Adventures into Jin Yong’s Martial Arts Novels


4:00 PM - 5:30 PM


  • Time: 16:00-17:30CN, 9:00-10:30UK
  • Date: 18 May 2022
  • Venue: Zhumu, please contact for Zhumu details


Jin Yong 金庸 (1924–2018) is one of the most influential modern exponents of wuxia martial arts fiction 武侠小说. His fifteen novels, written in serialised form between the 1950s and 1970s, have sold in the hundred millions and are constantly adapted into different media, from screen productions to games, inspiring generations of Chinese speakers.

Although Jin Yong’s works were translated into Asian languages as early as the 1960s, they were often considered to be too steeped in traditional Chinese culture and history for readers further afield, and English translations only began to appear in the 1990s. With the publication of his most frequently reimagined title Legends of the Condor Heroes 射雕英雄传 in 2018, coinciding with an increased visibility for Chinese dramas on streaming services, wuxia has, at long last, engaged readers beyond Asia, in their own languages.

This seminar, given by one of the English translators of Jin Yong’s works, will explore the multiple roles played by the translators to bring the story and the characters to life, and the strategies taken to guide – and venture with – readers, both familiar with and new to kung fu fighting, on an escapade through this brave new world.


Gigi Chang translates from Chinese into English. Her fiction translations include Jin Yong’s wuxia martial arts series Legends of the Condor Heroes – Volume II: A Bond Undone; Volume III: A Snake Lies Waiting, co-translated with Anna Holmwood; and Volume IV: A Heart Divided, co-translated with Shelly Bryant (MacLehose Press/St Martin’s Griffin, 2019–2021). Her theatre translations include classical Chinese dramas for the Royal Shakespeare Company and contemporary Chinese plays for the Royal Court Theatre, Hong Kong Arts Festival and Shanghai Dramatic Arts Centre. She also co-hosts a regular programme on plays and playwrights for the Chinese-language podcast Culture Potato.

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