Plenary Speakers



Professor Huang’s research interests include Systemic Functional Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Applied Linguistics and Translation Studies. He publishes extensively both in China and abroad and serves as an editorial committee member for several key academic journals, including Linguistics and the Human Sciences and etc. His major works include Functional Linguistics as Applied Linguistics, Theory and Practice of Discourse Analysis: a Study in Advertising Discourse, Linguistic Explorations in Translation Studies: Analyses of English Translations of Ancient Chinese Peoms and Lyrics, etc. 




Professor Luo’s research interests include Translation Studies and cultural studies. He publishes extensively both at home and abroad and serves as editors and consultant for many journals in the field, such as Perspectives: Studies in Translatology and Chinese Translators Journal. His major works include Translating China, Translation Studies: an interdisciplinary approach, etc.


Professor Wang’s main research interest has been in Translation Studies. He has published extensively on key journals both at home and abroad. He has written, co-written or edited many books including Coherence and Translation, Linguistic and Translation: Concepts and Methods, Functional Linguistics and Translation Studies.


Speech Title: Sun Yat-sen’s Translation as Legacy


Sun Yat-sen (1866-1925), the “Father of the Modern China” and the founder of this university, is by far the most conspicuous figure in modern Chinese history. While he may be most recognized for his role as a revolutionary and political leader, Dr. Sun is well versed in both Chinese and Western learning, which, as will be discussed in this paper, makes him an exceptional translator. Focusing on his translation of Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address and exploring its relevance to Sun’s own political doctrine of San Min Chu I, or the Three Principles of the People, this paper explores the essential role of translation in creating new knowledge and reshaping reality in China around the turn of 20th century.


Key words:  San Min Chu I, translation, rewriting




Professor CHAN’s main interests are in translation and reception, as well as translation in East Asia context. His major scholarly publications include: One into Many: Translation and the Dissemination of Classical Chinese Literature (2003); Twentieth-Century Chinese Translation Theory: Modes, Issues and Debates (2004) and Readers, Reading and Reception of Translated Prose Fiction in Chinese: Novel Encounters (2010).  


Speech title: The Historian-Describer and Comparative Reading: Toward Writing a History of Translated Fiction in Chinese


Comparative description, whether of variant translations or of one translation against its original, is a crucial method in the writing of translation history. Beginning with an interest in the way norms can influence translated texts, descriptive Translation Studies scholars have sought to counteract the vagaries of personal judgments with a more objective, “non-critical” approach (Even-Zohar 1987;Brownlie 2003). In line with such thinking, the historian has actually become a “describer,” who will describe (and explain) a target text in terms of its status as an interpretation of a source text. Since translational norms differ from literary norms, the methods of comparative literary study cannot be transferred indiscriminately, so things have to start from scratch for the still-young discipline of translation. In this article it is argued that, by putting evaluation to one side, the descriptivists can serve history better with a focus on the particular and the contextual, and dispensing with the need to discuss the merits and shortcomings of individual translations, especially with regard to aspects of language and style. A Chinese case will be examined to show how the comparative description of (1) regional styles and (2) period styles can proceed against two frameworks—those of retranslation and poly systems theory. A range of examples will be drawn from twentieth-century British fiction in Chinese translation from the 1950s onward.



Professor Pym’s main research work has been in Translation and Intercultural Studies, where he has developed sociological approaches to the study of linguistic mediation. He has written, co-written or edited some 17 books and over 140 articles in the field, including Exploring Translation Studies, On Translation Ethics. Principles for Cross-cultural Communication, etc.


Speech Title: Modernity and Dissemination of the Western Translation Form


Over the past decade we have become increasingly aware of the richness and diversity of the many different conceptualizations of translation throughout history. Each national scholar can now dig deep into tradition and reveal diverse and variously ancient modes of thought and ways of handling multilingual cross-cultural communication. The result is a much-expanded and increasingly relativist academic discipline. Nevertheless, if we now walk into a moderately electronic translation company in virtually any country in the world and we ask for a translation, what we get is remarkably the same, at least with respect to ideas about what a translation should be. By some accounts (from India, China, Vietnam and Indonesia, for example), this international reduct io ad unem dates roughly from the age of Western imperialism, such that what is now called “translation”, in many languages, is in fact the translation form disseminated as a companion of empire.


The main hypothesis proposed in this paper is that the Western translation form, in different ways and for various reasons, has indeed been imposed on all electronic cultures in the world. Global Translation Studies thus has an imperialistic identity and a unity, despite its current search for diversity, and paradoxically as a historical precondition for that same search.


