Yang Jiang is famous for her writing and translations. CHINA DAILY
Well-known Chinese writer, translator and foreign literature researcher Yang Jiang passed away at the age of 105 on May 25, 2016.
But four years later, people from all walks of life are still expressing their condolences and paying tribute to her by posting Yang’s photos and quotes on the internet.
Why is Yang still revered by people today?
It’s mainly for “her dedication to the career of translation and writing”, noted The Paper.
Having studied in the UK and France, Yang was fluent both in English and French. But after considering several English and French translations of the Spanish classic Don Quixote unsuitable, she started learning Spanish from scratch at the age of 48. “If I wanted to be faithful to the original, I had to translate directly from the original,” she wrote in 2002. In the translation process, she pondered every word and sentence. With such a prudent attitude, Yang only translated about 500 words at a time when most translators can translate as many as 2,000 words or so a day.
“She never used time in exchange for production,” Ye Tingfang, a Chinese translator, told People’s Daily.
As a result, Yang finished the translation of Don Quixote over a period of 10 years. Published in 1978, it remains widely regarded as the definitive translation of the classic in China.
Though Yang referred to her works as attempts, each of her attempts was a success. “These ‘trials (尝试)’ showed her calm and simple state of mind, her lack of desire for fame or wealth,” People’s Daily commented in a remembrance in 2016.
Without doubt, Yang will long be remembered for her great literary achievements. Yet perhaps her dedication to work and indifference to fame may be her greatest legacy.