|Nicolas Ancion writes the novel Un leger vent de panique (A Slight Panic) with a translator working with him last year. The book has been published in French and Vietnamese. — Photo nhacvn.vn
HA NOI (VNS) — Belgian author Nicolas Ancion published a novel he wrote in under 24 hours in Vietnamese and French.
Titled "Un leger vent de panique" (A Slight Panic), the book tells the story of a Belgian man who runs a business in Ha Noi and falls in love with a Vietnamese woman.
Ancion, whose books for adults and children are popular in Belgium, finished a novel in 24 hours without any sleep twice before – in Brussels in 2010 and New York in 2013.
Last year Ancion visited Viet Nam and repeated the endeavour. He wrote for 12 hours in Ha Noi and 12 hours in HCM City. Translators Phung Hong Minh and Le Tuyet Nhung worked with the writer to translate the story into Vietnamese.
Ancion published the chapters online as he finished them. Thousands of Vietnamese and French-speaking readers around the world had the chance to follow the writing process as they read the updates.
Nhung said translating the book chapter by chapter was an interesting experience, thanks to the attractive content and author's humorous writing style.
"Translating at the same time with the author's writing process was a big challenge for me, but it also gave me an unforgettable memory," she said. "I laughed a lot during the translating progress, because Ancion writes about many interesting characters, inspired by Vietnamese people he met, including Dao, an officer of the Wallonie-Bruxelles Delegation, my colleague.
"I found it amazing reading about a person I know described in a humorous fashion as a durian seller."
The writer and translators worked together for several months afterward to edit the story and release a final version.
The Wallonie-Bruxelles Delegation presented the bilingual book, highlighting it as an example of cultural exchange between Viet Nam and Belgian, said Christian Bourgoignie, head of the delegation.
The story shows Ancion's humour and adventurous attitude, which he also expressed in his previous books.
"We don't want the story to end after 24 hours – we want the adventure to continue," Bourgoignie said. "Nowadays we talk much about cultural diversity and cultural exchange. By publishing this book in two languages, we honoured the two countries' cultural diversity."
The Wallonie-Bruxelles Delegation in Ha Noi is offering the book for free. Anyone interested in owning it should contact the delegation. — VNS