Hanoi (VNA) -The bilingual Vietnamese-Russian edition of “Truyen Kieu” (The tale of Kieu), an 18th century poetic masterpiece by Nguyen Du, will make its first debut in Hanoi on November 6 to mark the poet’s 250th birth anniversary (1766-2016).

Started in 2013, the Russian translation was done by Assoc. Prof. Nguyen Huy Hoang, from Moscow University; translators Doan Tu Huyen and Vu The Khoi; Russian poet Vasili Popov and Anatoli Sokolov, a researcher of Vietnamese studies.

The team expressed their hope that they have conveyed precisely the meaning and spirit of the classic novel, particularly its 3,236 classical references, literary allusions and idioms.

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

His most outstanding work is the Tale of Kieu, a 3,254-line classic verse novel written in “luc bat”, the form that consists of alternating lines of six and eight syllables, a traditional verse form of Vietnam's 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, including French, Chinese, English, and Japanese.

The work was recognised by the World Peace Council as one of the world's most celebrated cultural works in 1965.

Nguyen Du was recognised by UNESCO as a World Cultural Celebrity among 108 others in 2003.-VNA