UCLA addresses 'lost in translation' issues in Chinese medicine

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Phil Hand  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:48
Chinese to English
TCM as marketing flim-flam Jul 4, 2014

The actual document is available here: http://cewm.med.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/CM-Considerations-4.10.14-FINAL.pdf
Amusingly, the Chinese version (http://cewm.med.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/CHINESE-CM-Considerations-4.28.14-FINAL.pdf) seems to be quite badly translated.

I'm not convinced, because this is very PC about TCM, i.e. it assumes that TCM is legitimate. There's only one place where the mask slips:
"...many translators arguing that Chinese medicine must be put into modern medical terms in order to avoid being seen as a relic in the contemporary global medical world."
Much TCM stuff is just dumb, and the translator's objective in many cases is to make it palatable.

Also quite disappointed that this document appears to accept the existence of a single language "Chinese". TCM documents have been written in several different languages: Classical Chinese, Literary Chinese, early modern and modern Mandarin. They're different, and it's important to have an appreciation of that.


Phil Hand  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:48
Chinese to English
Oh, I take it back Jul 4, 2014

Classical Chinese does get a mention.

"Classical Chinese, especially classical medical Chinese, is comprised of unique grammar and structure that require a deep familiarity in order to interpret and translate. It is critical that translators be trained in basic classical grammar patterns when translating a classic text..."

I'm not sure that training in basic grammar patterns is enough, but it is at least mentioned.


Orrin Cummins  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:48
Japanese to English
+ ...
Hmm Jul 4, 2014

This reminds me of an interview I saw with Jackie Chan where he was railing against people who poach elephants and tigers and other rare animals in China just because they think that a body part from that animal makes your back not ache or something.

Ahh, just found it:



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UCLA addresses 'lost in translation' issues in Chinese medicine

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