Brevity in Chinese Translation: Welcome to ‘One Leaf’

November 27, 2017 § 5 Comments

one_leafBrevity magazine is now available to Chinese readers thanks to a translation project undertaken by Tong Tong, a graduate student at Boston College, and Yumeng Yao, an MA student at University College London. The literary translation team is posting essays from Brevity‘s 20th Anniversary Issue two-at-a-time, using the Chinese social media platforms Zhihu and WeChat.

For Chinese readers, Brevity will go under the name One Leaf.  Tong Tong explains the reasoning here: “We intend to translate ‘Brevity’ into ‘一叶 yi ye’ in Chinese. Its literary meaning is ‘one leaf,’ and it’s an abbreviation of a Chinese idiom ‘一叶知秋,’ which means that one can sense the advent of autumn via the changes on one leaf. We think that it shows the power of brief writing. In addition, it is a homophone of ‘一页,’ which means one page of paper. We hope you like this name!”

We very much like the name, and we are happy to share the first three postings, including the editor’s introduction to our 20th Anniversary Issue:

“On Turning Twenty”:

And these essays:

Ira Sukrungruang’s “Invisible Partners”:

Rebecca McLanahan’s “The Birthday Place”:

The Ten-Year Wake by Sue William Silverman: (WeChat) (Zhihu)

The Shape of Emptiness by Brenda Miller: (WeChat) (Zhihu)

Anniversary Disease by Diane Seuss: (WeChat) (Zhihu)

What Bad Owners Say at the Dog Park by Lise Funderburg: (WeChat) (Zhihu)

Louie’s New Truck by Emry McAlear: (WeChat) (Zhihu)

Wishbone by Marilyn Abildskov (WeChat) (Zhihu)

Abandoned by Bob McGinness
Good Faith by Lee Martin

And here is a bit more about our translators:

Yumeng Yao graduated from Kenyon College with a history and Asian studies double major. He is currently attending the MA history program at University College London. He enjoys reading about early modern East Asia, wandering on the streets, and going to Cat Café.

Tong Tong is an MA student in English at Boston College. Interested in short stories, essays and modernist novels, she looks forward to working in translation and publishing and to bridge the gap between Chinese culture and the English world.

Many thanks to Ton Tong and Yumeng Yao for helping us expand our readership.

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