Su Nong—Translator of the Simplified Chinese Philosopher’s Stone—Doesn’t Exist!
I’m currently falling down another translation rabbit hole—Chinese this time—and I came across a really interesting bit of trivia! The translator of the Philosopher’s Stone in PRC is not a real person! The two characters which read “Su Nong”:
is, in fact, a blend of two translators’ names!
According to the Taiwanese publication 雪花新聞 (xuěhuā xīnwén), ‘Snowflake News’ Cao Suling (曹苏玲, cáosūlíng) started the translation but for some reason pulled out. Ma Ainong (马爱农, mǎ’àinóng), who we know from later translations, continued the translation.
It’s fascinating that they would create this blend rather than credit the individual translators who don’t even appear on the copyright page! I wonder how common a practice this is.