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Department of Asian Languages & Literature announces the 2018-19 Yen Fu Chinese Translation Award

March 12, 2019

This award has been established to promote and support the serious, scholarly translation into English of Chinese language texts. The award is named in honor of Yen Fu 嚴復 (1853 – 1921), one of the greatest translators and scholars of late Qing and early Republican China, and the Grandfather of the late Dr. Isabella Yen, a former faculty member in the Department of Asian Languages & Literature who together with her husband, Dr. Shu-Koo Kao, established the YEN FU TRANSLATION ENDOWMENT FUND to support this award. For the 2018-19 academic year, at least three awards of at least $500 each will be given out. Recipients will be selected by an ad hoc committee to be designated by the department chair-person from among the faculty of the Department of Asian Languages & Literature.

Eligibility: All undergraduate and graduate students enrolled full-time in degree programs in the Department of Asian Languages & Literature or in departments representing closely related academic disciplines in the humanities (broadly understood to include such fields as history, philosophy and anthropology) are eligible to submit a translation for competition.

Application procedure: All eligible students are to submit an English translation of a Chinese text together with a one-page Translator’s Note. The length of the text to be translated is not a consideration, except that it shouldn’t be unreasonably short(less than a page) or unreasonably long (more than about fifteen pages). The rationale for the selection of the text, translator’s principles, and/or any other explanations that will help guide the understanding of the source text and the evaluation of its translation may be included in the Translator’s Note. The original Chinese text should also be submitted. Please combine all three parts (Translator’s Note, Translation, Chinese text) into a single PDF.

Submission deadline: May 4, 2019.

Submission method: Submit the PDF file as an attachment to Elizabeth Self ( with the subject line “Yen Fu Translation Award.”

Additional details: The source Chinese text may be in modern or Classical Chinese, of any genre, style or type.