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Dear Chinese translators, do you think this title appropriate?
Thread poster: Jianjun Zhang

Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:02
English to Chinese
+ ...
Nov 18, 2006

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/960/

I want to know your opinion and this would help me to judge more clearly. Thanks.

Best,
Jianjun


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wherestip  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:02
Chinese to English
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IMO it's okay Nov 18, 2006

Jianjun Zhang wrote:

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/960/

I want to know your opinion and this would help me to judge more clearly. Thanks.

Best,
Jianjun



I would have been a little more diplomatic wording the title though. Perhaps "misnomers" or "debatable choice of words" would have sounded a little better than "common mistakes".

The important thing is the content is valid. There are subtle shades of meaning that either get added or lost when little thought gets put into picking certain English words. I believe the author correctly pointed this "phenomenon" out



[Edited at 2006-11-18 11:52]


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wherestip  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:02
Chinese to English
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Hmmm... Nov 18, 2006

Jianjun Zhang wrote:

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/960/

I want to know your opinion and this would help me to judge more clearly. Thanks.

Best,
Jianjun



On second thought, I do see how the generalization of "Chinese Translators" could be annoying to some.

Headlines sometimes do intentionally exaggerate to grab people's attention.

Anyway, to be sensitive to peers, the author could consider rewording the title a bit. Ginovanni did provide some very good examples where translation of certain terms could be done more accurate/appropriate though.


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Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:02
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TOPIC STARTER
I share the same feeling Nov 18, 2006

Thanks Stephen,

I share the same feeling with you about the title. I think if it is rephrased to "Common Mistakes in Chinese Translations", personally I would feel better.

Of course, different people may differ in this. So I'd like to know how MOST Chinese translators will think of it. If many feel the same, I would suggest through the appropriate channel to update the title so everybody feels well.

Best,
Jianjun


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 13:02
English to Chinese
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I do think so. Nov 18, 2006

Jianjun Zhang wrote:

Thanks Stephen,

I share the same feeling with you about the title. I think if it is rephrased to "Common Mistakes in Chinese Translations", personally I would feel better.

Of course, different people may differ in this. So I'd like to know how MOST Chinese translators will think of it. If many feel the same, I would suggest through the appropriate channel to update the title so everybody feels well.

Best,
Jianjun


It is more appropriate to change the title to "Common Mistakes in Chinese Translations."

I do think so, because what Giovanni provides does help clarify some mistakes which could happen. Those are obviously not "common mistakes of Chinese translators," but "common mistakes in Chinese translations" done by translators (of all possible nationalities) who translate those terms according to lexical entries without second thought.


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Zhuoqi Mills  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:02
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It is quite hurtful Nov 18, 2006

I completely agree with what is being said here, the use of "Chinese translators" is somewhat hurtful. Would other nationalities not also be offended if seemingly singled out this way? I am sure there is no deliberate offence intended but "Chinese translations" is an altogether better way to put it.

ZM


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David Shen  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:02
English to Chinese
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Lack of money but no lack of opinions Nov 18, 2006

Jianjun Zhang wrote:
I want to know your opinion and this would help me to judge more clearly. Thanks.
Best,
Jianjun


Thanks for sharing this Jianjun. Did you say opinion? There is always a lack of money but no lack of opinions. And here comes mine:

I appreciate Giovanni's study on some commonly mistranslated words and phrases between English and Chinese. It is a good thing that he has pointed out something many of us take for granted or are not quite sure of the usage. But I regret not having read enough Chinese texts translated by "English translators" to make a case study on that. What I did notice though, is the English grammar used in the first couple of sentences of Mr. Valenti's article. Are they supposed to be subtitles explanatory to the big one above?

Giovanni Valenti wrote:

Common Mistakes of Chinese translators

现象 often translated as phenomenon Use of the word Phenomenon. Used loosely in Chinese but very intense in the English, meaning a sight or occurrence that is unexplainable or awesome. Often used in Chinese as “the occurrence of 什么什么” or “the appearance of 什么什么 situation”.
......http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/960/


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pkchan  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 01:02
Member (2006)
English to Chinese
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廣東人的意見很簡單 Nov 18, 2006

這種命題方式就是﹕『一枝竹篙打一船人』。原來這話有很多版本﹕一枝竹竿打翻一船人、一枝竹竿打一死船人、一枝竹竿打倒一船人、一枝竹竿打落一船人。『 一』船人又有『整』船人。是後生仔不夠老光棍『滑頭』sophisticated之過。

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xxxlingua franc
Local time: 15:02
Chinese to English
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Do you wish to judge the article by its title or its content? Nov 19, 2006

Jianjun Zhang wrote:

http://www.proz.com/translation-articles/articles/960/

I want to know your opinion and this would help me to judge more clearly. Thanks.

