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Posts Tagged ‘books’

Books on Vietnam Education published

In Uncategorized on November 14, 2010 at 2:28 pm

Books for children still a challenge for Vietnamese authors

In Uncategorized on October 14, 2010 at 2:33 pm

It has been a great recent achievement of publishing houses to have attracted children to comic books that have been translated from foreign languages; however, it is a big challenge for Vietnamese writers to fight this wave of translated stories that have captivated over 15 million Vietnamese students.

Vietnamese children captivated to comic books that have been translated from foreign languages; it is however a big challenge for domestic authors to fight this wave of translated stories

The Kim Dong Publishing House, the largest publisher of Vietnamese children’s literature and a forerunner within the Vietnamese publication industry, have tried to offer children a wide range of literature, spanning many genres, including science, art, history, comics, pop-up books and board books by re-publishing old books whose contents cultivate good manners.


The flip side of the publication and distribution of older, quality children’s books is that authors are sluggish in writing new books for children, some of them opting to write for older readers.


In addition, authors who spent their childhoods in wartime and the harsh periods after liberation have little understanding of this generation of children and what type of reading they enjoy. Author Tran Hoai Duong, whose books received a warm welcome from children, admitted that he cannot write anything about online gaming because he does not know anything about it.


Finance tightening and lack of attention of the government have been blamed for the present circumstance. A famous author To Hoai said at a meeting to discuss books for kids in 2008, the situation would be improved if the prize for the literature was raised to VND1 billion.


Meanwhile, author Vo Quang said in a statement that an agency committed to bringing books and children together is needed since the world has set up an International Board on Book for Young People and the US and the UK give prizes to authors who write books for children annually.


It is hoped that the upcoming eighth Congress of Vietnamese Authors will discuss methods to improve the situation. Awareness of books for children should increase and more attention will be paid to children’s literature after the congress.

Source: SGGP

Books for children still a challenge for Vietnamese authors

In Uncategorized on July 27, 2010 at 11:17 am

It has been a great recent achievement of publishing houses to have attracted children to comic books that have been translated from foreign languages; however, it is a big challenge for Vietnamese writers to fight this wave of translated stories that have captivated over 15 million Vietnamese students.

Vietnamese children captivated to comic books that have been translated from foreign languages; it is however a big challenge for domestic authors to fight this wave of translated stories

The Kim Dong Publishing House, the largest publisher of Vietnamese children’s literature and a forerunner within the Vietnamese publication industry, have tried to offer children a wide range of literature, spanning many genres, including science, art, history, comics, pop-up books and board books by re-publishing old books whose contents cultivate good manners.


The flip side of the publication and distribution of older, quality children’s books is that authors are sluggish in writing new books for children, some of them opting to write for older readers.


In addition, authors who spent their childhoods in wartime and the harsh periods after liberation have little understanding of this generation of children and what type of reading they enjoy. Author Tran Hoai Duong, whose books received a warm welcome from children, admitted that he cannot write anything about online gaming because he does not know anything about it.


Finance tightening and lack of attention of the government have been blamed for the present circumstance. A famous author To Hoai said at a meeting to discuss books for kids in 2008, the situation would be improved if the prize for the literature was raised to VND1 billion.


Meanwhile, author Vo Quang said in a statement that an agency committed to bringing books and children together is needed since the world has set up an International Board on Book for Young People and the US and the UK give prizes to authors who write books for children annually.


It is hoped that the upcoming eighth Congress of Vietnamese Authors will discuss methods to improve the situation. Awareness of books for children should increase and more attention will be paid to children’s literature after the congress.

Source: SGGP

New comic books based on history aim to educate youth

In Uncategorized on July 5, 2010 at 12:10 pm

To help Vietnamese children gain knowledgeable about southern Vietnamese history, Kim Dong Publisher recently introduced a set of comic books titled “Hao kiet dat Phuong Nam” (southern heroes). The series features characters closely tied to the area since late 16th century, when the Lord Nguyen Hoang began extending the country’s territory southward.

Ten first books of the Hao kiet dat Phuong Nam (Photo: SGGP)

The company plans to publish 20 volumes, each focusing on a specific hero. Ten books have been completed thus far, with stories about Truong Dinh, Thien Ho Duong, Nguyen Hue, Nguyen Trung Truc, Bui Thi Xuan, Nguyen Tri Phuong, Mac Cuu, Thu Khoa Huan, Nguyen Van Thoai and Nguyen Dinh Chieu.


