Sep 30, 2014 12:45 PM

Lost in Translation

Is selective translation of news articles from the foreign media more insidious than no translation at all? The debate was sparked by a garbled translation of the cover story of the Economist headlined What does China Want?

In a translated version run on, a generously funded website covering political and social news, passages following some transitional device such as "but" and "however," which seek to give a counterpoint and more often than not contain the core messages, are excised. For example: The translated passage renders: "As China becomes, again, the world's largest economy, it wants the respect it enjoyed in centuries past," while leaving out "But it does not know how to achieve …"

You've accessed an article available only to subscribers
Share this article
Open WeChat and scan the QR code