September 15, 2020

Introducing Our Chinese Past Translator – Ely Finch

My name is Ely Finch and I have the honour to be the translator for the first Our Chinese Past project. I hail from a sheep farm in far western Victoria and have an abiding passion for Chinese languages and traditional Chinese literature. At present, I am working full time as a historical Chinese linguist and consultant translator, specialising in old texts written in Literary (Classical) Chinese, Cantonese, and other southern Chinese languages, particularly ones that pertain to the nineteenth-century Chinese diaspora. My largest translation to date is of Australia’s – and possibly the West’s – first Chinese-language novel, The Poison of Polygamy, which was published last year by Sydney University Press. Incidentally, this unusual novel makes for an entertaining read, and its front matter, footnotes and appendices – which can be skipped initially – turn it into a good introduction to Chinese Australian history. First page of Bew Chip’s register—National Parks and Wildlife Services, Old Visitors Centre, Beyers Ave,...
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