Missing vs. “Disappeared”: NYT Translation on Detained Chinese Citizens Blurs the Line

In Few Clues in Chinese Editor’s Detention, Didi Kirsten Tatlow reports on the recent arrest and detention of Caixin Media editor Xu Xiao (徐晓) and NGO staffer Liu Jianshu (柳建树). Both went missing for at least five days before it was learned that they had been arrested and are now inside Beijing Number 1 Detention … Continue reading Missing vs. “Disappeared”: NYT Translation on Detained Chinese Citizens Blurs the Line

Footnote Factoids: How Many Needed to Russify Mo Yan?

In 译莫言作品看中国文学, Mo Yan’s principal Russian translator, Igor Aleksandrovich Egorov (Игорь Aлександрович Егоров), reports that his translation of 丰乳肥臀 (Большая грудь, широкий зад, Big Breasts and Wide Hips) has been a best-seller since 2013. Egorov advocates amply footnoting Mo Yan’s text, because the overwhelming majority of Russian readers are almost totally unfamiliar with either ancient or … Continue reading Footnote Factoids: How Many Needed to Russify Mo Yan?

The Fine Art of Selective News Translation

In Lost in Translation, veteran journalist Nailene Chou Wiest comments on how airbrushing foreign news articles in the name of China boosterism prevents serious discussion of real issues: Translators in China are not neutral message conveyors but active censor-oriented rewriting hacks. Their job requires the sensitivity of knowing the parameter. Foreign news is not used as a … Continue reading The Fine Art of Selective News Translation

Literary Translation: The Collaborative Approach

In the Aug 2014 edition of The Art of Empathy: Celebrating Literature in Translation, Chinese-to-literary translators Sylvia Li-chun Lin (native Chinese speaker) and Howard Goldblatt (native English speaker) reveal how they work together: Sylvia does the first draft, placing emphasis more on conveying the meaning of the original text than on finding the exact words/phrases … Continue reading Literary Translation: The Collaborative Approach

Infrastructure for China Soft Power Inc.: Newly Established China Academy of Translation

In a move to get the infrastructure on the ground for China’s re-emergence on the international cultural scene, the China Int’l Publishing Group has founded the China Academy of Translation (中国翻译研究院). Read about it here in Chinese, and here in English. This is definitely a state-run body founded to serve China’s strategic interests, a “translation … Continue reading Infrastructure for China Soft Power Inc.: Newly Established China Academy of Translation

徐穆实受访:人民日报海外版转载 “建立驻地翻译基金” 的建议

莫言获诺贝尔文学奖、麦家小说在海外畅销,外国翻译家功不可没。他们以优美的本国语言、适合西方人阅读的视角进行翻译,将中文图书接引到彼岸并焕发出神秘光彩。 最近,美国中文翻译家徐穆实(Bruce Humes)在个人网站上刊出公开信,就中国有关机构近年来推动的文学外译提出若干具体建议,将中国文学“走出去”的战略落到实处: 建立“驻地翻译”基金,积极征募外国翻译家到中国短期居住,体验中国文化,结识中国作家、翻译家和出版人(受惠对象应注重国别和语言的多样化,避免过度集中于英、法、德等欧洲语言); 放宽签证条件,以使翻译家工作期间合法居留中国; 办好网站,多搞活动,帮助中外翻译家们沟通和交流。 他的建议,不仅在海外的中国文学翻译圈内引起了共鸣,还让国内业界又一次正视“外国翻译家”这一文学出口生产线上的关键环节。 阅读全文,请点击

Osnos, Vogel and China Censorship Percentage Stats

In what a publicist would judge a savvy approach to pre-launch marketing of one’s book, Evan Osnos recently wrote a much-discussed NY Times Op-ed in which he explained why he won’t be releasing his new Age of Ambition: Chasing Fortune, Truth and Faith in the New China in Chinese in the People’s Republic any time … Continue reading Osnos, Vogel and China Censorship Percentage Stats

June Training Sessions: Authors of Five Major non-Han Languages Meet their Translators

During June 5-9, Nationalities Literature Magazine (民族文学) organized an intensive “editing/rewriting training course” (改稿班) that brought together the magazine’s editors with twenty-plus Kazakh writers and their translators. Mandarin and Kazakh aside, the magazine appears in Mongolian, Korean, Tibetan and Uyghur, and training sessions for writers and translators of the latter four languages are also scheduled to … Continue reading June Training Sessions: Authors of Five Major non-Han Languages Meet their Translators

建议:建立 ‘驻地翻译基金’,积极征募外国翻译家到中国短期居住

我发表 Open Letter to China Literary Exports, Inc. 之后,《中华读书报》采访了我。欢迎访问: 翻译家徐穆实呼吁:中国文学 “走出去” 的战略要落实到实处 有意思的是,在临时发表之前,下面带 “-” 的文字被编辑删除: “如果有志于促进与外国翻译家、出版商的合作,那么申领翻译津贴的过程就得更为透明。”徐穆实昨天(6月10日)对读书报记者补充说,“中国作家协会主管这一项目,但我们很多人都是间接知道它的,比如说,作协的网站上就找不到对它的介绍。这样的项目得详细说明,用英文推介,让翻译家们和各语种的出版商都能了解。有些别的翻译家告诉我,存在着一份不予披露的中国‘合格作家的名单;如果你申请翻译的作家不在这份名单上,那么你的拨款申请便很有可能的不到批准。” 可见得,“透明”也得有个度。。。

Open Letter to China Literary Exports, Inc.

Ever since Mo Yan received the Nobel Prize for Literature, a lively discussion has ensued among China’s soft power apparatchiks, bodies such as the China Writers Association, and writers, academics and translators—including some who, regrettably, were not born Chinese. The topic? How to ensure greater success for the “campaign to take Chinese literature global.” As … Continue reading Open Letter to China Literary Exports, Inc.