Foreign translators as a means of endorsing China English used in China’s official political texts. A case of the English translation of Xi Jinping’s report to the 19th CPC national congress


Xi Jinping’s report to the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC), held between 18 and 24 October, 2017, was translated into nine foreign languages, including English, with ‘professional foreign translators’ introduced and covered in some Chinese media reports. Yet, the focus of such media coverage was more on the translators’ endorsement of Xi’s thoughts and achievements than on the quality of the translations (e.g. Huang, Liu and Hao 2017). Arguably, the introduction of the foreign expert in English could be described as an unusual move since China has hailed its ‘China English’ as a new English variety and has it used widely in the translation of the CPC political texts. This study starts with the introduction of China English, presents the China English usage in the official English version of Xi’s report, and reveals the endorsement role of the foreign language experts through a multimodal analysis of the relevant media coverage, which not only uncovers the CPC’s ideology in using China English but also shows how the ‘visibility’ of translators may help achieve the political aim of those in power.

DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v40p341

Keywords: the CPC 19th National Congress; China English; ideology in translation; foreign translator; political endorsement


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