Classics in China

By xlu98 | July 11, 2022

At the end of every year, the National Language Resources Monitoring and Research Center in mainland China, an organization affiliated with the Chinese Ministry of Education, publishes a list of the most popular online words and phrases of the year. One entry in the 2021 list is tǎng píng (躺平), or “lying flat.” “Lying flat” denotes a posture both physical and political. It is a rejection of the “996” (9am–9pm, 6 days a week) work culture prevalent among China’s younger population.

By Wei Zhang | October 23, 2017

Ovid’s Metamorphoses has fared better than other Latin epic poems in modern Chinese reception. It has been rendered into Chinese twice: first, selected parts (about three-fifths) were translated in the 1950s by the renowned scholar of English literature, Yang Zhouhan (1915–1989), who supplemented the rest and published the complete translation in 1984; second, a Taiwanese man of letters, Lü Jianzhong, published a version of the entire epic in 2008. Each translation has its own merits: Yang’s version reads fluently and his style is natural, with tinges of archaic feeling, aimed at easy and pleasant reading. Lü’s version is more colorful and playful, more elegant in its choice of words and expressions.

By Yongyi Li | August 14, 2017

This article was originally published in Amphora 11.1. It has been edited slightly to adhere to current SCS blog conventions.

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