IJLLL 2018 Vol.4(4): 303-308 ISSN: 2382-6282
DOI: 10.18178/IJLLL.2018.4.4.191

The Translated and Transformed Concept of Min Zhu (Democracy and Republic): A Political Cultural Influence on Translation

Wei Lin
Abstract—The term min zhu in modern Chinese is deemed to be the legitimate translation for “democracy” in English. Tracing its involvement in the Chinese context, however, some complications and doubts may be found. This paper intends to explore the issue mainly from the aspects of “the initial mistranslation and its continued evolution”, “the intricate relations with „republic‟” and “the „equivalences‟ have become even more inclusive”. Linguistically, for example, the classical Chinese term min zhu was transformed from min zhi zhu (people‟s leader) to min zhu zhi (people to rule), so in a sense, min zhu was to convey only a partial meaning of “democracy” as the western idea was being shaped into a Chinese thinking mold. While the connotations of min zhu are not confined to “democracy”, the most closely related one has also been “republic”; in fact, for a period of time, min zhu was closer to the latter than the former. However, the term was employed by revolutionaries more as a political ideal than as a newly established moral standard.

Index Terms—Democracy, min zhu, politico-cultural influence, republic.

Lin Wei is with the Jinan University, China (e-mail: 1954479087@qq.com).

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Cite:Wei Lin, "The Translated and Transformed Concept of Min Zhu (Democracy and Republic): A Political Cultural Influence on Translation," International Journal of Languages, Literature and Linguistics vol. 4, no. 4, pp. 303-308, 2018.

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