Global Chinese translation programmes

An overview of Chinese English translation/interpreting programmes

Authored by: Yong Zhong

The Routledge Handbook of Chinese Translation

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138938267
eBook ISBN: 9781315675725
Adobe ISBN:


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Chinese–English translation/interpreting (CETI) used to be but an elitist programme taught at a small number of highly specialised colleges and institutes, including notably the one launched in 1979 under the joint sponsorship of the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the United Nations and hosted by Beijing Foreign Studies University (BFSU) in China. Internationally, CETI was offered first in occasional programmes from the 1950s and 1960s and then in regular full programmes at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, which was later merged to form the Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey (MIISM). Outside this small domain, translation used to be often taught in general foreign language studies in many Chinese universities including Guangdong University of Foreign Studies (GDUFS) and Xiamen University (XMU) and very few international universities. Xu noted that, in China from 1920 to 1949, ‘nearly all universities used Grammar-Translation techniques as a means of learning foreign languages. There were less formal translation trainings’ (Xu 2005: 234). Not surprisingly, this was parallel to the role of translation in language studies in the international scene where it was designed to facilitate ‘the rote study of the grammatical rules and structures of the foreign language’ (Munday 2001: 8).

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