China Int'l Translation Contest to start judging

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, May 15, 2014
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The jury of the China International Translation Contest 2013 (CITC 2013) convened in Beijing on Thursday, set to start shortlisting the best translations, learned.

The contest is hosted by the State Council Information Office, Chinese Writers Association and China International Publishing Group (CIPG), and co-organized by the Translators Association of China, the Task Group for "China Book International", the Research Department of Chinese Writers Association, and the People's Literature Magazine.

Wang Gangyi, vice president of CIPG and secretary-general of the Translators Association of China, said at the meeting with the judging committee that ever since the contest started in September 2013, organizers had received 1,006 eligible translation texts from 30 countries and regions in five languages, a fact which surprised him because he wasn't expecting such enthusiasm. According to him, 721 pieces are English translations, 105 are Russian, 71 French, 69 Spanish and 40 Arabic. 22 percent is done by foreign translators.

To ensure fairness and justness, the organizers have invited 56 famous translation experts, scholars and Sinologists to join the judging committee, which will be divided into five jury committees due to different languages. Wang said he hoped this inaugural contest could get off to a very good start and become a great exchange and communication platform for Chinese and foreign literature translators.

Huang Changqi, assistant to the president of the Translators Association of China, added that although the standards to judge literature translations are hard to define, since literature translation is one of the hardest translation categories, they will basically follow the principles of "Faithfulness, Expressiveness and Elegance." She also noted plagiarism would be severely dealt with in this contest, and to avoid such acts they are thinking of several approaches, including asking translators to sign written commitments while jury members also have the authority to report such texts.

Being quite the innovative contest, the organizing committee provided 30 pieces of contemporary Chinese short stories by famous writers, like Nobel Prize-awarded Mo Yan as well as Tie Ning and others, as the source texts. Yet too many texts would pose a huge challenge for the jury, she admitted because they have compared various translations of various source texts to select the best – with organizers are still working on the details.

As jury members later discussed the judging details, communicated with each other about the details and raised some concerns, Li Zhihui, an official from the State Council Information Office, stressed again at the meeting that fairness must be guaranteed, otherwise it would hurt the credibility and growth of the contest, and even worse, China's international image could be damaged.

The contest results are to be announced in July, after the jury has made its final decisions following three rounds of judging and selecting. A book containing the winning translations will be published in the future.

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