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Research on Ku Hungming’s Translation of Cultural Terms in The Discourse and Sayings of Confucius from the Perspective of Reader’s Acceptance

Zhimin Teng


Ku Hungming was the first Chinese to translate Chinese classics into foreign languages, and his translations were well accepted by the westerners. The author does research on the translation of cultural terms in Ku Hungming’s English translation of The Discourse and Sayings of Confucius from the perspective of Reader’s Acceptance. The translation of cultural terms, including abstract ones such as "Ren", “Li", “Xiao", "Ti" and concrete ones such as "Ba Yi" and "Mu Duo", are analyzed in detail in this paper. The author comes to the conclusion that the reason for the wide acceptance of Ku’s translation by the westerners at that time lies in his full consideration of the reader’s acceptance ability in the process of translation. This is beneficial and significant to the presen-t day translators who are dedicated to spreading Chinese culture to the world through translation.


Reader’s Acceptance; Cultural Terms; The Discourse and Sayings of Confucius; Translation

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[1] Bojun Yang. Notes on the Analects of Confucius. Beijing: China Publishing House; 1980.

[2] Guowei Wang. On Ku Hungming’s Translation of Doctrine of the Mean. Xue Heng, 1925: 43.

[3] Jauss, H. R. Toward an Aesthetics of Acceptance. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1982.

[4] Ku Hungming. The Discourse and Sayings of Confucius. Shanghai: Kelly and Walsh, Ltd., 1898.

[5] Ku Hungming. The Spirit of the Chinese People. Beijing: Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, 1998.

[6] Nida, Eugene A. Toward a Science of Translation. Shanghai: Shanghai Foreign Language Education Press, 2004.

[7] Simon, Leys. The Discourse and Sayings of Confucius — Translation and Notes by Simon Leys. W.W.Norton & Company, Inc., 1997.

[8] Yuanchong Xu. The Art of Translation. Beijing: China Translation & Publishing Corporation, 1984.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.18686/ahe.v4i3.2042