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Mar 25 (posted viaProZ.com): I finished my translation of "A Century of Wealth in America" by Edward N Wolff, an 888-page monumental work that describes the changes in household wealth over the past 100 years....more, + 1 other entry »
English to Chinese: Translation of Griftopia: A Story of Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History(excerpt) General field: Bus/Financial Detailed field: Investment / Securities
Source text - English “Mr. Chairman, delegates, and fellowcitizens . . .” The roar of the crowd is deafening. Arms akimbo as the crowd pushesand shoves in violent excitement, I manage to scribble in my notebook: Placegoing . . . absolutely apeshit!
It’s September 3, 2008. I’m at the XcelCenter in St. Paul, Minnesota, listening to the acceptance speech by the newRepublican vicepresidential nominee, Sarah Palin. The speech is the emotionalclimax of the entire 2008 presidential campaign, a campaign marked by bouts ofrage and incoherent tribalism on both sides of the aisle. After eighteen longmonths covering this dreary business, the whole campaign appears in my mind’seye as one long, protracted scratch-fight over Internet-fueled nonsense.
Like most reporters, I’ve had to expend allthe energy I have just keeping track of who compared whom to Bob Dole, whoseminister got caught griping about America on tape, who sent a picture of whom inAfrican ceremonial garb to Matt Drudge . . . and because of this I’ve made itall the way to this historic Palin speech tonight not having the faintest ideathat within two weeks from this evening, the American economy will implode inthe worst financial disaster since the Great Depression.
Like most Americans, I don’t know a damnthing about high finance. The rumblings of financial doom have been soundingfor months now—the first half of 2008 had already seen the death of Bear Stearns,one of America’s top five investment banks, and a second, Lehman Brothers, hadlost 73 percent of its value in the first six months of the year and was lessthan two weeks away from a bankruptcy that would trigger the worldwide crisis.Within the same two-week time frame, a third top-five investment bank, MerrillLynch, would sink to the bottom alongside Lehman Brothers thanks to a holeblown in its side by years of reckless gambling debts; Merrill would beswallowed up in a shady state-aided backroom shotgun wedding to Bank of Americathat would never become anything like a major issue in this presidential race.The root cause of all these disasters was the unraveling of a massive Ponzischeme centered around the American real estate market, a huge bubble ofinvestment fraud that floated the American economy for the better part of adecade. This is a pretty big story, but at the moment I know nothing about it.Take it as a powerful indictment of American journalism that I’m far from alonein this among the campaign press corps charged with covering the 2008 election.None of us understands this stuff. We’re all way too busy watching to make sureX candidate keeps his hand over his heart during the Pledge of Allegiance, andY candidate goes to church as often as he says he does, and so on.
Translation - Chinese “主席先生，代表们，同胞们……”欢呼声震耳欲聋，观众们欣喜若狂，手舞足蹈，我用双肘护住自己，勉勉强强在笔记本上写道：这个地方……绝对要疯掉了！
English to Chinese: Translation of After On: A Novel of Silicon Valley(excerpt) General field: Art/Literary Detailed field: Poetry & Literature
Source text - English Is Phluttr angling to become the UberX of Sex?
Surprise, surprise; Phluttr just went and launched a hookup service that’s immaculately tuned to ease the proposal, planning and (yes) execution of no-strings sex. Boldly dubbed “Guttr,” it de-risks things with several ingenious tools – tools whose two key ingredients are the legendary social analytics and the pathological lack of shame that the company uniquely possesses. In other words, Facebook could do this, but they won’t; and GoDaddy would kill to, but they can’t. I therefore see Guttr becoming a monopolist in its sordid market (which, being “Sex,” must land somewhere between Food and Shelter on the ginormity scale).
Let’s start with the most important innovation (for those who don’t want to inspire a Law & Order/SVU episode, anyway): all players are verified non-felons, with social connections that look “healthy & normal” to Phluttr’s freakishly astute algorithms. Furthermore, if you’re married, in the closet, or otherwise inclined to build some mutual assured destruction into your trysts, Guttr can match you with equally covert paramours (and again, Phluttr’s analytics will bust anyone who’s lying about their status).
