Friday, December 19, 2008

Chicken Soup for the Bilingual Soul

OK, so I don't think they've gotten around to compiling Chicken Soup for the Bilingual Soul yet, but I've been enjoying the parallel text editions printed in Vietnam. They are quite popular here, and the local Catholic bookshop sells a whole range. I'm not sure that Messrs. Canfield and Hansen are receiving any royalties from them either, as Vietnam remains copyright pirating capital of the world.
My Vietnamese friends are a little bewildered by the books - "Just a bunch of stories, really." They say, "Nothing special."
And they also comment on the cultural specificity of the stories. "All well and good for foreigners to do these crazy things," said one friend. "We Vietnamese have to work."
Point taken.