BEIJING, Sept. 17 -- Yang Xianyi, a well-known literary translator and foreign literature expert from China, received a Lifetime Achievement Award in Translation from the Translators Association of China (TAC) on September 17, 2009.
Guo Xiaoyong, Executive Vice President of the China International Publishing Group (CIPG) and Executive Vice President of TAC, and Huang Youyi, Vice President of CIPG and Vice President of TAC, presented Yang with an honorary certificate and announced TAC's decision to honor Yang at the ceremony.
Guo commented at the ceremony that Yang, whose expertise is recognized worldwide, has earned high prestige in translation and cross-cultural communication.
Yang is familiar with Eastern and Western cultures and has notable achievements in Chinese and Western languages. He has also made outstanding contributions to cross-cultural communication by introducing Chinese culture to the rest of the world. Moreover, he has rendered a great number of Chinese literary works into English and introduced Chinese readers to many Western classics.
Yang's work, ranging from pre-Qin literature to modern Chinese classics, is noted for accuracy, lifelikeness and refinement. He is second to none among Chinese translators in terms of quantity, quality and influence. One of his representative works – A Dream of Red Mansions, which was co-translated with his wife Gladys Yang, is highly praised by scholars and popular among domestic and international readers. The rendering has earned broader international influence for Chinese literature and culture.
Yang fully deserves the honor of the Lifetime Achievement Award in Translation, said Guo. "It is because of our high valuation and recognition of Mr. Yang's prominent achievements, rigorous scholarship and professional ethics that we pay tribute to him," said Guo.
Thanking TAC for the commendation, Yang urged more Chinese to share their culture with others, as the availability of translations on Chinese culture is still far from adequate. He said that young literary translators need to understand their own culture and read more classics.
Among the dozens of translations he and his wife have completed together, he is proudest of The Scholars and Selections from Records of the Historian.
Yang has a long list of works to his credit. With his wife he has translated ancient Chinese classics into English, including The Songs of the South; Li Sao; Selections from Records of the Historian; Selected Tales of the Han, Wei and Six Dynasties Periods; Selected Tang Dynasty Stories; Selected Chinese Stories of the Song and Ming Dynasties; Selected Plays of Guan Hanqing; The Travels of Lao Can; A Dream of Red Mansions; and The Scholars. He has also translated modern Chinese works such as The Song of Youth and Lu Xun: Selected Works. Moreover, he introduced European classics to China, including Aristophanes' The Birds and Peace; Homer's Odyssey; Virgil's Eclogues; La Chanson de Roland; and George Bernard Shaw's Caesar and Cleopatra and Pygmalion. He wrote academic works in translation including Yi Yu Ou Shi and Ling Mo Xin Jian.
TAC established its Lifetime Achievement Award in Translation in 2006. It is the highest honor conferred to living translators who have outstanding academic achievements and widespread recognition. The goal of the award is to encourage Chinese translators and interpreters to follow the example of award recipients, carry forward their professional dedication by enhancing professional qualities, and make contributions to the field of translation.
Yang Xianyi is the second translator to receive the award. Ji Xianlin was honored with the award on September 26, 2006.(By Huang Shan & Chen Chao )