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The translator’s profession

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Chapter Summary

The translation of Russian literature began in China before the clarion calls of the movement for New Culture" had sounded. Translation in the 1910s, however, had its own special characteristics. Lin Shu may be considered the first professional translator in modern China, a definition that pertains less to the accuracy or quality of translations produced than to translation being a person's main occupation. Chinese translations of Andreev's celebrated story The Red Laugh" (1904) began, as we know, with Lu Xun trying his hand at the first fragments in Japan in 1909. Like the introductory material in his anthology of 1917, both the preface and postscript accompanying Zhou Shoujuan's translation in The Pastime were couched in classical Chinese. A historian of Chinese translation has recently estimated that the popular" translations in Xiaoshuo shijie reached more readers than did any others, including those by the school of Lu Xun and Xiaoshuo yuebao.

Keywords: China; Chinese translations; Japan; Lin Shu; Lu Xun; professional translator; Russian literature; The Pastime; The Red Laugh; Xiaoshuo yuebao



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