Who is translating Chinese fiction into French?return to translators resources
By Bertrand Mialaret
I have prepared a list to give English readers and translators an idea of the people who are currently active translating Chinese fiction into French. This list is not complete or comprehensive, and many names will be missing. The list includes translators of modern/contemporary Chinese literature, translators who are active and who have a track record of several translations. I have not included translators of novels by major Sino-American writers like Ha Jin, Yiyun Li, Qiu Xialong, for the reason that their translations into French are handled by translators specialised in translations from the English. I would also draw your attention to Brigitte Duzan’s website www.chinese-shortstories.com on which she has posted excellent interviews with several translators; and to my own website www.mychinesebooks.com where the great majority of novels listed below have been reviewed in English.
It is difficult to gather together information like this, and there are likely to be omissions, inconsistencies and errors. If you can improve upon this list, please do so by adding a comment.
The translators are arranged in alphabetical order by surname.
Yvonne André: She has translated four books by Wang Anyi for publisher P. Picquier, including (with Stéphane Lévêque) a master piece The Song of Everlasting Sorrows.
Denis Benejam: Also active in technical translation. He has translated for publisher P. Picquier one book by Wang Anyi and one by Su Tong. He has just translated for Grasset The Fat Years by Chan Koonchung.
Marie Claude Cantournet: Most of her translations have been done with Xiaomin Giafferi Huang: a novel by Ge Fei and a series of four excellent crime novels by He Jiahong for Editions de l’Aube. She has also translated one book for Editions de l’Olivier.
Chantal Chen Andro: Professor at University Paris Diderot. Very well known translator who has played an important role in developing translations of major poets such as Yang Lian and Bei Dao. She has translated novels by Ge Fei and Lu Wenfu but is especially known for her translations of four major novels by Mo Yan and a collection of his short stories for Les Editions du Seuil. http://www.archivesaudiovisuelles.fr/FR/_video.asp?id=232&ress=933&video=85022&format=68
Véronique Chevaleyre: She has translated three novels by Tie Ning, Laoniu, Bai Lin for the publisher Bleu de Chine.
Prune Cornet: She has translated two good books by Xinran (P. Picquier) and two novels by Tie Ning and Jiang Zidan for publisher Bleu de Chine.
Simone Cros-Morea: She has translated two novels by Xiao Hong. She is also a painter and lives in in the Pyrenées in the south of France. http://www.chinese-shortstories.com/Traducteurs_et_editeurs_Simone_Cros-Morea.htm
Solange Cruveillé: She has translated two out of the four volumes of the wuxia novel by Wang Dulu, Tigers and Dragons. http://solange.c.over-blog.com/
Annie Curien: A researcher in the CNRS, she is well known for numerous translations specially of Han Shaogong and other major writers like Lu Wenfu, Li Rui, Shi Tiesheng, Zhang Xianliang. She has also translated literature from Hong Kong and from Chinese minorities (Dong). She is very active in promoting joint meetings between Chinese and French writers (Programme ALIBI). http://cecmc.ehess.fr/document.php?id=319
Roger Darrobers: A professor in Nanterre University, he is also a well known specialist on Chinese theatre. He has translated for Bleu de Chine four novels by Liu Xinwu with very interesting comments and notes.
Hervé Denès: He has translated three books by Chi Li for Editions Actes Sud.
Noël and Liliane Dutrait: It is difficult to separate the two names although Noel has published some translations without Liliane such as four books by A Cheng whom he has supported in France, one by Han Shaogong and with Liliane the master piece by Su Tong Rice. The couple is famous for their translations of the Nobel prize-winning author Gao Xingjian and of Mo Yan.Unfortunately Liliane passed away but their translation of Soul Mountain will not be forgotten. http://mychinesebooks.com/frlart-de-la-traduction-littraire-hommage-liliane-dutrait/?lang=en Their translations of Mo Yan’s novels include: Big Breasts, Wide Hips, The Republic of Wine, 41 Canon Shots for Editions du Seuil. http://gsite.univprovence.fr/gsite/document.php?pagendx=1538&project=chinois It should be added that Noel is Professor in Aix en Provence and has developped in this university a brilliant team of scholars and translators. An internet site, managed by Pierre Kaser is a reference for Chinese literature http://jelct.blogspot.fr/
Anne Laure Fournier: Professor at the international school in Manosque, she has translated for P. Picquier Riding a Bicycle by Su Tong.
Sylvie Gentil: She lives in Beijing and has a very important role in pushing young writers to publishers who are generally rather reluctant! She has translated several books for Editions de l’Olivier by Mian Mian, Xu Xing and Feng Tang. For Editions du Seuil she has published the novel Thirteen Footsteps by Mo Yan and a novel by Hong Yin (to be honest, these are not my favorite books…) also a book by Liu Sola. In 2009 for P. Picquier she translated Yan Lianke’s major novel Joy of Living, to which the French publisher gave the title Bons baisers de Lenine!
Brigitte Guilbaud: She is a teacher in a high school in Paris and has translated with talent two novels by Yan Lianke, especially Les jours, les mois, les années and a book by Cao Wenxuan. http://www.chineseshortstories.com/Traducteurs_et_editeurs_BrigitteGuilbaud.htm
Jacqueline Guyvallet: She has translated three books by Yu Hua for Actes Sud.
Xiaomin Giafferi-Huang: She has translated two short stories by Ge Fei for Editions de l’Aube, and for the same publisher and with Marie Claude Cantournet a serie of crime novels by He Jiahong.
Genevieve Imbot-Bichet: In addition to managing Bleu de Chine and now Bleu de Chine Gallimard, she has translated two novels by Jia Pingwa La capitale déchue which won the Femina prize; and a couple of years later translated a novel by Fang Fang.
Marie Laureillard: Assistant professor in University Paris 7. She has published numerous translations: novels from Taiwan (Guo Songfen and Li Ang), a book by Liu Xinwu, a novella by Mo Yan, an (uninteresting…) novel by Su Tong (Meng) and two books by Feng Zikai and Shi Zhecun. These two excellent books by writers, a bit forgotten, have been published by Bleu de Chine Gallimard. http://www.ceei.univ-paris7.fr/03_reseau/01/laureillard/fiche.html
Stephane Lévêque: He has translated The Song of Everlasting Sorrows by Wang Anyi, and another book by Wang Anyi and a book by Yu Dafu.
André Lévy: He has translated two major novels by Bai Xianyong Garçons de cristal and Gens de Taipei for publisher Flammarion, and subsequently a novel by Li Ang. http://www.efeo.fr/biographies/notices/levy2.htm
Li Tche-houa: He is (with his wife) the famous translator of Le rêve dans le pavillon rouge, but he has also translated modern literature: three novels by Lao She (including Gens de Pékin), Family by Pa Kin [Ba Jin], and short stories by Lu Xun. http://www.enluminures.culture.fr/culture/actualites/conferen/donnedieu/litche.html
Camille Loivier: A translator and a poet, she has translated a novella by Mo Yan and two novels by Wang Wenxing for publishers Actes Sud and Zulma.
Marie Françoise de Mirbeck: She has translated three books by Feng Jicai and a novel by A Lai for Bleu de Chine.
Françoise Naour: She has translated many books for Bleu de Chine: four books by Wang Meng (a writer specially important for her), two by Liu Xinlong, one by Liu Xinwu, one by Can Xue. http://www.chineseshortstories.com/Traducteurs_et_editeurs_FrancoiseNaour.htm
Claude Payen: With P. Picquier, he has played an important role concerning Lao She: nearly all (19) of his books have been translated into French, six by Claude Payen. For P. Picquier, books by Guo Xiaolou, Su Tong and three novels by Bi Feiyu have been published. He has translated two books by Yan Lianke (Serve the People and Ding Village) He has been busy with a book by Chen Xiwo (Irritation) and by Murong Xuecun (Oublier Chengdu) for les Editions de l’Olivier.
Emmanuelle Péchenart: She has translated four novels by Zhang Xinxin for publisher Actes Sud. She has also translated three novels by Eileen Chang, and, more recently for P. Picquier English by Wang Gang and Les Aveugles by Bi Feiyu. Recently for Actes Sud, she has translated the fabulous Taiwanese novel The Survivors by Wuhe. http://www.chineseshortstories.com/Traducteurs_et_editeurs_Emmanuelle_Pechenart.htm
Isabelle Rabut - Angel Pino: Both Professors, he at Bordeaux University, she at INALCO. Rabut also manages the collection Lettres Chinoises for the publisher Actes Sud. They manage together the collection “Lettres Taiwanaises” of very high quality (at the same level as Modern Chinese literature from Taiwan published by Columbia University). They have recently published a major book La littérature taiwanaise for publisher You Feng. As a translator, Rabut has published three novels by Shen Congwen for publisher Albin Michel and one short story by Bi Feiyu, published by Actes Sud. Rabut and Pino have published several translations together : several novels by Chi Li, who is unknown in the anglophone world; also two novels by Yang Jiang for publisher Christian Bourgois. In 2008, they have translated, with great success, Brothers by Yu Hua, published by Actes Sud. http://www.chineseshortstories.com/Traducteurs_et_editeurs_Rencontre_avec_IsabelleRabut.htm
Shao Baoqing: Assistant Professor in Bordeaux University. He has translated several novels by Chi Li for publisher Actes Sud.
Pierre Ryckmans (Simon Leys): An exceptional personality, the first intellectual to have had a clear vision on Mao and the Cultural Revolution. He is a professor in Canberra (Australia) and has written many fascinating books. He is also well known for his translations of Shen Fu and of theoretical works by painter Shitao. He has translated a book by Lu Xun, Mes années d’enfance by Guo Moruo and short stories by Shen Jo-hsi for Denoel in 1990. http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Simon_Leys
Martine Vallette-Hémery: She has translated many interesting books mainly for publisher P. Picquier: short stories, texts on classical gardens, and more.
Sebastian Veg: Manager of the CEFC in Hong Kong. He has translated for Bleu de Chine a novel by Liu Zhenyun and one by Liu Chenyun. His translations, analysis and comments of Lu Xun are a must-read: he has published Errances in 2004 and Cris in 2010 (Editions rue d’Ulm). http://www.cefc.com.hk/rubrique.php?id=105&aid=10&lg=fr