African Literature in China: Still Stuck on “Things Fall Apart”?

China’s 21-century investment in Africa is massive, multifaceted and a cause of anxiety for leaders in Washington, London, Paris and among the continent’s other former colonial masters, as well as New Delhi. But China is not just busy building airports and railways in Africa, or inking deals to monopolize the exploitation and export of valuable minerals and … Continue reading African Literature in China: Still Stuck on “Things Fall Apart”?

The Transparent Translator: Cindy Carter on “Dream of Ding Village”

Here’s my interview with Cindy Carter, Chinese-to-English translator of Dream of Ding Village: Bruce Humes: You studied Japanese and lived in Japan for several years before moving to Beijing. Has your knowledge of Japanese, the people and/or the language been useful to you in mastering Chinese? What made you willing to leave Japan to pursue … Continue reading The Transparent Translator: Cindy Carter on “Dream of Ding Village”

New Software for Yi, Zhuang, Tibetan, Uygur, Kazakh and Kyrgyz Applications

Xinhuanet reports (Minority Language Translation Software) that the China Ethnic Languages Translation Bureau has announced the development of several software programs for non-Han languages in China:  These programs include electronic dictionaries for the characters of the Yi and Zhuang ethnic groups [彝文电子词典及辅助翻译软件 and 壮文电子词典及辅助翻译软件], a proofreading tool for the Zhuang ethnic language [壮文校对软件], and transcoding applications … Continue reading New Software for Yi, Zhuang, Tibetan, Uygur, Kazakh and Kyrgyz Applications

“Sons of Heaven, Brothers of Nature: The Naxi of Southwest China”

Writes author Pedro Ceinos Arcones in his introduction to this new work on the Naxi, renowned for their Dongba pictographic language: Every year thousands of travelers from all around the world visit the Naxi region [of Yunnan], turning their former isolation into a permanent exhibition of their land and homes. During their stay in Lijiang … Continue reading “Sons of Heaven, Brothers of Nature: The Naxi of Southwest China”

Scholar Critiques Media Coverage of Newly Published Miao Classic “King Yalu”

China media’s recent high-profile reportage of the launch of volume one of the first-ever bilingual version of King Yalu (亚鲁王), a Miao historical epic passed down orally, has been labelled “unscientific” (媒体对 《亚鲁王》报道不科学) by an academic whose views carry weight. Traditionally sung over several days at a funeral, King Yalu is the story of war, defeat … Continue reading Scholar Critiques Media Coverage of Newly Published Miao Classic “King Yalu”

Tsering Norbu’s “Amerika”: Village Life in 21st Century Tibet – with a Twist

Only a handful of Tibetans who write fiction in Chinese have seen their work published in English, but Tsering Norbu has recently joined this elite. Here’s a brief intro to his Amerika (阿米日嘎,次仁罗布著): A farmer in rural Tibet invests his life savings and more to purchase a breeding bull imported all the way from “Amerika” … Continue reading Tsering Norbu’s “Amerika”: Village Life in 21st Century Tibet – with a Twist

Seediq Bale, the Novel: Out now in French as “Les Survivants”

One of just 9 films to be shortlisted for this year's Best Foreign Language Film at the Academy Awards in Hollywood, Seediq Bale (《賽德克·巴萊》) is a 4.5-hour epic about one Taiwanese aboriginal tribe’s war of resistance against the Japanese in the 1930s, shot entirely in the Seediq language. As is often the case with contemporary Chinese literature, … Continue reading Seediq Bale, the Novel: Out now in French as “Les Survivants”

Are Foreign Devil Translators Hijacking China’s Debut on the Global Literary Stage?

Ever since China was named Guest of Honor at the 2009 Frankfurt Int’l Book Fair, overseas publishers have begun to take an interest in contemporary Chinese literature, and the list of works of fiction and poetry slated for translation and publication into English in 2011 and 2012 is growing quickly. Take a look here for … Continue reading Are Foreign Devil Translators Hijacking China’s Debut on the Global Literary Stage?

Mongolian Fluency Drops among Minority Students in Hulunbuir

“News 1 + 1,” a CCTV News Channel program, recently broadcast a show devoted to exploring the status of Mongolian fluency among students in Inner Mongolia. I didn't watch it, but you can read the transcript in Chinese here: 如何用母语诉说?. The following piece is based on the transcript, with some of my own thoughts at the … Continue reading Mongolian Fluency Drops among Minority Students in Hulunbuir

Miao-Han Dictionary to Launch within 2011

Update: As of mid-June 2012, this dictionary has reportedly been published by the Nationalities Publishing House of Yunnan (云南民族出版社) Chinanews.com reports (云南禄劝将出版《苗汉词典》) that a new bilingual reference book, the Miao-Han Dictionary (苗汉辞典), will be published by year-end 2011. Compilation began in 1996 and has been carried out by an editing committee of 45. It will include: … Continue reading Miao-Han Dictionary to Launch within 2011