• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Classification Specialist
  • Course subject Chinese
  • Areas of interest Asian Languages
  • Academic career PGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
Translating Chinese Literature: Pointing to the Moon (CHIN6220)

The 'Finger Pointing to the Moon' is used as an analogy for the Buddhist sutras pointing to the dharma, imperfect vehicles for the transmission of truth. In a smilar way, translation is an imperfect vehicle for the transmission of literature, pointing to the original text and a new reading ofit. There is a 300-year tradition of this imperfect transmission between Chinese and English.

Through a series of case studies, this course will explore the process of recreating in english some of the masterpieces of Chiense poetry and prose, drama and fiction. These case studies will include the work of the following major translators: the early Jesuits, Robert Morrsion, James Legge, Herbert Giles, Arthur Waley, Ezra Pound, Kenneth Rexroth, Gary Snyder, Lin Yutang, David Hawkes.

The basic sourcebook will be Chinese Classical Chinese Literature: An Anthology of Translations, with Companion Chinese Volume, eds. Minford and Lau (Columbia, 2000). 

Indicative Assessment

Tutorial attendance 10%; tutorial presentation 10%; End-of-term test 35%; essay 45% ; for grad students, an extra project (35%) would replace the test

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Requisite and Incompatibility

You may not enrol in this course if you have previously taken CHIN3220.

You will need to contact the School of Culture History and Language to request a permission code to enrol in this course.



Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $3054
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2016 $4368
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions