Almost one year ago Lolo began the task of translating some classic Vietnamese folk tales in to English on behalf of an author who was trying to get a bi-lingual version of the tales published. They hit a huge roadblock however when the publishing request was denied due to the translation not being accurate enough and truly representative of the source material. This was where Lolo stepped in. Originally she began by only translating one tale, however she did such an amazing job that she was requested to do a second tale. A second tale led to a third, and a third led to a total of 9 tales being translated!
Whilst Lolo gifted the collection to our Principal Mr Rowlands, our Secondary Head Teacher Mr O'Neill had the opportunity to ask our young author some questions on what it's like to be published. When asking what inspired her to begin this project Lolo informed Mr O'Neill that the publishing house had rejected the authors submissions due to the translation, and the project had been stuck in limbo for almost a year, and it was Lolo's mother who initially asked her to help him by showing an example translation of one of the tales. Perhaps she wasn't quite expecting how much he would love her translation and so she accidentally stumbled in to being the dedicated translator for the entire collection.
When Mr O'Neill asked what the challenges she faced were Lolo touched on the fact it took a lot of motivation to finish the project, due to the sheer scale of it and it seemed the moment she finished one tale there was always another ready to tackle. Lolo also aluded to how taxing it can be mentally for the fact that you have to do so much cross-referencing when undertaking translation, from trawling through a number of dictionary resources to getting help from her mother and grandpa.
To successfully translate from Vietnamese to a English that not only sounds natural to an English speaker, but also truly represents the Viet meaning is a challenge that cannot be overlooked. Our Principal Mr Rowlands was able to relate here, and provided an anecdote on the Welsh word 'Hiraeth', where he expressed the fact that he could simply not translate it to English because it would still not bear the true emtional feeling evoked for Welsh speakers, so the fact Lolo had managed to successfully translate a total of 9 folk tales that are engrained so deeply within Vietnamese culture is a phenomanal feat.