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Renowned Translator Jiang Feng Gives Lectures
 
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On December 11, 2012, China's famous poetry translator, Mr. Jiang Feng, gave a wonderful lecture entitled "Literary Translation –Similarity Implies Fidelity" to teaching faculty and students of School of Foreign Languages. Participants include leadership, teachers, graduate students, and undergraduate students of the school.

 

Prof. Lvwan Ying, Deputy Dean of the school, hosted the lecture. She firstly made ​​a simple introduction to Mr. Jiang. Mr. Jiang Feng once studied in Tsinghua University, Beijing University and worked for Beijing Translation Press and Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. He has received numerous awards, including the Lifetime Achievement Award of Rainbow Translation Awards in 1995 and Lifetime Achievement Award of Cultural Translation in 2011.

 

 

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Mr. Jiang firstly introduces the translation theories. He maintains that the utmost task of a translator is to convey the information through language transformation, so as to turn the incomprehensible into comprehensible, and the unknown into known. In his words, a translator must understand what makes a piece of poem--- it doesn’t lie in what is expressed in the poem, but how it is expressed in the poem. In the modern times, poem is a kind of literary work written in different lines. A piece of poem is perfect combination of music and form, content and form. It is limited in words but unlimited in meaning. Then he compares translation of the poem “Oh, The Tiger!” respectively by Ban Zhilin and Fei Bai to illustrate his viewpoints.

 

With a sonorous and loud voice, the 84-year-old scholar was confident and generous, humorous and witty. His language is popular and easy to understand. His pursuits of loyalty to both form and spirits of the original poems and use of language and meters of “New Poetry” have been considered a sign of a new level in Chinese poetry translation. He advocates the principle of “similarity in form precedes similarity in spirits”, and emphasizes the aesthetic aspect of translation, which reflects his keen insight and in-depth thinking on present translation and his perseverant pursuit.

 

In the following Q&A section, the teachers and students asked questions actively and benefited a lot. After that, Mr. Jiang presented books with his signature to the participants, which put a perfect end to the lecture.