Some years ago, I encountered a young Chinese woman, Helen, online. I can’t now remember how it came about, but it was probably a result of my series of ‘Right Word’ posts on the blog. Anyway, Helen asked if I could help with her English, as she wanted to learn the language to a better standard than her schooling provided. I was impressed with the level she’d already reached and agreed to help by correcting her comments if that would help.
We corresponded for a few years, expanding the corrections to longer pieces she wrote for that purpose and online conversations, and her English improved markedly with each exchange. She works as an accountant in one of China’s big cities; can’t recall which one, as she’s moved a couple of times for work.
My reason for explaining all this is that a few weeks ago she offered to translate some of my work into Chinese. This offer was made without financial advantage to either of us. A free service I saw as a way of getting my work to a new and wider readership. And, let’s face it, as a writer of fiction, readers are my most important asset.
We decided to start with short stories. I sent Helen a digital copy of my romance anthology, Ten Love Tales, a collection of gentle love stories. She’s already translated three of these and let her friends see the results. They’ve been impressed with her efforts and with my stories, and she sent me her efforts so I could see them. I’ve no knowledge of the Chinese language, but it’s wonderful to see my words as pictograms. I’ve attached short passages from each of the stories she’s translated. These are in the form of scans of her documents, as many readers won’t have text software that’ll carry Chinese symbols.
It’s lovely to see these stories set in such a different language from my own, and to know these tales are now being enjoyed in another part of the world, perhaps providing useful insights to those readers on how we live our lives here.