Translated Titles

Some Interpreters Are More Visible Than Others: A Study of Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s Doubling as Interpreter for the Generalissimo at the Cairo Conference in 1943





Key Words

宋美齡 ; 開羅會議 ; 口譯員角色 ; 中立性 ; 顯身性 ; 忠實性 ; 歷史/檔案研究 ; Soong Mei-ling ; Cairo Conference ; interpreter role ; neutrality ; visibility ; fidelity ; historical/archival research


臺灣大學翻譯碩士學位學程 學位論文

Volume or Term/Year and Month of Publication


Academic Degree Category




Content Language


Chinese Abstract


English Abstract

This study focuses on Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s presence and participation at the Cairo Conference of 1943, particularly her “doubling” as a “lay interpreter,” a bilingual who plays the part despite a lack of formal training. At Cairo, she interpreted not only for her husband but also for U.S. President Roosevelt and British Prime Minister Churchill, which would be an extraordinary arrangement for today’s interpreting practitioners and researchers, for whom interpreter neutrality figures prominently. Besides neutrality, Madame Chiang Kai-shek’s doubling as interpreter also interrogates interpreter visibility and fidelity, two other defining aspects of the interpreter’s role as it has been idealized in codes of conduct and even to some extent in Interpreting Studies since its inception. A historical and archival approach is adopted; but the unavailability of primary sources—official transcripts or other direct records—leaves the study no other choice but to rely on secondary and even tertiary materials. Given that the Cairo Conference stood out as one of only a few summit meetings of Allied leaders during World War II, the study also compares Madame Chiang with other interpreters in diplomatic settings, to illustrate how she, first and foremost in her capacity as China’s First Lady, doubled as interpreter at Cairo. Like many of her counterparts, both in the past and today, Madame Chiang ended up performing extra roles—spokesperson, envoy, negotiator—while she was called upon to mediate cross-linguistic and cross-cultural interactions. But unlike almost all of her counterparts, who have mainly maintained a professional relationship with clients, Soong Mei-ling assumed, or shifted to and from, her extra roles in her capacity as wife, confidante, and political partner of the Generalissimo, and this almost unparalleled personal standing and intimacy explains her all but unique interpreting behavior and justifies a study to historicize and relativize values like neutrality, visibility, and fidelity.

