Researcher as translator: David Roy and his English retranslation of Jin Ping Mei

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David Roy is the translator of the most recent English version of Jin Ping Mei. He commenced the translation in the 1980s, and published his last volume in 2013. Based on my interview with him, this article attempts to explore the effects of his researcher habitus on his translation. Being well-versed in both English and Chinese linguistically and culturally, Roy made a career out of researching and then translating the novel. As a major contributor of its scholarship, his translation is both a result of, and a resource for continuing research. Roy distinguishes his translation from its predecessors by its greater adequacy and copious annotation, which not only help significantly in retaining much of the intertextual relations abound in the source text, but also contribute considerably to the preservation, or even expansion of the ST s feature of diverse readership. In a similar vein, Roy s bi-cultural literacy and bilingual competence find full expression in his bold experiment with such innovative practices as indentation of idioms in his rendition. Erudite as Roy is in his field, his translation is a natural result of a marriage between the role of researcher and the role of translator.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)39 - 51
Number of pages13
JournalMTM Journal
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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