What 'Thousand Character Classic' Looks Like in German?
City Express 2019-01-18 10:36:01

The Thousand Character Classic (《千字文》) German edition

Swiss scholar Lin Xiaofa just published her new translation work the Thousand Character Classic (《千字文》) in German, which was well received by both the readers and Sinologists. 

In 2017, Lin won the translation award in Leipziger Buchmesse, which is a really important award in German-speaking areas. Meantime, her translation works Journey to the West also went viral on the Internet in China. 

Lin Xiaofa (林小发)

Lin Xiaofa was born in Biel, Switzerland. She started learning Chinese on her own when she was 14 years old, and she came to China to study when she was 21 years old. She has been living in China for 25 years and she has finished graduate school at Zhejiang University. She has a good command of Chinese culture and is devoted to translating Chinese Classic works into German. 

When speaking of the Thousand Character Classic, Lin expressed her deep admiration for the solid content and well-refined language in the book. She believed that the key to the translation is to restore the original image in the texts. Thus, her biggest challenge in translation is to translate ancient Chinese with mental pictures into logical and specific German. She read lots of books that explain the Thousand Character Classic thoroughly to have a more accurate understanding of the book. 

When asked why to choose the most difficult classics, she said that she found it interesting when the tasks were challenging. She was satisfied with her translation work this time because she believed that her translation matched with its original formats, which makes it read well. In addition, she was glad that the press adopted her layout design, which puts pictures and explanations on the left page, texts, pinyin, literal translation, and poems' formats on the right page. 

Now she lives in Switzerland, and she may be the person who knows Chinese ancient culture the most in Switzerland. She practices Chinese boxing and swordsmanship every day, and sometimes she picks vegetables in mountains. Yet translating Chinese works is still the central part of her life. 


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