Mitchell in Chinese translation competition

Mitchell in Chinese translation competition

A competition has been launched for Chinese readers to translate stories by novelist David Mitchell.

The contest is part of a new collaborative project between Douban Read, which is part of Chinese-language social networking site Douban, and Nesta, the Arts and Humanities Research Council, the British Council and The Literary Platform.

The translation project is designed to help further understanding of the Chinese market for British writing.

Two stories by Mitchell, The Gardener and The Massive Rat, will be put on Douban Read in English today (1st August). Readers will be invited to submit translations of excerpts until the end of the month. Three entries will be shortlisted by the site, with the public voting on a ultimate winner, which ail then be put on sale.

Mitchell said: "I'm honoured to be involved with this Nesta-Douban-British Council initiative, excited by the possibilities for interfacing literature and social media which the project explores, and quietly delighted that my story has been chosen to play even a small role in the fertile matrix of Anglo-Chinese cultural connections. I don't have the skill to read Chinese myself, but I have close friends who do, and I'll be keeping a close eye on the outcome of the competition."

Douban Read is a digital reading service supplier with 3m users, part of Douban, a social network focusing on books, film and music which has 70m users.

Hasan Bakhshi, director of creative economy in Nesta’s Policy & Research Unit and one of the project’s lead researchers, said: “There is potentially a vast market in China for British cultural content which remains largely untapped. Social networks allow British artists to experiment with different audience engagement models and to work out what Chinese audiences like.”