Update: Nguyễn Trãi’s “Bình Ngô Đại Cáo”
Not too long ago, I told you readers that I was going to translate the poem “Bình Ngô Đại Cáo” by Nguyễn Trãi from Vietnamese into English. This project, to my surprise, is much harder than anticipated. The poetic style of Nguyễn Trãi’s writing, combined with the complexity of the metaphors and wordplay in the Vietnamese language, is quite a challenge to translate fluently. Though I speak both Vietnamese and English, it is still a tough task to convert one language to the other while still maintaining the same poetic integrity of the original. As of this time, with the help of an excellent advisor, I have succeeded in translating about half of the poem. If one wanted a realistic timeframe for when the poem will be completed, my best guess would be two weeks from now. For anyone who is really waiting on this poem: don’t worry, it will be worth the wait.