S202. Politics and Pragmatics of Translating Asian Languages

F149, Oregon Convention Center, Level 1
Saturday, March 30, 2019
12:00 pm to 1:15 pm


Four accomplished translators, working in Chinese, Japanese, Thai, and Vietnamese, discuss the political and pragmatic difficulties posed by translating Asian languages. Panelists will address challenges arising from formal aspects of the languages, from the political dimensions and consequences of the work, and from working in a field underrepresented in US publishing, academic programs, and at AWP. Panelists will also present resources for aspiring translators and propose an Asian languages translators’ network.



Charles Waugh is an editor and translator of the books Wild Mustard: New Voices from Vietnam and Family of Fallen Leaves. A Fulbright fellow and NEA Literary Translation grantee, he has published in the Literary Review, Words Without Borders, Foreign Policy, Two Lines, and many other fine journals.

Bonnie Chau has an MFA in fiction and translation from Columbia University. She is the author of the story collection All Roads Lead to Blood, and her writing has appeared in many journals. A Kundiman fellow and 2017 ALTA Travel Fellow, she works at Poets & Writers and at an independent bookstore.

Michelle Kyoko Crowson is a writer, translator, and PhD candidate in Comparative Literature at the University of Oregon. She holds an MFA from Vermont College. She writes a monthly culture column for Bento Box Magazine, a Japan-themed print and online publication out of Toronto.

Noh Anothai was a researcher with Fulbright Thailand between 2012–2013. Since then, his translations from Thai have appeared in journals like Asymptote, whose Spring 2017 issue he headlined. His translation of Thai national poet Sunthorn Phu is the first to be published outside of Thailand.


February 7–10, 2024
Kansas City, Missouri

Kansas City Convention Center