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Research Article |

The Chinese Classics and Three Chinese Assistants to James Legge—Wang Tao, Hong Rengan and Huang Sheng

The Chinese Classics was not only the culmination of James Legge’s own years of sinological research, but also the result of his collaborative research and translations with Chinese assistants Wang Tao (1828-1897), Hong Rengan (1822-1864), and Huang Sheng (Wong Shing, 1827-1902). The three Chinese assistants differed from each other in terms of their reasons and motives for assisting James in translation, their own mastery of the Confucian classics, and their attitudes toward and needs for Western learning. Wang Tao is James Legge’s most competent assistant, who was familiar with the Chinese canon and who took volumes of translation notes. Wang Tao was a close personal friend of James Legge and they shared similar academic interests and worked well together. Hong Rengan’s knowledge of Christianity and familiarity with the Confucian classics enabled him to perform well in his duties as a missionary assistant and Chinese language teacher well in Hong Kong. He studied Western politics, economics, history and geography etc., in order to develop his career in Taiping Heavenly Kingdom. As for his mastery of the English language and publishing, Huang Sheng made a special contribution to the dissemination of the Chinese Classics. In the nineteenth century, Chinese scholars and Western missionaries jointly undertook the mission of spreading Western learning from the East to the West in the context of the cultural collision between the East and the West. This paper attempts to present the roles of the Chinese assistants who helped James Legge translate the Chinese Classics, so as to provide a reference for presenting the real picture of Sino-foreign cultural exchanges in the mid- and late nineteenth century.

James Legge, The Chinese Classics, Chinese Assistant, Wang Tao, Hong Rengan, Huang Sheng

APA Style

Qiaohong, W. (2023). The Chinese Classics and Three Chinese Assistants to James Legge—Wang Tao, Hong Rengan and Huang Sheng. International Journal of Applied Linguistics and Translation, 9(3), 100-105.

ACS Style

Qiaohong, W. The Chinese Classics and Three Chinese Assistants to James Legge—Wang Tao, Hong Rengan and Huang Sheng. Int. J. Appl. Linguist. Transl. 2023, 9(3), 100-105. doi: 10.11648/j.ijalt.20230903.14

AMA Style

Qiaohong W. The Chinese Classics and Three Chinese Assistants to James Legge—Wang Tao, Hong Rengan and Huang Sheng. Int J Appl Linguist Transl. 2023;9(3):100-105. doi: 10.11648/j.ijalt.20230903.14

Copyright © 2024 Authors retain the copyright of this article.
This article is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License ( which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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