German version of “Tale of Kieu” released hinh anh 1Writer Le Minh Ha, German actress Irma Münch-Minetti and Truong Hong Quang at the launching ceremony. (Source: VNA)

Berlin (VNA) – The bilingual Vietnamese-German edition of “Truyen Kieu” (The Tale of Kieu), an 18th century poetic masterpiece by Nguyen Du, was launched in Berlin on May 1 under the auspices of the Association of Vietnamese Businesses in Germany.

The publication was based on the original version titled “Das Madchen Kieu” translated by the late German couple Irene and Franz Faber.

At the launching ceremony, Dr Truong Hong Quang, who initiated the republishing project said the German translated version was published for the first time in 1964 in Germany, and republished in 1980. None of them exist now.

He expressed his hope that the bilingual edition will help German and international people understand more about Vietnamese classic literature.

The book, published by the Hanoi-based World Publishers has 442 pages. Nearly 750 copies have been shipped to Germany .

Prominent Vietnamese poet and World Cultural Celebrity Nguyen Du, also known as To Nhu and Thanh Hien, was born on January 3, 1766 to a noble family in Thang Long ( Hanoi ).

His most outstanding work is the Tale of Kieu, a 3,254-line classic verse poem written in “luc bat”, a form that consists of alternating lines of six and eight syllables, a traditional verse form in Vietnamese poetry.

It recounts the life, trials and tribulation of Thuy Kieu, a beautiful and talented young woman, who had to sacrifice herself to save her father and younger brother from prison. She sold herself into marriage with a middle-aged man, unaware of his profession as a pimp. He later forced her into prostitution, marking the start of a series of tragic events in her life.

Throughout the poem, Nguyen Du depicted the beauty of true love and loyalty, and the unyielding hope for justice.

In Vietnam, the Tale of Kieu is vastly popular, with many people knowing the epic by heart, and it has been published in more than 20 languages worldwide to date.-VNA