A Study on James Legge’s English Translation of Lun Yu

Fang ZHU

Abstract


Lun yu, a masterpiece of ancient Chinese philosophy, is among the most influential books in Chinese history. Legge’s English translation of lun yu has stood the test of time, distinguished as the standard work by which subsequent translations of the classics have been judged. The most remarkable quality of Legge’s version is its faithfulness in content, owing to Legge’s scholarly industry and keen perception of the original. Legge ensured a comprehension of Confucianism from his readership which is similar to the general Chinese interpretation. In spite of some referential and pragmatic inaccuracy, any careful, patient and judicious Western reader is able to perceive Confucius’ key concepts (Ren, Li, etc.), and his ethical, political, philosophical and educational thoughts through Legge’s translation. Legge had made a great contribution to the introduction of Confucianism and the Chinese culture to the West.

Key words: Lun yu; Legge; translation; faithfulness


Keywords


Lun yu; Legge; translation; faithfulness

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968%2Fj.css.1923669720090506.004

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