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On Translation of Ancient Chinese Texts of Science
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Topic:  On Translation of Ancient Chinese Texts of Science
posted itemPosted - 02/12/2000 :  18:05:41
Department of Chinese, Translation & Linguistics and Language Information Sciences Research Centre Jointly present a lecture on On Translation of Ancient Chinese Texts of Science and Technology By Professor CHEN Cheng-Yih Joseph (程貞一教授) University of California, San Diego/ City University of Hong Kong Time: 4:30 - 6:00 pm Date: 04 December 2000 (Monday) Venue: CTL Conference Room B7533, CityU
Abstract: One of the problems with analyzing ancient texts of science and technology in any civilization lies in the interpretation of technical terms, because these terms have a tendency to acquire additional meaning as science progresses. Thus, through technical terms, there is the possibility of reading modern meanings back into antiquity. This problem with technical terms can be particularly serious for Western scientific traditions since a number of ‘modern’ technical terms are derived directly from Greek terms and their meanings have changed and enriched through the centuries. The same problem may arise in translating ancient Chinese scientific terms into ‘modern’ technical terms. The talk discusses a number of issues one faces in the translation of ancient Chinese texts in science and technology. Examples are taking from the writings of Rú Jiā (Rúists), Dào Jiā (Dàoists), and Mò Jiā (Mòhists), as well as from writings devoted specifically to mathematics, science and technology. Biography: Joseph C. Y. Chen is a Professor of Physics at the University of California, San Diego. Before joining UCSD, he did research at the Brookhaven National Laboratory, the Joint Institute for Laboratory Astrophysics, Colorado and the Manchester University, England. His research interest has been in atomic and molecular physics and in the history and philosophy of science. Other than research articles in scientific journals and monographs, Chen has also publications in the history of science which include Two-Tone Set-Bells of Marquis Yi (World Scientific, 1994) and Early Chinese Work in Natural Science (Hong Kong University Press, 1996). He is currently a member of the International Advisory Board for the Journal Studies in the History of Natural Sciences.
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