Best,
Jianjun


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Jianjun Zhang  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 06:02
English to Chinese
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TOPIC STARTER
Thanks, already dropped a line... Nov 19, 2006

Dear Stephen, Wenjer, Zhuoqi, David and PK,

Thank you all for your input. You are from the US, Taiwan, the UK, and I'm from mainland China. And we are all in a sense "Chinese translators". So I think this is representative enough to show that I'm not feeling alone. I've already written to Giovanni suggesting a change in the title. If it is a great article, a more appropriate title liked by all will make it shine better.

Best,
Jianjun


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 13:02
English to Chinese
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Common Mistakes of Australian Translators? Nov 19, 2006

lingua franca wrote:
Do you wish to judge the article by its title or its content?


No, I am sure that none of us judge the article by its title, including you. However, the title could be misleading and even irritating.

Do you think it appropriate to have an article titled "Common Mistakes of Australian Translators" or something like that?


[Edited at 2006-11-19 19:02]


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Gio Valenti
United States
Local time: 22:02
Chinese to English
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Gu Quan Da Ju Nov 19, 2006

Jianjun,

Sure, I would be happy to change it, in fact I already have. I never thought the title to be offensive and apolize if it was received as such. What offends is sometimes so delicate. Just like us foreigners going to Mainland and everyone calling us "laowai". To many foreigners this is recieved as offensive even though the "lao" is a term of respect. To this day, there are many friends of mine who are still insulted by this even after it is explained to them. I worked with numerous "Chinese-English team translators" and the article was part of my years of trainings directed toward Chinese translators and translation team corrections, post-project debriefings, etc. I would be welcome to an article that exposed the common mistakes of us Laowai even if the article was titled: English-Chinese translations by "Laowai"; I am not so easily insulted.

Gio

P.S. Just some food for thought: Anyway we can all get totgether and not gawk at foreigners in China by calling them Laowai (some of us "laowai" get offended by that) or pointing out the "Waiguoren" across the street since we are all trying to be so diplomatic and non-offensive?


[Edited at 2006-11-19 19:08]


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Wenjer Leuschel  Identity Verified
Taiwan
Local time: 13:02
English to Chinese
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Having Insight into the Situation Consequently Nov 19, 2006

Giovanni Valenti wrote:
Gu Quan Da Ju


Hi Gio!

Before Jianjun responds upon this posting of yours, I would like to welcome you heartily to the community of Chinese translators.

I am especially delighted to learn that you have the insight into the situation consequently to understand what could be perceived as offensive by a laozhong or a laowai and point it out to us.

Nice to have you around. Your article provides us good examples to think twice before we put words into translations. Thank you very much and I wish you stay with us.

- Wenjer

P.S. Gio, I warn you this: If we happen to meet each other someday, don't point at me and say, "Hey you, Laozhong!" Please call me "Laotai" or you may just call me "Waiguoren," since I am indeed a foreigner to you.


[Edited at 2006-11-20 01:37]


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wherestip  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 00:02
Chinese to English
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a few friendly words... hate that I used "friendly" twice today ;-) Nov 19, 2006

Giovanni Valenti wrote:

P.S. Just some food for thought: Anyway we can all get totgether and not gawk at foreigners in China by calling them Laowai (some of us "laowai" get offended by that) or pointing out the "Waiguoren" across the street since we are all trying to be so diplomatic and non-offensive?



I'm surprised that this kind of stuff still goes on.

Well, I think we need to be very cautious about generalizing too much. As far as I know, it certainly led to some unpleasantness in this forum in the past.


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David Shen  Identity Verified
Local time: 19:02
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中外同 Nov 19, 2006

Temper,temper中外同, 欲看吕布战群雄?

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