Reexamining the English translation of the Yijing

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

Abstract

Translation is the ground for the reception of the Yijing outside China, especially in Anglophone countries across Europe and North America. Essentially, translation is a reinterpretation of the original text, rather than a technical task of simply replacing the original language with another language to capture the verbal meanings. Regarding translation as such, two major challenges should not be neglected. First is the multiplicity of the meaning(s) of words as a major characteristic of Chinese linguistics, while second is the way to distinguish various kinds of variations (yiwen 異文, same word written in different forms) accurately. Some of these variations should be read as alternate forms (yiti 異體) carrying different sounds and meanings, while some should be read as another character with the same phonetic structure. By selecting examples from a few English translations of the Yijing by Western scholars, this chapter attempts to argue about the difficulties reflected in the diverse translations and to encourage translators to explore further into the Chinese linguistic context of words and phrases of the original text. Copyright © 2021 The Author(s), under exclusive license to Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe making of the global Yijing in the modern world: Cross-cultural interpretations and interactions
EditorsBenjamin Wai-ming NG
Place of PublicationSingapore
PublisherSpringer
Pages25-40
ISBN (Electronic)9789813362284
ISBN (Print)9789813362277
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Citation

Cheng, D. K.-H. (2021). Reexamining the English translation of the Yijing. In B. W.-M. Ng (Ed.), The making of the global Yijing in the modern world: Cross-cultural interpretations and interactions (pp. 25-40). Singapore: Springer.

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