Chinese Poetry Translation Booklet

By: Daniel Charvat

Prof. Marius Vermaak, director of the CIRU, local poet Robert Berold and Professor Ma Yue of the CIRU came together during China Week in a bid to engage further with Chinese literature and in particular poetry. This manifested itself in the form of a multilingual poetry translation competition.


Du Fu book cover with 8th century calligraphy
(click on cover for a sharper image)

A collaborative effort by the different departments in the School of Languages and the department of English saw the competition yielding some interesting results, culminating in the publication of a unique and memorable booklet. The booklet presents a look at a poem by the renowned Du Fu of the Tang Dynasty. Given the poem in its most basic literal English translation, competitors interpreted their own meanings and crafted them into several works presented in Latin, English, Xhosa, Afrikaans, French and German. With a short essay explaining the translation challenges accompanying each version, the poems are a unique look at a contemporary understanding of the thirteen century old poem. The booklet can be found here: Poetry booklet

DUFU text pdf.pdf

Last Modified: Fri, 05 Aug 2011 12:57:51 SAST