I. A Brief History
II. Milestones

I. A Brief History

RCT was founded in 1971 as the Centre for Translation Projects, the brainchild of the late Mr Stephen C. Soong (1919–1996), a prolific writer and translator, and an active figure in the promotion of translation education and research. Work in the early years focused on establishing a quality publishing base for Chinese literature in English translation. The Centre's flagship journal Renditions was successfully launched in 1973 by the Chinese-American translator George Kao (1912–2008), then a visiting senior fellow at RCT. The journal's success paved the way for more publications, including the launch of the hardcover Renditions Books series in 1976. With its reputation and long-term viability ensured, the Centre then turned its attention to research in Chinese literature, translation studies and comparative literature. Additional restructuring in 1983 further strengthened RCT as a research centre for Chinese literature and translation studies. The present name, the Research Centre for Translation (RCT), was adopted at this time.

Left: Mr. Stephen C. Soong (1919–1996)

Right: Mr. Geroge Kao (1912–2008)

The period between the middle and late 1980s saw remarkable growth in literary creativity in mainland China, Taiwan and Hong Kong, which inspired an increase in translating and publishing activity at the Centre, including the launch of the Renditions Paperbacks series in 1986.
The early years: teachers and students at a graduation dinner of an Advanced Diploma in translation organized by the centre in 1970s.

Since the 1990s, the emphasis of the Centre's work has gradually shifted towards translation studies, especially in relation to the historical and cultural contexts of China. The Translation Studies Research Series, initiated by RCT, represents some of the Centre's research work in this area. In recent years, additional activities have been organized by RCT to promote translation studies, particularly the influence of translation in Asian history and culture. These include the biennial Young Researchers' Conference on Chinese Translation Studies and the Summer School on Chinese Translation History, both of which aim to provide a platform for young scholars worldwide to be actively engaged in translation studies. This year, the Centre is launching the inaugural issue of the Chinese journal Studies in Translation History (Fanyishi yanjiu). The publication of this journal will mark another important milestone for RCT in furthering its mission to cultivate high-level research in this area.

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Research Centre for Translation, The Chinese University of Hong Kong.
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