Translating National Ideology in China English -A Diachronic Investigation of Beijing Review

Mingming YUAN


As an expanding circle variety, the distinctive features of China English have been identified as: idiom transfers, loan translations of political terms, connotation changes, semantic shifts, and the orientalized style of discourse. While its characteristics are agreed upon by most researchers, China English does not always display these characteristics to the same extent. A Comparison of articles in Beijing Review (the first English weekly news magazine in the PRC for international consumption) over the years of 1958-2015 shows both endonormative (towards the “Chinese” characteristics) and exonormative (towards “international English”) movements. In general, earlier issues, especially those during the Cultural Revolution (1966-1976) are more “marked” than recent ones. It is argued that the shaping and re-shaping of China English is a reflection of the changing political, ideological and economic priorities of the nation.



China English, ideology, Beijing Review

Full Text:



Brady, A. (2008). Marketing dictatorship: Propaganda and thought work in contemporary China. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.

Cheng, C. C. (1982). Chinese varieties of English. In B. B. Kachru (Ed.), The other tongue: English across cultures (pp.162-177). Urbana; Chicago; London: University of Illinois Press.

Chen, M.L., & Hu, X.Q. (2006). Towards the acceptability of China English at home and abroad. Changing English, 13(2), 231-240.

Guo, Z. S. and Huang, Y. (2002). Hybridized discourse: Social openness and functions of English media in post-Mao China. World Englishes 21(2), 217–30

Lee-Wong, S. M. (1997). Undoing some effects of the Cultural Revolution—Chinese address forms. In M. Clyne (Ed.), Undoing and redoing corpus planning (pp. 95-115). Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

McArthur, T. (2002). Oxford guide to World Englishes. Oxford: OUP.

Kachru, B. B. (1994). The speaking tree: A medium of plural canons. In J. E. Alatis (Ed.), Georgetown University round table on languages and linguistics 1994 (pp 6-22). Washington, DC: Georgetown University Press.

Kirkpatrick, A., & Xu, Z. (2002). Chinese pragmatic norms and “China English”. World Englishes, 21 (2), 269-279.

Modiano, M. (1999). International English in the global village. English Today, 15 (2), 22-28.

Pakir, A. (1997). Standards and codification for World Englishes. In L. E. Smith & M. L. Forman (Eds.), World Englishes 2000 (pp. 182-203). Honolulu: University of Hawai’i Press.

Ross, H. A. (1993). China learns English: language teaching and social change in the People’s Republic. New Haven; London: Yale University Press.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2012-2022 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.