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Month: April 2015

Translation of “Enlightenment” in Late Qing and Republican China Political Thought

My research as a Fulbright grantee at Harvard University concerns the appropriation of political terminology from the West in late Qing and Republican China. Here is a small section of my work, to give an idea of the research my Fulbright grant supports. In recent research, LuoZhitian 羅志田 has argued that during the integration of Western culture, modern China showed some ambiguity in the translation and utilization of imported words. Most understanding towards European historical events took place either through literal translation or through definitionof the meanings of terms, such as “qimeng yundong”(used most often to correspond to ‘Enlightenment’) andit became a core idea of the Chinese translation.The widespread usage of the word “qimeng yundong”started in the late 1920s, and hasbeen widely usedsince then. Most sinophone usage of “qimeng yundong”, refers to its meaning in the Chinese context rather than its original reference to the Enlightenment in European history.       “qimeng”+ “yundong” =“qimeng yundong” Three prevalent meanings circulated within the intellectual field of the late Qing dynasty for the term “yundong,”(運動), which could be translated ‘movement’ in Chinese today. The first meaning refers to physical movementor exercise form, the second “yundong”refers to movement relevant to the observer, as

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