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18:00 - 19:30 27 February 2014

Translation in History Lecture Series: 3000 years of Chinese Translation


Archaeology Lecture Theatre G6 | UCL Institute of Archaeology (link Map)
31–34 Gordon Square | London | WC1 | United Kingdom

Open to: Academic | Alumni | Public | Student
Admission: Free
Ticketing: Pre-booking essential

Speaker information

Nicky Harman, Literary translator, Nicky Harman lives in the UK. She taught on the MSc in Translation at Imperial College until 2011 and translates full-time from Chinese. She focusses on fiction, poetry and sometimes literary non-fiction, by authors such as Chen Xiwo, Han Dong, Hong Ying, Dorothy Tse, Xinran, Yan Geling and Zhang Ling. She is a regular contributor to the literary magazines Chutzpah, and Words Without Borders, and also organizes translation-focused events, mentors new translators and was one of the judges for the Harvill Secker Young Translators Prize 2012. She contributes to the website for translators from Chinese, Paper Republic, and was Translator-in-Residence, London, at the Free Word Centre in 2011.

Translation from and into Chinese has played an influential role in the development of Chinese civilization. It has been a tool of the state, essential to regulating trade and diplomatic relations, and the route through which a major religion, Buddhism, became dominant. It has also been a medium of cultural exchange: science, philosophy, literature and art has traveled both ways, both out of China and inwards. As far back as 200BC, we can read analyses of the nature of translation, and down the centuries there has been lively debate around issues which we now call fidelity, domestication and skopos. This talk will give an overview of those 3000 years and will show how translation problems perceived and discussed centuries ago are still relevant today.


Geraldine Brodie
+44 (0)20 3108 1317 | g.brodie@ucl.ac.uk


Translation in History Lecture Series