It is expected that the remaining volumes will be about Nguyen Huu Canh, Nguyen Phuc Tan, Nguyen Phuc Nguyen, Tran Quy Cap, Tran Cao Van, Nguyen Thong, Phan Xich Long, Mai Xuan Thuong and No Trang Long, who made great contributions to enlarge the country’s territory in the south and fought against the French.


Author Hoai Anh is in charge of writing narratives, while Artist Nguyen Dong Hai is responsible for the books’ illustrations.


Poet Cao Xuan Son, editor of the books, said that to ensure the historical content while remaining attractive to children, Anh has chosen most exciting details about each character as the basis for the stories.


For instance, in the volume “Chien luy Thap Muoi,” about Thien Ho Duong, Anh focused on a scene in which the insurgent army used leeches and mosquitoes to battle French troops. One of the plotlines of “Binh Tay Dai Nguyen soai,” about Truong Dinh, details the scene where French troops load artillery onto small boats in order to attack the insurgent army.


Publishers hope that “Hao kiet dat Phuong Nam” will attract juvenile readers, contributing to improving knowledge about the country’s history among the younger generations.

Source: SGGP

Showcase rewards Vietnamese for their love of German books

In Uncategorized on May 21, 2010 at 9:17 am

The highly successful internet project, “German books in Vietnamese,” will appear offline and in person for the second time from May 25-30 in Ho Chi Minh City, as a special thanks to its Vietnamese fans.

Vietnamese version of Grosse christliche Denker by Hans Küng, released by Tri Thuc Publisher The showcase will feature over 400 German book titles taken from various different sources, including the National Library and other local libraries. All selections, previously published in Vietnamese, have enjoyed popularity amongst local readers.

Two topics highlighted by this year’s showcase are philosophy and science.

The Goethe Institute, an organizer of the event, expects to bring fresh tastes to local culture, pointing out that “translation is somewhat a kind of culture.” The event allows readers to expand their thoughts about popular German books as well as the chance to enrich their minds with information about publishers, translators and the several steps requisite in the rendering of a complete and precise translation, the organizer noted.

The exhibition opens to public during business hours from May 25 to 30 at the HCMC General Science Library (69 Ly Tu Trong, Dist.1). Admission is free of charge.

The opening ceremony, scheduled to launch at 9.30am May 25, will be enhanced by the debut of two German books, Grosse Christliche Denker (Great Christian thinkers) by Father Hans Küng and Die protestantische Ethik und der Geist des Kapitalismus  (The Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of Capitalism) by German sociologist and political economist, Max Weber.

The two books are now available in Vietnamese versions thanks to translators Nguyen Nghi and Tran Huu Quang. The two translators will also attend the ceremony and conduct a special presentation featuring their experiences on reading and translating the German works.

Source: SGGP

Students face confusion over plethora of exam guide books

In Uncategorized on April 16, 2010 at 6:45 am

As the annual high school graduation exams approach, overstressed students and their parents now have one more anxiety to face – an overabundance of exam-preparation books to choose from.

Study guides for Vietnam’s annual graduation exams have flooded local bookstores, leaving most students and parents at a loss of which, if any, to purchase. (Photo: Thanh Hung)


Study guides are proving to be big business for local publishers looking to capitalize on students’ desire to gain every advantage possible to perform well on the all-important exams. 


But most teens are overwhelmed by the hundreds of titles now flooding local bookstores, not knowing which ones will prove truly helpful.


Frustration over misleading titles


Immediately after the Ministry of Education announced this year’s exam topics, the local market was flooded with a veritable labyrinth of preparation guides for exam-takers. But rather than helping students, many of the books have instead proved to be a waste of time and money.


Parent Huynh Thanh Ba from Ho Chi Minh City’s District 10 said he recently purchased a book for his child titled “Graduation Exam Review and 2010 University-College Applications” by the City University Teachers Publisher.


“[Believing] that the book covered all necessary content for the 2010 exams, I bought it for my child’s reference,” said Mr. Ba. “But when I got home and opened the book, there was nothing [helpful]. It only contained exam questions and solutions from past years.”


SGGP reporters looked through three exam guides Mr. Ba had purchased for his child. The content of each included information about the structure of the exams; questions and answers of past tests; and supplementary university and college information. None of the books contained information on how to better understand the subject material, however, which is what Mr. Ba believed would be included.


At HCMC’s Nguyen Van Cu book store in District 1, reporters counted around 10-12 sets each of grade 12 geography literature, history, math, and chemistry exam review books and drills. Many of the book covers advertised quick and easy study methods, “crash course” material, or the latest information concerning the 2010 exams as compiled by the Ministry of Education.


