Presentation Details

The Second International Conference on New Directions in the Humanities

The Greatest Lover: A Post-colonial Hong Kong Rewriting of My Fair Lady

Chapman Chen.

The objectives of this work are to find out in what major ways My Fair Lady was rewritten as the popular Hong Kong Cantonese movie, Gungzi Docing (The Greatest Lover), and to probe the socio-political, socio-linguistic, and gender ideologies behind the rewriting.
Methodology: 1) Andre Lefevere (1992) argues that translation and adaptation are rewriting informed and influenced by the rewriter's ideology. 2) Sirkkus Aaltonen (2000) argues that drama translation mirrors the ideologies of the target society. 3) Compare the two plays in terms of themes, times, characters, plot, and language. (Whereas, in My Fair Lady, a male phonetics professor trains a cockney girl to be a high society lady, in The Greatest Lover, a female image consultant passes off a rough male illegal immigrant from China as a high society gentleman) . 4) Discuss the ideological implications of the differences noted above, e.g. women in Hong Kong today have much higher status than women in Victorian England.
Significance: The Greatest Lover projects items of local cultural significance onto My Fair Lady, and helps us to appreciate an important Western work of art through the perspective of Hong Kong Cantonese; broader issues in translation and intercultural studies will also be considered.


Chapman Chen  (Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China)
Associate Professor
Dept. of Chinese and Bilingual Studies
Hong Kong Polytechnic University

I have been teaching simultaneous Chinese-English interpretation, translation, & comp.lit. in the univ. for more than 7 yrs.

  • My Fair Lady
  • Andre Levere
  • Hong Kong Cantonese
  • Ideology
  • rewriting
Person as Subject
  • Shaw, George Bernard Lerner, Alan Jay

(30 min. Conference Paper, English)