We are delighted to announce the winners of the 8th Bai Meigui Translation Competition:
1st Place: Hongyu Jasmine Zhu (Mercersburg Academy, Pennsylvania, USA)
Runner-up (special commendation): Joy Huang Si Xuan (Anglo-Chinese School, Singapore)
- Hongyu Jasmine Zhu will be mentored by Helen Wang and her translation will be published by Balestier Press.
- The book will be launched at the 2023 Asian Festival of Children's Content (25 - 28 May) in Singapore.
Below are the Judges' comments on the competition this year:
The judges would like to congratulate all the entrants on their translations this year. Overall, the quality of the entries was excellent. Literary translation involves a subtle balance of technical skill and creative flair, that is, the ability to convey the voice and mood, and to portray the characters in a story. This year’s entrants displayed great sensitivity to language, creativity, and accuracy, as well as providing thoughtful commentaries on the art of literary translation itself.
While several submissions stood out, the winning entry delighted the judges with its vivid word choices, lyrical rhythm, keen understanding of the nuances of both Chinese and English and the perceptive commentary that the winner submitted. Very many congratulations! The judges look forward to seeing this translation in print.
Translators never stop learning all through their lives. We hope you will take the comment that follows as both thought-provoking and friendly, and bear it in mind in your future translation work. The judges noted that all entrants chose to translate the 他 as ‘he’ in every instance, when referring to the animals. The preponderance of male animals in contemporary children’s picture books worries many librarians, teachers and parents. It is also arguable that 他 is less gender-specific in Taiwan than ‘he’ is in English, and that ‘she’ (or even ‘it’) would have been an acceptable alternative. The judges would encourage young translators to experiment with their translations of 他 in future.
Many thanks to our esteemed judges, Nicky Harman, Amanda Ruiqing Flynn and Jennifer Feeley, and to our mentor Helen Wang for their generosity in giving up their time and expertise for free to facilitate this fantastic opportunity for young people around the world.
About The Bai Meigui Translation Competition
The Bai Meigui Translation Competition is a Chinese-English translation competition run annually by the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing, at the University of Leeds.
The competition aims to introduce Chinese writers to English readers, and develop literary translators working from Chinese to English. Jointly hosted by the Leeds Centre for New Chinese Writing and the Singapore Book Council, this competition is open to students from 11 to 18 years old.