Veteran translator Liu Fang won one of the top prizes at the Fu Lei Translation and Publication Awards ceremony held December 12 at the French Embassy in Beijing, with few people more surprised at her success than the 81-year-old scribe herself.
Liu said in her acceptance speech that she viewed her job translating French literature into Chinese as “just a hobby.”
“I wasn’t prepared to give this speech. I’d never even heard of the awards before I was nominated,” Liu said. Liu took the top prize in the fiction category for her translation of Brodeck’s Report by Philippe Claudel. Shen Jian and Zhu Xiaohan triumphed in the social sciences category for Centuries of Childhood by Philippe Arièsin, while Cao Dongxue won the Seedling Prize for Democracy in America by Alexis de Tocqueville. The Seedling Prize, which made its debut this year, is awarded to newcomers to encourage young translators bridging the gap in French and Chinese literature.