Teachers say they too are perplexed by the maze of exam review guides and are unable to distinguish authentic, quality books from the rest. In addition, some books are virtually identical except for a few small details.


For instance, two history review books with different covers are listed as having the same author (NL), the same publisher, the same content, and even have the same grammatical errors. The only difference is that one of the books has the line: “Compiled according to the new program of the Ministry of Education,” while the other does not.


To buy or not to buy


Mr. Pham Hong Hai, former head of the Mathematics Department at Bui Thi Xuan high school in HCMC’s District 1, said that students are encouraged to seek out more resources to enhance their learning, but need to be cautious about which guides they use.


Except for a few reputable sources such as the Publisher of Education or the Ministry of Education, the market is flooded with unsanctioned books. “The Ministry of Education is the only official authority] on guidelines regarding exam questions and structure. In my opinion, students should focus more on learning [original] textbook content well,” said Mr. Hai.


Ms. Bao Linh, a geography teacher at Ly Tu Trong high school in HCMC’s Tan Binh District agreed with Mr. Hai. “As we count down to the graduation exams, teachers and students are redoubling their efforts. If students get carried away with reference books sold in the market, they could become very confused, and their efforts may even be counterproductive.”


A director of a study center in HCMC said, “The reference books and exam review guides flooding the market all look the same so it is also difficult to distinguish between authentic and fake copies. I have co-written and published several math exam guides. However, I discovered that many other study centers had photocopied our books. Some asked us first, but other did not. I have even discovered my name printed on many drill books that I haven’t actually written.”


Ministry doesn’t endorse specific guides


On April 8, at a regular press conference of the Ministry of Education, Mr. Vu Dinh Chuan, director of the Department of Secondary Education under the Ministry of Education, said the department does not endorse any specific organization or author’s exam study guides. 


Mr. Chuan said that students and parents should be discerning and use good judgment when opting to purchase study guides. Moreover, the books do not cover the entire breadth of exam questions that may appear on the actual tests.


He added that the Department of Secondary Education does not participate in creating the exams, but that the Ministry of Education conducts reviews of the new exams yearly and verifies their quality. 

Source: SGGP

6th HCM City Books Festival ended

In Politics-Society on March 22, 2010 at 4:06 pm




6th HCM City Books Festival ended


QĐND – Monday, March 22, 2010, 21:38 (GMT+7)

PANO – 4 million books have been sold at the 6th Ho Chi Minh (HCM) City Book Festival, with a turnover of over VND 20 billion.


The HCM City Book Festival with the subject “ Books, knowledge, integration and development” ended on the evening of 21st  March.


During the festival, the organising board mobilised 10,000 books worth VND 300 million from 20 publishers to offer officers and soldiers garrisoned in border stations, islands and in DK1 maritime observation posts.


The offering aimed to improve the cultural and spiritual life for officers, soldiers of border and island units.


The book festival lasted for a week with various attractive activities, such as seminars, press conferences, books introduction, art and music performances to honor workers in publishing and printing, as well as reading culture.


Translated by Phuong Linh – Thu Nguyen


Source: QDND

Experts discuss how Vietnam can boost its books abroad

In Vietnam Culture on January 15, 2010 at 9:21 am

Despite its abundance and rich history, Vietnamese literature is still unfamiliar to most foreign readers. The problem lies not with the quality of the country’s literary works or a lack of prolific authors, however. Instead, experts say Vietnam simply needs to launch a better marketing campaign to introduce the world to its diverse collection of writing.








Writer-translators learn about Vietnamese literary works at an exhibition outside the International Conference for Propagation of Vietnamese Literature.

A group of translators, writers and scholars made the suggestion during a recent conference on boosting Vietnamese literature abroad.


A hidden treasure


Conference participants said that for half a century, efforts have been made to present Vietnamese literature to foreigners, but only a small number of books have actually been introduced to other countries. 


Such works include translated versions of famous books like Ho Chi Minh’s prison diaries; a collection of novels by authors To Hoai and Nam Cao; and poetry by Ho Xuan Huong, Nguyen Binh, Che Lan Vien, and Nguyen Dinh Thi. Of these, however, only a small number of translated versions have been distributed in select areas.


Professor Ahn Chung Hwan from the Republic of Korea said that in his country, three Vietnamese masterpieces including “Uc Trai Thi Tap” (Collection of poems by Uc Trai -Nguyen Trai), “Kieu” by Nguyen Du, and “Diary in Prison” by Ho Chi Minh have been translated into Korean.


