Biomedical engineer Sean Chen talks about how he began translating the Qing dynasty gastronomic masterpiece, the Suiyuan Shidan, as a hobby during graduate school. He grew up in a food-obsessed family but never expected to be a translator, but he wanted to read the famous cookery manual and the only way to do that was to teach himself classical Chinese. His scientific training was helpful with many technical details about plants and animals. He also corrected the existing digital Chinese texts by cross-checking them against scans of the original 1792 book held at Harvard and Princeton. Chen is talking to Karen Christensen, who approached him about publishing the English text after hearing about his blog from several Berkshire authors. An English-only version is available as The Way of Eating.
Sean Jy-Shyang Chen is a scientific developer for computer assisted minimally invasive neurosurgery. He completed his Doctorate in Biomedical Engineering (2014) at McGill University in Canada, specializing in image processing for computer assisted neurosugery. This is his first publication outside the fields of science and engineering.
Karen Christensen is the chief executive officer and founder of Berkshire Publishing Group and a writer specializing in sustainability and community with a focus on China. One of her recent projects was coediting Women and Leadership: History, Concepts, and Case Studies (A Berkshire Essential) with George R. Goethals and Crystal L. Hoyt of the Jepson School of Leadership Studies at the University of Richmond.
Transcript (coming soon)
Title: Scientist and Blogger Becomes First Translator of Famous Chinese Food Book
Host: Karen Christensen
Interviewee: Sean Chen