Complete Translation Into Chinese of William Wordsworth’s the Prelude (1850)

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This book is the first Chinese translation of William Wordsworth’s “The Prelude”, in both the Chinese and English languages. The translation is faithful to the original in form by rendering each line of ten syllables painstakingly into ten Chinese characters. The translation also utilizes some musical qualities of the Chinese language like the combinations of rising or falling tones to reflect the rhythm of the original poem. This translation is faithful to the original in morphology and syntax so that the meanings in the original are conveyed in Chinese. Most of all, the humanistic concerns in the original have been captured in the translation. The tremendous work will have an especially enduring impact on scholars in Chinese Studies and Translations Studies.


“In China, Wordsworth’s poems are famous for their description of nature and rural life as well as philosophical contemplation. A Chinese translation of The Prelude is certainly significant and to be welcomed. The translator should be commended for his hard work, learning, and linguistic skills. On the whole, the translation is quite smooth and relatively faithful to the original. The translator has tried to render the poem into Chinese as elegantly and artistically as he possibly can.” – (From the Preface) Dr. Yenna Wu, University of California Riverside

“What good news that the most important autobiographical poem in the English language is now available in Chinese translation. In "The Prelude," the English Romantic poet William Wordsworth presents an account of his lifelong journey of self-discovery, and in the process we read an intellectual history of nineteenth-century European Romanticism. Romantic ideas about nature, time, spirit, solitude and solidarity are dramatized in sumptuous poetic language, and they are as alive for the contemporary reader as they were when the poet first conceived and experienced them. Aixue Wang's welcome translation appears a century and a half after the poem's first publication. Wordsworth began the poem in 1806 and continued to work on it for almost thirty years, but it was not published until after the poet's death in 1850. "The Prelude" is indispensable reading for those who appreciate great poetry and wish to approach the heart of Western conceptions of self and society." - Lois Parkinson Zamora, University of Houston

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