Trí C. Trần & Trâm Lê: Vietnamese Stories

I was looking forward to reading Vietnamese traditional folktales in English. Disappointedly, the English translations were so dense that the spellbinding essence of the folk stories didn’t come through. The English stories sounded foreign and stilted. For instance, the idiomatic expression of “Ăn chưa no, lo chưa tới” was translated simply as “carefree” or “Cái nết đánh chết cái đẹp” was translated as “Beauty is only skin-deep.” The literal translations would have been more helpful for language learners.