Xu Yuanchong (born April 18, 1921 – June 17, 2021) is a Chinese translator, best known for translating Chinese ancient poems into English and French. Xu took foreign language studies at Tsinghua University after he studied abroad. And after that, he became a professor in English and French. Since 1983 to now, he is professor at Peking University. Xu is the first Chinese winner of the International Federation of Translators (FIT) "Aurora Borealis" Prize for Outstanding Translation of Fiction Literature.
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- Literary translation may be considered as rivalry between two languages (or even between two cultures) which vie to express the original idea better. It should be faithful to the original at least, and beautiful at best. A literary translator should exploit the advantage of the target language, that is to say, make the fullest possible use of the best expressions of the target language in order to make the reader understand, enjoy and delight in the translated text.
- "New Translation Theories of the New Age", Chinese Translators Journal, 2000, issue 3, p. 2
- To face the powder, not powder the face.
- Translation of "不爱红装爱武装" (line from "Militia Women", a 1961 poem by Mao Zedong), in Illustrated Poems of Mao Zedong, trans. Xu Yuanchong (Beijing: China Intercontinental Press, 2006), p. 102
300 Tang Poems: A New Translation (1987)
- The best way to regain poetry is to recreate it.
- p. xxi
- A verse translation should be faithful to the original, less in form than in sense. Or in other words, a poetic translation should be as beautiful as the original in sense, in sound and, if possible, in form.
- p. xxii
Song of the Immortals: An Anthology of Classical Chinese Poetry (1994)
- By riverside are cooing
A pair of turtledoves;
A good young man is wooing
A maiden fair he loves.
- The Book of Poetry, "A Fair Maiden"
- The sun beyond the mountains glows;
The Yellow River seawards flows.
You can enjoy a grander sight
By climbing to a greater height.
- Encyclopedic article on Xu Yuanchong on Wikipedia