More ingeniously, diabolically, or both-ly still, every user’s sex appeal is rated by 100 perfect strangers, and you’ll rate 100 strangers yourself as part of your on-boarding (I know that sounds like a lot, but is takes just minutes – think Tinder). This way, everyone gets an objective 10-point appraisal from a global panel of like-minded perverts with the same things on their minds as you. It’s like the Nobel Committee of Hotness! And the Review Panels (they’re seriously called that) aren’t assembled randomly. If Phluttr knows you want to get jiggy with a VGL man, 20-30 w/a BBC who is HWP, then guys with those specs will be rating you for the benefit of their brethren (who, needless to say, will have zero interest in how you strike a DWM who’s a BHM, 45-60).
This will let Phluttr nudge people to fish in the pools that they themselves belong in, which(sociologists assure us) greatly ups the odds of mutual attraction. So if you’re lucky enough to be a 9, you can now troll and flirt amongst your equals with no risk that you’re chatting up some troglodyte (very important, that!), yet without anyone having to show their face in the early flirty stages, which keeps identities secure until the deal is all but sealed.
English to Chinese: Translation of A Century of Wealth in America (excerpt) General field: Bus/Financial Detailed field: Economics
Source text - English Summary of principal findings and concluding comments
This book provided a historical overview of developments in household wealth over the course of a little more than a century in the United States. Particular attention was paid to the years after 1962, which allowed for detailed microdata estimates of the size distribution of household wealth. This book also examined in particular detail the rather devastating effects of the Great Recession on household wealth holdings.
A wide range of topics was addressed in this volume. These included trends in both mean and median household wealth and overall wealth inequality, both in the recent past and the long term; changes in the portfolio composition of wealth over time, with particular attention to household indebtedness; comparisons of wealth levels and wealth inequality in the United States with those of other advanced countries; an analysis of some of the mechanisms behind changing wealth inequality; an empirical examination of the so-called life cycle model, in which it is argued that households accumulate wealth during working years in order to ensure adequate consumption during retirement years; an assessment of the role of inheritances and inter vivos gifts in accounting for disparities in wealth among households; a consideration of the role of Social Security and private pensions in the household accumulation of wealth; wealth differences among socioeconomic groups as demarcated by race, age, family status, and the like; the demographic and workforce characteristics of the rich; the persistence of asset poverty in the United States; and an examination of the redistributional effects of direct wealth taxation in the United States.
We started by examining recent trends in personal wealth. Chapter 1 provided a historical backdrop on trends in the standard of living, the poverty rate, income inequality, labor earnings, and the wage share of national income since 1947;The years since 1973 witnessed slow growth in earnings and income for the middle class, as well as a stagnating poverty rate and rising income inequality. In contrast, the early postwar period, before 1937, saw rapid advances in wages and family income for the middle class, in addition to a sharp decline in poverty and a moderate fall in income inequality. The “booming”1900s and early 2000s did not bring much help to the middle class, with median family income growing by only 3 percent (in total) between 1989 and 2013. Personal tax rates generally fell since the early 1970s but by much more for the rich than the middle class. In sum, the middle class became squeezed in terms of earnings and income since the early 1970s.
The stagnation of living standards among the middle class over these years can be traced to the slow growth in labor earnings. While average earnings almost doubled between 1947 and 1973, they grew by only 22 percent from 1973 to 2013. There was no growth in real hourly wages according to the data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As a result, median income in 2013 was still well below its peak in 2007 (by 7.4 percent). In fact in 2013, it was back to where it had been in 1997.
The main reason for the stagnation of labor earnings derived from a clear shift in national income away from labor and toward capital, particularly since the late 1970s. There is a clear connection between rising income inequality and a rising profit share. Over this period, both overall and corporate profitability spiked upward, almost back to postwar highs. The stock market was, in part, fueled by rising profitability. While the owners of capital gained from rising profits, workers experienced almost no progress in terms of wages. On the surface, at least, there appeared to be a trade-off between the advances in the income of the rich and the stagnation of income among the working class.
Strong correlations are evident between inequality and profitability, particularly since 1979. However, the regression analysis shows that only the top income shares (those of the top 1 percent, the top 0.1 percent, and the top 0.01 percent) have a positive and statistically significant relationship to profitability.
