The compilation of this encyclopaedia was prompted by the growth of translation as an academic subject in Hong Kong, this busy entrepot city where the transfer between the Chinese and English languages spans all aspects of life. At the same time translation has been attracting increasing attention universally among students of the humanities for its historical role in introducing and relating one culture to another, and its ways and means of coping with the seemingly impossible task of accurately reflecting one "thought-world" in terms of another. Hence this encyclopaedia serves a dual purpose in addressing both local and universal concerns: the language-specific entries relate to the interaction between the Chinese-speaking and English-speaking worlds, while Western knowledge and experience are also drawn on for topics general to all translation studies.
Given their preference for articles of sufficient length to allow contributors to deal with their topics in some depth and detail, the editors have had to choose from among the great variety of translation activities, past and present, that come within this remit, and have sought to achieve a balance between interesting case studies and disciplinary principles. The ninety-seven entries that have resulted represent the thoughts of leading exponents and scholars of translation from many countries.