Vietnamese ancient literature has been attractive to Korean translators because of the similarities in culture, ideals and style, he added.


According to Prof. Hwan, even ancient books like “Chinh Phu Ngam,” “Linh Nam Chich Quai,” and “Truyen Ky Man Luc,” which are relatively unknown in Vietnam, have been introduced in the RoK.


Nevertheless, this is just a fraction of the plethora of valuable yet unknown Vietnamese literature, he said.


Better promotion strategies needed


Professor Chuc Nguong Tu from China said that Vietnamese literature is unfamiliar to Chinese people, but not because it lacks quality.


“Vietnamese literature is unique and has modernized over a long period. It is rich, diverse, and not inferior to others,” he said. 


However, when a work is translated, it must be done in such a way as to appeal to the other culture, said Prof. Tu.


“For example, I have translated ‘Chi Pheo’ (named after the main characteristic) by Nam Cao and ‘Đat nuoc dung len’ (Country Rises Up) by Nguyen Ngoc into Chinese, but they cannot be published. It does not mean they are not good, and my translations are not bad either. It is because publishers cannot find readers,” he said.


“When I translated ‘Mr. Consultant’ into Chinese, I changed the name of the book to ‘Top Secret: the largest spy case in the Vietnam War,” and it then became attractive to Chinese readers,” said Prof. Tu.


“The Vietnamese Government should set up a fund to finance Vietnamese literary translations, aimed at sponsoring translators, publishers and writers to introduce more Vietnamese literature to the world,” he added.


In addition to the fund, the Vietnamese Government should establish an award to praise literary translators and seek closer ties between Vietnamese and Chinese writer-translators, Prof. Tu said.


To introduce Vietnamese literary works published in Chinese, books should be sold at tourist destinations where Chinese travelers often visit, like Ha Long Bay, he added.
 
Nguyen Van Tho, a Vietnamese writer-translator living in Germany, said Vietnam could learn how to introduce its literature abroad by following the examples of other embassies.


These organizations have funds to sponsor the translation and publishing of literary works from their countries, and they know how to attract Vietnamese readers, he said. 


If Vietnamese embassies take responsibility for promoting the country’s literature and plan good strategies to do so, the situation could improve dramatically, he said.


“This is an official way [of disseminating local literature]. In another informal way, every writer, poet and translator should be a cultural ambassador while traveling abroad,” Prof. Tu added.


Readers crave authentic Vietnamese content








Several Vietnamese literary works by Nguyen Hong, Nam Cao translated into Russian language are displayed at an exhibition outside the conference.

Lady Borton, who has translated works by Ho Chi Minh for decades, said that publishers around the world prioritize books with the best financial potential. They want to publish best-sellers, she added.


“Accordingly, writers should know what today’s readers are looking for. Readers around the world certainly don’t want the same, tired books they have already read. They want something new and different,” said Ms. Borton.


“Vietnamese authors should thus write so that readers see Vietnam in their works,” she said.


Other translators agreed with Ms. Borton that people are looking for fresh and interesting books. Foreign readers would therefore be attracted to Vietnamese literature, which offers a unique perspective about a different culture, they said.


Editor Anna Gustafsson Chen of publisher Tranan, which distributes foreign literary works for children in Sweden, said that many countries already have an overwhelming number of quality books. Such nations, therefore, have no need for literary works in other languages unless they can offer something original.


What we look for are works that promote the exploration and enjoyment of different cultures in the world, she said.


Ms. Chen said that two Vietnamese books for children including “De Men Phieu Luu Ky” (The Adventure of Cricket) by To Hoai and “Vua Nham Mat Vua Mo Cua So” (Opening Window While Closing Eyes) by Nguyen Ngoc Thuan have been warmly welcomed in Sweden.


During the conference, 50 foreign translators from Russia, the US, India, the RoK, France, Hungary, the Czech Republic and China among others, were awarded with the Campaign Medal for Vietnamese Literature and Art.


The Association of Vietnamese writers also signed cooperation agreements with the US-based William Joiner Center; India-Vietnam Friendship Solidarity Association; the  friendship associations of Laos-Vietnam and Russia -Vietnam; Hungary-based Diary Magazine; Philippines’ Aria and Swedish Tranan Publisher; translators Ahn Chung Hwan from the RoK, Dashtvel form Mongolia, and Chuc Nguong Tu from China.


Source: SGGP Bookmark & Share