The Purpose of Translation Activities in Different Historical Contexts

Siyuan Li


Since the establishment of the official position of “Xiangxu” in the Zhou Dynasty, which marked the beginning of the history of translation in China, it has been more than 3,000 years. While the purposes of translation have changed over different historical contexts, from the early history for the consolidation of centralised power, to the modern era when eyes were on the western world, to the current communication between China and foreign countries regarding the politics, economy, culture, and social life. This article analyses the purposes of translation in three areas: diplomacy, absorption of foreign cultures and ideological construction, in the context of ancient China to the Republic of China.


Purpose of translation; Diplomacy; Cultural communication; Ideological construction

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