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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2017, Vol. 15 ›› Issue (5): 344-350.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(17)60357-1

Special Issue: Traditional Chinese Medicine

• Review • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A history of standardization in the English translation of traditional Chinese medicine terminology

Xiao Yea,b, Hong-xia Zhanga,c   

  1. a College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Zhejiang Chinese Medical University, Hangzhou 310053, China
    b Confucius Institute, University of Coimbra, Coimbra 3004-530, Portugal
    c Faculty of Education, East China Normal University, Shanghai 200062, China
  • Received:2017-03-27 Accepted:2017-05-08 Online:2017-09-15 Published:2017-09-15
  • Contact: Hong-xia Zhang, Associate Prof.; E-mail:
  • Supported by:
    This study was supported by funding from the Zhejiang Key Program of Humanities and Social Sciences for Colleges and Universities in 2014 (No. 2014QN050).

In order to facilitate and propose further international standardization of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) terminology, this article applies methods of historiography, philology and descriptive study to divide the history of TCM into three phases, based on representative experts and social events; to illustrate different aspects of these experts and their translation principles and standards and to discuss associated factors and inherent problems. The authors find that the development of a terminology standard for TCM has generally progressed from early approaches that were ill-suited to the contemporary needs to culturally and professionally referenced approaches, from uncoordinated research to systematic studies, and from individual works to collaborative endeavors. The present international standards of TCM terminology have been attained through the work of numerous scholars and experts in the history of the field. The authors are optimistic that a more comprehensive and recognized standard will come out soon.

Key words: Standardization, Terminology, English translation, History, Medicine, Chinese traditional

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