“Last Quarter of the Moon”: Evenki Place Names behind the Hànzì

I grew up in places with names like “Winnetka” and “Sewickley,” spellings no doubt based on mangled transliterations of old, even ancient Native American words. I vaguely recall that Sewickley meant “sweet water,” but no one seemed sure. How many cities, mountains and rivers in China, I wondered, hide their non-Han origins? Evenki Mountain Name … Continue reading “Last Quarter of the Moon”: Evenki Place Names behind the Hànzì

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

“Duobukuer River”: Daur Writer Paints Brighter Future of One Who Left the Greater Khingan Range Behind

Ever since I completed my translation of Han author Chi Zijian’s Last Quarter of the Moon, set in the Greater Khingan Range (大兴安岭) that divides the Manchurian plain of northeastern China from the Mongolian Plateau of Inner Mongolia, I’ve been wondering: How would one of the indigenous nomadic peoples, an Evenki, Oroqen or Daur for … Continue reading “Duobukuer River”: Daur Writer Paints Brighter Future of One Who Left the Greater Khingan Range Behind

Author’s Afterword: “Last Quarter of the Moon”

 Afterword: From the Mountains  to the Sea   The birth of a literary work resembles the growth of a tree. It requires favorable circumstances. Firstly, there must be a seed, the Mother of All Things. Secondly, it cannot lack for soil, nor can it make do without the sunlight’s warmth, the rain’s moisture or the … Continue reading Author’s Afterword: “Last Quarter of the Moon”

Chinese Fiction in Translation: Novels/Novellas with “Ethnic” Theme

Over the last few months a number of reporters have e-mailed to ask about the state of Chinese literature in translation, particularly in light of Mo Yan's winning the 2012 Nobel Prize for Literature. But most cite just a handful of authors and works in their questions--- and Shanghai Baby, translated by yours truly over a … Continue reading Chinese Fiction in Translation: Novels/Novellas with “Ethnic” Theme

《额尔古纳河右岸》的英文译者: “因为书里的故事感动了我”

伦敦出版商 Harvill Secker 一月 17 日推出了东北作家迟子建的第一本译成英文的小说,《Last Quarter of the Moon》。为了《中华读书报》,慷慨先生找到我,进行了有关我翻译这本小说的采访: 《读书报》:为什么使用现在这个英译书名,而不是原书名《额尔古纳河右岸》的直译? 徐穆实 [Bruce Humes]:首先要明白一个事实:书名一般由出版方来定,译者甚至原作家的想法只是建议罢了。要知道,外文版权是外国出版社拥有的,当然是他们说了算。 我的建议本来是直译:The Right Bank of the Argun。这书名不仅忠实原作,也方便引起西方读者的好奇心。因为用“右岸”表达河流的方位有点莫名其妙,西方读者习惯用东南西北来表达。就算西方读者 不知道这条河是几百年以来中俄边境的界线,单凭这种奇特的表达方式,也会引起他们的好奇心。 但英格兰的出版人被早些出版的《额尔古纳河右岸》意大利译文的书名 Ultimo quarto di luna 所吸引,就把它译成英文的 The Last Quarter of the Moon。 全文可以在此下载 PDF 版。

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?