About BISU
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Li Yueran
Updated: November 11, 2022


A Photo of Li Yueran [Photo provided by bisu.edu.cn]

Li Yueran (1927-2003) served as a Russian translator for Mao Zedong, Zhou Enlai, Deng Xiaoping and other Party and State leaders. In 1965, Li became deputy director of the academic affairs department of the Beijing International Studies University (BISU). In 1979, he served as the unversity's vice-president. He was an adviser to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National People's Congress, the vice-chairman of the Translators Association of China and the council member at the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries (CPAFFC) and Sino-Soviet Friendship Association. 

Li was responsible for examining and revising Chinese and Russian translation of important documents and government reports. 


Li Yueran (R2) with former premier Zhou Enlai and former vice-premier He Long attending a conference. [Photo provided by bisu.edu.cn]

Li participated in translating the fourth volume of the Russian edition of the Selected Works of Mao Zedong. He translated, reviewed and revised more than 300,000 words of Russian political and economic works. Li had written several articles about the interpreting theory, leading interpreting studies in China.

After the founding of the People's Republic of China, Li worked as a translator at the Central Compilation and Translation Bureau, the Central Finance and Economics Committee and other governmental departments and many important international conferences.  


Li Yueran (M) accompanies Chairman Mao to a conference [Photo provided by bisu.edu.cn]


Li Yueran (R1) serves as a translator for Chairman Mao [Photo provided by bisu.edu.cn]


Li Yueran (L4) serves as a translator for Chairman Mao [Photo provided by bisu.edu.cn]

Li has made a lot of efforts in promoting China-Russia friendship. He received the 50th anniversary memorial medal from then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin as a token of gratefulness for his outstanding contribution to the cultural and diplomatic relations between China and Russia (and the Soviet Union).


[Photo provided by bisu.edu.cn]

Li was not only a proficient translator, but also a theorist and educator of interpretation. He was one of the scholars who first suggested interpreting research and proposed interpreting standards. He was the academic leader of interpreting studies.


[Photo provided by bisu.edu.cn]


[Photo provided by bisu.edu.cn]

Li theorized and systematized interpreting work based on his rich experience. As early as 1980, Li pointed out the characteristics and standards of interpreting in his articles, which gave guidance to young interpreters. He also put forward that interpreting should be accurate, smooth and timely which was quoted as a standard for interpreting quality by the translation encyclopedia reference book, “A Companion for Chinese Translators.”

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