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English Translations of ren 仁 in Mencius

Centre for Translation (February 24, 2011)

SEMINAR SERIES : Translation Seminar Series

MAJOR SPEAKER : Robinson, Douglas
LENGTH : 120 min.
ACCESS : Open to all
SUMMARY : Chinese-English dictionaries typically offer as the closest English equivalents of reń 仁 "benevolent/-ce, kind/ness, humane/ness," and Mencius's English translators by and large stick to those translations as well. Following the lead of James Legge, for example, D. C. Lau and the translators of the Shandong Friendship Press edition meticulously translate it in almost every case as "benevolent" or "benevolence," and most Mencius scholars writing in English, whether Chinese or non-Chinese, also translate it as "benevolent/-ce"; David Hinton uses "humane" and "humanity." This talk will examine those translations in specific Mencian contexts, asking whether they are adequate to the complexity of Mencius's concept-and, if not, what other options there might be.  [Go to the full record in the library's catalogue]

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