6. Translation of Asian medicine into English and other languages
Translation is much more than the creation of one-to-one semantic equivalencies, but involves processes of reconstructing entire meaning domains within the target culture. Those meaning domains are not just textual, but emerge as institutions, clinical encounters, practice strategies and political contexts. Clinical, political and philological needs all exert pressures on the production of new translations of Asian medical theories and texts into English and other European languages. The call for standardization by WHO of Chinese medical terms, as well as the forthcoming 11th revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD11) has led to multiple translation projects and schools of thought. Similar processes taking place in relation to other Asian medicinal translations, such as Sowa Rigpa.
Questions to discuss
- What are the stakes, and who are at play in these complex negotiations of meaning, authority and efficacy?