English to Chinese: Rome: Eternal City, Chapter 6 The art of love — Ovid exiled from Rome General field: Social Sciences Detailed field: History
Source text - English Chapter 6 The art of love — Ovid exiled from Rome
Early evening, sometime during the 20s BC. A figure passes under the shadows of a monumental colonnade. A young man. He pauses, presses his back against a sun-warmed pillar of yellow Numidian marble. He is carefully groomed: tanned forearms show beneath a clean white toga; his teeth are clean; his beard is trimmed; his nostrils are scrupulously plucked – and he sniffs the wind, let us imagine, like a hound on the scent. High up here on the Palatine hill, in the newly built sanctuary of Apollo, the air is fresh enough. From the city below, a fine haze of woodsmoke. A waft of burning incense from the shrine. the warm note of pines in the summer breeze.
Rising all around is a sort of enormous architectural stage set. On three sides, the colonnade of the temple portico frames the scene: its double row of yellow columns broken up by black stone statues of mythical murderesses – the Danaids – and by fierce Danaus himself, brandishing a savage-looking blade. Rising above, up a broad flight of steps, the temple itself gleams triumphantly: the climax of the political and religious drama that is encoded here. Terracotta plaques, just like those on the old Temple of Jupiter on the Capitoline, link this temple to the ancient Italic past. Ivory panels reveal the new reach of a world-spanning empire. Sculpted reliefs show Apollo conquering the brutish Hercules, and Romans remember – and are constantly reminded – that not so long ago the drunken brute Marcus Antonius with his barbarous queen Cleopatra were themselves conquered in a great battle off Cape Actium, where, on the crag, another temple of Apollo stands as tall as this one here.
This temple of Apollo is a masterpiece of architectural propaganda. But the man by the pillar (a poet, he calls himself) is oblivious to the messages being beamed across Rome from the summit of the Palatine. His keen nose has picked up the smell of expensive perfume: rosewater maybe, or extract of Egyptian nard and now, as he sidles round the column’s smooth flank, he sees the source: a girl in a fine silk dress, richly dyed in saffron or amaryllis, sea green or Paphian myrtle. He admires her hair, carefully curled with a hot iron. With the eye of a veteran seducer, he takes the measure of the eunuch chaperone who lumbers beside her.
The poet’s senses hum with the excitement of new love; his awakened lust is already condensing into pretty words – words which will be his weapons to pierce any defences that fear or chastity may erect in his path. As he sets himself for the chase, he forgets his monumental surroundings; the victory being re-enacted in the stone symbols of this sacred compound, and what that victory means. He has forgotten whose house it is that stands next to this temple; who it is that sits at the paper-strewn desk in the small tower that rises across the way. He has forgotten Apollo’s chosen protégé: the man who now rules Rome.
Publius Ovidius Naso was born in 43 BC in the small Italian town of Sulmo, high on the well-watered eastern flank of the Apennine mountains. His father belonged to an old family of the local aristocracy; not drowning in sesterces, exactly, but rich enough to buy his sons a proper education.
Ovid will have been sent first to a litterator to learn his letters; then, at around ten years old, to a grammaticus, for training in poetry and literary appreciation. Pupils in those days were expected to be fluent in both Latin and Greek, and to master a literary canon that stretched back over seven hundred years, from the great early epics of Homer and Hesiod through the elegant verse of Hellenistic Alexandria to the new Roman masterpieces that were being produced in Ovid’s own day.
At around fifteen, however, boys would receive the _toga virilis _which signified their entry into Roman adulthood, and a turn away from childish versification. the final, and most important phase of a Roman education was conducted by a rhetor – an instructor in the art of public speaking.
By this time, Ovid had probably been sent from Sulmo to continue his studies in the capital. there had been a time when young men of ambition would learn rhetoric by listening to the magistrates and lawyers speaking in the Forum, and although this sort of on-the-spot training had long since been replaced by highly specialized professional instruction, there was still no doubt that Rome was the only place to learn the skills for a successful public life. Schools of various sorts could be found all over the city. Sometimes pupils gathered in private houses; more other, they would meet in gardens or porticos, or just in the streets. the city itself was the schoolhouse for ambitious youths, just as it would become their arena for the political battles ahead.
