As many as 150 international delegates from 31 countries and territories flocked to a conference on Vietnamese literature that opened in Hanoi on January 5.

The Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Education and Training, Nguyen Thien Nhan, commenced the event with the appreciation to international friends for their presence in Vietnam’s capital that is celebrating its millennium anniversary later this year.

“The conference is the first step for a comprehensive study of the Vietnamese literature and culture and a launching pad for the work of translating and promoting Vietnamese literature and culture to all parts of the world,” Nhan said.

He added that in general, distributing best-seller literature worldwide would bring happiness to people and contribute to peace over the world.

A number of Vietnamese famous literature works, such as classic “Kieu Story” by Nguyen Du (1765-1820) and poems by female poet Ho Xuan Huong (late 18th and early 19th century) and Vietnam’s first President Ho Chi Minh, have been translated into foreign languages.

The President of the Vietnam Writers Association, poet Huu Thinh, said
the association has been aware of the importance to expand international exchange and cooperation as a decisive factor of development.

Since the translation conference in 2002, the number of Vietnamese literature translated into foreign languages have increased considerably. Most recently, the classic poem collection between the 10th and 19th century were translated into Polish. Of note, the “Dang Thuy Tram’s diary” has been warmly welcomed by foreign readers.

So far, most literary trends have been introduced into Vietnam, even in harsh times of war.

Up to 2007, around 13,700 foreign literary works have been translated and published in Vietnam, accounting for 25 percent of literature books available in bookstores./.