Works by renowned Taiwan writer published in Malay: official

04/23/2019 07:35 PM
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Tainan Cultural Affairs Bureau deputy head Chou Ya-ching (周雅菁, second left) and University of Malaya
Tainan Cultural Affairs Bureau deputy head Chou Ya-ching (周雅菁, second left) and University of Malaya's Department of Chinese Studies head Fan Pik Wah (second right)

Kuala Lumpur, April 23 (CNA) A collection of short stories by renowned Taiwanese scholar and writer Yeh Shih-tao (葉石濤) has been translated and published in Malay, further strengthening cultural exchanges between the two countries, according to a Tainan City cultural official last week.

At a press conference in Kuala Lumpur Saturday for the publication Spring Dream at Gourd Alley­—Short Stories by Yeh Shih-tao, Tainan Cultural Affairs Bureau (CAB) deputy head Chou Ya-ching (周雅菁) said she is very happy to see the book published, as it includes many stories that depict Tainan culture and food, giving Malaysian readers a better understanding of Tainan culture.

According to Taiwan's New Southbound Policy Portal website, CAB director-general Yeh Tse-shan (葉澤山), has pointed out that Tainan is working to position itself as a city of Taiwanese literature, including establishing a program to encourage translations of literary works.

For example, prior to being translated into Malay, Yeh's fiction has already been translated into several other languages, including Vietnamese, English, Japanese and Korean, the website said.

Speaking with CNA, Fan Pik Wah, University of Malaya's Department of Chinese Studies head, said the book was mainly translated by seven Malaysian Chinese students and one Malay student who is proficient in Chinese.

However, they were also helped by a Malaysian writer, who spent 20 days helping to edit the text to include more Malay literary devices to make the content accessible to Malaysian readers, Fan said.

Yeh was born in Tai­nan in 1925, and his writings "reflected the island's diverse culture and defined him as an important, quintessentially Taiwanese author."

The backdrop for many of his novels are characters and events based in Tainan, which includes "snaking alleyways, incense-filled temples and local snacks" that were often featured in his works and "eventually came to serve as icons of the city," the website says.

(By So Li Nah and William Yen)


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