Asian countries popularize literature to facilitate regional exchanges

People read books during the 2017 Beijing Book Fair at the old hall of China International Exhibition Center in Beijing, capital of China, Jan. 12, 2017.  (Xinhua/Wang Jingsheng)

The mutual translation and publication of classics among Asian countries have promoted cultural exchanges in the region. To date, China has signed contracts with 18 Asian countries on the mutual translation project, including India and the United Arab Emirates.

In recent years, China has been expanding book trade with other Asian countries. For example, in 2018 China imported copyrights of more than 1,800 books from other Asian countries and exported copyrights of more than 5,300 books.

Under the mutual translation project, more than 70 books have been mutually translated and published so far, allowing people from different nations to understand each other better.

Lin Fengmin, an expert in Arabic literature, explained that before the project, many Arabs were eager to learn more about China, but as the books were either translated from English or French or written by westerners, Arab people couldn’t easily learn about Chinese life.

The mutual translation project came just at the right time. So far, 23 Chinese books have been introduced to Arab countries, and the Chinese versions of 19 books from Arab countries have also been published in China.

In 2007, the Arabic version of Decoded by Mai Jia was launched at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair. Many local readers and reporters attended the launch.

Chinese readers welcome books from other Asian countries. A book by a Pakistani archaeologist about Buddhism scored 8.4 points on Douban, a Chinese social networking website.

More Asian countries such as Malaysia, Vietnam and Singapore are expected to become the members of the program soon.