Being a publishing student, I spent an extremely useful and enjoyable time in Persimmon Press to conduct my placement. I was extremely fortunate to translate six Lu Xun’s stories from Chinese to English. The six stories were Medicine, In the Wineshop, A Madman’s Diary, My old Home, Storm in a Teacup and An Incident.
Susan Bell is the Editor of Persimmon Press and also one of my best friends. She commissioned me to embark on this work in the first place because my hometown is the same as Lu Xun’s, which is Zhe Jiang, China. It was also a coincidence that Lu Xun was a teacher in my high school, which is Hangzhou Senior Middle School, in 1909. And there is still a Lu Xun Memory Hall in my school. Furthermore, I learnt the six stories in my Chinese Culture Class while I was in High School so that I am maybe more familiar with the stories than other people.
At first the translation was nerve-wracking for me because English is my second language so I needed to pay more attention to the editing. Fortunately, all this work was made easier through the help of Susan. Furthermore, she introduced Shenxiao Tong, who is an East Asian Studies Librarian in Edinburgh University to me. Mr. Tong helped me greatly in finding resources in the Library. He also recommended a fantastic place of work for me: Edinburgh University Library. It has a quiet sorting room and floors so that I could make a meaningful contribution to Persimmon Press in such a peaceful environment.
It was with great enthusiasm that I undertook the task. In addition, the most valuable lesson for me from placement was that I improved my English through the translation and editing. My first experience working with Persimmon Press was successful. As an outcome of my placement I have not only learnt more about the British Publishing Industry, but I also improved my English Language skills.
The experience for me has been both a beginning and a vital process to understand the British society which has laid a firm foundation for my future work. What I have learnt was mostly from leaders and senior’s guidance. They used their practical presentation to show me the principles in interpersonal relationship. It is one of the most precious treasures in my whole life. How to communicate and get along with others is a basic ability in our present society. For a student who will get into the working field in the immediate future, there are many things for me to learn.
Finally, I want to say thanks to Susan Bell who gave me the translation opportunity and Shenxiao Tong who taught me huge amounts in finding resources in Edinburgh. My time in Persimmon Press was well spent and was an unforgettable experience.
(East Asian Studies Librarian in Edinburgh University)