Since its publication during the 16th Century’s Ming Dynasty, Journey To The West has become a cornerstone of classical Chinese literature, and has been adapted into stage plays, movies, comic books and animation. Now it’s going to be available for the first time in Bahasa Malaysia.
A translation project undertaken by the Malaysia Translation and Creative Writing Association, and jointly published with Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka, the launch of the BM version of Journey is set to coincide with the 40th anniversary of diplomatic ties between Malaysia and the People’s Republic of China.
Malaysian Digest reports that China’s ambassador to Malaysia Huang Huikang is expected to attend the official launching of the book.
Malaysia Translation and Creative Writing Association chairman Datuk Goh Hin San, who coordinated the project and is also Media Prima Bhd advisor, said it would be heartwarming for China to know its classic literature would be available in Malaysia not only in its original language, but in Bahasa Malaysia as well.
“Both countries have a long established relationship in trade and commerce. Now, we are moving a step further, into literary works,” he said.
“I am sure non-Chinese in the country are interested to know Chinese culture, too, through literary works. Likewise, mainland Chinese would love to read Malay literature in Chinese language.”
The Malaysian Translation and Creative Writing Association is in the process of translating all four of the great Chinese classical novels: apart from Journey To The West, it published the BM versions of Water Margin in 2002, and Romance of the Three Kingdoms in 2011. The translation of the fourth Chinese classic, Dream of the Red Chamber, is being undertaken by the Yayasan Karyawan and Chinese Studies lecturers from Universiti Malaya.
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