A Review on John Fryer’s Scientific Translation in the Late Qing Dynasty

Lifang YANG, Changbao LI


John Fryer was a British missionary in the late Qing Dynasty who came to China and was employed by The Translation Department of Kiangnan Arsenal. He has been engaged in the translation work for over 28 years, not only having translated a great deal of Western scientific works into Chinese, but also having contributed greatly to the standardization of the scientific terminology translation. This paper first attempts to analyze the previous studies on John Fryer, and then tries to analyze the studies on scientific translation in the late Qing Dynasty. Based on the analyses, we come to a conclusion that a detailed and systematic study on John Fryer’s scientific translation and his contribution to the standardization of translated scientific terminologies is greatly worth doing.


John Fryer; Scientific translation; The late Qing Dynasty

Full Text:



Bennett, A. A. (1967). John Fryer: The introduction of western science and technology into nineteenth-century China. Cambridge: Harvard University Press.

Chen, Y. X., & Wu, C. (2013). On Li Shanlan’s scientific translation achievements. Lantai World, (4), 84-85.

Chen, Z. J., & Yin, D. M. (2016). On John Fryer’s cultural attitude and translation practice. East Journal of Translation, (3), 19-22.

Dagenais, F. (2010). The John Fryer papers. In X. Hong (Trans.). Guilin, China: Guangxi Normal University Press.

Ding, X. S. (2013). The relationship between the school and textbook series committee and the publication of modern textbooks. Lantai World, (6), 31.

Feng, Z. J. (2011). The history of modern translation in the Late Qing Dynasty. Beijing, China: Jiuzhou Press.

Feng, Z. J., & Feng, K. L. (2008). On the scientific translations in the Late Qing Dynasty and its influence on the modern China. XVIII FIT World Congress Proceedings, 427-433.

Gao, L. P. (2012). Missionary translation and modernity in the culture and society of the Late Qing Dynasty. Shanghai, China: Shanghai International Studies University.

He, S. B. (2006). A Study on the Missionaries’ translation activities in the Late Qing Dynasty from the perspective of Polysystem. Foreign Languages and Translation, 25-31.

Jiang, L. (2009). On the Relationship Between translation and the ideological trend in the Late Qing Dynasty. Foreign Theoretical Trends, (4), 55-58.

Liang, Q. C. (1896). Western bibliography table. Shanghai, China: The Chinese Progress.

Liu, Y. H. (2014). On John Fryer and his reader-oriented consciousness in Ko-chih-hui-pien. Acta Editologica, (5), 423-426.

Ren, S. S. (2006). A study on the Chinese and American holy classic book establishment and the scientific dissemination in the Late Qing Dynasty. Hangzhou, China: Zhejiang University.

Shang, Z. C. (2008). The missionaries and the western learning. Taiyuan, China: Shanxi Education Press.

Sun, B. H. (2000). A comparative study on John Fryer and W. A. P. Martin. Beijing Archives Series, (2), 209-234.

Sun, B. H. (2000). John Fryer and the Gezhi academy in Shanghai. Modern Chinese History Studies, (6), 124-142.

Sun, B. H. (2006). On John Fryer’s contributions to the translation cause--focused on the unification of translated Western Terms. Nanjing Journal of Social Sciences, (4), 133-139.

Wang, H. X. (2006). On John Fryer’s undertaking of translating western books into Chinese (Doctoral dissertation). Shanghai, China: Fudan University.

Wang, H. X. (2009). A study on the scientific terminology translation in the late Qing Dynasty - A case study of John Fryer. Fujian Tribune, (2), 104-106.

Wang, Y. Z. (1995). A study on the compilers of Ko-chih-hui-pien. Documents, (1), 237-243.

Wang, Y. Z. (2000). On John Fryer and the scientific enlightenment in modern China. Beijing, China: Science Press.

Wright, D. (1996). John Fryer and the Shanghai polytechnic: Making space for science in nineteenth century China. British Journal for the History of Science, (29), 1-16.

Xia, J. (2011). John Fryer and C. M. Mateer-Two different attitudes towards translation. Wuhan University Journal, (6), 52-56.

Xiong, Y. Z. (1994). Western learning and the Late Qing Society. Shanghai, China: Shanghai Renmin Chubanshe.

Yang, F. Q. (2013). Introduction of western science into China: A study of John Fryer’s educational thoughts. Journal of Fujian Normal University, (6), 161-164, 170.

Yang, K. (2004). From “Missionary” to cultural envoy: A research on John Fryer. Wuhan, China: Central China Normal University.

Yu, W. (2008). On Fryer’s contribution to the dissemination of scientific knowledge in modern China. Chinese Journal of Scientific and Technical Periodicals, (2), 311-315.

Zhang, H. (2004). Fryer’s principles and ideas on the translation of chemical terminology. The Chinese Journal for the History of Science and Technology, (4), 297-306.

Zhang, J. J., & Xie, A. Q. (2012). A study on Hua Hengfang’s translation activities-From the perspective of Polysystem. Journal of Jiujiang University, (2), 82-86.

Zhang, M. P. (2011). A study on T’ung Wen Kuan and the translation development in the late Qing Dynasty. The Fourteenth National Scientific Translation Symposium, 338-344.

Zhang, Z. H. (2010). Missionaries and the sprout of scientific establishment during the westernization movement. Taiyuan, China: Shanxi University.

Zhao, Y. L. (2007). On Fryer’s material selection in translation. Journal of Shenyang University, (6), 95-97.

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/10755


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2019 Changbao Li Li

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Share us to:   


Online Submissionhttp://cscanada.org/index.php/sll/submission/wizard


How to do online submission to another Journal?

If you have already registered in Journal A, then how can you submit another article to Journal B? It takes two steps to make it happen:

1. Register yourself in Journal B as an Author

Find the journal you want to submit to in CATEGORIES, click on “VIEW JOURNAL”, “Online Submissions”, “GO TO LOGIN” and “Edit My Profile”. Check “Author” on the “Edit Profile” page, then “Save”.

2. Submission

Go to “User Home”, and click on “Author” under the name of Journal B. You may start a New Submission by clicking on “CLICK HERE”.

We only use three mailboxes as follows to deal with issues about paper acceptance, payment and submission of electronic versions of our journals to databases: caooc@hotmail.com; sll@cscanada.net; sll@cscanada.org

 Articles published in Studies in Literature and Language are licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 (CC-BY).


Address: 1055 Rue Lucien-L'Allier, Unit #772, Montreal, QC H3G 3C4, Canada.
Telephone: 1-514-558 6138 
Website: Http://www.cscanada.net; Http://www.cscanada.org 
E-mailoffice@cscanada.net; office@cscanada.org; caooc@hotmail.com

Copyright © 2010 Canadian Academy of Oriental and Occidental Culture