But Ovid and his contemporaries were entering a radically different political scene from the one their fathers and instructors had known. Back in 43 BC, the year after Caesar’s assasination and about a month after Ovid was born, there was a battle between Roman factions at Mutina in the Po Valley. the consuls of that year – good republicans both – defeated Caesar’s old lieutenant Marcus Antonius but both lost their lives in the process. Command of the senatorial army passed unexpectedly to an untested nineteen-year-old called Gaius Octavianus – a youth who owed what little stature he had entirely to the fact that he was the great-nephew, legal heir and posthumously adopted son of Gaius Julius Caesar.
Julius Caesar’s death in 44 BC had splintered the Roman elite. Traditionalists still dreamed of restoring the integrity of the old republican system. the assassins, led by Brutus and Cassius, were in the eastern provinces, gathering support. In Rome, the men of ambition quietly weighed their prospects. Italy was full of leaderless veterans waiting to be mobilized. For aspiring autocrats, this was a land rich in opportunity.
At the battle of Mutina, Octavianus showed himself willing and able to grasp it. He had money, having inherited most of Caesar’s for- tune, and could command at least the provisional loyalty of Caesar’s veterans, especially now he had a military victory to his name. Now, with the shamelessness of a born winner, he smoothly switched sides, joining Antonius along with another old Caesarian called Marcus Lepidus to oppose the traditionalists in the senate. Meeting once again at Mutina, the three men divided the state between them just as Caesar, Pompey and Crassus had done all those years before. Rome once again found herself governed by a triumvirate.
Ovid was still an infant when the triumviral proscriptions began – too young to feel the shadow of fear spreading through Italy. It was a thorough purge of political enemies, but it also included men whose only sin was to have amassed a fortune large enough to catch a triumvir’s eye. Antonius and Octavianus traded deaths: Antonius gave up his own uncle to the executioners. In return, Octavianus allowed Cicero’s name to be added to the list of the condemned. In the year of Ovid’s birth, the severed head and right hand of Rome’s greatest orator were nailed, in cruel insult, to the speaker’s platform in the Roman Forum.
In Ovid’s second year of life, Antonius and Octavianus finally caught up with Caesar’s assassins. In a close battle at Philippi, Brutus and Cassius were defeated and committed suicide. It was Antonius’s legions who carried the day, the general leading his men like a latter-day Hercules. Octavianus, suffering the after-effects of an illness, saw his wing of the army thrown back in confusion and only narrowly escaped capture himself. Perhaps it was the fright that made him so harsh in victory. The flower of the old Roman aristocracy died that day. Brutus’s head was sent back to Rome in a box, to be cast in the dust at the feet of Caesar’s statue.
There was peace, then, for a while, but it could not last. Ovid was twelve when the final confrontation began, the two uneasy allies, Antonius and Octavianus, challenging each other for the right to rule supreme in Rome. At Actium, in Greece, where a temple of Apollo rose above the sea, Octavianus’s navy defeated the combined fleets of Antonius and Cleopatra of Egypt. the poet Virgil imagined a stirring scene:
Both sides at once surge forth. The seas froth white,
Churned by the oars and triple-pointed prows.
They head for open sea. You’ d think the Cyclades,
Torn from their roots, were breasting through the wave
Or looming cliffs rammed up against each other.
In such huge ships the sailors pressed pursuit
On towering sterns.
In fact, it had not been much of a fight. Antonius and Cleopatra had already decided to retreat towards the East. they escaped, but the competent admiralship of Octavianus’s friend Marcus Vipsanius Agrippa meant that their finest ships – their huge bronze-armoured quinqueremes – had to be given up for lost.
Militarily, it was a survivable defeat, but Antonius’s prestige suffered a fatal blow. His Roman allies were already uneasy at his close association with an Egyptian queen. Octavianus had none of Antonius’s glamour or personal charm, but he did have Rome, and the strong aura of legitimacy that only the capital could bestow. Now, seeing their general’s sails disappearing eastwards, the officers and men of Antonius’s land forces abandoned the fight.
Octavianus learned the lesson well. He understood the importance of appearances, understood that his supremacy, if it was to endure, must depend not only on the support of Marcus Agrippa, his invincible military commander, but also on the good works of another close friend, Gaius Cilnius Maecenas, a flamboyant Etruscan nobleman who had made himself Italy’s foremost patron of the arts.
Agrippa won the battle at Actium, but it was Maecenas’s poets who turned Actium into the world-shaking triumph it became – a triumph so dazzling that it could serve as the foundation for a whole new political regime.
