Sunday, 14 September 2014

translation project: create abundance

since the evening of 9 september, just one day after my wife left for china, i have been extremely busy translating into english a book entitled create abuandance (创造丰盛), written by an internally influential chinese spiritual leader named xingyue zhang (张馨月).

as of today, i have finished rendering 64 pages (the whole book has 197 pages) of chinese text into 15,354 english words. most pages have been quite easy, but some are extremely difficult, since they refer to ancient chinese literature, as well as religious and / or buddhist scriptures.

i have never done any translation work since 1997: it was amazing even to myself that i finished rendering a thick book written by a british journalist into chinese within 3 months while i was tutoring almost 8 hours on a daily basis. the book has much political content, and was published in the same year when hong kong was officially returned to china and deng xiaoping died.

i hate translation work: it was challenging, boring and restricting. you have to be 'faithful' to the original text. you have a highly limited 'freedom' of expression. even when it is published and circulated widely, it is not your own creative work, which i always hold in highest esteem. as my physical health deteriorates, i feel much less efficient than i could - i made a name for myself as a particularly fast and good translator while i was still a student pursuing my first master degree in tianjin teachers university more than 30 year ago.

nevertheless, i have willingly been translating this book, because i share most of the ideas conveyed by the book. for the past few years, i have been particularly interested in finding the way to happiness. i have written much poetry about spiritual journey or growth. i believe and hope that the book will be not only theoretically interesting but also practically helpful to happiness-seekers, or anyone concerned with his or her spiritual well being.

of course, the book has some weaknesses: it is written with the chinese, mostly female readers in the author's mind. it has too many colloquial expressions, as well as too many (emphatic or rhetoric) repetitions.

i hope to finish the draft within 50 days. probably i will be the publisher of the translation. we plan to publish the english version by the end of this year.

10:55 pm, 14 sept 2014.

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