Talented linguist wins translation honour

Linguist Luisetta Mudie

Linguist Luisetta Mudie

A talented masters student at the University of Portsmouth has proved the language of humanity is universal by winning an award in a prestigious translation competition for the second time.

Luisetta Mudie’s translations of three Chinese poets into English showed exceptional versatility, the judges said.

Luisetta, who is studying for her MA in translation studies in the University’s School of Languages and Area Studies, was awarded an honorary veterans award in the third Bai Meigui (White Rose) Literary Translation Competition, specifically for Chinese-to-English translations.

Earlier this year she won first prize in the same competition for reportage – an entirely different style of writing and language.

Luisetta found the first competition ‘fairly familiar as a genre’ because she has a journalistic background. Translating poetry was, she said, much more challenging.

She said: “I was delighted by the award and am also very keen to read the other winning entries.

“The interesting challenge about translating poetry is that you need to produce poetry in the target language, not just translate what is in the source text, because the information contained in a poem isn’t the main point of the poem.

“Chinese is a bit of a gift to translators in this respect, because Chinese poetry is built around images, which translate rather well from one culture to another.

“Poetry is so individual, that one poem in the original will produce very different poems in the target language, and that’s what I love about it.

“I entered because I write poetry and have translated it before, and it’s something I enjoy very much, just as a hobby.”

Entrants to the recent competition were asked to translate three contemporary Chinese poems by different poets, and in different styles.

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