Masks and Montaigne pick up inaugural translation award

11:22, December 07, 2009      

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The inaugural Fu Lei Translation Award was presented Sunday at Peking University, with The Way of The Masks and Montaigne: Essays, taking top honors and the ceremony attracting many government officials and scholars from both China and France.

The Way of The Masks, a masterpiece by famous French anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss, translated by Zhang Zujian and published by China Renmin University Press, together with Montaigne: Essays, a representative work of philosopher Montaingne, translated by Ma Zhenchi and published by Shanghai Bookstore Publishing House, shared the prize.

The Fu Lei Translation Award was established this year by the cultural section of the French Embassy to China to honor the year’s most outstanding translation works from French to Chinese, with the translator and publishing house sharing in 8,000 euros.

"I am overwhelmed by the unexpected favor and I feel so flattered. I regard the award not as a compliment to what I have done, but to what I should do in the future, just as the Nobel Peace Prize was honored by US President Obama," Zhang said when receiving the much-coveted prize.

The two works were selected from 39 translations from 26 publishing houses by a jury comprising of leading scholars from the two countries. According to Dong Qiang, French literature professor at Peking University and one of the judges on the jury, the two winning works were selected for their close representation of the original pieces.

French writer Jean-Marie Gustave Le Clézio, winner of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Literature, made a keynote speech during the award ceremony and presented the prize to the translators and their publishing houses.

"I have in my career made some translations between English, French and Spanish and many people take translation for granted as merely a conversion of languages. I think translation is not a mere understanding of the language, its cultural connotations matter more," Le Clézio explained.

"Without translation, I would have no understanding of Chinese literature, let alone Confucius, poet Du Fu and novelist Lao She," he added.

French ambassador to China Herve Ladsous, Peking University Vice President Wu Zhipan and chairman of the Chinese Writers Association Tie Ning all made speeches at the ceremony.

Famous Chinese painter Fan Zeng presented his drawing of Fu Lei to the French Embassy in China to honor their efforts in promoting bilateral cultural communications.

The Fu Lei Translation Award is so named to commemorate famous Chinese translator Fu Lei, who in his career translated many French classics into Chinese and played a unique role in developing cultural links between the two countries.

Source: Global Times
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