Centre for Translation Technology
Ongoing Projects

ReConceptualizing Chinese-English Translator Networks in the Nineteenth Century


The project aims to examine how a limited number of Anglo-American translators played a pivotal role in intercultural communication between China and the West in the nineteenth century. A database is being constructed to contain detailed biographical information and social connections relating to all identifiable translators from Chinese to English active in the nineteenth century. It will then be used to build a detailed social network map, aiming to identify hitherto unnoticed correlations between various factors including birthplace, social background, religious beliefs, profession, and societies and to link those trends to their choice of what to translate, how to translate it, and where to publish.

The project will yield new insights into the behavior of this crucial group of intercultural communicators, and establish links between broader historical and social trends with particular translation choices. It will also introduce new Digital Humanities methods into translation studies, which in the area of digital methods to date has mainly focused on parallel and comparable corpus-based studies. The database is also modular. It can be expanded to include other time periods and/or other language combinations in collaboration with an international team of scholars.