Masterclass in Chinese to English Literary Translation

Masterclass in Chinese to English Literary Translation: Nicky Harman on Jia Pingwa, Wed 15 February 2017, 17:15 – 19:15. St Anne’s College, Oxford, Seminar Room 3.

The Oxford Comparative Criticism and Translation research programme is delighted to host acclaimed literary translator Nicky Harman to give a masterclass on Chinese to English literary translation. During the course of the evening, we will focus on unpicking a single paragraph by author Jia Pingwa. Concentrating on the final paragraph of Jia’s 2007 novel Happy (《高兴》), we will look at the process of a working translator, with an eye to issues particular to Chinese-English translation. Through examining both the translator’s drafts and and her final version, we will discuss the practical problems of translation, starting with sentence structure, terminology and (nick)names. Nicky will then unpick the cultural references, both implicit and explicit, and finally consider the author’s intentions for this paragraph. The conversation with then open up for discussion, as the translator poses the question of whether her translation has succeeded in recreating the same effect in English.

All are welcome. No knowledge of Chinese is necessary. A few short preparatory readings will be circulated in advance to facilitate audience participation. Please register on eventbrite in order to receive the introductory readings. Please come prepared to ask questions!

Please contact Kate Costello with any questions about the event or registration.