Abstract

The role played by translation during the late Qing period has been highlighted in much recent research, and the translation of detective stories is of course not a new area of academic inquiry. The difference between Chinese Gong'an (court case) and Western detective stories in particular has been acknowledged, and the Chinese translation of detective stories merits further research and inquiry. Actually, Western detective stories, especially English ones, are fraught with advanced science and technology and thus considered as miniature of modernity. In lieu of this, we can observe the interest in the relationship between detective stories and the rise of forensic science, Western medicine, and photographic technology in particular. Given the discrepancy between Western medicine and Traditional Chinese Medicine, it is indispensable to answer the following questions: How was the Western medicine perceived and translated into the Hong Kong context? How was photographic technology in foreign detective stories understood and applied in local writing, pseudo translation to be specific? This article will focus on several aspects of Western medicine, medical terms, symptoms of disease, treatment, and forensic toxicology. The (mis)understanding/manipulation of photographic technology in pseudo translation will also be examined. Case studies will cover the translations in the early Chinese newspapers in Hong Kong in the beginning decade of the twentieth century.

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