Chuanxi Lu, one of the distinctive representatives of Chinese classics of Neo-Confucianism, is recorded and compiled by Wang Yangming's disciples through collecting his sayings and letters, which encompasses the core views and major philosophical thoughts of Wang Yangming. Frederick G. Henke, an American scholar, first accomplished the translation of Chuanxi Lu which constitutes the most important part of his book titled The Philosophy of Wang Yang-ming published in 1916. This book not merely briefly describes Wang Yangming's legendary life experience, but more importantly introduces Wang Yangming's Xin Xue (the Philosophy of Mind) to the western academia for the first time. The book, as the first translation in the English-speaking world, undoubtedly plays a pioneering role in the overseas dissemination of Yangming's philosophy and has aroused great attention and interest among western scholars. Generally viewed, Henke's translation enormously contributes to better understanding of Chinese philosophy for western scholars and it also changes western academia's thinking that China has no philosophy after the dynasties of Qin and Han. This study, first through the philological research method, comprehensively traces the whole translation process of Henke's rendering of Chuanxi Lu to reveal his motivation of introducing Yangming's thoughts to the west. By also taking the approach of textual reading and textual analysis, based on combination of qualitative and quantitative methods, this study focuses on probing the translation strategy of Henke in rendering Chuanxi Lu and interpreting his translation ideas, hoping to provide some implications for other scholars to translate Chinese classics in future. After probing into the texts, it is found that Henke's translation presents a distinctly thick translation feature. Thick translation aims to locate the text in a rich cultural and linguistic context with annotations and accompanying glosses. Hence, with the help of thick translation the translator can help the target readers to possess the same reading experience as the readers have in the context of source language. In this way, they could better understand the cultural practices and ways of thinking of source language, and eventually to achieve full recognition of the source culture. This study finds that Henke endeavors to construct the context of cultural interaction by adopting thick translation strategy in order to eliminate target reader's strangeness feeling towards foreign culture and tries to establish perfect balance between the source text and the target text, thus achieving the ultimate goal of the interpretation and dissemination of Yangming's philosophy to the west. Precisely, the specific translation path taken by Henke can be summarized as follows: first, the core views of Yangming's philosophy are introduced by adding the preface to make the target reader have preliminary impression; second, by purposefully using annotations and commentary, Henke makes utmost efforts to convey fully the original meaning of the source text, expound Yangming's thoughts and views in detail, and specifically interpret Chinese culture and philosophical terms and so on, all of which embodies Henke's attempts to facilitate the western readers in understanding his rendering better and finally achieving acceptability of his translation; last but not the least, Henke deliberately supplements the complete term glosses at the end of the book, which enables readers to quickly locate the position and easily understand the meaning, this further demonstrates Henke's translation idea of considering the reader. By taking these approaches, Henke sets up multifaceted historical context and atmosphere on purpose so as to create the ″thickness″ of the target text. When dealing with Chinese culture and Yangming's philosophy that western readers are not familiar with, Henke places the source text in a rich culture and linguistic context during translation, and finally makes his translated version accepted and recognized by the target readers. As the first English translator of Yangming's philosophy, Henke has made significant contribution to the spread of Chinese philosophy in the west. His rendering of Chuanxi Lu by adopting thick translation strategy particularly provides a practical path for the translation and dissemination of Chinese traditional classics.
徐赛颖. 厚重翻译观照下的亨克英译传习录探析[J]. 浙江大学学报(人文社会科学版), 2020, 6(3): 213-.
Xu Saiying. A Study on Henke's Rendering of Chuanxi Lu from the Perspective of Thick Translation. JOURNAL OF ZHEJIANG UNIVERSITY, 2020, 6(3): 213-.