Vietnamese translator wins renowned Andersen award

By Minh Nga   March 2, 2018 | 08:30 pm PT
Tran Thi Minh Tam has spent 20 years translating works by 'The Ugly Duckling' author Hans Christian Andersen into Vietnamese.

Translator Tran Thi Minh Tam has become the first Vietnamese to win the Hans Christian Andersen Awards, the highest international recognition given to people working on children's books.

Tam has been named a winner for successfully extending the reading of the Danish author Hans Christian Andersen in Vietnam, the Hans Christian Andersen Award Committee announced on its website.

“In the native country of H.C. Andersen we do not completely understand why his fairytales find so many readers in faraway countries. Recently we have understood from many sources that millions of school children in Vietnam knows our famous poet quite well, and this Award Committee became interested in getting to know why this could be so. The Danish Embassy in Hanoi could easily explain this to us: the reason being Tran Thi Minh Tam,” it said.

Vietnamese translator Tran Thi Minh Tam. Photo provided by herself.

Vietnamese translator Tran Thi Minh Tam in photo she provided.

Tam has spent almost more than 20 years working on products by Andersen, the author of "The Ugly Duckling" and "The Little Mermaid." Thanks to her work, a collecion of his 88 fairytales was published in 2003, followed by another 100 fairytales.

“This impressive work means that schools all over Vietnam has been able to work with Andersen, and not just read his fairytales but also use them as an inspiration when working with visual arts, music and drama in school,” said the committee.

Tam will receive the awards along with Danish composer and Professor, Doctor Klaus Muller-Wille from Switzerland on April 3 in Denmark, the committee said.

The annual Hans Christian Andersen Awards, founded by the International Board on Books for Young People, was first given in 1956. The awards recognize lifelong achievement and are presented to those whose complete works have made an important, lasting contribution to children's literature.

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