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How much Chinese language teaching is required in Chinese translation teaching?

Friday 6 January 2023, 2pm GMT
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Over the past decades, a countless number of textbooks on English–Chinese translation have been published. It is not uncommon to see that a variety of translation methods such as ‘addition’ and ‘omission’, to name but two, are provided in the hope that readers are fully equipped for translation tasks at various linguistic levels and in different text types. This, nevertheless, rests upon the assumption that readers’ grasp of the Chinese language enables them to stand against interference from the source language in the translation process.

With reference to the concept of translation universals, I posit that translation is a linguistic activity that attempts to resist under-representation. Drawing upon my teaching experience of translation in Hong Kong and Manchester, I argue that language teaching is an indispensable part of translation training. Whilst thorough language proficiency training may not be feasible in a translation programme, incorporating the defining characteristics of the Chinese language in an English-Chinese translation module, together with the aforementioned techniques, may enhance the teaching effectiveness.

Speaker’s bio

Dr Yu Kit Cheung MCIL CL is Lecturer in Chinese Translation Studies at The University of Manchester, UK. He is also a Reviewer of the Target Multilingual Website and a Steering Committee Member of the East Asian Translation Pedagogy Advance.

He has recently edited the Chinese translation of an academic volume on Translation Studies and published several academic articles on Confucianism, literary translation, and translation pedagogy. In addition to scholarly works, he is keen to share his thoughts with his readers on language and translation on Fans of Translation, his personal website:, where he publishes short articles on these two subjects on a regular basis.