Journal directory listing - Volume 46 Number 2 (2001/October) - Humanities & Social Sciences【46(1&2)】

Constructing a Translation Theory Befitting Taiwan's Cultural Landscape Author: Hanping Chiu(Department of English, National Taiwan Normal University)

Vol.&No.:Vol. 46, No.1&2
Date:October 2001


This paper proposes a translation theory in keeping with Taiwan's long history of being colonized, its multi-ethnic situation, and the shaping role played by Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism in the thinking pattern of the predominant Han ethnic group. Zen Buddhism and Walter Benjamin's translation theory are major points of reference in an attempt to formulate a workable theoretical framework. The Spanish and Dutch colonizers created romanization systems based on the speeches of Taiwan's aboriginal tribes while the Japanese and Chinese rulers imposed their languages on the Taiwanese in the name of establishing a common language. The Spanish and Dutch took the steps apparently out of an understanding that language is not limited to the function of communication, but has more to do with historical and cultural factors. Viewed from this perspective, translation shouldn't set its goal merely as an exchange of messages, but should aim, instead, for the incommunicable dimensions of language. The practice of denying binary oppositions by Zen masters may point out a way of how this can be achieved. By shocking an uninitiated person out of the habitual pattern of cognition, Zen masters may trigger in him torrents of unrestrained instincts which would otherwise be stratified into various forms of obsession. In the same vein, translation should be viewed as an activity carried on neither at the realm of the original language, nor at that of the target language. The liminal position it occupies sets off mechanisms in which new possibilities can emerge.

Keywords:Zen postcolonial Walter Benjamin binary opposition translation theory liminal position

《Full Text》

APA FormatChiu, H.-P. (2001). Constructing a Translation Theory Befitting Taiwan's Cultural Landscape. Journal of National Taiwan Normal University: Humanities & Social Science, 46(1&2), 13-30. doi:10.6210/JNTNULL.2001.46.02