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Research Seminar "The (in)visibility of translator: Honglou meng (The Story of the Stone) in Engl...
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Topic:  Research Seminar "The (in)visibility of translator: Honglou meng (The Story of the Stone) in English translations"
posted itemPosted - 03/11/2009 :  11:45:38
City University of Hong Kong Dep

Department of Chinese, Translation and Linguistics

Research Seminar

The (in)visibility of translator: Honglou meng (The Story of the Stone) in English translations

Presented by

Dr. John T. P. Lai

Chinese University of Hong Kong

Date: 13 November 2009 (Friday)
Time: 3:30 – 5:00pm
Y5-206, Academic Building, CityU


Lawrence Venuti proposes the notion of “invisibility” of translators to describe their activity in contemporary Anglo-American culture. Translators tend to render the foreign texts fluently and idiomatically into English. This creates an “illusion of transparency” that the translation is not in fact a translation, but the “original”. This talk addresses the concept of (in)visibility of translator and the phenomenon of cultural accommodation and/or transgression involved in cross-cultural translation, as exemplified in the English translations of Cao Xueqin’s Honglou meng (The Story of the Stone).


Dr. John T. P. Lai (黎子鵬), obtained his D.Phil. degree from Oxford University and is now Assistant Professor in the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies, Chinese University of Hong Kong. His research and teaching interests revolve around religion and translation, religion and literature, and Christianity in China. His recent publications include “Christian Tracts in Chinese Costume: The Missionary Strategies in Translating The Peep of Day” in Theo Hermans, ed. Translating Others (2006) and “Institutional Patronage: The Religious Tract Society and the Translation of Christian Tracts in Nineteenth-Century China” in The Translator (2007). He is the Chinese translator of Joseph Homick’s Joy Comes with Dawn: Reflections on Scripture and Life (2009). He is currently working on a research project “Strategies of Cultural Negotiation: A Critical Study of the Translation of Christian Tracts in Late Qing China (1843–1911)”, funded by the Research Grants Council, Hong Kong.

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Enquiry: LTenquiry@cityu.edu.hk