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Adjunct Faculty

Kang Liao, PhD, the author of Pearl S. Buck: A Cultural Bridge across the Pacific and two books translated from Chinese to English as well as the co-author of five books translated from English to Chinese, has been teaching translation from English to Chinese at MIIS since 1999. He is also an associate professor teaching Chinese at Defense Language Institute and has won the Teaching Excellence Award there twice. 
When he was working as the training manager at Language Line Services, the largest telephonic interpreting company in the world, he developed, oversaw, and delivered new hire orientations, medical, insurance, finance, court interpreting programs, as well as cultural competence, pronunciation enhancement, and 911/stress management training programs. When he was teaching English at Beijing Normal University, he also wrote the teaching script for The Marlows and co-presented this English-teaching TV program with Katherine Flower from BBC, which was shown on CCTV in 1989.

Courses Taught

Courses offered in the past two years.

  • Current term
  • Upcoming term(s)

This is the first of two complementary courses designed to bring translation knowledge and skills up to the level that would be required of someone working in a professional translation environment. Students will be expected to apply the knowledge and skills acquired during the first-year translation courses to produce translations that meet high standards for content, form, and presentation. A great deal of attention is given to subject matter knowledge and research, precision in text analysis and writing, and the appropriate application of translation technology. Some programs emphasize scientific and technical topics in this course, but others give considerable attention to commercial, economic, legal, and political texts, many of which have a technical component. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments and examinations are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record. Students will, however, be expected to take at least one midterm exam and one final exam.

Prerequisite: 2nd-year student in good standing or equivalent background.

Fall 2017 - MIIS, Fall 2018 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

This course is the counterpart to Advanced Translation I. Students are expected to translate texts of considerable difficulty and complexity and to cope with the types of operational challenges that are likely to be encountered in professional translation settings, such as working in teams or coping with multiple technologies. Emphasis is on particular text categories and subject-matter knowledge that are pertinent to current market demand for the specific language combination and direction in which the course is being taught. The frequency, nature, and structure of course assignments are at the discretion of the instructor(s) of record, but will include projects that simulate, as closely as possible, the professional translation environment, as well as at least one midterm and one final exam.

Prerequisite: Advanced Translation I or similar background.

Spring 2017 - MIIS, Spring 2018 - MIIS

View in Course Catalog

Areas of Interest

Kang Liao has translated numerous medical documents and edited a great number of practical documents in various industries including court, finance and insurance translated from English to Chinese. Besides translation, his major interest is in comparative cultural and linguistic studies, and he has published many essays in these fields. Most of all, he is an authority on Pearl S. Buck and was invited to give the keynote speech at Pearl S. Buck Living Gateway Conference held at West Virginia University in 2016.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD in English, West Virginia University, USA, 1995
  • M. Litt. in English, University of Aberdeen, Scotland, 1987
  • BA in English, Beijing Normal University, China, 1982

Professor Liao has been teaching at the Institute since 1999.


  • 2003: Over 300 movie reviews, literary critical essays, and stories on magazines including: Watching Now the World, Opera, Kaifang, China Spring, China Press, and cnd.org, the first and foremost international Chinese website.
  • 1993: One hundred entries on western music and literature in Adult Education Encyclopedia. China: The South Sea Publishing Company.
  • 1992: Translation of the chapter “Proverbs” in An American Cultural Legacy. Beijing: World Knowledge Press.
  • 1990: High School English (Wrote the script and co-presented the 40-hour video program with Huang Juan). Beijing: High Education Press.
  • 1989: The Marlows (Wrote the teaching script and co-presented this TV English teaching program with Katherine Flower from BBC). Beijing and Hong Kong: CCTV.
  • 1989: Co-translation of Mao: A Biography by R. Terrill. Beijing: World Knowledge Press.
  • 1988: Co-translation of The Rise and Fall of Lin Piao by Jaap van Ginneken. Beijing: World Knowledge Press.
  • 1987: Co-translation from English of Selected Poems from Yugoslavia. Beijing: Writers Press.
  • 1985: Co-translation of Fast Reading: A Teaching Manual. Beijing Normal University Press.