Topic Category 人文學 > 語言學
文學院 > 翻譯碩士學位學程
  1. English References
  2. Anderson, R.B.W. (2002). Perspectives on the role of interpreter. In F. Pochhacker & M. Schlesinger (Eds.), The Interpreting Studies Reader (pp. 209-215). London/New York: Routledge.
  3. Angelelli, C.V. (2004a). Revisiting the Interpreter’s Role: A Study of Conference, Court, and Medical Interpreters in Canada, Mexico, and the United States. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  4. Angelelli, C.V. & Baer, B.J. (2015). Researching Translation and Interpreting.
  5. Baigorri-Jalon, J. (2015). The history of the interpreting profession. In H. Mikkelson & R. Jourdenais (Eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Interpreting (pp. 11-24). Abingdon/New York: Routledge.
  6. Bonner, W. (2013, June 1). History and IS—Broadening our view and understanding: actor–network theory as a methodology. Journal of Information Technology, 28. Retrieved from http://www.palgravejournals.com/jit/journal/v28/n2/full/jit20136a.html
  7. Bonsal, S. (1946/2001). Suitors and Supplicants: The Little Nations at Versailles. Safety Harbor, FL: Simon Publications.
  8. Bowles, H., Schlesinger, A.M., & Mellon, R.L. (2001). Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years: Selections from the John F. Kennedy Library and Museum. Boston/New York/London: Bulfinch Press.
  9. Danchev, A., & Todman, D. (Eds.). (2001). Field Marshall Lord Alanbrooke, War Diaries, 1939-1945. Berkeley/Los Angeles: University of California Press.
  10. Feldweg, E. (1996). Der Konferenzdolmetscher im internationalen Kommunikationsprozes. Heidelberg: Groos.
  11. Goffman, E. (1959/1990). The Presentation of Self in Everyday Life. London: Penguin.
  12. Goffman, E. (1961). Encounters—Two Studies in the Sociology of Interaction. Indianapolis, NY: The Bobbs-Merrill Company.
  13. Goodwin, D. K. (2013). No Ordinary Time: Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt: The Home Front in World War II. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  14. Heiferman, R. I. (2011). The Cairo Conference of 1943: Roosevelt, Churchill, Chiang Kai-shek and Madame Chiang. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co.
  15. Keynes, J.M. (1949). Two Memoirs (Dr. Melchior: A Defeated Enemy & My Early Beliefs). New York/London: Augustus M. Kelley/Rupert Hart-Davis.
  16. Knapp-Potthoff, A. and Knapp, K. (1986b). Interweaving two discourses—the difficult task of the non-professional interpreter. In J. House and S. Blum-Kulka (Eds.), Interlingual and Intercultural Communication: Discourse and Cognition in Translation and Second Language Acquisition Studies (pp. 151-168). Tubingen: Narr.
  17. Li, L.T. (2006). Madame Chiang Kai-shek: China’s Eternal First Lady. New York, NY: Atlantic Monthly Press.
  18. Lichtman, A. J. & French, V. (1978). Historians and the Living Past: The Theory and
  19. (Eds.), Advances in Interpreting Research: Inquiry in Action (pp. 85-108). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  20. Lung, R. (2011). Interpreters in Early Imperial China. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing.
  21. Mitter, R. (2014). Forgotten Ally: China’s World War II, 1937-1945. New York, NY: Mariner Books.
  22. Nicodemus, B. & Swabey, L. (2011). Advances in Interpreting Research: Inquiry in Action. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
  23. Pakula, H. (2009). The Last Empress: Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the Birth of Modern China. New York, NY: Simon & Schuster.
  24. Pochhacker, F., & Schlesinger, M. (Eds.). (2002). The Interpreting Studies Reader. London/New York: Routledge.
  25. Pochhacker, F. (2004a). Introducing Interpreting Studies. London/NewYork: Routledge.
  26. Pogue, F. C. (1973). George C. Marshall: Organizer of Victory 1943-1945. New York, NY: The Viking Press.
  27. Roland, R.A. (1982). Translating World Affairs. Jefferson, NC: McFarland. Re-published in 1999 as Interpreters as Diplomats: A Diplomatic History of the Role of Interpreters in World Politics. Ottawa: University of Ottawa Press.
  28. Sainsbury, K. (1985). The Turning Point: Roosevelt, Stalin, Churchill and Chiang
  29. Kai-shek, 1943. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  30. Taylor, J. (2009). The Generalissimo: Chiang Kai-shek and the Struggle for Modern China. Cambridge: Belknap Press (Harvard University Press).
  31. Tuchman, B. (1970). Stilwell and the American Experience in China, 1911-45. Toronto/New York: Bantam Books.
  32. United States Department of State/Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, p. 322. Retrieved from
  33. Wadensjo, C. (1995). Dialogue interpreting and the distribution of responsibility. Hermes, Journal of Linguistics, 14, 111-129.
  34. Wadensjo, C. (2002). The double role of a dialogue interpreter. In F. Pochhacker & M. Schlesinger (Eds.), The Interpreting Studies Reader (pp. 355-369). London/New York: Routledge.
  35. Williams, J., & Chesterman, A. (2002). The Map: a beginner’s guide to doing research in translation studies. Manchester: St. Jerome Publishing.
  36. Wong, Lawrence Wang-chi (2007). Translators and interpreters during the Opium War between Britain and China (1839-1842). In Myriam Salama-Carr (Ed.), Translating and Interpreting Conflict (pp. 41-57). Amsterdam/New York: Rodopi.
  37. Abingdon/New York: Routledge.
  38. Bowen, D., & Bowen, M. (Eds.). (2008). Interpreting: Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow (American Translators Association Scholarly Monograph Series IV). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing.
  39. Bowen, M. et al. (1995). Interpreters and the making of history. In J. Delisle & J. Woodsworth (Eds.), Translators through History (pp. 245-273). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
  40. Carr, E. H. (1962). What Is History? New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
