Journal of
Languages and Culture

  • Abbreviation: J. Lang. Cult.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-6540
  • DOI: 10.5897/JLC
  • Start Year: 2010
  • Published Articles: 130

Full Length Research Paper

Fu Lei’s translation activity and legacy

Chuanmao Tian
  1School of Foreign Studies, Yangtze University, Hubei, 434023 P. R. China. 2Intercultural Studies Group, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, 45002 Spain
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 15 September 2011
  •  Published: 31 October 2011



The 1950s and 1960s witnessed the survival of the one and only freelance translator in mainland China, whose name was Fu Lei. Fu’s selection of source texts was affected by the ideological factors of the day. His financial conditions were intimately related to the change of the country’s policy on royalties, but his translation quality almost remained at the same level. His repeated revisions of some works indicate that good translations, in many cases, come out of serious revisions and retranslations of the same work. His translation experience has several implications. First, translators with high literary and artistic accomplishment and taste may not produce a canonical translation in their first rendering of a work. Responsibility, devotion, honesty, love and hard work are also the basic prerequisites for the advent of an excellent translation. Second, the achievements of a forgotten translator will sooner or later be recognized. Third, translators’ influence on people through their translation and people’s commemoration of them in various forms are the natural reward for their hard work and contributions to translation as a holy cause. Finally, the translation ideas and theories coming from great translators are more convincing, thought-prevoking and constructive to the development of translation studies.


Key words: Fu Lei, translation, activity, legacy