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Monday, April 22, 2024

Hakka literature in translation makes waves

The Cabinet-level Hakka Affairs Council lauded Hakka authors for their achievements and celebrated translations of their work, underscoring government efforts to expand the international reach of local literature.
During an event held Feb. 18 in Taipei City, five books by four authors were displayed by the council. Two novellas by Lee Chiao were recognized: a Czech translation of “The Human Ball” and a Spanish translation of “Ghost Hunting” in Spanish; as well as a collection of Chang Fang-tzu’s poetry translated into Spanish. Tseng Kuei-hai’s “Self-portrait at Dusk” and Wu Ching-fa’s “Mother’s Horse That Trotted Backwards” both received trilingual treatment, with editions displaying poems in the original Mandarin alongside English and Spanish.
According to the HAC, these translations are part of the council’s 2018 initiative to promote Hakka literature overseas. Five works by Hakka authors have been translated into Japanese already, and June will see the publication of translated works by Tu Pan Fong-Gied and Lee Wang-tai.
HAC Minister Yiong Con-ziin said that in addition to translations, the council is also working on compiling the complete works of respected Hakka authors such as Lee Chiao. Yiong went on to detail some of the council’s future projects, including a plan to encourage more authors to write in Hakka, thereby boosting the use of the language.
Other HAC translation efforts will see international masterpieces translated into Hakka, as well as literary reviews, literature and histories produced by Hakka people during the Japanese colonial era (1895-1945) rendered into Mandarin. The council said it will continue to support translation as a vital way to share the beauty of its language and culture with the world. (YCH-E)
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