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Translating the Times
Text by Anita Yin

 

Xu Yuanchong at his home on the campus of Peking University.

“In an international environment in need of effective communication, Professor Xu Yuanchong has devoted his career to building bridges among Chinese, English and French-speaking people,” reads the prize announcement of the 2014 International Federation of Translators (FIT) Aurora Borealis Fiction Award. On August 2, FIT conferred the Aurora Borealis Fiction Award to Chinese translator Xu Yuanchong, who then became the first Asian honoree of the triennial award.

Xu has translated many Chinese novels, anthologies, verses and plays into English and French, enabling more readers to appreciate Chinese classics, culture and philosophy. Conversely, he has also translated many Western masterpieces like The Red and the Black and Madame Bovary into Chinese, opening a window for Chinese people to better see the world. Due to his age of 93, Xu did not attend the ceremony in Berlin, so on August 22, on behalf of FIT, Chinese International Publishing House (CIPG), the Translators Association of China and the China Academy of Translation jointly held a ceremony to award Xu the prize. After the ceremony, Xu shared his translation experiences with attendees.

 

 

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