A collection of short stories by Taiwanese writer Yeh Shih-tao (葉石濤) has been translated into Malay, further improving cultural exchanges between the two nations, a Tainan official said on Saturday last week.
At a news conference in Kuala Lumpur for the publication of Spring Dream at Gourd Alley — Short Stories by Yeh Shih-tao (葫蘆巷春夢－葉石濤短篇小說), Tainan Cultural Affairs Bureau Deputy Director-General Chou Ya-ching (周雅菁) said that she was happy to see the book published, as it includes many stories that depict Tainan’s culture and food, giving Malaysian readers a better understanding of the city’s culture.
Tainan is working to position itself as a city of Taiwanese literature and has established a program to encourage translations of literary works, bureau Director-General Yeh Tse-shan (葉澤山) said on the government’s New Southbound Policy Portal Web site.
Yeh’s fiction has already been translated into several languages, including Vietnamese, English, Japanese and Korean, the Web site said.
Fan Pik Wah (潘碧華), head of the University of Malaya’s Department of Chinese Studies, said that the book was mainly translated by seven Malaysian-Chinese students and one ethnic Malay student who is proficient in Chinese.
They were helped by a Malaysian writer, who spent 20 days editing the text to include more Malay literary devices to make the content more accessible to Malaysian readers, Fan said.
Yeh was born in Tainan in 1925, and his writings “reflect the island’s diverse culture and define him as an important, quintessentially Taiwanese author,” the Web site says.
Many of his novels are based on characters and events in Tainan, including “snaking alleyways, incense-filled temples and local snacks” that were often featured in his works and “came to serve as icons of the city,” it says.
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