  41. Carton de Wiart, A. (1955). Happy Odyssey: The Memoirs of Lieutenant-General Sir Adrian Carton de Wiart. London: Pan Books.
  42. DeLong, T. A. (2007). Madame Chiang Kai-shek and Miss Emma Mills: China’s first lady and her American friend. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Company.
  43. Donovan, S. (2007). Madame Chiang Kai-shek: Face of Modern China. Mankato, MN: Compass Point Books.
  44. Ekvall, R. B. (1960). Faithful Echo. New Haven, CT: United Printing Services, Inc.
  45. “First Lady In The U.S. May Be Interpreter” (May 16, 1961). A New York Herald Tribune report reprinted in The Ottawa Citizen, p. 25. Retrieved from https://news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2194&dat=19610516&id=MC4yAAAAIBAJ&sjid=rOUFAAAAIBAJ&pg=7096,353310&hl=zh-TW
  46. Gall, M. D., Borg, W. R., & Gall, J.P. (1996). Educational Research (6th ed.). White Plains, NY: Longman Publishers USA.
  47. George C. Marshall Foundation/Interview Notes/October 29, 1956 – Stilwell and China; relations with MacArthur, Churchill, the French, and Army Air Forces, p. 607. Retrieved from http://marshallfoundation.org/library/wp
  48. content/uploads/sites/16/2014/05/Interview_10-29-56.pdf
  49. Gill, J. and Laubach, S. (n.d.). Supporting claims while telling a good story. Retrieved from http://www.williamcronon.net/researching/arguing.htm
  50. Goffman, E. (1981). Forms of Talk. Philadelphia, PA: University of Pennsylvania Press.
  51. Jespersen, T. C. (2005). Madame Chiang Kai-shek and the face of Sino-American relations: personality and gender dynamics in bilateral diplomacy. In S. C. Chu (Ed.), Madame Chiang Kai-shek and Her China (pp. 121-147). Norwalk, CT: EastBridge.
  52. Kade, O. (1968). Zufall und Gesetzmasigkeit in der Ubersetzung. In Beiheft Fremdsprachen I. Leipzig: Verlag Enzyklopadie.
  53. Kelen, E. (1963). Peace in Their Time: Men Who Led Us in and out of War
  54. (1914-1945). New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf.
  55. Kondo, M. (1990). What conference interpreters should not be expected to do. The Interpreters’ Newsletter, 3, 59-65.
  56. Korchilov, I. (1997). Translating History: Thirty Years on the Front Lines of Diplomacy With a Top Russian Interpreter. New York, NY: Lisa Drew/Scribner.
  57. Practice of Historical Study. Arlington Heights, IL: AHM Publishing.
  58. Liu, M. (2011). Methodology in interpreting studies. In B. Nicodemus & L. Swabey
  59. Liu, X. (1996). A Partnership for Disorder. New York, NY: Cambridge University
  60. Press.
  61. Llewellyn-Jones, P. & Lee, R.G. (2013). Getting to the core of role: defining
  62. interpreters’ role-space. International Journal of Interpreter Education, 5(2), 54-72.
  63. Pochhacker, F. (2005). Interpreters and ideology: from ‘between’ to ‘within.’ In TRANS. Internet-Zeitschrift fur Kulturwissenschaften, 16. Retrieved from http://www.inst.at/trans/16Nr/09_4/poechhacker16.htm
  64. Roosevelt, E. (1946). As He Saw It. New York, NY: Duell, Sloan and Pearce.
  65. Roy, C.B. (1993/2002). The problem with definitions, descriptions, and the role metaphors of interpreters. Journal of Interpretation, 6 (1), 127-154. Reprinted in F. Pochhacker & M. Schlesinger (Eds.), The Interpreting Studies Reader (pp. 345-353). London/New York: Routledge.
  66. Santoro, G. (2009, November 20). Hannah Pakula: A biographer traces the rise of Madame Chiang Kai-shek. HistoryNet.com. Retrieved from http://www.historynet.com/hannah-pakula-a-biographer-traces-the-rise-of-madame-chiang-kai-shek.htm
  67. Snow, E. (1957). Random Notes on Red China. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
  68. Takeda, K. (2007). Sociopolitical aspects of interpreting at the International Military Tribunal for the Far East (1946-1948). Unpublished Ph.D. thesis, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Spain.
  69. Tong, H. K. (1950). Dateline China: The Beginning of China’s Press Relations With the World. New York, NY: Rockport Press.
  70. Torikai, K. M. (2006). Diplomatic interpreters in post-World War II Japan: voices of the invisible presence in foreign relations. Unpublished doctoral dissertation, University of Southampton, Southampton.
  71. United States Department of State/Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, p. 72. Retrieved from http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=turn&entity=FRUS.FRUS1943CairoTehran.p0164&id=FRUS.FRUS1943CairoTehran&isize=M
  72. United States Department of State/Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, p. 73. Retrieved from http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=turn&entity=FRUS.FRUS1943CairoTehran.p0165&id=FRUS.FRUS1943CairoTehran&isize=M
  73. http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1943CairoTehran&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=322
  74. United States Department of State/Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, p. 351. Retrieved from http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=goto&id=FRUS.FRUS1943CairoTehran&isize=M&submit=Go+to+page&page=351
  75. United States Department of State/Foreign relations of the United States diplomatic papers, The Conferences at Cairo and Tehran, 1943, p. 441. Retrieved from http://digicoll.library.wisc.edu/cgi-bin/FRUS/FRUS-idx?type=turn&id=FRUS.FRUS1943CairoTehran&entity=FRUS.FRUS1943CairoTehran.p0543&q1=h.h.%20kung
  76. Wadensjo, C. (1998). Interpreting as Interaction. London/New York: Longman.
  77. Ziegler, P. (1985). Mountbatten. New York, NY: Knopf.
  78. 參考文獻
  79. 呂世浩 (2015)。帝國崛起:一場歷史的思辨之旅2。臺北市:平安文化。
  80. 沈劍虹 (1989)。半生憂患—沈劍虹回憶錄。臺北市:聯經出版。
  81. 林博文 (2000)。跨世紀第一夫人宋美齡。臺北市:時報出版。
  82. 林蔭庭 (2004)。尋找世紀宋美齡:一個紀錄片工作者的旅程。臺北市:天下遠見出版。
  83. 秦孝儀 (總編纂)。(1978)。總統 蔣公大事長編初稿卷五。台北:財團法人中正文教基金會。
  84. 梁敬錞 (1973) 。開羅會議。台北:臺灣商務印書館。
  85. 黃仁宇 (1994)。從大歷史的角度讀蔣介石日記。臺北市:時報出版。
  86. 楊天石 (2008)。找尋真實的蔣介石—蔣介石日記解讀。香港: 三聯書店。
  87. 習近平女兒習明澤 低調隨團當翻譯(民104 年9 月29 日)。聯合新聞網。取自
  88. http://udn.com/news/story/8299/1215256-習近平女兒習明澤-低調隨團當翻譯
  89. 陳潔如 (1992) 。陳潔如回憶錄。台北:傳記文學出版社。