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English Translation of National Classics Out Now
Home  Research
English Translation of National Classics Out Now

It is an important way to serve the national strategy of scientific research in language subjects to give full play to the advantages of language by showing the world the splendid culture of the pluralism of the Chinese nation and telling the story of China vividly and wonderfully. Recently, from the National Social Science Fund Project—Tujia Folk Songs Series, two works Ti-ma Songs and Hands- swinging Songs were published by Foreign Language Teaching and Research Press, which became another important part of academic achievements of SCUN in the field of English translation of national classics.

The series was translated by Zhang Liyu, a professor at the School of Foreign Languages. Li Minjie, Yang Yang, Deng Zhiyu, Li Ming, Shu Jing, Shen Xiaohua, Weng Mingyi, Li Xiaofang and other young teachers participated. Professor Wang Hongyin, the executive chairman of the English Translation Committee of the Chinese-English Comparative Research Association, prefaces the book.

The Tujia people live in the borders of Hunan, Hubei, Chongqing and Guizhou. They have their own language but not their own national characters. Their language is an independent language of the Sino-Tibetan language family that is close to the Yi language. Hands-swinging Songs and Ti-ma Songs are all handed down by the Tujia people and have been passed down from generation to generation. They are epics with strong national cultural characteristics. Hands-swinging Songs is the general name of the ancient songs sung by the Tujia people in the swinging activity of the Sheba festival. Ti-ma Songs uses Tujia folk rituals as a carrier to tell the story of the origins of Tujia as well as ancient Chinese tales such as production and labor, marriage, ethnic migration, Pangu Separating Heaven and Earth, Hou Yi Shoots the Suns, ancient floods, marriage of brothers and sisters. They combine song, dance, poetry and music and are the cultural crystallizations that have a profound impact on people's moral values and behavioral activities.

Professor Zhang Liyu led a group of young scholars from the school and went deep into ethnic areas, and constantly exchanged ideas with ethnological scholars. After several years of hard work, he completed the English translation of these two ethnic epics and compiled them. The works are published in Chinese-English contrast, with 3 translation methods used: the original pronunciation records of Tujia ancient songs, Tujia-Chinese translation and free translation. Some chapters refer to the pronunciation of Tujia language attached to the original work and the corresponding Chinese translation, which retain the original style and is significant for both reading and research. The two translations vividly displayed the Tujia national culture to the people of the world, embodying the importance attached by the party and the state to the cultural protection and inheritance of ethnic minorities, as well as the cultural confidence of the Chinese nation.

It is reported that the Miao, Yi, Naxi, Bai, Dai, and Hani literatures translated into English by the Chinese Southern Minority Library Translation and Research Base have also entered the final stage of drafting and proofing and will be published soon. This is the result of research on five national research or publishing projects of the School of Foreign Languages in the past five years. Prof Zhang, the head of the team, said: Our goal is to show the important historical books of the minorities in southern China to the world in foreign languages, to let more people understand the splendid and long-standing culture of China. This is not only the mission and responsibility of scientific research workers in ethnic colleges, but also our pride.”

(Editors: Chen Pengbin, source: School of Scientific Research, School of Foreign Languages)