Orwell’s 1984 — in Tibetan (གཅིག་དགུ་གྱ་བཞི།, at left) — is now available in the PRC, confirms French Tibetologist Françoise Robin in an e-mail today. I assume it has the official stamp of approval, because it is published by the state-run Gansu Nationalities Publishing House, according to a news item in Tibetan (here). It was translated by Dorje Tseten (རྡོ་རྗེ་ཚེ་བརྟན་), who lives in the US. According to the report, he is currently translating Animal Farm.
Also published earlier in the same “Collection of Tibetan Translations of Famous Novels of the World” series was Alexander Solzhenitsyn’s 1962 grim novel of life in the Soviet gulag, A Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (tr. G. yang ‘bum rgyal གཡང་འབུམ་རྒྱལ།).
Regular readers of this blog will have noticed that China’s literary translation policy has indeed been undergoing some major changes of late. Earlier largely uni-directional translation — read from Han Chinese into various other languages of China — has evolved into a markedly more multi-directional approach. That means more fiction by non-Han writers is getting translated into Chinese, and more international writing is appearing in Uyghur, Mongolian, Tibetan, etc.
Other examples of English and French literature recently published in Tibetan:
- Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
- The Ship on the Golden Horn, penultimate chapter of his Istanbul: Memories of the City (Istanbul: Hatıralar ve Şehir).
- Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea (རྒད་པོ་དང་རྒྱ་མཚོ།) was also recently published in a Tibetan translation in exile, by Gendun Rabsel (དགེ་འདུན་རབ་གསལ།), lecturer of Tibetan at Bloomington University. The publisher is Tibet Times New Publishing House in Dharamsala.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Little Prince was recently rendered by Lhamokyab (ལྷ་མོ་སྐྱབས།) and Tashi Kyi (བཀྲ་ཤིས་སྐྱིད།), who both reside in France. It was published in Tibetan under the title རྒྱས་སྲས་ཆུང་ངུ་ by Swiss publisher Favre. Another Tibetan version is due to appear soon at the Beijing Nationalities Press, translated by Yungdrung Tsering from the French.