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Chinese Civilization to Have English Version in 2 Years
A top-ten book on Chinese civilization will find a wider audience in two years, as it has been planned to be translated into the English language within two years' time.

Chinese Civilization: A Source Book was recently ranked by Radio Television Hong Kong, Hong Kong's government radio station, as one of the best books for the year 2002. Its CD-ROM edition is named Chinese Civilization Digitized.

Ma Ka Fai, assistant director of the Chinese Civilization Center of the City University of Hong Kong revealed to Xinhua Tuesday that the tertiary institute, about which he prefers to keep reticent as yet, has taken on the job of translating the 34-chapter book and will have it ready for publication within two years.

The 792-page work, divided into two volume, is no ordinary academic work, as it is a product resulting from international academic cooperation initiated by vice-chancellor H. K. Chang five years ago, when he decided to make Chinese Civilization a compulsory subject for all students on campus, regardless of their discipline.

Patrick Kwong, director of City University of Hong Kong Press told Xinhua that it is the determination of his press to make the book a definitive work.

"However difficult the translation work might take, it is our determination to make it a hallmark academic work within the purview of Chinese civilization, as we have an increasing number of friends abroad that have an interest in Chinese culture," Kwong said.

He added that within a two-year period, the work will have been translated for editing and proof-reading, stressing that his press also have plans at hands to have the work translated into other foreign languages as well, such as French.

The online of the text was drafted by various scholars from Beijing, Taiwan and the United States, while the actual text was penned by Chinese scholars mostly from Beijing, Kwong said.

The book covers the Chinese civilization from the Paleolithic period to the Qing Dynasty, addressing aspects including politics, economics, sociology, ancient Chinese thoughts, religion, literature, arts and craft, technology, architecture and transportation.

H. K. Chang earlier told the local media here that Chinese Civilization is the very underlying creative source that transforms and industrializes technological research in such a way that promotes the prosperity of the society.

"It promotes logical thinking, creativity and patriotism, and can aid in edifying our country," Chang said.

(Xinhua News Agency October 15, 2002)

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