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Chief Editor’s Note
 
Chai Mingjiong,Xie Tianzhen
 

On the evening of May 29th, 2014, a brightly-lit cruise ship was silhouetted against the skyline of Shanghai. On board was the closing party of CIUTI General Assembly 2014. When all the CIUTI board members came to the stage and spoke a few words in their mother tongues, laughter rang across the quietly shimmering Huangpu River. It was Professor Chai Mingjiong, Dean of GIIT and the host of the party, who conjured up such a fascinating idea. With all the people speaking different languages but understanding each other perfectly well, this magic moment seemed like a return to Babel. But we can never return to Babel. The only way to bring people speaking different tongues together is via translation, which has been a long-cherished dream of East Journal of Translation, as evident from the Chief Editor’s Note of its first English issue that debuted last year: “(We) sincerely hope East and West shall finally meet when the bliss of mutual understanding is derived from our painful pursuit” . While East and West did meet on that magic night, our painful pursuit has never ceased. As the cruise ship faded away into distance, another scene faded in several weeks later: the handover ceremony of the deanship at GIIT. In his farewell speech, Chai thanked all the founding members of GIIT, spent the rest of his speech giving suggestions for the future development of the institute, but spared no single word talking about himself. Yet if we look back to the pilgrimage Chai has devoted his life to, we can better understand the true meaning of “painful pursuit”. That handover ceremony at GIIT is rather symbolic of the theme of our 2015 English issue (also the CIUTI issue), which pays tribute to the most acknowledged translation scholars as well as observing the growth of younger generation of T&I scholars, practitioners, trainers and program initiators and leaders both in China and worldwide. We owe a great debt to Professor Frank Peeters, President of CIUTI, for his substantial and thought-provoking preface. In his opening paragraph, he portrayed “one of the unquestioned founding fathers of translation studies, James ‘Jim’ Holmes” with a lifelike touch and said Holmes “together with scholars like Itamar Even-Zohar, Gideon Toury, André Lefevere, Susan Bassnett and the like, he stood at the cradle of translatology”. Firstly, by paying tribute to those great names, he highlighted CIUTI’s academic role, which ties in with our sincere hope to improve all CIUTI members’ attention to academic issues. Secondly, his mention of all these names reminds us that the golden age of “translation studies” was actually ushered by this group of comparatists. Therefore, it is no coincidence that the author of the first research article, Professor Xie Tianzhen, is a translation scholar as well as a comparatist who “academically…walks with his western peers in the procession of ‘translation studies’ school” that boasts the names mentioned above. Proven to be the most acknowledged contribution to Chinese translation studies in the last two decades, Xie’s Medio-translatology, drawing inspiration from comparative literature at the initial stage like his western peers, has expanded greatly in recent years to embrace more cutting edge research topics. In his “Overseas Promotion of Chinese Literature: Actual Performance and Fundamental Problems”, he proposed the terms “time gap” and “language gap” to explain the fundamental problems related to the translation and promotion of Chinese literature in the West. Besides, Xie’s most recent work, Invisibility and Visibility: From Traditional to Contemporary Translation Theories, dealing with changes in translation studies from new perspectives, will be further discussed in Chen Xuemei’s book review. It is worth mentioning that during March 28-29, 2015, a high-level forum entitled “What is Translation?--Re-siting and Redefining Translation” was held at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies in response to Xie’s call for a new definition of translation in current professional-oriented context. A brief survey of the forum is also included for the purpose of sharing with CIUTI members the new trend of translation studies in China. Apart from the masterpiece by Xie, all the remaining contributions present readers with a brilliant collection of writings by the younger generation of T&I scholars, all of which demonstrate their efforts to learn from pioneering works in this field as well as their critical reflections on what they’ve learned. For example, Liu Xiaogang probed into the term “creative treason”, one of the key concepts of Xie’s Medio-translatology, and systematically explained the term from the perspective of hermeneutics. Thus, he has provided a philosophical framework to view “creative treason” as a process occurring in all kinds of literary translation. Similarly, Chong Yau-yuk made a thorough analysis of late Martha P. Y. Cheung’s theoretical discourse about translation history based on taiji philosophy and explores the possibility of applying