The basic Western translation form can be described in pragmatic terms (use of the alien “I”; presumption of quantitative similitude; a direct dehumanized relation between two texts) and operates as a maxim in the Gricean sense: new meanings are created when it is transgressed.


The more interesting historical problem, though, is to explain why this particular form should have been disseminated. My proposal is that the form spread in causal association with the ideologies and aspirations of modernity, at roughly the same time when train tracks were laid down across the globe. And the causal connection between the trains and the translations was… hot air, steam.


Key words: modernity, imperialism, postcolonial studies, translation form, technology 





Alexandra Assis Rosa’s main scientific area of research is Translation Studies, and her other scientific areas of interest include English Linguistics and Discourse Analysis. She is a productive researcher in the field who has published a number of papers and five edited books, including New Direction in Translation Studies, Special Issue of Anglo-Saxónica.3.3.


Speech Title: Profiling the Reader in Translation, Studying(Translation) History


Within the framework of Descriptive Translation Studies, and especially the notion that “translations are facts of the target culture” as stated by Gideon Toury (2012), this product-oriented presentation suggests the relevance of profiling the reader in translation for the purpose of studying Translation History.

The presentation is organized into two main parts. First, it proposes a communicative approach to product-oriented studies of translation, importing from Pragmatics, Discourse and Text Analysis, based on the general assumption that texts relate to contexts and to the social processes within which they are embedded, as stated by M.A.K.Halliday (1998).Accordingly, a communicative model for translated discourse is presented. Focusing on the receiving end, i.e. on the concept of addressee or intended receiver in translation and on the identification of a selection of textual-linguistic markers of the voice of this participant in translated texts, this model is discussed as basis for profiling the translation reader and for studying Translation History. Second, a communicative model for indirect translation is also presented, given the expected predominance of this phenomenon in the reception of geographically and linguistically distant literary systems in Europe, such as Chinese literature (Marín-Lacarta 2012; Seruya 2013, forthcoming), especially in the so-called age of globalization. Such a model is developed in order to again bring the focus onto the receiving end of indirect translation, with special attention on the relation of text to context.  By analyzing indirect translation in search for markers of the relation of distant languages and cultures within a world translation system, this model is discussed in term of its contribution for the study of the History of East and West encounters mediated by literary translation.  If, as claimed, indirect translation tends to choose dominant mediating cultures, languages and texts, in a globalized system of intercultural text transfer mediated by dominant systems, and if, as claimed, translation into dominant languages and culturestends to be target-oriented, then East and West encounters by means of translation may, in the end, have not occurred yet (or have they?).


Keywords: Descriptive Translation Studies, product-oriented study, addressee or intended reader of translation




Professor Seruya’s main research area is History of Translation in Portugal in the 20th century. She has published on literature and culture in German language, particularly the history of Germanic Studies from the 20th century in Portugal and the history of translation in Portugal. She has organized four national conferences on Translation Studies in Portugal and two international European Society for Translation Studies (EST) conferences since 1998. She is also a literary translator of the following German authors: Goethe, Kleist, Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Döblin and Thomas Mann. Her major works include Translation and Censorship in Different Times and Landscape, Translation Studies at the Interface of Disciplines, etc.


Speech Title: Translation history –  doubts and directions.  An overview and a case study


As a rule, every culture, every country has a history of translation, even if it has not been written. But along way has to be covered until the project of writing such a translation history can be carried out. Within Translation Studies, translation history cannot be said to be a neglected domain. Moreover, considering translator training, the inclusion of a course on translation history is quite consensual. And yet a “History of Translation” tout court has not been attempted so far. Some, like Henri van Hoof (1991) even hint that this incommensurable project can only take the form of a “universal encyclopedia of translation”. The fact remains that old, although peripheral, European cultures like the Portuguese have not yet met their place in the world map of translation history, as the Rout ledge Encyclopedia of Translation Studies (1998, 2009) clearly attests. To understand, explain and fill in this gap is a strong motivation behind this presentation, which in fact also aims to be of some profit for similarabsences.

This presentation will start with a brief appraisal of the main achievements in the field of Translation History since the 1990s. What can be learned from them, especially as regards the object definition, the underlying concept of historiography (e.g. genealogy or progression, see Venuti 1995) and methodology(cf. Pym 1998) are the first important questions to tackle. Second, a systematization of the main problems raised by the attempt to write a history of translation for a particular culture will be proposed. Third, these problems will be partly illustrated with the case study in question, i.e., the missing history of translation in Portugal. Some steps already undertaken by Portuguese researchers have to be assessed, namely the potentialities and shortcomings of the ongoing bibliographical project “Intercultural literature in Portugal1930-1974 (2000): a critical bibliography”  (


Key words: translation history, historiography, translation in Portugal, bibliography