Translation as a practice of resemiotization: A case study of the Opium War Museum

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This article aims to investigate how written and spoken texts can be translated, or resemiotized, in different semiotic modes in a multimodal museum space. The inclusion and exclusion of certain semiotic resources in the museum space is further discussed through the process of de/recontextualization. The data were collected from a bilingual exhibition in the Opium War Museum in Dongguan, China. The two research questions are: (1) How have the semiotic resources of the exhibition been translated from one form into another? and (2) Why were certain semiotic resources chosen over others in this exhibition? The findings illustrate how source texts can be resemiotized, and ultimately reveal how the diplomatic discourse on “China’s foreign friends” seems to motivate the process of de/recontextualization in the Opium War Museum.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)48-63
Number of pages16
JournalTranslation Studies
Issue number1
Early online date5 Sept 2022
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2023


  • Museum translation
  • Opium War Museum
  • de/recontextualization
  • multimodality
  • resemiotization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language


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