Viet Nam News
HÀ NỘI — Vietnamese translator, Giáp Văn Chung, living overseas in Hungary, has been awarded the Hungarian Gold Cross of Merit or Magyar Arany Érdemkereszt.
He received the award, the highest State Order of Hungary, for his contribution towards the cultural exchange between Việt Nam and Hungary.
The award ceremony was among the activities held during the official visit of the Hungarian Prime Minister, Orbán Viktor, to Việt Nam from September 24 to 26. The award was presented by the Minister of State for Family and Youth of the Hungarian government, Novask Katalin.
Đặng Thị Bích Liên, Vietnamese Deputy Minister of Culture, Sports and Tourism, also attended the ceremony.
According to the decision signed by the Hungarian President, Áder János, in July 24, Chung was presented the noble award in recognition of his efforts in popularising Hungarian literature in Việt Nam, as well as in improving the cultural and friendly relationship between the two nations.
Chung has been known for translating many Hungarian literary masterpieces into Vietnamese, including “Candles Burn Until the End” by Márai Sándor or “Fateless” by Imre Kertész, winner of the 2002 Nobel Prize in Literature.
His most-recently translated works, “The Door” by Szabó Magda and “War and War” by László Krasznahorka, are also among modern literary masterpieces that are said to be difficult to be translated.
Additionally, Chung has also translated many Vietnamese short stories by famous writers like Nguyễn Quang Thiều and Nguyễn Ngọc Tư into Hungarian, and published them on many literary magazines and collections in Hungary.
Chung was born in the northern province of Hà Bắc (the former Bắc Ninh and Bắc Giang Provinces before they were separated) in 1953. He was sent to study in Hungary at 17 years of age, majoring in Transportation at Budapest University of Technology and Economics and graduated in 1976. He returned to Việt Nam to work as a lecturer at the University of Transport and Communications.
In 1988, he returned to Hungary in defence of his doctoral thesis and then chose to make the country his second home.
With his linguistic capacity in the early days in the foreign land, Chung quickly got integrated with the life and communities in Hungary, and gained access to Hungarian literature. He started to read and translated several Hungarian poems and short stories into Vietnamese, in addition to enriching his knowledge about the local language and literature.
As an enthusiast in cultural-exchanging activities between Việt Nam and Hungary, Chung was part of a special issue, focusing on Hungarian literature, of Văn học nước ngoài (Foreign Literature) Magazine in Hà Nội in 2010, and became one of the chief editors of a Vietnamese short stories collection entitled Tướng về hưu (The Retired General) published in 2012.
His tireless dedication to promoting Hungarian culture abroad was recognised by the Hungarian government with the Pro Cultura Hungaria Award received in August 2011. — VNS