Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Chuanmao Tian

Chuanmao Tian is currently Professor of English at Yangtze University, Jingzhou City, Hubei Province, P. R. China. He is the Director of the Centre for Translation Studies of Yangtze University, director of the Hubei Provincial Translators Association and an advanced member of the Translators Association of China (TAC). His area of interest is translation theory and practice. He teaches the undergraduate course "Translation Theory and Practice" and the postgraduate course "Translation Studies". He is a part-time translator, specializing in petroleum translation.

A sociocultural analysis of Chinese retranslations of classic English novels in mainland China, 1949-2009

Co-supervisors: Anthony Pym, Zhonglian Huang

Research Summary

The research deals with Chinese (re)translations of classic English novels during the 60 years since the founding of the People's Republic of China, with special reference to changes in translation strategy as well as the retranslation boom in the 1990s. It divides the period into the planned-economy period and the market-economy period, focusing on the literary translation activity in both and taking as the object of study Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen and David Copperfield by Charles Dickens, with their Chinese (re)translations. The target texts were produced roughly in the 1950s and 1990s. It is assumed that the two decades can represent the two periods. Comparative and descriptive methods are employed to obtain the relevant data from the source and target texts, and the findings of the case studies are summarized. The study goes from the text to the translation market to explore the reasons for the changes in translation strategy and the causes of the (re)translation boom from a socio-cultural perspective.


2008: National Conference on the Nature of Translation, 20 December 2008 - 22 December 2008, Harbin, Heilongjiang University. Paper presented: "On the Nature of Translators' Motives".

2009: Fourth International Symposium on Interpreting and Translation Teaching, 17 October 2009 - 19 October 2009, Beijing, No. 2 Beijing Foreign Studies University. Paper presented: "Notes on Teaching Translation between Chinese and English".

2010: 13th National Conference on Scientific and Technical Translation, 7 August 2010 - 10 August 2010, Beijing, Chinese Academy of Science. Paper presented: "An Exploration into the Origin of 'A Bucket of Gold'".

2011: International Conference on Business Management and Electronic Information, 29 May - 30 May 2011, Shanghai, Shanghai University of Technology. Paper presented: "Commercial Considerations: A Reason for Retranslating--An Exploration of the 1990s Retranslation Upsurge in Mainland China".

2012: Forum of Asian Translators, 25 April 2012 - 26 April 2012, Beijing, Translators Association of China. Paper presented: "Research on Mainland China's Translation Market in the Past 60 Years".



Tian, Chuanmao. 2007. Chinese-English Translation: A New Approach. Shanghai: East China Normal University Press.

Huang, Zhonglian, Tian, Chuanmao and Wei, Jiahai. 2009. On the Methodology of Translation. Beijing: China Social Sciences Press.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2012. Changes in Translation Strategy: A Case Study. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2013. Aspects of Translation. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2013. Translation Studies: Special Topics I. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2014. Translation Studies: Special Topics II. Saarbrücken: Lambert Academic Publishing.


Tian, Chuanmao. 2001. "On the Three Spirits of Translators". Language and Translation 1: 52-53.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2004. "On translation economics". Journal of Guilin University of Electronic Technology 1: 77-80.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2004. "On the control of translation quality". Journal of Suihua Teachers College 1: 182.

Tian, Chuanmao and Cheng, Yifang. 2005. "A tentative analysis of complex relations in literary translation". Foreign Language Education 2: 83-86.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2005. "Notes on teaching translation between Chinese and English". Translation Journal 1 (online journal).

Tian, Chuanmao and Ding, Qing. 2005. "Two issues on literary translation". Foreign Literatures 4: 85-90.

Tian, Chuanmao and Huang, Zhonglian. 2006. "On abridgement in translation". Chinese Science & Technology Translators Journal 1: 43-46.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2006. "On limits of translatability of literary humor: A case study of Fortress Besieged". Journal of Yangtze University 3: 120-123.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2007. "Research on translation markets". Journal of Yangtze University 4: 106-108.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2008. "On composite interrelationship in literary translation: A Chinese-English translation perspective". Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 3&4: 143-154.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2008. "The influence of the market on translating-A tentative study of the market-oriented translation in China". Translation Journal 3 (online journal).

Tian, Chuanmao. 2009. "On the intertextual and intercultural competence: What literary and functional translation can learn from each other". Forum 2: 195-214.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2010. "On composite interrelationship in literary translation". Across Languages and Cultures 1: 51-65.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2010. "Etymological implications of domestication and foreignization: A Chinese perspective".  Perspectives: Studies in Translatology 1: 79-93.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2010. "Translation of cultural tourism: A case study of the Three Kingdoms scenic spots in Hubei". Chinese Science & Technology Translators Journal 1:42-44.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2011. "A few words on several concepts in translation studies". Language and Translation 3: 51-55.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2011. "Fu Lei's translation activity and legacy". Journal of Language and Culture 10: 174-183.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2012. "On translation of tongbi and huanbi". Chinese Translators Journal 1: 108-112.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2012. "The booming localization industry in the People's Republic of China". Translation Journal 4 (online journal).

Tian, Chuanmao. 2013. "Types and nature of translators' motives". Shandong Journal of Foreign Language Teaching 1: 93-98.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2013. "Toward an RT-based functionalist approach to subtitling: A case study". International Journal of English and Literature 2: 33-39.

Tian, Chuanmao and Xiong Caixia. 2013. "A cultural analysis of Disney's Mulan with regard to translation". Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 6: 862-874.

Xu, Mingwu and Tian, Chuanmao (corresponding author). 2013. "Cultural deformations and reformulations: A case study of Disney's Mulan in English and Chinese". Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies 2: 182-210.

Xu, Mingwu and Tian, Chuanmao. 2014. "Commercial considerations: A reason for retranslating--An exploration of the retranslation boom in the 1990s mainland China". Across Languages and Cultures 1, 1-17

Tian, Chuanmao and Xiong Caixia. 2013. "A cultural analysis of Disney's Mulan with regard to translation" (forthcoming). Continuum: Journal of Media & Cultural Studies 6: 862-874.

Tian, Chuanmao. 2014. A review of Western research on retranslation theories. Journal of the PLA Foreign Languages University 3: 102-110.

Viva: February 14, 2014

Examining committee :
Dr. Seán Golden (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Dr. Kaisa Koskinen (University of Eastern Finland)
Dr. Carles Prado-Fonts (Universitat Oberta de Catalunya)

External experts
Dr. Cay Dollerup (Copenhague University)
Dr. Gaoda He (South China Normal University)

Doctoral Thesis