On Western Academic Readers’ Responses to English Translations of The Analects


5:00 PM - 6:30 PM



  • Time: 5:00-6:30PM
  • Date: 15 December 2021
  • Venue: HS436&Zhumu (Please contact Yangyang.Long@xjtlu.edu.cn for Zhumu detilas)


This seminar provides a reception survey of the communicative effectiveness of the translated versions of The Analects from an Anglophone perspective. The research uses both quantitative and qualitative data collection tools to locate the English academic readers’ actual needs and expectations of Chinese Confucian classics. Sinologists, translators, and academic readers specialized in East Asian philosophy were invited to complete a questionnaire, where a series of questions were asked about their preferences, reading expectations, and opinions about the translations’ influence and their ideal translations. Results show that academic readers tend to choose the version that reads slightly awkward but is faithful to the original text and easily accessible and readable in form. The content of translations and the translations’ influence on their value systems and cultural orientations are also important considerations for academic readers. Moreover, to further improve the translation’s quality, collaborative efforts in translating Chinese classics are expected to better accommodate readers’ needs and facilitate East-West cultural exchanges. Providing Confucian studies with a communicative perspective, the study hopes to offer reader-oriented advice for translators and publishers, with the aim of promoting equal dialogues and interactions between scholars, translators, and readers in both China and the United States of America.


Youlan Tao is professor of translation studies in the Department of Translation and Interpreting at Fudan University. Her research focuses on translation/interpreting training and teaching, applied translation theories, corpus-based translation studies, intercultural communication, reception studies on English translations of Chinese classical works. She has published three monographs, five co-authored textbooks, several translated works, and a number of articles in leading international journals such as Interpreter and Translator Trainer, Perspectives, Babel, Translation Review. She is acting as the reviewer and board member of Perspectives, Babel, Interpreter and Translator Trainer, and Current Trends in Translation Teaching and Learning

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