October 18, 2021

KITAAB

Connecting Asian writers with global readers

Myanmar: Link the Wor(l)ds Literary Translation Workshop

1 min read
 Translation panel session with Alfred Birnbaum, Zeyar Lynn, Lucas Stewart and Moe Thet Han
Translation panel session with Alfred Birnbaum, Zeyar Lynn, Lucas Stewart and Moe Thet Han (Image credit: Han Zaw)

It is said that there is only one novel from Myanmar translated into English.  While this isn’t strictly true (there are at least six) Nu Nu Yi’s ‘Smile as they Bow’ gained a much deserved reputation after being the first Burmese novel short listed for a major international award, the Man Asian Literary Prize in 2008.  Her translator, Alfred Birnbaum, is perhaps better known for his early translations of Haruki Murakami.  What many people probably don’t know, including myself until last week, is that Alfred has a Burmese wife, lived in Myanmar for eight years and speaks, reads and writes fluent Burmese.

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