Chinese/English audio version of The Analects of Confucius heading to bookstores

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/6/25 19:36:13

Foreign students in traditional Chinese dress recites passages from the classic work at the launch ceremony of the new Chinese/English edition of The Analects of Confucius on Friday. Photo: Courtesy of Li Chun

A launch ceremony was held in Beijing on Friday for a new Chinese/English edition of The Analects of Confucius that also comes with an audio book. Five foreign students and nearly 100 Chinese primary school students took part in reading from Chinese classics at the ceremony.

Set for sale online on July 10, the book published by the China Foreign Languages Press provides access to audio files by allowing readers to scan a QR code with their phone.

The Chinese classic has been re-edited and reinterpreted by Chinese and British scholars and educators. Hu Min, a Chinese/English education expert, is the chief editor of the book, while Chinese literature professor Xu Guorong took charge of interpreting the classical Chinese into modern Chinese. British translator Paul White, who has been working in China for over three decades and won Special Book Award of China in 2017, translated the book into English.

Focusing on traditional culture

Along with China's increasing prominence on the world scene, interest in learning more about China and its traditional culture has been on the rise. One of the best ways to do so is to read the Chinese classics, which have always been an important part in Chinese fundamental education and the college entrance examination.

Lu Cairong, the deputy director of the China Foreign Languages Publishing Administration, noted that publishing a Chinese/English version of The Analects will help promote traditional Chinese culture abroad and provide material for foreigners to learn Chinese and give young Chinese the English expressions they need to tell Chinese stories.

At the ceremony, students from the Beijing No.2 Experimental Primary School put on an English play written and directed by themselves about the Analects' impact on them, while foreign students in traditional Chinese dress recited passages from the classic work.

Integrated media

This is not the first time The Analects have been translated into English. According to Fang Ming, director of Beijing Language and Culture University's Confucius and Confucian Studies Institute, many excellent translated versions of the Analects began to emerge in the beginning of the 19th century when missionaries like Joshua Marshman and James Legge made attempts to introduce the work to the West. Chinese scholar Tomson Gu's English translation has also proven very popular.

According to Hu, this is the first in a trilogy of classic audio books planned by the publisher that will finish off with The Tao Te Ching and The Art of War. This plan aims to meet young student's educational needs by providing high quality multimedia materials.




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