Known as China’s Tolkien, Jin Yong 金庸 is a house-hold name throughout East Asia, with his fantasy epics selling over 300 million copies. Yet his works have remained a mystery in the West. Now a new English translation is opening up the legend for English-speaking readers. Meet young translator Anna Holmwood to hear how she “translated the untranslatable” in this event celebrating Jin Yong’s life and works at China Exchange on 17 March.
Anna, who is now based in Sweden, studied Chinese at Oxford University before discovering the series in Taipei and moving to Hangzhou in China while she worked on the translation. She said the experience had made a “disciple” of her and Jin Yong her “shifu”. “It has been an intense and exhilarating experience to see the attention the English edition is getting after so many years sitting alone at my computer and grappling with every word and sentence,” she said. “I approach the whole project with a humble heart; I have learned so much over the course of these years that I should say that Jin Yong is my shifu, and I am his xuemei, his disciple.”
More speakers will be announced soon.
China in Context is organised by China Exchange and Cypress Books.