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Translator thrilled to bring Jin Yong's martial arts works to Western audience

By Mei Jia | China Daily | Updated: 2018-06-19 08:44
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Reactions in the West to the book, and especially on the quality of translation, several months after the official release in February have been overwhelmingly positive.

British novelist Marcel Theroux described in The Guardian the first Jin Yong book translated into English as "a joy", noting, "I felt a slight regret that I was coming to this novel in my fifth decade. It would be a wonderful initiation into a lifelong enthusiasm for China, its history and civilization, its vast and chronically misunderstood presence in the world."

Theroux hails Holmwood's translation as "vibrant" and says that it portrays "the unashamed narrative zest of a primary-colored fairy tale world".

Author Ian White wrote in Starburst magazine: "It's nice to finally read a translation that is not stilted in any way and is as fresh on the page as if the source material were written yesterday."

Chinese readers seem to think that Holmwood is doing a fantastic job of explaining supposedly untranslatable things.

Some, however, question the choice of translation with regards to certain names.

For instance, for the title, Holmwood wrote a few words as an appendix to address her choice of the word condor over eagle. She even chose the name Lotus Huang for Jin Yong's female protagonist instead of the pinyin name, Rong.

"Lotus is a feminine name. It indicates to the readers that Huang is a girl in disguise when she first meets the male protagonist, only he does not know," Holmwood explains.

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