35(2) - 2023

La signature sur la couverture, mais à qui le crédit? Aperçu du statut social du traducteur dans la Chine moderne et contemporaine

Yuhua Xia & Linhan Fan

The name on the cover, but at whose bidding? An overview of the social status of translators in modern and contemporary China

This article examines the significance of including the translator’s name on book covers, with a focus on modern and contemporary China. Despite the routine inclusion of translators’ names on book covers in China, the practice contrasts with their unsatisfactory material compensation. The article thus explores various ways in which translators have been credited and compensated throughout modern Chinese history, revealing that their names only appear on book covers when they have gained the power of legitimation and consecration, either as individuals or as a social group. As for Chinese translators, they have played significant roles in the cultural history of modern China, accumulating symbolic capital that ensures the title of translator remains appealing despite the insignificant economic benefits. This accumulated and collective symbolic capital also motivates newcomers to engage in the industry despite the marginalization of translation in the cultural life of contemporary China.

Chinese translators, translation history, symbolic capital, legitimation, literary field

DOI 10.17462/para.2023.02.07

25 octobre 2023
  35(2) - 2023