|Crossing boundaries: Foreign readers attend an event to introduce works of Vietnamese literature in 2010. The establishment of the translation centre and a new website will further promote the country's literature. — Photo vietnamnet.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — A website featuring Vietnamese literature in English will be set up soon, said Vice Chairman of the Viet Nam Writers' Association Nguyen Quang Thieu.
"Many Vietnamese literary works have been translated into foreign languages since 1975 [which marks Viet Nam's complete reunification]. However, there was no specific channel to present these translated versions fully and systematically to foreign publishers," said Thieu at the inaugural ceremony of the association's Literature Translation Centre on Monday.
"Once it is set up next year, the website will help fill that gap and enable publishers and magazine producers in the world to learn about Vietnamese authors and their literature works they published with their own funds," said Thieu, who has been appointed the head of the centre.
The translation centre aims to promote Vietnamese literature abroad and, at the same time, introduce foreign literary works to local readers through a number of activities.
Specifically, a group of Vietnamese translators will be trained through tie-ups with writers' associations worldwide, and the centre will seek co-ordination with individuals and organisations in the world to publicise Vietnamese literature .
As planned, up to 70 per cent of the works will be translated from Vietnamese into foreign languages and the rest would comprise world literature translated into Vietnamese.
Speaking at the launch of the translation centre after two years of experimental operations, the chairman of Viet Nam Writers' Association, poet Huu Thinh, said, "The most important task of the centre is to make Viet Nam known to the world not only as a country of resilient resistance for national independence and freedom but a country with typical cultural identities.
"The establishment of the centre stems from real demands to professonalise the translated works of Vietnamese literature. The introduction of Vietnamese literature abroad plays an essential role in promoting culture and the images of the Vietnamese country and its people to international friends," Thinh added.
"Over the past two years, we have coordinated over the Viet Nam-Russia Literature Exchange Fund, owned by famed translator Thuy Toan, and successfully translated some Vietnamese works into Russian and vise versa."
According to young writer Phong Diep, who has attended several workshops to introduce Vietnamese literature in France, the outside world knows little about Vietnamese literature.
"I visited some book shops in France, and all I found there were works of senior writers Le Luu and Duong Huong. Viet Nam has adopted the doi moi (renewal) policy for nearly 30 years, and thus, the voices of young writers who write about contemporary society should be introduced worldwide.
"Besides having senior translators, the centre should have young people who are proficient in foreign languages and have a deep love for the Vietnamese literature," she said. — VNS