Innovationen und Reproduktionen in Kulturen und Gesellschaften (IRICS) Wien, 9. bis 11. Dezember 2005

<< Translation and Ideology

Chinese Ideologies and Chinese Bible Translation

Ren Dongsheng (Foreign Languages School of Ocean University of China, City of Qingdao, Shandong Province, P. R. China)



Ideologymay take varied shapes. With respect of translation studies, a nation whose language is the target language, its ruling class whose cultural policy plays an important role in manipulating a translation, the sponsor who initiates a translation act, the translator who performs the translating, and the readership who is supposed to receive the translated text, are different ideologically in most cases. A study on Chinese Bible translation offers a good case for revealing the relation of ideology and translation. Introduction and translation of the Bible which is the core of Christian ideology started from 635 A. D. in China, and is still going on in varied ways. China has never been a Christian nation, which determines that Chinese Bible translation has been under influence of Chinese dominating ideologies at different historical phases. Production of different Chinese Bible versions reflects the powers of ideology, which display in form of religious politics, ruling class' cultural policy, Chinese poetics, and Chinese literati's habit of approaching religious texts. Also, Chinese Bible translators, both western missionaries who were mostly Sinologists and Chinese literary translators who were mostly lettermen themselves, adopted different translation strategies in rendering their own Bible versions, especially in rendering biblical poetry. Finally, the cultural functions of Chinese Bible versions in different styles or in varied presentations also reveal the shift of competing ideologies in China. During the first half of 20 th century, Chinese scholars, translators and even writers took great interest in Chinese Bible translation and the Bible as literature. From 1949 to late 1980s, research on Chinese Bible translation was a depress topic hence a fruitless area. Renewed interest among Chinese scholars in Chinese Bible translation study is no doubt a result of China's opening policy. But even today, Chinese scholars, owing to shifting ideologies, often differ academically when coming to conclusion concerning the status of Chinese Bible translation history through the translation history of China, Chinese Bible translation theories' contribution to the heritage of translation theories of, and Chinese Bible version's role in Chinese culture.

Innovations and Reproductions in Cultures and Societies
(IRICS) Vienna, 9 - 11 december 2005

WEBDESIGN: Peter R. Horn 2005-08-28