֮) translation was preferable to “unhewn” (zhì ᔆʼ translation.
These latter “Hu-language” sutras were of two types: the ﬁrst type were transliterations from Sanskrit into the scripts of the Western Regions, and the second type were translations, using the languages of the Western Regions to express the meanings of the Sanskrit sutras. It was not until the end of the Sui Dynasty (in the early seventh century CE) that all sutras were translated from Sanskrit into Chinese (Ma 1999:96-97). It is important to note, however, that such information was unknown to the ancients.
Neither “source” nor “version”/“edition” will be put in bold, since these terms do not belong to the same category of terms used in association with “reﬁned” (wén ֮) and Introduction 13 “unhewn” (zhì ᔆ) translation. To trope the subtle presence of “běn” ءin Chinese discourse on sutra translation, neither “source” nor “version”/“edition” will be provided with its transliteration and Chinese character in brackets. In English translations of classical Chinese texts, the syntax makes it necessary for the subject (for example, the English terms for “běn” )ءto appear more frequently than it has to in classical Chinese, and if the technique of tagging an English term with its transliteration and its Chinese character were to be used, the presence of “běn” ء, already pervasive due to syntactical requirement, would become obtrusive.