Found in translation

By Mei Jia | China Daily | Updated: 2017-01-04 08:52

The prize takes its name from Fu Lei, a famed translator who had introduced Chinese readers to French literary masters like Honore de Balzac and Voltaire. He also enhanced China-France cultural exchanges while rewarding and encouraging translators, Dong says.

In 2013, Dong set up the youth prize under the Fu Lei Prize to recognize the younger generation of translators. The award ceremony has been turned into a key cultural event.

He still practices calligraphy as a hobby and only writes verses of his own creation.

The works are much in demand among collectors. He jokes he would be materially affluent were it not for his love of being teacher and a bridge between China and France.

Upon his appearance at the institute last month, Chancellor Gabriel de Broglie told Chinese media that he hopes Dong will give a better understanding of Chinese culture, society and history to France and French-speaking countries through his translations and creations.

"With its vast land area and long history, China is not easy to understand. Therefore, an efficient system of dialogues, especially via culture, should be established. My last 20 years have been dedicated to fostering an interesting and in-depth understanding," Dong says.

"I am expressing Chinese experiences with our own voice.

"French people say that one should have a roof in Paris, meaning you're established here. Now I think I have a grand dome along the Seine."

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At a glance

Dong Qiang has won many prizes and awards for his contributions to translation and cultural exchange. He was awarded the Insignes de Chevalier des Academiques (Chevalier of Education) by the French government in 2009; the Great Medal of the Francophonie by the French Institute in 2013; the French Legion of Honor from French Prime Minister Manuel Valls in 2015; and he received an honorary doctorate from the Faculty of Letters, Translation and Communication of Free University of Brussels in the year.

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