VietNamNet Bridge – Only when a mother discovered the image of Chinese flag
on her child’s book did the Vietnamese parents realize that their children have
been mostly reading foreign books for a long time, simply because they don’t
have Vietnamese books to read.
A domestic publishing house was compelled to recall a book meant for children of
six years old because it contained the image of Chinese flag. The book, which
was designed for children preparing to enter the first year of primary
education, was published by Dan Tri Publishing House in cooperation with Huong
Thuy Culture Limited Company.
The presence of Chinese flag on a book of the publishing house has been
explained by the fact that the original book was sourced from Chinese, while Dan
Tri Publishing House cannot spontaneously change the text and the images of the
Nguyen Minh Thuyet, former Deputy Chair of the National Assembly’s Committee for
the Culture, Education, the Youth and Children, when giving an interview to Tien
Phong reporters, said he cannot understand why the copyright transfer contract
signed between Dan Tri and the Chinese publishing house does not allow to change
the contents and images, though the original publishing house is not shown.
A reader has sent to the Tuoi tre editorial board a list of the 500 books for
children now available on the market to show that the majority of them are the
translation versions of original publications. Most of the translated books are
from China – Zhejiang, Hunan Juvenile Children’s Publishing House, China,
Anhui, Yunnan Aurora Publishing House, Sichuan Art Publishing House, Jilin Fine
Arts Publishing House.
Nearly all the Vietnamese children’s book publication houses once or many times
translated Chinese books to publish in Vietnam.
“It’s quite abnormal for a publishing industry where there are only translated
books and very few books written by Vietnamese authors,” Cao Xuan Son, Director
of the HCM City Branch of the Kim Dong Publishing House, said.
The children’s book market has been flooded with foreign books, sourced not only
from China, but from many other countries as well. Tien Phong reported that 20
best sellers of Fahasa are the books from South Korea, Japan and the US.
However, Chinese books remain the top choice for Vietnamese publishing houses,
simply because they don’t have to pay high for the copyright if choosing the
Nguyen Van Phuoc, Director of First News publishing house, said on Tuoi tre that
there are two kinds of books in China. The first ones written by Chinese authors
and the second ones are the books translated into Chinese under the licenses of
the US or European publishing houses.
The latter books have been sold to Vietnam at very low prices. In fact, this is
a behavior of the intellectual property infringement. Chinese, who get the
licenses from foreign publishing houses, can only translate and publish books in
The presence of Chinese flag on the books published in Vietnam and the
domination of foreign books in the children’s book market have raised big
worries among the public.
A reader, in the email to VietNamNet’s editorial board, wrote that her nephew
was shown the images of a kangaroo and a sheep in a book, while he should have
been shown the images of a buffalo or cow, the popular animals in the
countryside of Vietnam.
Compiled by Thu Uyen