Department of English Research Seminar: A Case Study of Emile Gaboriau’s Monsieur Lecop



Relay Translation of French Detective Stories via Japanese in Hong Kong Chinese Newspapers in the Early 20th Century: A Case Study of Emile Gaboriau’s Monsieur Lecop


The early twentieth century witnessed the boom of Chinese newspapers in colonial Hong Kong, and their contributions to the development of printing media in China has been acknowledged (Yu and Liu 291). Meanwhile, China experienced one of the great ‘waves of translation’ (Wang and Fan 8) in the late Qing period, and Pollard observes that ‘in the first decade of the twentieth century there occurred in Chinese language publications the rare phenomenon of translated works of fiction exceeding in number original works of fiction’ (5). It is not sheer incidence that many of the translated works were initially serialized in the Chinese newspapers. While the translations in these newspapers, especially those in Shanghai and Beijing, have gained increasing attention, the translations in Hong Kong Chinese newspapers around the turn of the twentieth century have largely gone unregarded. Relay translation from Japanese into Chinese in the late Qing period is not a latest academic research area (Hung, 2005; Wakabayashi, 2005; Sinh, 2009; etc.) This study will focus on the Chinese translations of French detective stories via the intermediary language of Japanese in Hong Kong Newspapers in the opening decade of the 20th century, and the case study will be on the French detective writer Emile Gaboriau and his Monsieur Lecop. It is expected to delineate the trajectories of text moving among the East Asian communities and to explain how the local community shaped the translation practice and products in Hong Kong.


City University of Hong Kong

PhD in translation, Assistant Professor at the Department of Linguistics and Translation of City University of Hong Kong. He teaches both translation and interpreting courses at B.A. and M.A. levels. He is also supervising PhD student in translation. His research interests include translation history, literary translation, media and translation, gender and translation, etc.