Translation strategies in bilingual corporate communication

Research output: Chapter in book / Conference proceedingChapter in an edited book (as author)Academic researchpeer-review


The concept of “corporate communication” (hereinafter referred to as CC) first emerged in the USA as an encompassing term to refer to the practices of companies to conduct communication activities, both internally and externally, in a centralized way to ensure the consistency of the message to be delivered. Although CC was not officially introduced to Hong Kong until the beginning of the 1990s, it has witnessed a rapid growth in Hong Kong since the mid-1990s when most of the companies developed either corporate communication functions or the communications and public affairs offices “in response to the demand for an open and bidirectional communication between the companies and journalists as well as the general public” (Ngai SB, Ng PK, New trends in corporate communications: Language, strategies and practices. Nanjing University Press, Nanjing, 2012, p. 10). Different from the practice of adopting one language (i.e., English) as the sole medium in conducting CC in almost all companies in the USA, CC functions in Hong Kong increasingly use both English and Chinese, all of which are official languages in the territory, to present the same message to their stakeholders and audiences. Since Chinese and English are two distantly related languages which have their own communicative norms, it is of vital importance to translate corporate messages in such a manner as to make the target texts not only convey the original contents but also meet the generic expectations of the target audience so that the messages can be disseminated across all audiences in a consistent and effective fashion. But what kind of translation strategies should be used in bilingual corporate communication in order to produce adequate versions in the target culture? What are the general guidelines for CC practitioners during this interlingual text production? What are the intratextual and extratextual factors that should be taken into account in this type of translation practice? Drawing on a model for translation strategies proposed by Chesterman (Memes of translation: The spread of ideas in translation theory. Benjamins, Amsterdam/Philadelphia, 1997), this paper attempts to answer these questions by making reference to existing Chinese translations of English corporate texts in Hong Kong.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRole of Language and Corporate Communication in Greater China
Subtitle of host publicationFrom Academic to Practitioner Perspectives
PublisherSpringer Berlin Heidelberg
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9783662468814
ISBN (Print)9783662468807
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2015

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Arts and Humanities
  • General Social Sciences


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