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Talking Translation (翻译话题)

Infrastructure for China Soft Power Inc.: Newly Established China Academy of Translation

In a move to get the infrastructure on the ground for China’s re-emergence on the international cultural scene, the China Int’l Publishing Group has founded the China Academy of Translation (中国翻译研究院). Read about it here in Chinese, and here in English.

This is definitely a state-run body founded to serve China’s strategic interests, a “translation think tank” focusing on translation out of Chinese, if you will. But there are a few aspects of interest to translators of Chinese in general. The academy will:

  • Periodically release suggested translations — one would assume mainly from Chinese into English — for “culture-loaded” expressions “with Chinese characteristics”
  • Host training programs for domestic and foreign translators
  • Promote translation education for non-European languages, such as certain languages indigenous to Africa and Southeast Asia

There were several but vague references to a “platform” at the inaugural ceremony, which imply that there will be one or more web sites, including a database, run by the academy.  For some info on an existing one listing translators, see New Kid on the Block.

Ideas about how to train up the next generation of Chinese-to-English literary translators have recently been discussed in Open Letter and in The People’s Daily (建立驻地翻译基金). Oh yes, and here’s how to sign up for a training course in China scheduled for September: CELT Rides Again.

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