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English to Chinese: Saving lives in the context of disease, poverty and war
Source text - English In 1919, a former Chinese medical student published a story about a boy, who died from tuberculosis because of a radically improper treatment. At that time there was no public health in China beyond street cleaning in a few big cities, and the vast majority of rural people depended on
temples, priests and quacks for medical services. Modernity in the form of biomedical healthcare existed in a few mission settlements, where curative services were available, but the majority of Chinese people still lived,
epidemiologically, in a pre-modern world characterized by poverty, illiteracy, high fertility and high mortality. The boy was expensively treated with bread dipped in the blood of an executed “criminal.” The author used this notion of healthcare to emphasize the harsh realities of life for most
Such a story presents in microcosm dilemmas facing China in the early twentieth century. After half a century of peasant rebellions, imperialist encroachment, shameful defeats and infection with opium, the great traditional
civilization of China was falling apart. In 1905 Confucianism was officially abandoned, and in 1911, after executing many martyrs, the imperial regime collapsed, leaving the intelligentsia with no clear leadership
function. Warlord armies crisscrossed the country, opium smoking continued, Japan replaced China as East Asia’s leading power, and foreigners controlled significant areas of China’s public life. China’s great literary tradition was also was scarred by these upheavals. In Diary of a Madman,
one of the most celebrated texts of early twentieth century Chinese literature, Lu Xun depicts a scholar who becomes obsessed by the dark aspects of human existence. Between the lines of historical texts he keeps seeing the words “eat people.” Shaken by this vision he fears for his own life. The
‘diary’ ends with a pathetic appeal to “save the children.”
In early twentieth century China the idea of saving children had little traction. China’s children were targets of human oppression, devastating diseases and dangerous malpractice. Circulation of infectious diseases—
e.g. cholera and plague—had been greatly increased by nineteenth century imperialism and trade. In “Medicine,” however, Lu Xun chose tuberculosis, a disease long embedded in the Chinese population, as the symbol of early death. As we shall see, this disease was believed to kill a million or more Chinese people a year, many of them children. The public authorities were seemingly indifferent to the problem, as they did nothing about it.
But while China sank into the status of “sick man of East Asia”, huge changes were going on across the world, precipitated by industrialization, World War I and the Soviet Revolution. A few Chinese patriots trained in modern clinical and laboratory-based medicine thought that doing nothing in China was unacceptable. Living
outside of China these medical scientists already knew a good deal about agents of infectious disease and were teaching such knowledge in biomedical schools. If Japan could get infectious disease under control, surely
Chinese medical reformers could do as much.
Yet the challenges to transforming healthcare in China were immense. Internationally public health discourse and legislation was still in its early days. Although public health reforms began in Britain in the middle of the
19th century, a British Ministry of Health was not established until 1919, by which time fundamental reforms of urban sewage and water systems were in place and most dangerous infectious diseases were under control.
Up to that time no such changes had taken place in China and no public understanding of the need for public health existed. A statement such as that of the Japan International Cooperation Agency cited above, which today reads like a truism, could not even have been formulated in China in 1919.
Translation - Chinese 1919年，一位曾致力于医学的学生发表了一篇短篇小说，描写的是一个由于诊治不当而死于肺结核的男孩的故事。当时的中国除去少数大城市的街道卫生之外，无公共卫生可言，而大多数的农村人口治病投医依赖的是寺庙、和尚和庸医，可以治病救人的现代化生物医药保健只有在少数几个传教点才有。从流行病学的角度讲，多数中国人依然生活在贫穷、文盲、高生育、高死亡的落后状态下。故事中的男孩服用了价格不菲的、蘸了死囚鲜血的馒头，作者通过这一医疗谬论来突显多数中国人当时所面临的严峻现实。
In my nine years of experience working as a professional translator, I have translated several books in the fields of public health, history, politics, and philosophy. Translating these books require in-depth understanding of the content areas and mastery in both English and Chinese.
In addition to these substantial projects, I also translated/edited hundreds of documents in medical (medical reports, consent forms, research protocol etc), marketing, professional development, etc., delivering with high quality and fast turnaround.