Synopsis: Ran Ping’s “Legend of Mongolia”

Legend of Mongolia (蒙古往事) is a fictionalized biography of Genghis Khan, the leader who united the fiercely independent tribes known today as the Mongols, thanks to his iron resolve, military savvy, shrewd alliances, and willingness to shed blood. Written mainly in Chinese prose, the book is peppered with original poems by the author, Mongolian words, … Continue reading Synopsis: Ran Ping’s “Legend of Mongolia”

Mongolian Shaman Songs of Praise Rendered in Chinese

Two poets have collaborated to publish a book containing 29 renditions of songs of praise traditionally chanted by shaman. The original odes in Mongolian were first translated into Mandarin by Mongolian scholar Ni Ma (尼玛), and then polished by Xi Murong (席慕蓉), who also knows Mongolian but was educated in Taiwan. The book is published … Continue reading Mongolian Shaman Songs of Praise Rendered in Chinese

China’s Ethnic-themed Fiction: Mongolian Author Raises the Bar with Call for Bilingual Skills

Xi Jinping’s recent media blitz reminds China’s propaganda workers that — as Chairman Mao told us back at the 1942 Yan’an Forum — art should serve politics. No ifs, ands or buts, Comrades. To ensure the message gets across to the 55 ethnic minorities that weren’t born Han, “learn from Chairman Xi” study sessions targeting … Continue reading China’s Ethnic-themed Fiction: Mongolian Author Raises the Bar with Call for Bilingual Skills

Translation Services/中译英服务

Chinese-to-English Translation Services I regularly undertake Chinese-to-English translation projects in a number of fields, including those noted below. Interested? Get in touch here. Marketing-use Synopsis or Translated Excerpt Previous works include: The Metaphor Detox Center by Sheng Keyi (锦灰, 盛可以 著) Mission from Gondwana  (崗瓦纳之约) by T.K. Garbo Urho by Hong Ke (《乌尔禾》,红柯 著) Funeral of … Continue reading Translation Services/中译英服务

China’s Bilingual Writers: Narrative with a Difference

It began back in 2008 with Penguin investing heavily—$100,000 is the rumored price—to purchase Jiang Rong’s tale based in Inner Mongolia, Wolf Totem. In 2013 two newly translated novels joined China’s “borderland fiction” category: Fan Wen’s Une terre de lait et de miel, located in the gateway to Tibet straddling Yunnan and Sichuan, and Chi … Continue reading China’s Bilingual Writers: Narrative with a Difference

《蒙古往事》及其汉化的蒙古语

我正在读冉平写的《蒙古往事》,也发现了经常出现蒙古人的一些有意思的说法。至少,作者在故事里告诉读者这些说法是来自蒙古语。 我在琢磨:作者会蒙古语吗?“拼法” 标准吗?科学吗?哪些是音译?如果蒙古语为母语的人看到了,认得出来吗? 无论如何,这些说法增加了《蒙古往事》的色彩和可读性,也值得去欣赏和研究。在这里先做点笔记,然后慢慢地加上一些想法和链接。下面的页数以新星出版社的 2010 版为参考。 长生天 (5) 蒙古人将腾格里称为 “Mongke Tengri”,意为 “长生天”,作为最高信仰 。(维基百科) 巴特(6) 《蒙古往事》编辑注释:“巴特,也称把阿秃,即蒙古语中勇士、英雄之意”。其实,好像 “巴特尔” 更正确,因为网上许多地方指 bataar 为蒙古语 “英雄” 之意。“乌兰巴托” (Ulan Bator)的意思是 “红色的英雄”。 苏鲁锭(7) 苏鲁锭的蒙语意思是“长矛”,也就是战旗。安答(20)《蒙古往事》编辑注释:“安答,即结拜的盟兄弟,生死之交”。

“Manas” Onstage: Ongoing Moves to Sinicize China’s Three Great Oral Epics

A large-scale, colourful rendition of the Kyrgyz epic Manas (玛纳斯史诗) was staged March 22-23 in Beijing’s ultra-modern Poly Theater. This performance came just two days after the newly anointed President Xi Jinping, speaking at the People’s Congress, cited two of the three great oral epics of non-Han peoples, Manas and the Tibetan-language King Gesar. While … Continue reading “Manas” Onstage: Ongoing Moves to Sinicize China’s Three Great Oral Epics

July-August 2016: Altaic Storytelling Newsbriefs

Coup d’état Fiction: A Curiously Turkish Genre offers suggested reading for books that capture the Zeitgeist during the years that followed modern Turkey’s not infrequent periods of dictatorship. The winners of the Junma Literary Awards for Ethnic Minority Writers (骏马奖) — handed out every three years since 1981 — were announced in early August. The competition … Continue reading July-August 2016: Altaic Storytelling Newsbriefs

Reclaiming the Evenki Narrative: Last Shaman’s Daughter Tells her People’s 20th-century Tale

There are only 30,000 or so Evenki (鄂温克族) on the Chinese side of the Sino-Russian border. But this Tungusic-speaking, reindeer-herding people — particularly the group known as the Aoluguya Evenki — has been the subject of several award-winning documentaries and even a novel that won the Mao Dun Literature Prize in 2008. According to an … Continue reading Reclaiming the Evenki Narrative: Last Shaman’s Daughter Tells her People’s 20th-century Tale