Chinese Competition Successes

Friday 21st June 2024

Over 50 Marlburians studying Mandarin Chinese took part in the prestigious 2024 Anthea Bell Prize for Young Translators, hosted by Queen’s College, Oxford. This competition, named after renowned translator Anthea Bell, celebrates the art of translation and cultural exchange.

Ella-Mae C received a commendation for her exceptional work at Level 4, the highest level of the competition. The competition texts included two separate excerpts from a non-fiction novel by Chai Jing about ‘left-behind children’ in China and the task required deep linguistic understanding and cultural sensitivity.

Ella-Mae has also won second place in the esteemed SACU/Peking University Essay Competition. The competition, now in its seventh year, is organised by the Society for Anglo-Chinese Understanding (SACU) and Peking University, aiming to promote friendship and understanding between the peoples of China and the UK.

This year’s theme, “How do you see harmony in the cultural context of China and/or the UK?” challenged participants to delve into the philosophical traditions and cultural practices that contribute to harmony in both nations.

In her essay, Ella-Mae examined the historical relationship between the UK and China since 1637, noting both harmonious collaborations in philosophy, science, and economics, and the disharmony caused by cultural and ideological differences. She detailed how the Chinese concept of harmony, or He (和), developed by Confucius, promotes unity without uniformity, highlighting the importance of collaboration in Chinese culture.

A significant portion of her essay focused on the contrasting medical philosophies of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Western Conventional Medicine. She described TCM’s holistic approach, which sees humans and nature as interconnected, and contrasted it with the analytical and evidence-based approach of Western medicine.

Ella-Mae’s essay received high praise from the judging panel, chaired by Dr Frances Wood, a renowned author on China and former head of the British Library China Collection. As the second-place winner, Ella-Mae has the opportunity to apply for financial support of £2,000 for a research-based field trip to China. This trip, aimed at furthering her studies and promoting cultural understanding, will culminate in a research report to be submitted to SACU.

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