Translation and translanguaging in artistic performances in Hong Kong

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapters

1 Citation (Scopus)


Hong Kong popular culture and mass media have been noticeable for a long-term tradition of language play, multilingualism and hybridization of languages. Through the theoretical lenses of translanguaging and trans-semiotizing, this chapter analyzes the artistic performance by a Hong Kong conscious rap artist, MC Yan, whose music projects revolve mainly around pressing social issues in Hong Kong and other parts of the world, to reveal how carefully and systemically crafted translanguaging and trans-semiotizing can contribute to rapping the city and rapping the Hong Kong identity. The artist’s translanguaging and trans-semiotizing practices function to subvert and challenge the normative hierarchy of power that exists in the Hong Kong society and construct the multifarious Hong Kong identity, contesting the capitalist logic, yearning for democracy and searching for the uniqueness of being a Hongkonger, which are both trans-semiotically complex and sociopolitically meaningful. The inquiry has therefore supplemented the research literature that focuses on spontaneous translanguaging and trans-semiotizing and shown that such practices can also be non-spontaneous, carefully and systemically crafted for constructing feeling and meaning. The chapter concludes with suggestions for designing systemic, planned translanguaging pedagogy and performance in education and creative arts settings. Copyright © 2021 selection and editorial matter, Tong King Lee; individual chapters, the contributors.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Routledge handbook of translation and the city
EditorsTong King LEE
Place of PublicationAbingdon, Oxon
ISBN (Electronic)9780429436468
ISBN (Print)9781138348875, 9781032028712
Publication statusPublished - 2021


Liu, Y., & Lin, A. M. Y. (2021). Translation and translanguaging in artistic performances in Hong Kong. In T. K. Lee (Ed.), The Routledge handbook of translation and the city (pp. 326-346). Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge.


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