Translators are pushing for more literary focus

Updated: 2011-10-30 07:46

By Lu Yanyu and Zhu Xingxin (China Daily)

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 Translators are pushing for more literary focus

Li Zhaoxing, the former minister of foreign affairs, signs his name for students in Beijing on Saturday. Zhu Xingxin / China Daily

BEIJING - The Translators Association of China is pushing for more promotion of China's classic literature to the world by improving translators' Chinese language skill.

"Translation in China has focused more on introducing the Western culture inside rather than spreading our own culture outside," Wang Ning, a professor at Tsinghua University, said on Saturday at the 23rd Award Ceremony of the Han Suyin Award for Young Translators Contest.

The annual contest, sponsored by the China International Publishing Group and held at the University of International Business and Economics, has selected and honored the country's best translators since 1989.

Wan Zhaoyuan from Lanzhou Jiaotong University was one of the two top winners. He said he spent three months on his entry.

Among the entries, 1,348 were translated from English into Chinese and only 710 were translated into English from Chinese. Wang said the situation is partly because translators lack skill managing the Chinese language.

"Some students focus too much on English study and spare little time on the enhancement of their Chinese language proficiency," he said.

"Translation has a crucial role for the outside world to know more about China and its culture.

"Therefore, translators need to hone their skills in Chinese first," said Li Zhaoxing, the former minister of foreign affairs and president of the Translators Association of China.

China Daily

(China Daily 10/30/2011 page2)