Rhetoric, oratory, interpreting and translation

Authored by: James Luke Hadley , Siobhán McElduff

The Routledge Handbook of Translation Studies and Linguistics

Print publication date:  December  2017
Online publication date:  December  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138911260
eBook ISBN: 9781315692845
Adobe ISBN:


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This chapter examines the intersections between rhetoric, oratory and a range of translation practices and theories. It begins by examining the culturally loaded Classical language traditionally used to describe diverse oratorical and rhetorical traditions, before moving to an historical examination of rhetoric from Greece and Rome through modern China and Japan. Situating rhetoric and its concerns historically, the first half of the paper examines the important role of translation in Greek and Roman rhetorical education, before discussing the problematic position Greek language and culture had for Rome and the Roman elite. In tandem with examining the European tradition, the chapter also investigates a number of East Asian rhetorical traditions, and the effect that the importation of European rhetorical paradigms had on these traditions, before discussing the later rejection of Greek or Latin terms as appropriate translations for Asian forms of rhetoric and their discussion. The chapter concludes by examining the need and interest in historically and culturally grounded studies of rhetoric and translation, that focus on regional and contextual differences, and do not assume a starting point in Classical Greece, along with suggestions for further investigation.

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