All through the 30s BC, Maecenas had been mustering his forces: a brotherhood of artists bound together by his careful generosity, ready to deploy their storytelling skills in Octavianus’s service. Shining brightest amid a constellation of lesser names were Quintus Horatius Flaccus and Publius Vergilius Maro – Horace and Virgil.
Horace, like many idealistic young Romans, had fought for Brutus and Cassius at Philippi but was quickly brought round to Octavianus’s side and inducted into Maecenas’s inner circle. It was an excellent piece of business. The young man was a much better poet than soldier, and soon mended what little hurt he had done in fighting against what he now understood to be the march of destiny. ‘Hail O Triumph!’ he wrote after Actium. ‘Why delay the golden chariots!’ the new Caesar, Horace declared, was a greater general than Scipio Africanus himself. ‘Fill, boy, the jar with new Caecuban wine!’
Virgil, perhaps the greatest poet Rome ever produced, was similarly useful to Octavianus’s new regime. His Aeneid, written over the decade following the battle of Actium, was a work of extraordinary ambition – a Roman answer to the great Homeric epics from which the whole body of later classical literature had essentially sprung. In it, he told the story of Aeneas, the Trojan refugee who was the ultimate ancestor of Romulus and of the Julian clan and hence of Octavianus himself. No reader, having followed Aeneas through twelve books of verse in epic hexameter, could be in any doubt that Rome’s current ruler represented the culmination of a divine scheme that went back to the founding of the city and beyond. the young man who led at Actium, ‘standing proud on the poop deck with twin flames shooting forth from his happy brows’, who fought ‘with the elders and the people and the household spirits and the great gods at his side’ – ‘cum patribus populoque, penatibus et magnis dis’ – was surely the equal of the heroes of legend, if not of the gods themselves.
This all fitted perfectly with the developing themes of Octavianus’s own propaganda. He had already presided over the deification of his adopted father Julius Caesar, whose newly built temple now stood at the eastern end of the Roman Forum. Octavianus was now divifilius – Son of a God – and no one was brave enough to mention that the only plausible biological son of the god in question, Cleopatra’s little son Caesarion, had been quietly murdered in Alexandria, while his mother, rafter than be paraded in Octavianus’s triumph, bared her breast to a smuggled viper.* So the pharaonic monarchy of Egypt was finally snuffed out, after a run of over three thousand years.
维吉尔，也许是罗马有史以来最伟大的诗人，对屋大维的新政权同样有用。他的《埃涅伊德》是在亚克兴海战之后的十年间写成的，是一部雄心勃勃的作品——一位罗马人对伟大的荷马史诗的回应，整个后期古典文学都是从荷马史诗中诞生的。在《埃涅伊德》中，他讲述了特洛伊难民埃涅阿斯的故事，他是罗穆卢斯和朱利安氏族的终极祖先，因而也是屋大维的先祖。任何一位读者，在跟随埃涅阿斯的足迹读完十二本六步格史诗集之后，会毫无疑问的认为，罗马今天的统治者是神的计划的高潮部分，而这个计划可以追溯到罗马城市建立时以及更远的时代。在亚克兴海战中运筹帷幄的那个年轻人，“骄傲的站在船尾甲板上，器宇轩昂，神目如炬”，“长老，人民，家庭保护神，和伟大的神明都站在他的阵营里（拉丁文：patribus populoque，penatibus et magnis dis）”，与他一起战斗——他如果不是神灵本身，那么就一定是传说中的英雄再世。
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Translated 4 books:
lA Century of Wealth in America (ISBN-10: 9780674495142) , Prof.
Edward N. Wolff, 460K words, an econometrics masterpiece
l Griftopia: A Story of
Bankers, Politicians, and the Most Audacious Power Grab in American History(ISBN-10:
0385529961), Matt Taibbi, 90k words, a financial nonfiction book
lAfter On: A Novel of Silicon Valley(ISBN-10: 1524798053), Rob Reid,
400k words, a Sci-fi book
lThe Diary of American Continental Divide Trail Thru-hike, Sourstraws,
20k words, an Outdoor book
My clinets include EMC, IBM, Cisco, ChinaMobile, ChinaTelecom, outdoor Wechat public account g4outside, etc.