the taiji term “pushing-hands” into an alternative research paradigm. Based on a close reading of Cheung’s book chapter, Chong arrived at the conclusion that the “pushing-hands” approach is an unfinished narrative which requires further development. Nearly two years have passed since we lost Martha P. Y. Cheung, and her “pushing-hands” paradigm remains highly respected but less reviewed. In this sense, understanding her theory profoundly and critically, and considering seriously the application of her theoretical framework is undoubtedly the best way to remember her. Similar efforts can be found in Zhang Ailing’s (known as Irene Zhang among CIUTI members) “Delivering Excellence in Conference Interpreting:Tests in University Context”. Now the Dean of GIIT, Zhang is an outstanding interpreter, trainer and program leader of the younger generation. Taking Conference Interpreting Program at GIIT as an example, Zhang discussed its assessment mechanism, analyzing the grading system of the exams and deliberations by the jury members, hoping to share with CIUTI members the most valuable experience of CI Program. From an excellent trainee and candidate to a most experienced trainer and jury member of the program, Zhang’s unique path to professional success enables her to grasp all the authentic details of the its exam system and make in-depth comments based on the different roles she has played. We, on behalf of GIIT, would also like to take this chance to express our heartfelt thanks to those who have contributed enormously to the development of CI Program. Both Li Hongyu and Li Bo got their MA from Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, but they chose to pursue their doctorate research respectively in Shanghai and Hong Kong. Now a PhD in translation studies and lecturer at GIIT, Li Hongyu has been focusing her attention on feminist approaches to translation since she began her academic life. Young as she is, her “Gender and the Chinese Context: the 1956 and 1999 Versions of Doris Lessing’s The Grass Is Singing” is a mature piece, a testament not only to the great effort she has invested in this research topic, but also her most recent academic experience as a visiting scholar at Ottawa University, the birthplace of feminist translation studies. Li Bo, a PhD from Lingnan University and lecturer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, noticed a number of copyright disputes occurring in the last decade of the Qing Dynasty. In “Translation and Copyright Legislation in Late Qing China (1900-1910)”, he elaborated on the correlation between translation practice and the adoption of the first copyright law in China. This attempt is of much practical value as we look forward to the legislation on various aspects related to translation. In addition to the research articles are two interviews. One is with Professor Luise von Flotow, conducted by Chen Kefang, a young professor at Zhejiang International Studies University. The other is with Professor Franz Pöchhacker, conducted by Sun Haiqin and Xu Qilu, two young lecturers at GIIT. All three young scholars shared similar educational background, graduating from various universities in the Yangtze River Delta area and getting their PhD in translation studies from Shanghai International Studies University. Their different paths to professional growth and divergence in research interests exemplify the maturing of T& I studies in China in recent one decade and the increasing diversity of choices for young scholars. By now we’ve reviewed all the contributions included. We thank all the authors for their hard work and constant support. We owe a great debt to Pang Yaping, Nancy Tsai, Gong Rui, Wang Yuwei and He Wenting for their English translation of 3 articles. Our gratitude also goes to George Fleming and Louis Guillou for their proof-reading and revision of the articles. Finally, let us bid farewell to that magic night last year and take a last look at the cruise ship before it fades into history. We still remember Chai’s words in his mother tongue, Shanghainese, about the flowing Huangpu River. “River”, in Chinese, bears rich connotations. In the Chinese classics, the surge of waves and tides resembles the endless cycle of life, which coincides with the key words of this 2015 English issue: memory, inheritance and growth. In modern China, rivers have been compared to the vibrating pulses pumping in fresh blood from the outside world, especially the Huangpu River and Yangtze River that cradled the city of Shanghai, China’s window onto the world. In recent years the pumping has become two way as China is contributing more to the world. A publication born in Shanghai, “It is in these two fields of crosscultural and intracultural negotiation that the East Journal of Translation wants to play a key role.”—We thank Professor Frank Peeters for his understanding and good wishes. We know there is still a long way for us to go, but are confident that, with the support of all CIUTI members, this thrilling prospect will eventually come true and be shared by all.

 
 
     
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