Culture Lab: Symposium The Art of Translation

Culture Lab: Symposium The Art of Translation

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12 Dec 2020, 09:30 am – 12 pm
Goethe Institut
56-58-60 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Zoom streaming link

From Goethe Institut:

It is the task of the translator to release in his own language that pure language which is under the spell of another, to liberate the language imprisoned in a work in his re-creation of that work.

Walter Benjamin

The first 20 years of the 21st century in Vietnam have witnessed the rise of literary translation practices from various languages into Vietnamese. Translation, thus, is considered not only the most fundamental factor in the publishing industry, but also the creative realm where translators work as artists who perform and recreate the original language, as Benjamin points out.

Even though many outstanding writers have been translated into Vietnamese and are well enjoyed by the readers, their translators are mostly standing in the dark. Moreover, the lack of the theoretical framework on literary translation makes it difficult for Vietnamese translators to raise their individual voices. It is this challenge and neglect that we set out to tackle in our project: to shed light on the vital role of literary translation and translators by holding a symposium and a workshop where famous translators gather together to discuss the art of translation and where newcomers to this art and profession have a change to meet up and learn from their peers.


Quyen Nguyen

holds a PhD in English from NTU, Singapore. She is the chief editor of Zzz Review, an online literary journal in Vietnam. Ms Quyen Nguyen will act as the MC.

Dang Thu (Tran Duc Tai)

is a famous translator of English language literature. He has translated The Tale of Two Cities by Charles Dickens, The Golden House by Salman Rushdie, Wars with the Newts by Karel Čapek into Vietnamese.

Mrs. Thuan

based in Paris, is a well known writer and translator of French language literature. Five of her other novels were translated into French. As a translator, she is best known for bringing Jean-Paul Sartre’s Les Mots (The Words) into Vietnamese. Her other translations are Extension du domaine de la lute by Michel Houellebecq, La Position du tireur couché by Jean-Patrick Manchette, Le Silence de Mon Père by Doan Bui.

Ms. Toan Q. Nguyen

based in United States, is a PhD student at University of Notre Dame, focusing on (Neural) Machine Translation for low-resource languages. She is focusing on literary translation and transcription of instrumental solo music, the writer-translator equation and the differences between being a writer and a translator, Artificial Intelligence and literary translation.

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Goethe-Institut Hanoi
56-58-60 Nguyen Thai Hoc, Ba Dinh, Hanoi
Tel.: +84 24 3734 2251
Fax: +84 24 3734 2254
[email protected]


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